Things are pretty busy in my apartment these days. I have a 4-year-old daughter. I’m trying to spread the word about The Conscious Kitchen. And I’m also writing two new books. But I refuse to give up on family meal. The adorable teenager who lives across the hall and plays with my daughter left moments ago and I haven’t given any thought to dinner yet. I open the freezer and see a glass jar of split pea soup. I made too much a few months back (dried split peas in pressure cooker — couldn’t be faster) and had stashed the surplus in the freezer. I grab it, stick it in a bowl of warm water to loosen it up enough to dump it in a pot on the stove. While that heats, I wash farmers’ market salad greens, dice up a beet I pressure cooked a few days ago, dress it, toast (organic whole grain) bread from the farmers’ market, and grab a wedge of local cheese (also from the farmers’ market) . It’s sitting on our counter warming up as I write this post.

Shopping — and even cooking — to set yourself up for the whole week (those beets!), and making large batches of whatever you’re making then freezing leftovers means family meal can still happen even if you’re busy. Doing all of these things saves me time, not to mention money.  Making my own soup from dried beans means we avoid the BPA-linings found in most cans of beans and soups.

Gotta go. Dinner’s ready.