30 March 2009

Ancient Chinese Secrets

Mealtimes seem to be as fleeting as blinking your eyes when you have children. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, beverages in between, day after day, and even to a professed chef like myself, I get my share of "kitchen hatred." Hatred? Don't blame me for that word choice. While sitting here and typing this blog, I drew a blank, and I asked the children out loud, "what is the word you use when you don't like something?" So there it is. Love it or leave it.

In my moments of despair with "kitchen hatred," I just don't feel enamored with cooking sometimes, and I refuse to succumb to the idea that I need to prove something to myself, or to the children by cooking anyway. Hints of guilt do slither into my thoughts about how it would be nutritionally ideal for me to make the effort and prepare a proper meal for the children, but I have taught myself creative ways to prepare quick meals using my technique called, "Ancient Chinese Secrets." These secrets are drawn on perhaps once or twice a month at most!

ACS has similarities to the old concept of the "bait and switch" dinner date meal ( I surely did this once in my lifetime) where you invite a guy over for dinner, purchase an already prepared meal, and transfer the creations to your own pots. The guy, whoever he is, is none the wiser and he thinks you are creatively talented! Warning, this can be quite expensive if you want to impress him with true gastronomical delights! However, if you are a mediocre cook at best, you may fare well on a moderate budget with simple selections. This way, if one day later on in the relationship you should find yourself in a precarious situation having to re-prove your chef skills, you may be able to reenact your previous performance. I just wonder if a man has ever pulled this number on a woman?

Anyhow, I decided that we would order some chinese food this evening since it can be delivered quickly. The children certainly enjoy the usual tasty "fattening" chinese dishes, but I had no intentions of starting the week off in that fashion. After careful thought, I went into the fridge, brought out some carrots, celery, onions and garlic. I quickly diced everything and put it in a pot to saute with a bit of olive oil, and then proceeded to call "Hunan Royal," to order Chicken Noodle soup, and steamed Chicken and Shrimp with Broccoli. The secret? Add my healthy organic fresh vegetables to the plain Chicken Noodle soup! The second most effortless meal creation next to the "bait and switch" date meal!

By the time the soup arrived, I added it to the pot of heaping veggies, and then served it up in our cute red Asian style bowls. The children enjoyed their soup, while benefiting from the added goodness! Better than that, they still professed their love to me and how they thought the soup was "amazing!"

Often, due to our very demanding lifestyles, we need to take shortcuts in order to make our situations ideal. Sometimes our moods dictate a need for an alternate solution in order to maintain an even keel. Avoid getting stressed out! For the betterment of our children's health, we can surely come up with ideas that offer the next best option when we can't offer them our preferred top quality efforts. These creative options will continue to reinforce to the children that you still place high priority on their health and happiness!

Enjoy creating your own "secrets!"


Rosa said...

This is brilliant! Why haven't I thought of this. Superb. I will be a cookin' in 20 min diva thanks to you! :)

Elaine said...

I loved this. !!
I am in no way a chef but I do like to cook for my kids for 2 big reasons, for their well-being and to save money. But just like you there are days that due to my Migraines or simply because I am tired I just cannot function let alone do the cooking, we order in.
I do feel guilty at times when 'indulging' in fast food optios such as the chinese one but this article has given me ideas on what to do next time we order in.

Thanks for sharing :)