When I asked my busy Mom friends what a dream solution is for them to eat healthy, half of them answered "a personal chef", along with:
- healthy meals delivered directly to their house
- someone to do their grocery shopping
- healthy, quick, and simple meal plans already done for them
- a babysitter for their kids so they can cook uninterrupted
- someone to clean up the code orange kitchen disaster after meals (OK, that's my dream solution!)
While you may not be able to afford a personal chef, you can reduce your prep time for the week by 25% with only one kitchen appliance. Plus, you can throw it in the dishwasher after you use it! Curious as to what this holy grail of kitchen prep is?
*Insert drum roll sound here*
The humble food processor!
Listen, as a nutritionist, I've heard all of the excuses for not eating healthy, real food. Excuses like:
- it takes too long to chop and prep
- I don't have time to cook every single night, but I still want my family to eat healthy
- my family won't eat the healthy meals that I slave over the stove to cook for them (this is a whole other ball of wax!)
While we all (myself included) have every excuse under the sun to get take-out, we still have an overwhelming urge to feed our family the most nutritious meals possible! I'm absolutely blown away that every Mom I talk to is willing to eat the crappiest crap crap herself because she's usually too tired or busy from taking care of everyone else, but over her dead body will her kids eat anything but the most nutritious meals!
Where take-out and healthy urges collide, guilt thrives. Guilt that we should be able to handle making a homemade meal, all while working full time, doing 5 loads of laundry, cleaning the toilet, and driving kids all over kingdom come. Give yourself a break, plus the equivalent of 2 extra hands in the kitchen!
Gone is the need to be able to slice zucchini at warp speed like Jamie Oliver, with the looming possibility of losing some fingers in the process.
Gone are the days when your expensive mascara from Sephora is running down your cheeks while you chop onions. Damn you, onions, you get me every time! (Do yourself one more favour and invest in some onion goggles. They work like a charm, and are truly life changing.)
Gone are the days of prepping and chopping veggies for 15 minutes each night ... you can prep all of your veggies for the entire week in 15 minutes!
Here's exactly how to use your food processor like the secret kitchen ninja that it is:
- Dust off the one that you already have, or buy a new food processor with the slicer and grater attachment. I'm in love with my stainless steel Cuisinart 7-Cup food processor that we got for our wedding over 3 years ago, and I've never had a problem with it. It's fairly affordable at $129.99 (prices in Canadian), but you can find cheaper options at WalMart or other larger retailers. This one is on sale this week at Canadian Tire for $39.99! That's only 77 cents a week if you break down the cost over a year ... what's your sanity (and fingers) worth to you?
- Spend a 1/2 hour meal planning so you know exactly what you're buying (no more wasting cash on veggies that just rot in your fridge), and you can get in and out of the grocery store once per week in less than an hour. If you need help meal planning, click here to get your own copy of my free guide that walks you through each step. Meal planning can be sexy!
- Each week when you're done your grocery shopping, run right home, and drop your veggies off at the pool (i.e. wash them real good, especially if they're not organic). Glance at the recipes that you've laid out for the week on your trusty calendar, and sort each veggie by how they need to be prepped: grated, sliced, or diced/minced.
- Assemble your food processor with the correct blade. Pinky swear that you'll read the instructions on how to do this properly when you do it the first time. We've already established that the food processor can save you from chopping off your fingers, but only if you use it correctly!
- Process away! Save even more time by putting all the grated/sliced/diced veggies for each recipe together in their own container, that way they're ready to add to your hot pan in 2 seconds flat.
- Put all the dirty appliance pieces in the dishwasher, or if you're feeling ambitious, wash them by hand. Who are you kidding, do you really want to wreck your manicure?
- Sit back, have a glass of wine, and give yourself a pat on the back.
In the next part of the Eat More, Cook Less Series, I'm going to show you how to work your fridge like it owes you money.
Leave a comment with the ONE kitchen appliance you couldn't live without!