Only a quick i-phone photo today because sometimes you just have something to say, but don’t have an afternoon available for a photo shoot. Ya feel me?
When I was well into my pregnancy with Basia, I found myself reading through Facebook mom groups trying to glean some insight into what would be helpful for me to know in my first few months as a mom. I knew that things were going to change, but I couldn’t quite wrap my head around how. Tips ranged from having portable foods that you could eat one-handed while nursing/rocking a baby (genius tip btw!) to how to treat a really bad diaper rash. (If only these were the extent of the challenges new moms dealt with! )
Well into the rabbit hole, I came upon a particular thread that captured my attention: quick and easy meals for new moms who were going back to work. It was like a Stephen King novel; I couldn’t stop reading. I was pulled into the thread by how much effort, work, and stress moms were putting in to balancing everything, while still coming up empty-handed when it came to feeding their families. I’ll never forget reading one dismayed mom’s post about how she and her partner’s lives revolved around food prior to baby–how they relished cooking together, going to markets to choose their ingredients, and making elaborate meals to share with each other. But how now, she struggled to get anything on the table. I loved food and every task associated with it. The thought of my life turning out like her’s truly frightened me. Food, cooking for others, and the beautiful act of making what we ate from scratch each day had been a part of my identity for decades. I was terrified that through becoming a mom, I would lose this part of myself.
Two years into motherhood, a busy career, a daycare routine, house maintenance, family commitments, and the mounting to do list that goes along with being an adult/parent, I know this much is true: day after day, I feel uninspired, challenged, and strapped to come up with meals that really excite me. The time we spend together is so precious that cooking and meal-prepping has come to feel like a chore. A chore that I really WANT to be doing well, but one that hasn’t felt inspired in a very long while.It’s why I’m writing you today. And why I’ve not posted in months, to be honest.
Inspiration is slowly coming back, though. And meals feel exciting again. I have the Sprouted Kitchen Cooking Club to thank for this. This is not a sponsored post. It’s a legitimate fact that Sarah is saving my life right now! It’s been so great for me that I wanted to write about it to share the great joy. If I could use it, if figured some of you could use it, too. For the past 6 weeks, each Friday I’ve gotten 4 inspired, delicious, and healthy recipes emailed to my inbox–3 meals and 1 snack, sweet, or breakfast. They’re the kind of recipes that make me look forward to the week and want to get into the kitchen and cook. They’re inspired, delicious, from-scratch, and healthy (or healthy-ish, as Sarah says), and they are making me feel like myself again.
Some weeks I make everything. Some weeks, just one thing. But each week, renewed inspiration is here. The fact that somebody has taken some of the guesswork out of my meal planning and prepping has been a game-changer for me. Sarah’s recipes are plant-forward with modifications and suggestion for many other types of eaters. Moreover, Sarah’s thoughtful notes go above and beyond to include ways to reuse parts of the dishes–like extra sauce or leftover pickled veggies–, tips for modifying the dishes to suit your family’s’ dietary needs, approachable ways to make it kid-friendly, and strategies for making parts of it ahead. The plan also includes an organized grocery list that you can add to or modify. I’m not being dramatic when I say that it’s saved my life lately. In just over a month, I’m already feeling a fierce love of cooking reawakening inside me. A few of my favourite recipes so far have included the grilled salmon tacos with pepita avocado sauce, the grilled eggplant with quinoa and feta mint sauce (pictured above), and of course, the honey chocolate fudge. This last recipe alone is worth the subscription.
It’s just $6.99/US a month. $7 a month! Welllllll worth the cost in my opinion. And if you’re not certain you want to sign up, you can try it for a week for free with no obligation to join. You have nothing to lose. So mamas/busy ladies, what are you waiting for?
A couple of notes:
- Most of Sarah’s meals are vegetarian, but she provides carnivore options. Recipes are not geared to specific diet-types, but they allow for a lot of modifications–many of which she shares in her notes.
- I have not been asked to write this post. I don’t even know Sarah personally. (Though I feel like we would get along really well.) I just know a really good thing when I see it; and I wanted you to be in the know, too.
- Related to all the grilling we’ve been/ are still doing, we’ve been using this wooden barbecue scraper to clean our grill and it has also been a game-changer. After a colleague’s toddler had to have emergency surgery to remove a wire BBQ brush bristle that became lodged in her digestive tracts (and countless other horror stories), we no longer use the wired brushes. The wooden scraper is safe, effective, and easy to use. Oh, and I’m giving one away on my instagram feed. Head over there to enter.