Monday, August 06, 2012

Cook for Family

Cook Garlic Long Beans with Toasted Sesame Seeds and Saute Collard Greens, pair them with plain rice, porridge or quinoa and it is our kind of home-cooked family meal.

A rice-plate with Nori Quinoa paired with Garlic Green Beans and Sauteed Collard Greens

When I cook for my family, the objective is - a balanced (taste and nutrition) meal. Vegetables is a must and I make sure there is AT LEAST one dish of vegetables even in a one-dish meal like this Parchment-Baked Salmon.

Though a dish or meal such as Parchment-Based Salmon is super fuss-free to put together and delicious to eat (I can eat that everyday!), I also need to make sure there is variety in the weekly menu plan especially when I am not cooking solely for myself and when there is another family member eating my food.

At least once a week, I cook the most "elaborate" way - with two-three side dishes to pair with steamed rice or plain porridge which is quite a typical home-cooked meal in Chinese families. Though each dish is easy to cook, it is considered "elaborate"  when it comes to execution as I have to cook at least two different side dishes.

How do you menu-plan for your family? What kind of variety do you add in the weekly family menu?

Easy home-cooked sides: Green Bean Omelette, Stir-Fried Bean Sprouts, and Stir-Fried Pea Sprouts

When we cooked a variety of side dishes for the family, it is really about the interaction we have as a family when we dine together. During meal times, each of us will have individual servings of rice and the side dishes are always placed at the center of the table and shared among all in the family, very similar to communal dining.

However, in a fast-paced society, each with very different busy schedules, we don't have the luxury to dine at the same time with all our family members anymore. Some of us work late and other have their own commitments; many times, we have to eat our meal or dinner at different times. For practical reasons, one-dish meals makes more sense (and convenience). More than that, one-dish noodle stir-fries also come into the picture for the same reason of adding variety to the weekly menu-plan as well. When you eat a variety of food, you definitely strike a balance among different food groups and nutrition.


If you see the joy of simple, wholesome, nutritious and tasty eating, then you will appreciate the simple pleasure of cooking for family and eating with family.

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