Friday, September 28
healthy eating strategies for the busy mom, pt 2: inspiration
No doubt one of the most dreaded question in a mother's life is "what's for dinner?" My son is too young to ask it yet, but heck: I don't even like asking it myself. This is why yummy food blogs and Pinterest boards are so vital to keeping me inspired, and keeping us well fed. These online resources are quickly eclipsing real paper-and-glue cookbooks in terms of actual number of meals cooked, though, of course, cookbooks still hold a place near and dear to my heart, and near at hand in the kitchen. Of these, there are two that I find myself reaching for, month after month, year after year:
the re:bar cookbook I've had this cookbook longer than I've had most things in my life: close to ten years. It is the inspired product of my favorite restaurant in my former home of Victoria, BC, and a strong contender for favorite restaurant of all time. I never tire of this one, and after all these years, there are still new recipes that pop up at me every now and then, and make me fall in love all over again. My life wouldn't be the same without their peanut sauce recipe (page 40, I know that without having to look it up) and their Big Barn Bowtie Pasta dish, a fall dish of caramelized cabbage, sage and brown butter, is a perennial favorite in our house.
super natural every day Heidi Swanson is my number one food muse. I will shout my love for her from the rooftops. Her cookbooks and website account for close to half of all the meals I cook, or want to cook. No joke. Her second cookbook, published in 2011, is a marvel and a treasure. It doesn't hurt that her photography is as appealing as her recipes. She hasn't failed me once. Her buttery Bran Muffins are a great way to start the day; her White Bean, Cabbage and Potatoes dish is a marvelous way to end it at the dinner table. (We eat a lot of cabbage in our house.)
Meal planning went from being a chore to a pleasure once I discovered Pinterest, which I use mostly as a food mood board. I pin recipes that look and sound good to me as I come across them on the many food blogs I subscribe to, that way they don't get lost in the shuffle of read items. What's especially great about this is that food bloggers typically post recipes specific to the season, so it's easy to get excited about stuff that would be good to eat right now. When it's time to plan meals for the coming week, I simply scroll through, get inspired, get hungry, write up my grocery list, and boom: done. I love how handy this is, with the iPhone app, I have food inspiration always at the ready, which means that odd like bits of time can get used for cookery brainstorming sessions. (Note: I haven't tried the service Plan To Eat, but I think it sounds great, and if this meal planning business is a particular hardship for you, you might want to check it out.)
101 Cookbooks Heidi Swanson, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. This site, and the culinary genius behind it, has transformed the way I eat. I cannot say enough good things about it, so I won't bore you with superlatives, except to say: go get you some. It's almost time to start making this soup again, which is only my very favorite soup recipe OF ALL TIME. Caps are necessary here, people. I am serious about soup.
Everybody Likes Sandwiches We do. We also love cole slaw, and granola, and that's why everybody should check out this site. This pumpkin walnut granola is at the top of my to-make list.
The Smitten Kitchen Deb has a new cookbook coming out. While I'm waiting for it, I might just make the cacio e pepe pasta a few more times.
Naturally Ella These tacos! That it all. (Also--more stunning food photography! Swoon.)
Dinner: A Love Story Beautifully written about the why of family dinner, not just the what.
The Sprouted Kitchen Ok, ok I am very late to this party. I don't think I can go very much longer before making these muffins.
I'm always looking for new sources of foodie inspiration, especially as it's about to finally be fall here in Texas, the season to get excited about cooking again. Squash! Stews! Squash stew! I'd love for you to share some of your favorites, and also any meal planning/marketing strategies that serve you & your family. Bon appétit!