When I first started eating "Whole foods" freezing became my best friend. I would make a large pot of some kind of soup/stew and freeze half of it. that way when you really, really really don't want to cook, you have a "frozen meal" to eat really quickly and easily.
I also dedicated time on Sunday to cooking for the week. I wasn't cooking every meal for the week but I was cooking things for lunch and snack so that I always have food around. It helps.
I ate local for a whole year, and since there were very few processed products available, I had to do everything from scratch. Sometimes it was a real pain, especially when I was tired or sick and just wanted to grab something like ketchup or mayo or even hard cheese. After awhile you get used to not eating all those things. I did learn how to make mustard, and when I got a mini-chopper, I saved lots of time by making my own garlic and onion powder.
EXMOUSE4 I made a white beans and greens pasta last night that was divine - easy and just a few ingredients
oil/earth balance garlic beans greens (spinach/collards) .25 vege bouillon pasta
As for the Original Poster. It does get easier. Once you have your go-to meals and expand cooking it will make a big difference. For instance, homemade hummus is really simple and if your not eating it with bread or crackers you can have it with crunchy veggies like carrots, celery and peppers. Even if you omit the tahini because it's processed you can still make it yummy with spices.
One suggestion is making a couple of big one pot meals over the weekend, then you will have something ready for lunch and dinner.
Make a big pot of broth or stock to keep on hand as well. You can freeze it in portions.
You can cook dry beans in a crock pot! Makes life a million times easier... Still soak your beans overnight if you can though..
Try dried organic black beans, vegetable stock (instead of water - makes a world of difference), cumin, salt (becareful of how much salt your stock has), pepper, garlic, onions, tomato paste and a whole dried chipotle pepper on low. Start it at around 8am and by dinner, you'll be so happy. Great as a side dish or in tacos, burritos, on a salad, etc. Add a little sour cream and avocado... You can do just about anything Southwestern-y with these beans. Then try experimenting with other beans and spices for other meals. I am currently in LOVE with cannelini beans (white kidney beans they call them.) They are great with pasta... YUMMO!
Edited by: EXMOUSE4 at: 3/26/2010 (16:51)
current weight: 181.5
Fitness Minutes: (136,860) Posts: 19,558 3/26/10 3:47 P
Not at all hard. If you are interested, you are welcome to join my Eat Clean Recipes team (the link is in my signature). That is one of the goals of our team. Clean, whole, unprocessed foods. Exchanging recipes using whole ingredients.
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