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Saving time in the kitchen

 

As I resumed my career on a full-time basis after being a stay-at-home mom for about 3 years, it took some adjusting to go back to the grind of daily life routines all full-time working moms juggle.  One of the main adjustments had to come in the kitchen: the quicker the meals can appear on the table, the better!  Of course, they have to be relatively healthy too.  A few tips I’ve adapted to that seem to be working well at home:

* adding veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and carrots straight to the rice cooker during the last few minutes of rice cooking (i.e. when there’s no more water or bubbles on top of rice) – not only no need for another pot to boil water and get out the steamer, rice and steamed veggies come out ready to be served at once….great addition to salmon, chicken or pork chops.

* always keeping shredded carrots on hand – as shredded carrots hardly add any taste to a dish, it’s an easy addition to any meal to up the veggie content: works well for any pasta dish, stir fry or noodles.  When in a time crunch, tossing together scrambled eggs, sauteed shredded carrots and meatballs with rice makes a quick and balanced school lunch.

* making frittatas in the weekend for a super quick yet healthy breakfast for weekday mornings – adding mushrooms, green peppers, chopped spinach and a bit of cheese to eggs and baking in a sprayed muffin tin offers a great breakfast choice that can be had with one hand after a 30 second microwave warm up while what seems like dashing out the house every morning.

* always keeping cooked chicken (baked and shredded) also comes handy for many meals: sandwiches, wraps, salads, pastas, stir fry, noodles and more!  Don’t like the smell of cooked chicken that sits in the fridge for a couple of days?  Add garlic and celery/carrot when cooking the meat to add flavor and taste great even after sitting in the fridge over a couple of nights.

What are the secrets up your sleeves that save you time in the kitchen?  Do share…

~Anushiya

January 27, 2015 - 4:25 pm

Saumea - Great tips! One of my tips..We like to have healthy smoothies as part of breakfast or on-the-go for work. To make the morning rush easier to manage I like to to wash and freeze berries or any other fresh produce in ziplock bags so you just grab blend and go in the mornings. It also saves food from spoiling as fruits like straweberries, blueberries and fresh greens like kale can go bad in the fridge in a few days. When using for smoothies you don’t need too many of these so freezing them saves them from spoiling as well.

Movie Time?

Let’s face it, we all love movies and love going to the theater to catch the latest block buster. The South Asian community is no exception to this. We love our movies. As we all know, its not easy to just pick up and go watch a movie after you have kids. If we want to watch a movie, we have to make arrangements for the children so you and your significant other can go to the movie together. Well if you are a South Asian parent, there is no need for a baby sitter because you bring your infant to the movies.

My husband and I went to the movies last week to see the latest Tamil movie and as we were looking for seats, there was a mom with an infant sitting in one of the front rows of the theater. I couldn’t believe my eyes. An infant in a movie theater where the noise level is as loud as it could get.

As we found a seat and settled in, we noticed that there were two kids sitting right in front of us, one is about 5 years old and the other is about 1. The 1 year old pretty much cried throughout the whole movie. Which one year old is going to sit through a 3 hour movie? Come on!

A movie theater is no place for a young child or an infant. These are not child friendly movies. They are PG-13 or rated R movies with violence and sexual references. I firmly believe that children should not be taken to movies that were not meant for them. They are being exposed to violence and sexual content from a young age. If you don’t have the support system to leave your children then choose a family friendly movie and make it a day out with the family.

Moving forward, let’s be mindful of what we are exposing our children to.

Facebook Post Overload!

I’m always feeling overloaded with information shared on Facebook by my “Facebook Friends”…not all, but most!  A lot of the times, I find myself wanting to run off from Facebook with the irritation of having known information about people that I’m not interested in.  My girlfriends and I always touch on this topic and although we duke it out with each other (as most of our discussions go as we all have strong opinions and the need to share), we always end on agreeing to disagree as we have different comfort levels on how much of Facebook sharing is acceptable without making the reader/viewer wanting to throw up.  On a scale of 1 to 10, some of us are around 3, some of us are around 8 and the rest are in between… View full post »

January 19, 2015 - 4:44 pm

priya - I do have the similar sentiments of Anushiya :) here’s a trick so instead of going the un friend route, I believe if you do categories for your friends list and then under notification set only the list you want to see, then I think you can weed out the too much drama :) I hope it works. Some simply love documenting every single moment of their lives on social media ;)

January 21, 2015 - 4:09 pm

Mommy Culture - Ah…good idea, Priya.

What is a Paleo Diet?

In keeping up with our new year resolution to eat better and to choose organic products, we have been doing some research on paleo and keto diet. As we looked into these diets we realized that the paleo diet is becoming increasingly popular because its so simple.

So what is paleo diet?

The paleo diet, also popularly known as the ‘caveman’ diet is a dietary plan roughly based on what our ancestors consumed during the paleolithic era. The current day diet is not an exact replication of their diet. Just a concept of what their diet would have been like – basically healthy, wholesome food that is not full of additives, preservatives and other harmful substances so often found in our current diet.

You can EAT:

  • Grass-produced meats
  • Fish/seafood
  • Fresh fruits and veggies
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthful oils (Olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut)

DON’T EAT:

  • Cereal grains
  • Legumes (including peanuts)
  • Dairy
  • Refined sugar
  • Potatoes
  • Processed foods
  • Salt
  • Refined vegetable oils

Its as simple as this.

For more info please click here.

 

***Gajay***

Spoiling children with materialism

It’s commonly believed that one of the fundamentals of parenting and strong family basis is to offer the kids a safe space to be themselves without fears of backlash & judgement, but does that mean no discipline or paving a path of righteousness and responsible behavior?

It seems our generation is (even some of our parents were) heavily focused on keeping kids content and satisfied all the time that some of us fail to see that it’s also our responsibility to establish and cultivate a moral compass in our kids along with showing them what an ideal member of a society thinks and behaves like.

   

We offer our kids more of everything with ‘the more, the merrier’ principle but don’t realize excess of something/everything isn’t only unnecessary and wasteful, but the concept also robs our kids of appreciating the item in question.  Remember the saying of having-the-cake-and-eating-it-too?  Most of us have learnt many life lessons from such scenarios, but in our society of super-sizing and bulk-buying everything, we lose the aspect of cherishing limited resources as well as how to better make use of them…i.e. sharing, banking & appreciating.

   

As this is one of the differences of how children are raised in developed countries and developing countries, such vital lessons don’t have to be lost on us and our kids.  The phrase, going back to basics, has been very popular in cooking, exercising & dressing lately.  Why not, parenting?  Overwhelming our kids with everything they ask for or everything we feel they need to be happy isn’t the way to raise responsible, well-adjusted individuals.  The idea of soughting after something, waiting for a reward, working towards a long-term goal are all examples of day-to-day activities we should all get exposed to and practice, not something we learn in a soft skill seminar or at a retreat one week a year.

Parents.com has a quiz, Are you a Spoiler, that might help one determine whether they’re on the path to raising spoiled children which I find insightful & eye-opening.

Here’s to responsible parenting!

~Anushiya