We are looking today for the ‘fast food’ the quick meal option to feed our families. In most households the end of the day is not welcome relief from work, it is sometimes fuller than a days work. There are children, homework, study, book work, housework to name but a few ‘work’ things ones does when they come home from ‘work’. For most people it doesn’t stop, no longer are families depicted by a male figure with his feet up, paper in hand and with a pipe in his mouth, the ‘lady’ of the house dressed in refinery, lipstick on and smiling and no sign of children those days (thankfully) are gone.
There is always something to do and food choices to make, nights are about sustenance given to families by way of the evening meal and in most cases lunches the next day. Here is where all this running around and getting home from work doesn’t mean stopping, it means someone in the house needs to make a meal decision.
What does one cook when they are busy, sometimes it is much easier to pull in and purchase ready cooked meals but are they really satisfying? Over my time being married to a farmer I have come to appreciate a good cut of meat and well cooked meal. Our meat is pasture fed so it is lean, tasty and delicious, but even with my freezer full of meat I do sometimes ask, what do you feel like for dinner? The response I get is “anything as long as I am with you” a reference back to our courting days where I made a comment that he never commented on my meals. To be honest though I did tell him “I don’t cook” which he took as “I can’t cook” so when I would arrive at the farm (300km drive) I would be greeted with a drink and a meal. Which was great he is a good chef, but then like everything else it becomes the same so I started to cook.
Now it is 85% my responsibility and he can tell when I have had enough as I won’t cook, but going back to simple easy meals for families and busy evenings has become the monotonous decisions of what to cook in the evening. I have started a program where I am cooking with the contents of the pantry and not replacing it as I go. We have a big pantry and I can never find anything in it.
Meat is a great form of protein and is gluten-free, fat-free and abides by the heart foundation requirements for low GI. These are all the things we are looking for in our diets, if we eat a 150g lean piece of meat in our main meal then we have ticked all of the boxes. I always do green things steamed, potato of some kind, gravy or a mustard condiment to add taste. This sounds so simple doesn’t it but some days it is far from it, it is an effort to defrost, cook to the right temperature, boil without burning the bottom of the saucepan – we currently have 4 dogs with 6 saucepans dog food bowls from attempts at rice and forgotten ‘mashed potatoes’.
Rump is a good cut for a family meal, just don’t over cook it otherwise it can be too tough, fillet is the steak to eat but can expensive when looking to feed the family but nice for a romantic meal for two, blade steak is also a fantastic cut and good for BBQ, BBQ meat is only for BBQ, it may be tough upon arrival to the butcher, supermarket and needs to be grilled to make it tender and edible. But in buying for BBQ buy good meats if you can as they will taste better and be tender.
We as agriculturalists who provide meat for human consumption are highly concentrated on sustainability and nutrition. We provide our animals with natural grasses to eat and limit any exposure to unnecessary humans and grow our crops to feed the stock. Our farming practices are humane, anti-biotic and growth hormone free. Meat science can demonstrate that beef from such grass-fed systems compared to intensive feedlots production systems contain elevated concentrations of vitamin A, vitamin E, increased levels of omega-3, a more desirable omega-3:omega-6 ratio, and increased levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), all with favorable biological effects on human health.
Meals are about sustenance, togetherness, comfort and time. Eating a piece of meat will provide children and adults with energy, alertness and satisfaction for longer periods of time, over something which can be shop bought and ‘fast’. Our foods standards are arguably the ‘golden standard’ of the world and are envied and copied by others. In reaching for that chocolate bar, think of the quick fix versus a slice of ham from the deli, the hunger pains will arrive sooner if you eat the chocolate along with the additional calories. Try a small skewer of lamb with a tzatziki dressing
Snacks with 100 Calories or less
Meats & Other Protein Foods
- 2 ounces or 56 grams of lean roast beef or boiled ham
- 4 ounces or 113 grams or turkey breast
- 4 ounces or 113 grams smoked salmon
- 3 ounces or 85 grams tuna (packed in water)
- 2 ounces or 56 grams tuna (packed in water) with 1 teaspoon low-fat mayonnaise added
- 3 sardines packed in water
- 3 thin slices of lunch meat 50 grams
- 7 small shrimp
- 1 chicken or turkey hot dog without the bun
- 2 tofu dogs without the bun
- 1 ounce or 28 grams beef jerky
- 1 ounce or 28 grams turkey pepperoni
- 1 egg (hard-cooked, scrambled or fried)
- ¾ cup egg substitute
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter – no biscuit or slice of bread
- 4 tablespoons humus (chickpeas) – no biscuit or bread
Chocolates – check out the limitations –
- ½ cup fat-free chocolate pudding
- 15 chocolate covered raisins
- 1 snack size candy bar
- 4 Hershey® Kisses
- 5 Ghirardelli® Milk Chocolate Drops
- 2 Mrs. Fields® Decadent Chocolates
- 2 slices Terry’s® Chocolate Orange
- 4 Andes® Mints
- 3 Nestle® After Eight Mints
- 25 milk chocolate M&M’s®
- 9 peanut M&M’s®
- 1/5 Toblerone® bar
- 9 Tootsie Roll Midgets®
- 2 chocolate chip cookies (2-inch diameter)
- 2 reduced-fat Oreo® cookies
- 5 chocolate graham crackers
- 1 Skinny Cow® Fat Free Fudge Bar
- 1 Nestle Butterfinger® Stixx
- 1 Whole Foods Market Two-Bite Brownie
- 1 Healthy Choice® Mocha Fudge Swirl Bar