I am not a professional chef by any means, but I know my way around the kitchen, and for the most part I know how to create delicious, satisfying healthy meals. However, every once in a while, something goes awry and my perfectly planned meal turns out not so perfect.
Take today for example. Since I would be running around with activities for the kids later in the day, I proudly prepped vegetable soup in the slow cooker and walked away expecting dinner to be done and ready when the time came. Well, it was finished, but it was…um…not so good. Now I consider soup to be my specialty. In fact, I will be launching my soup eBook this fall (fear not, this said recipe will NOT be featured). So it was a bit of a blow to my soup making ego to have made such a disagreeable soup. (I figured out it was due to the store-bought vegetable broth, which I will NOT be using again).
- Burnt the rice, quinoa, millet, etc. MANY times
- Overcooked the gluten free pasta a dozen times to the point of mush
- Forgotten vegetables and other things in the oven (only to discover them at breakfast)
- Cooked mutilated pancakes that looked like a cat dragged its claws through them
- Turned gorgeous fish fillets into fish tacos (most of the time)
- Served chicken that resembled rubber in look, taste and texture
- Accidently replaced sugar with salt and created a completely inedible pie
My point is: Having a go-to back up plan that is healthy and super easy to throw together is SO important when you try to eat healthier. Things will go wrong when you are learning a new routine, new foods and new recipes (even when you’re an experienced cook!), but you cannot let it throw you off and ruin your plan. It’s easy to call for pizza as your back up, but will that pizza then set off three days of cravings, binging, guilt and condemnation? Is it worth it?
So what are my Plan B’s? In a pinch I always go for toast with avocado sprinkled with lemon juice and a bit of sea salt. The kids love it too. Scrambled eggs with avocado and veggies are a great go-to. Frozen veggies like green beans, peas and broccoli act as the perfect accompaniment to any protein, salad or the avocado toast. Or you can always resort to hummus, veggie sticks and some olives (whatever you have on hand).
Don’t stress out about food. Don’t over complicate it. As Michael Pollan says, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” The rules are simple. Eating healthfully doesn’t mean that every meal has to have the Food Network seal of approval in terms of taste, texture, creativity and plating. Sometimes simple is better. Sometimes convenient means less stress and less stress mean more quality time with the family or self-care. The good news is simple, healthy, real food is easy, fast, and satisfying. It takes only minutes to steam broccoli, sauté some spinach, cook up some frozen vegetables, or put together a salad. Just make sure your kitchen is stocked for Plan B.
Yes, it is annoying and disappointing when the soup tastes disgusting, the rice burns, and you are thrust into thinking on your toes to feed the hungry mouths hanging at your feet begging for food as if their last meal was a year ago….but if you keep it simple and have a plan – you will remedy this situation in a pinch.
So what’s your Plan B?
Now excuse me, I have a huge pot of inedible soup to deal with…