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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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April 7, 2010

Priorities

©istockphoto.com/nodmitry

I like food.

My two dearest friends live in Austin and New York. When we vacation together (or visit each other) our itineraries revolve around what and where we'll eat. We joke: "That's why we're friends."

I also like cooking. Unlike my boyfriend, I can't dream up delicious recipes on a moment's notice. But I can follow a recipe (or adapt it to my taste).

I've always struggled to find the time to cook from scratch. Before I started watching my cholesterol and sugar intake, I'd get carry-out or pop a prepared meal in the oven when I didn't have time to cook.

Now that I've made eating more healthily a priority, I'm cooking from scratch almost exclusively. Last night, I made a delicious (and healthy) chicken marsala with grilled carrots. (Recipe courtesy of Clean Eating magazine, to which I just subscribed at Mary Frances' suggestion.) But it involved going to two grocery stores (the dried porcini mushrooms still eluded me) and more than an hour devoted to preparation and cooking.

My other priorities are suffering. Last night, by the time I had finished shopping, cooking and eating, I had very little of my evening left to work on my homework for the children's book-illustration class I'm taking.

This is not a challenge unique to me. I'm a single woman who lives alone, and most of my time is my own. I can't imagine how difficult it is for families (especially single-parent households) to devote the time necessary to obtaining nutritious food and preparing it in a healthy way.

What are your tips for eating well with limited time? I'd love to hear your suggestions for weeknight meals that are quick, yummy and healthy.

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