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Confessions of a mom who cooks for a living

Life is hectic. As a mother of two great “busy” children, a wife, and business owner wearing many different hats in a day, I know all about that.

Cooking for a living and owning a catering business doesn’t make it easy to handle all the other responsibilities in my life. There is no 9-to 5-shift, Monday to Friday. We create when we need to, and love to do it. That being said, there are many nights, ironically, where I say to myself, ‘what’s for dinner?’

Recently I saw a post online stating, “If you love your kids ‘til your last breath, why won’t you cook for them?” I didn’t know whether to be angry or agree. This is the kind of thing that makes us feel guilty about all the things we do or don’t do well enough for our family. Yes, we should be relying less on takeout and more on healthy eating. Where is your balance? Our society talks about stress and pressure constantly, yet our actions seem to create more of it.

Many think we have these amazing elaborate meals at our house. Most nights we keep it simple: salad and a protein, pasta, casserole, or pad thai. Once in a while we will eat out.

Takeout can be habit forming. By the time you stand in line or place a drive-thru order and drive home, a simple meal could have already been made. Using takeout as a treat instead of a necessity may be easier on the pocketbook and waistline. Stop feeling guilty: find alternatives to the fast food. Choose recipes with five ingredients or less. This week’s recipes are quick and simple.

Move away from the pressure, carve out some time to make a menu. Take time to prepare ahead, such as cutting vegetables for the next night. Or try alternating full dinners and simpler dinners. No one asked you to make the meals grandma used to make – just simplify.

 

Fish Tacos

  •  8 oz. white fish such as tilapia
  • Cajun spice blend
  • Panko crumbs
  • Red and green peppers, sliced
  • Red onions, sliced
  • Salsa or handmade vegetable salsa

 

On baking tray, place tilapia, sprinkle Cajun spice, and coat in panko crumbs. Place peppers on the same baking tray. Bake in oven at 375 F for about 8 minutes;

Break fish into pieces and place on a toasted whole grain tortilla. Garnish how you choose: greens, cheese if your kids like it;

Serve with salad or veggies.

 

Cooked-fresh-in-no-time Pasta

  •  2 pints Floralane grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 a red onion
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fettuccine
  • 10 leaves of basil
  • Half a pkg of Boursin or goat cheese

 

Cut grape tomatoes in half, spread on baking sheet;

Cut red onions into strips, spread on cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in oven at 400 F for approximately 15 minutes;

Place in bowl and crush slightly with a fork;

Cook pasta in a pot of boiling water as per the instructions on the box. Place drained pasta in bowl with tomato mix and toss;

Top with crumbled Boursin and torn basil. Drizzle with more olive oil and serve.

 

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