But I also have a job and a young daughter, and I occasionally aspire to have a social life, too. All of which makes feeding my family every night a challenge. The truth is, throughout history people have found ways to avoid cooking—if they had the resources to.
From the founding of the republic through the early years of the 20th century, enslaved people and servants put dinner on the table for middle-class and wealthy families. After World War II, a slew of technologies developed for the military found new uses in home kitchens, and millions of Americans from a range of social classes embraced everything from frozen vegetables and TV dinners to microwaves and crockpots.
Anything for some relief from the slog of everyday cooking. Along with the conveniences, though, came guilt and judgment. Today, everyone—moms, dads, single people—feels pressure to prepare and eat healthy food. But research confirms that women, overwhelmingly, do most of the cooking—and are most expected to cook.
The good news: Fresh, healthy food is increasingly available with little or no assembly required. Values have shifted from fast and cheap to fast, cheap and fresh. Half of all dinners need to be prepared in 30 minutes or less.
Meal kits were an early attempt to answer this need. These subscription boxes of pre-measured ingredients produced healthy meals and saved time on planning and shopping.
But they still required significant cooking—anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour of prep time for dishes such as quinoa tabbouleh with fairy-tale eggplants. The next generation of kits try to solve for these issues. Shoppers can grab one on the way home rather than commit in advance.
These all-but-no-cook meals are where things are heading. Mosaic, founded by former Blue Apron employees, delivers vegetable-heavy bowls similar to what you find at fast-casual joints. Flash-frozen, the bowls are designed to upend common notions of frozen dinners as bland and loaded with processed ingredients.
The broccoli and the tofu in my peanut-tofu bowl were soggier than I would have liked. Instant Pot and Crock-Pot devotees, meanwhile, can order meals that arrive fresh or frozen in a bag. All you do is empty the contents into your appliance and push the on button. This is only the beginning, said Michael Schaefer, a food and beverage analyst at Euromonitor International. In many ways, America lags behind other countries in delivering fresh, on-demand meals. Consumers choose from freshly made rice balls, yakitori grilled chicken skewers and bento boxes delivered to stores several times a day.
Meanwhile, in China, internet giant Alibaba has opened Hema, a strong chain of ultramodern grocery stores that serve as both retail outlets and warehouse and distribution centers. Schaefer said.
Until healthy no-cook solutions make their way to the Walmarts and Dollar Generals of the world, access is limited to middle-class and wealthy families. Brenton and her co-authors argue that government will need to step in to help make the healthy choice the easy and affordable one for everyone. That may take time. But the fact that there finally are ways to eat well at home without cooking is welcome progress.
And neither should you. Choose traditional meat-and-veg meals, such as chicken parm and steak au poivre, or low-carb, low-calorie, vegetarian and Paleo options—all microwavable. Pause or cancel any time before the weekly cutoff. A full service might start the day with coconut-yogurt pudding with seasonal fruit followed by a lunch of seasonal vegetables, brown rice and avocado-tahini sauce and a dinner of eggplant Florentine with broccolini.
Choose from three- or five-day-a-week programs. Choose between four and 12 meals per week and how often you want delivery. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
The one pot protein pasta is going into our recipe box for our next outing. Thanks for the list. Good stuff. But as another commenter mentioned, follow the cooking instructions for the particular brand of pasta you pick up. Cook times vary brand to brand, so just be aware of that. Food which was cooked on the fire has own special taste. These are perfect! Happy cooking! Thanks so much. Picking out a few to give them a try. Love your recipes! Everything looks so fresh and yummy. Thanks for sharing.
Do you typically make your cast iron meals over an open fire or on stovetop? Great recipes! Have been follow you on Instagram for some time now. Most of the time we cook on a camp stove, but when have the opportunity, we like cooking over an open fire. Excited for your road trip! What great recipes and tips! We love to camp, and we are super envious of your journey and adventures!
We like to make as much of our meals before hitting the road. We use a foodsaver to vacuum seal the meals and then freeze them. They usually keep for several days. So does it help it keep longer or just compress it?
Wow, some amazing recipes and photos to go along. Thanks for taking the time to share them with us. We will definitely book mark this and try them out! Found your article on Pinterest.
I absolutely love the one pot meals, in particular I love just wrapping food in tin foil and throwing it in the fire. Great article! Do you have any favorite ingredients combos we should try? Wow those vegan kabobs are an amazing idea, for camping and for home!
Love this post!! These all look amazing! Might just have to test out those campfire nachos!! Your email address will not be published. Rate this recipe. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Camp Cooking Car Camping Guides.
It came out great. Buford suggests that the muddy pasta water should be bottled and sold, because home cooking never produces anything like it. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The directions in the handy video for this incredible egg-filled skillet recipe are more of a general guide, since the possibilities for ingredients are endless. Looking for something specific?