Feeding our families is an important part of life for a lot of us. Join chef Kelly Senyei and me in this latest episode of the Productive Living series as we talk about how to do that efficiently and cost-effectively--and have a little fun on the way.
Making meal preparation a part of your productive day: helpful suggestions and recipe ideas
Kelly Senyei is a professional chef and television host who appears regularly on The Food Network Kitchen and The Hallmark Channel. In her new book The Secret Ingredient Cookbook: 125 Family-Friendly Recipes with Surprisingly Tasty Twists, Kelly offers delicious, accessible recipes that each feature an unexpected star ingredient. Over the past year, we've been cooking a lot more and at this point, may have cooking fatigue. When writing her new cookbook, Kelly was conscious of that, and also paid attention to the cost of preparing her recipes and how much time it would take.
Kelly’s website, Just a Taste, draws millions of eyes monthly (and is also in its 13th year), and she hosts an excellent and interesting podcast by that same name.
Kelly lives in San Diego, California, with her husband and three young sons, ages 4, 2, and 5 months.
The intersection of food and family
On Kelly's website, in her book, and on her podcast, she talks a lot about the intersection of food and family. Kelly's single most favorite person on the planet is her mother, who is the inspiration for Kelly's career. Growing up, food was always at the core of everything Kelly's family did. Her mother always had a hot meal on the table and the family ate together every night. The importance of food and eating together was instilled in Kelly at a young age and she is now continuing that tradition with her own family.
Now that a lot of us have been working from home for quite some time, the line between our professional life and our home life has been blurred, and it's even easier than before to overwork. Cooking and sitting down for a meal is the perfect excuse to put our phones away and focus on each other. Kelly's recipes are budget-friendly crowd-pleasers that take a half-hour or less to prepare, and don't have a laundry list of ingredients.
Meal delivery services have also become increasingly popular and for good reason, but Kelly's recipes are focused on ways you can cut down on meal prep during the evening "rush hour" in your home by providing lots of make-ahead tips. One of Kelly's favorite recipes is Chicken Milanese, which can be prepared ahead of time and easily paired with other sides. They can be pan-fried or put in an air fryer as a healthier option.
Kelly's tips for efficient meal planning
Preparation is key when it comes to getting meals on the table throughout the week. Currently, Kelly offers over 25 weekly meal plans on her website and her favorite part of these plans is that they each come with a grocery list, which makes the meal planning process even easier. All the ingredients for the recipes are affordable and easily accessible. Kelly is also a fan of grocery delivery services to make the process even smoother and faster. When it comes to meal planning, it's important to stay efficient, prep ahead of time, and utilize modern technology and services.
Keeping meal prep simple and efficient
For those of us who are strapped for time or who feel we aren't ...