How I prepare home-cooked meals

The first week I changed my status from stay-at-home to working mom, I also hired health coach Jared Vaughn. After learning he wanted me to start cooking whole foods from scratch, I thought I’d made a horrible mistake. Was he serious? I didn’t have time to cook, especially now!

But even when I was a stay-at-home mom, my family of five survived on reheated dinners from the freezer section of Traders Joe’s. Frozen tacos, breaded chicken, and pre-cooked garlic veggies were on heavy rotation at my house. It took about a week to phase out my pre-packaged, processed foods. After that, I chose a few recipes with simple ingredients and headed to the grocery store.

I was surprised how I felt completely lost. I couldn’t find anything! Ginger! Ginger? Where are you?! Soba noodles, come out come out wherever you are! Of course I’d forgotten the coconut milk when I got to the checkout line. My three kids were with me. It was a nightmare. I wanted to give up.

After a month of trial and error, I got used to cooking from scratch. I had more energy and my food tasted so much better. I learned three new recipes. Since they were mostly variations of a stir-fry, we got bored really quickly. I needed new recipes but I didn’t want to relearn my grocery store again. That’s when I discovered HelloFresh. It is a perfect fit for my family.

HelloFresh sent me pre-measured fresh ingredients and recipe cards with pictures. I loved the supply list on the top of each recipe. Ideally, before I left for work, I made sure to take out all the pots, pans, and cooking supplies I would need for dinner. It was a simple and helpful way for me to prep for dinner.  Ok, I honestly never did that! But I liked knowing that I could if I wanted to.

It was such a relief as I was walking the kids home from school to know I had everything for a complete dinner waiting for us. More than that, each meal felt special and out of the ordinary. I felt like a celebrity chef after I toasted the coconut and added the turmeric powder to the rice. One night I even made lamb! I usually stick to chicken and maybe shrimp, so lamb was a huge stretch for me. The result was amazing.

This week I bought the vegetarian meal plan from Hello Fresh. It’s a little cheaper, but more importantly, it will push me out of my comfort zone of filling up on meat. I can’t wait for my food to arrive on Wednesday!

Good news! HelloFresh is giving Elizabeth Street Readers a 30% discount off your first box. Use coupon code HF-ElizabethStreet at check out to receive your discount!  —Sharon Beesley

 

Nichola Hunt

Cocktail aficionado. Large dog breed lover. Fondness of summer dresses. Hater of pickles. Born in London, based in Bali.

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