I love sitting down with my family and friends to a lovingly prepared, whole food meal. It is the most relaxing and enjoyable part of my day, and I love knowing that I am passing that tradition on to my son.
Name: Sarah Murray
City, State: Peabody, MA
I cook for: my husband, my infant son, and myself.
Outside of the kitchen I: teach English and History at an alternative high school, take too many pictures on my phone (mostly of my kid, my dinner, and my cats), practice yoga when I can and go running when I must, and enjoy my fair share of wine.
The one kitchen tool / equipment I could not live without is: I could never pick just one! Some favorites are my Vitamix, a small chef knife, and a gorgeous wooden serving bowl that I use practically every night to make every dinner feel special.
I cook because: I love to, and I want my son to grow up in a house where the family eats healthy, delicious food and socializes around the table together every night.
Favorite Cook Smarts meal so far: Portobello Mushroom Pizzas
How did you learn to cook?
I grew up in a meat and potatoes house where we didn’t eat a huge variety of foods, but we always had a hot dinner together as a family. My dad was a short order chef for years and always loved spending time in the kitchen. In college, I embraced new types of foods and cooked a lot with my (now) husband and friends.
What’s been your biggest cooking challenge?
Healthy cooking and eating has a snowball effect for me, so my biggest challenge is falling into ruts when I don’t think I have time or energy to cook healthy meals. When I remind myself that I ENJOY the process of putting together a balanced and delicious dinner (and feel physically and emotionally good after eating one), it is easier for me to continue that habit.
How has your cooking routine changed since starting Cook Smarts’ meal plans?
We signed up for Cook Smarts shortly after having our son. We used to cook a lot together when we were younger, but after a busy year of moving out of our apartment and into a new house, being pregnant, and having a new baby, we fell into lazy habits of ordering out too often and eating too much junk food.
I knew I wanted my son to grow up appreciating and enjoying good food, so I signed up for Cook Smarts in an effort to reclaim that healthy food environment before he was old enough to pick up our bad habits. Now, months later, he is eating solids too, and we have yet to find a food he doesn’t like.
“I knew I wanted my son to grow up appreciating and enjoying good food, so I signed up for Cook Smarts.”
Tell us about your proudest kitchen moment.
My proudest kitchen moment is watching the huge variety of foods my 11-month-old now eats. He’s had sushi, sauerkraut, kimchi pancakes, bleu cheese, many types of fish, tofu, quiche, sriracha (!), and of course, all of his fruits & veggies.
What are your tips for a healthy life and success in the kitchen?
Don’t let dinner become a chore! I love the process of grocery shopping, picking out specialty items like a crusty bread, an heirloom tomato, a fancy cheese, or a bottle of wine to go with dinner. I love the process of preparing and cooking a meal, especially when my husband and I have the time (and our son gives us the chance) to make the experience a social one.
Best of all, I love sitting down with my family and friends to a lovingly prepared, whole food meal. It is the most relaxing and enjoyable part of my day, and I love knowing that I am passing that tradition on to my son.
You said it, Sarah! Sometimes cooking can get tiring, but the end result is totally worth it. The great thing about passing along all of this good eating and healthy living to your son, though, is that one day, you’ll be relaxing at the dinner table with a glass of wine, while he makes a lovely, home cooked meal for you. And we’re betting that those meals will definitely be the most delicious ones you will ever eat.
To join Sarah and cook meals like her favorite Portobello Pesto Pizzas, check out our meal plan service. You can get started for free!