Home cooking

One of the things I am loving about transitioning into the semi-freelance lifestyle is the amount of time I will {soon} have to prepare more meals at home from scratch.

I don't know about you, but for the last two and a half years, our meals have consisted of the following menu:

  • Burrito bowls (sometimes three times a week!)
  • Trader Joe's gnocchi with chicken
  • Trader Joe's orange chicken
  • Spinach salads
  • Breakfast burritos from Trader Joe's 
  • Yogurt
  • ...and the occasional salmon burger or baked chicken with rice. 
I mean seriously. We have TJ's so mapped out with our basics that I could shop for a week in about 5 - 10 minutes. And it's embarassingly been this way since we've been married. This life isn't okay for the long term.

 While I am vigilant to watch the foods we eat for preservatives, corn syrup, artificial ingredients, etc., they are still not super fresh. But quick and easy has been the name of the game for us, and really, Trader Joe's has a corner on the market for that need.

However, I'm really, really tired of the same old same old and have Pinterest envy of friends who have time to make things that are healthy and from scratch. BUT-- the more I've looked into it, the more I've discovered that so many food blogs out there (thank goodness for food blogs!) have dishes that can be prepared in under 30 minutes. My recent obsession of watching The Biggest Loser, paired with my discovery of some amazing food blogs has got my heart set on easy, quick home cooked meals.

Since T and I have been married, we both get up at 6am to go to work, get home around 5:30, work out or walk the dog until 6:30 or so (or work late, or, realistically, waste time in traffic most days...), and the desire to cook a meal from scratch after 12 hours days working kind of goes out the window. We're lucky if we can manage to scrape our frozen gnocchi together in a somewhat presentable manner while we both continue to work from 7:30 - 10pm. (Him: grading, me: editing or writing). SO... the moral of this long-winded story is that for me, while the 9-5 will soon be gone, I'm thrilled to have found some awesome options for cooking healthy and delicious home-cooked meals from scratch in less than thirty minutes.

I wanted to share two blogs with you that I ADORE, and that I have made some pretty amazing dishes from in this past week. (Warning: they have all been pasta dishes. I'm kind of obsessed with pasta.)
I can tell you with certainty that these recipes are legit. If my husband spent time after our first meal asking, "Where did you find that recipe?" and then Googling it himself to pick out other recipes he wanted to try (AND emailing them to me to make sure I had them...) then you know they're good.

{Above} This was the Garlic Pasta recipe from Pinch of Yum. 

We also made the "Chicken Soup Noodles" dish from Pinch of Yum last night... but because I had a minor dog-eating-my-rotisserie-chicken-mid-cooking meltdown which resulted in my husband having to run to Costco to buy another chicken... and me pouring myself a nice glass of wine after two hours of cleaning and prepping this meal... I did not take pictures. But it was de-lish. (Currently savoring my leftovers of last night.)

So, moral of the story: You can be a four-jobbed-one-dogged-no-kidded wife and make healthy, home cooked meals in thirty minutes or less. I love you Trader Joe's, but I am so over your freezer meals.


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