The picture-perfect holiday scene doesn’t just “happen,” but instead takes a bit (just a bit!) of work and planning. While the holiday season is a busy time, it’s also a time for mindful moments, with opportunities to be thankful and express gratitude. Believe it or not, it can also be about self-care and choices that make things easier on you. Let’s see if we can start by building holiday food traditions that your family loves that don’t wear you down.
Rely on “hands-off” cooking.
Rely on recipes that require less of your hands-on time. Even if dishes need to cook for many minutes, let that happen while you’re tending to online shopping, gift wrapping, card writing, or…imagine this…reading, meditating, or relaxing. Try this Herb Rubbed Roast Beef that’s easy to feed to crowd and requires just minutes of your time.
It’s hard to find a better kitchen companion than your slow cooker. Use it to prep an unexpected, elegant side, a simple soup, or even overnight oatmeal to feed family who are visiting from out of town. When you delegate the cooking to your slow cooker, your time is freed up time to enjoy guests and family, rather than rushing around the kitchen just before and during their visit.
If the goal is to make things easier on you, then go ahead and do it, while still making the dishes your family looks most forward to. They don’t have to know that you cooked it yesterday and perfectly top-browned it today. Keep in mind that some dishes do better than others when made ahead and that it may be better to do the preparation ahead but assemble and bake just before serving in certain cases. Follow this blueprint to plan your holiday cooking time effectively.
Splurge on convenience when it’s worth it!
With Guiding Stars as your shopping partner at the supermarket, you can find the good, better, and best nutrition in the packaged foods that make your job easier and less stressful. Look for items that are made with simple ingredients and take advantage of pre-cut or roasted veggies that help you skip a step without compromising the quality of your dish.
Use easy to find ingredients.
While I love and appreciate the many magazine covers that highlight holiday meals and elegant presentations, the truth is that many of us can’t replicate the image, at least not without A LOT of effort. The holidays are about tradition, repetition, and if you’re trying to lessen the load on yourself, recipes made from simple, easy to locate ingredients.
Follow this link for more ideas on how to improve your emotional health this holiday season.