Time is not on my side; I travel often, have about 10 different jobs, a very busy multigenerational household that consumes enough food to feed a farm, and just manage to squeeze in enough time in the gym to keep my doctor off my back. Still, planning a healthy well balanced meal is an important part of my daily ritual.
I grew up in a household where if we weren’t eating, we were talking about it. So, as a matter of legacy and pride, I spend an unusual amount of time thinking of what my family eats.
You see, one of two things happen every day:
I have a well laid out game plan, complete with detailed prep lists and ingredients. This plan will lay out everything that the house will consume for the next 24 to 48 hours and my day will circulate around this. OR...
I have no plan and I’m rifling through the fridge to see what is left over so that I can scramble together something that has some modicum of healthfulness and balanced nutrition while making sure its gonna be delicious. (Take a guess which one happens more often than not...)
But even when the scrambling dictates the meal, there is still a silent strategy at play and it usually starts a week earlier at the grocery store. It looks like this:
Buy a lot of fresh produce and keep it as visible as possible in your fridge or countertop so you are reminded of its existence. This way you can keep track of it’s freshness and use it up before it goes bad.
Buy a variety of starches (unless of course you hate life and don't eat carbs), they cook pretty quickly for when you need to eat on the fly. Try healthier carbs like spelt pasta, quinoa, Jasmine brown rice, sticky rice, and root vegetables.
Buy more meat than you need for the week. Precook a bunch of meats on the weekend, portion them out and freeze them. When you need to add some protein to your meal, just quickly reheat them and you can feed a football team on the fly.
When you make tomato sauce for instance, make a double batch and save the extras for a future meal. The first meal can be simple spaghetti and meatballs and the next meal can be tomato broth soup with shrimp, ginger and baby bok choy.
So, if you go overboard with the organization or prefer to live on the edge, either way there is a solution that will help you not get "Chopped" by the loved one you are feeding.