By Amanda Moxley

Are you a grab and go kind of eater? Do you come home from a long day, look in the fridge and wonder what to feed yourself? Then, when you don’t see anything, you snack on crackers, cereal or nuts? Do you prepare and bring your lunch to work or school or do you find yourself eating junky office food? Are you confused about how to prepare yummy meals for you and your family? Are you insecure in the kitchen?

To be totally honest, I could answer yes to all of these questions during some parts of my life. Now that I’m a mommy, I know that I want a PLAN and I want to be a confident super woman in the kitchen.

You have to have a plan. Have you ever heard the saying “if you fail to have a plan then plan to fail?” I tell my clients that going into a potentially unhealthy situations like a business trip, family vacation or extended holiday without a plan, is like going into battle without ammunition. You have to arm yourself with tools, ideas and a solid plan to be your very best self!

This week’s article is full of new tools, ideas and tips so that you can unleash your inner super chef!

1.    Start by listing all of your favorite meals that you’ve made or want to learn to make. (To be honest, I have yet to make half of these meals) I suggest using a special notebook or binder that you love. This notebook/binder will soon become your very own recipe book. Find recipes that you want to make in magazines, past Breath of Fresh Air eZine’s, on the Internet and in books.

Here’s my example from my own recipe book:
Beef Vegetable Stir Fry with sweet brown rice
Soup Night- carrot ginger soup, squash soup or gazpacho
Broiled or grilled fish night with steamed green vegetables
Crock Pot meals
Meat loaf- healthy version from Vonnie
Pot roast- look at Joy of Cooking
Quinoa Salad
Lasagna- Joy of Cooking
Home made pizza
Thai noodles with vegetables and tofu
Burrito night
Organic grass fed hamburger night

A Quick and Easy Meal Plan
A Quick and Easy Meal Plan

2.    Start slowly but steadily.
In your new recipe book/binder devote a page to each meal you want to make. Write down the ingredients list (so you can easily take your list shopping.) Next write down the preparation instructions or copy and paste it in your book. You can print out meal photos off the Internet or clip photos out of a magazine. Be sure to leave space to write your chef comments about ingredients, taste and other observations you made in the process (too salty, or not enough this or that.)

3.    Schedule in your planner a time when you can shop at your grocery store or local farmer’s market and stock up on your ingredients. Remember to take your own recyclable bags. Stock up on basic/common ingredients like ginger, tamari (wheat free soy sauce), garlic, olive oil, butter, spices,whole grains, canned beans, Ezekial sprouted whole wheat bread and tortillas, fruit and vegetables.

4.    Schedule a time in your calendar when you can enjoy a few hours playing in your kitchen.

5.    Get down to business! Play some fun music on your Ipod (Jazz or blues always helps me get in the mood to cook.) Throw on a cute apron and dive into the creative process of making your own meal.

6.    Work on becoming familiar with one recipe at a time, gaining confidence to prepare the dish without having to follow the instructions. Once you master a recipe, your confidence will soar and your inner chef will be on her way to stardom.

5.    Rotate your special meals throughout your month. For example develop a lasagna night, burrito night, vegetable stir fry night, quinoa salad night, meat night etc. Your family and friends will love you!

6.    Keep it simple. Cook once, eat it three times! Enjoy leftovers from your yummy dinner tomorrow at work. You can also freeze your food up to three months. I intend to make a bunch of marinara sauce, pesto, and roasted winter squash soup from fresh local ingredients before the farmer’s market ends. You can do it too! Think about how tasty it will be and how much money you’ll save if you act like a squirrel and stock up for the winter.

7.    If you skip a week of trying new recipes, don’t give up! You have to keep at this in order to unleash your inner super chef. I’m here to support you. I’m on the same path. I’ll be blogging about my journey. If you’re looking for inspiration and want to share your inner chef journey with me check out my blog.

© 2011 Amanda Moxley


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