Self-Care Challenge (Day 120): Letting the Oven Do It

On day 120 of my 366-day self-care challenge, I explored letting the oven do it.

My grandmother used to say, “Let the oven do it!”

Now I know what she meant.

Over the years I’ve come to appreciate her wise advice. Letting the oven handle dinner gives me the freedom to work on other things without compromising a home-cooked meal.

During the busiest times of my career, I would often prepare a casserole dish before I left for work in the morning. That way, the moment I walked through the door (before my purse even left my shoulder), I could just pop the dish in the oven, click a couple of buttons — and while I was changing clothes, putting things away and preparing for the next day, dinner was well on its way to being done. By the time I was settled in for the evening, it was ready.

You can do the same thing with a crock pot, placing the ingredient-filled crock in the fridge the night before, and just before walking out the door, plug it in and turn it on.

The beauty of a casserole is that you can pack a whole lot of nourishing ingredients into a single recipe. That’s efficiency at its best.

I do realize, however, that there are some who simply don’t like casseroles. The alternative is to prepare individual items separately, though it does require a few more pots and pans, and you will have to adjust cooking times.

Simply put, preparing in advance has its advantages. It’s been a game-changer for me, a total act of self-care. My mornings aren’t nearly as chaotic and neither are my evenings when I’m well-prepared.

How do you make meal prep more efficient?

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