As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I was fortunate enough to grow up in New Orleans with a family that gravitated towards the kitchen. I was practically packing meatballs by the age of three and understood the “Holy Trinity” of Creole cooking before I knew the phrase in its original context. Clearly our family loves to cook.
While I grew up and made friends from different backgrounds, I quickly learned the Azzarellos were a rare breed indeed. I noticed not every family had as much cooking passion as we did, and some friends were lucky to receive a homemade meal once a week! I began to wonder why and learned that, among other reasons, fear was a distinct barrier to cooking. Fear of under seasoning the veggies, fear of over cooking the chicken or fear of the kids starting a war over a flavorless and watery lasagna (and frankly, who can blame them?!).
Now I know that the first step in overcoming a cooking phobia is an arsenal semi-homemade meal plans. A semi-homemade meal involves taking something ready to eat, like a frozen pizza or box of mac and cheese, and adding personal elements, like extra veggies to a pizza or peas and corn to that mac and cheese. Not only do semi-homemade meals provide a great point of entry into cooking, they can be prepared quickly (perfect for on the go parents) and allow for creativity when adding the nutritious ingredients your family already enjoys.
So the next time you hesitate to pick up a whisk or wooden spoon, remember half of your work is already done through semi-homemade meals.
What’s a semi-homemade meal your family enjoys? Share your recipe in the comments below!
Brian Azzarello wrote this post for Together Counts on behalf of Edelman Digital. When he isn’t looking into the next big thing in healthy living, you’ll find Brian busy experimenting in his kitchen with hard to pronounce ingredients.