The home cooked family dinner is experiencing a gradual demise in America. There are studies and articles documenting this. People are eating pre-packaged or takeout meals while watching chefs on TV prepare gourmet ones.
One excuse people use for eating convenience and fast food is the lack of time to prepare meals. I have used the excuse myself. There are, however, benefits to preparing your own meals.
Ingredients: You can control the ingredients. I have food intolerances that show up on the ingredients list on many prepared foods. By cooking for myself, I can avoid these. I also can choose organic ingredients and wild caught, pastured or grass-fed meats.
Health: Most processed foods and even restaurant meals contain high amounts of fat, salt and sugar. I certainly don’t have, in my cupboards, any of the food dyes or unpronounceable chemicals added to most processed foods. This study showed when people cook most of their meals at home, they consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar and less fat than those who cook less or not at all – even if they are not trying to lose weight.
Cost: It generally costs less to prepare your own food. See this article. You also are able to “pay the farmer, not the doctor” by avoiding processed foods.
That leaves us with time savings. Tonight I proved that meals can be made quickly. I made tonight’s dinner in 30 minutes, start to finish. I did use the microwave to cook the sweet potatoes. I could have shaved off more time if I had bought pre-sliced mushrooms and broccoli and cauliflower florets that were ready to cook. I didn’t do this because the produce I had all came fresh from the Concord Farmer’s Market.
I started off by slicing ½ of a small onion into thin strips. I sliced up some mushrooms and put them with the onion and a tablespoon of ghee* in a covered sauté pan over low heat. I then turned on the BBQ to get it heated up. I seasoned the filet mignon with salt, pepper* and garlic. I stirred the mushrooms. I washed and cut up the broccoli and cauliflower into florets. I stirred the mushrooms. I placed them in a steamer ready to go. I washed the sweet potatoes and started them cooking in the microwave. I stirred and took the cover off the mushrooms. I put the meat on the grill over medium high heat for 3 minutes (the first of 4 turns for the meat). I set a kitchen timer to keep track of the turns. I set the table to eat. I turned on the burner for the broccoli and added a splash of balsamic vinegar to the mushrooms and stirred them again. I took the meat off the grill and plated everything. I cut the sweet potatoes in half and drizzled truffle oil over them. And that my friends, was 30 minutes of meal preparation for a simple but wonderful meal.
*use coconut oil and omit pepper to make this AIP