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