Episode 225: Cleaning out the Freezer, Vegetable Spreads, and Emotional Labor

One of Joy’s freezer finds (Photo by Marisa)

In food news this week, Bloomberg reports that Walmart is getting into the prepared meals and meal kit biz. We were shocked to learn this stat: 80% of Americans don’t know what they’re having for dinner tonight.

What’s for dinner this week? Whatever we find as we eat down our freezers. It’s time to clean them out.

In our How’d You Make That segment, Marisa shares her technique for making vegetable spreads–a particularly delicious way to eat your veggies.

The emotional labor of running the home kitchen is kinda getting to Joy this week. Do you struggle with this at times, too?

And finally, in what we’re loving, we celebrate Baba’s Brew fizzy camomile-honey kombucha. It’s really good stuff.

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10 thoughts on “Episode 225: Cleaning out the Freezer, Vegetable Spreads, and Emotional Labor”

  1. So as I was listening this morning, I have to say I was surprised about your meal prep feelings for two reasons. First, I have a much better handle than my partner on what’s in the fridge, so strategically try to use what we have and have a few thinks in the freezer for nights when I know I won’t have a lot of time to cook. I worry that if someone else were in the mix, we would end up wasting food, which I can’t stand. Second, I worry that if I tried to get my partner involved in the planning, we would end up spending A LOT more time on it and debating that we are going to eat potentially turning something I enjoy into something I want so avoid. I try to incorporate a new thing or two each week, eat a variety, use what we have and staying organized, and I guess I just don’t want to give up the control personally!

    1. Forgot to mention…super pumped for the meal planner! I attended a webinar at work yesterday on meal planning, and the health coach had lots of great tips. I started building out my own spreadsheet, but curious to see your strategy!

  2. Hi. You are the first podcast I ever subscribed to and I always look for you first thing on Wednesday’s. Thank you for all you do! Please advise how to get your meal planning advise again? I already get your emails so can I expect it or do I need to sign up somehow? Merci from Montreal!

    1. Sonya that is so nice to hear. You don’t have to do anything else. Everyone on our list will get the Meal Planning Manifesto when it’s ready to go 🙂 You can also thank us by telling a friend about the podcast in person or online 🙂

  3. Great podcast! I’m a single mom…my son will ask why I’m staring at something but doesn’t understand when I tell him that I’m thinking. I handle all.the.things or they don’t happen so I totally understand the need to vent or ask for help! Thanks for keeping it real 🙂 We have a few meals on a frequent rotation and I go through spurts of trying new recipes. Our staples are things I can make on autopilot, which is easier for this stage of life. I’m looking forward to the meal planning guide!

    Question: how do you use the veggie spreads that you talked about?

    1. Jennifer, the veggie spreads are great as a sandwich filler or on a piece of toast for breakfast. I also like to toss them with just-cooked whole grain pasta. The heat helps them soft and melt to coat the pasta. I top it with a little grated cheese or some chopped and toasted nuts. You can also stir them into cooked grains like quinoa or farro for a quick side dish.

  4. I don’t have anything to add to the conversation about emotional labor (or “kinkeeping” as I have heard it referred to) other than I SO FEEL YOU. Add in two kids and I am exhausted with all of the work involved with just thinking about everything that needs to be done around our house. My husband always says “whatever you want me to do I’ll do it, just give me a list!” and doesn’t get, someone has to MAKE the list. sigh…the struggle is real.

  5. I listened to this episode twice, I was feeling it so much! Recently I thought to myself, I wonder how Joy and Marisa DO it so willingly, as you both often mention that you do the cooking in your homes, along with packing lunches for your husbands, etc. it’s both refreshing to hear that you struggle, too, and a bummer that this struggle is so prevalent. My husband and I both work at home, so I cook us 3 meals/day. We work a physical job, so they are all big hot meals (ie no light, easy lunches). And now we have a newborn too. It’s so much work, as you say, and it’s probably the biggest hot button area of friction in our relationship. Usually I love taking the reigns on the meal planning and cooking, but I go through ruts where I want a break, and I always wish I had at least a meal a week home cooked for me. Just eggs and toast, nothing crazy. Takeout is what he’s willing to offer. Here are the things that would make it easier to swallow the role: unending appreciation, partner cleaning the kitchen, and being cooked for when I’m sick or stressed. My husband does a lot of other things for us, just as you both said yours do, too. But it is hard to compare a chore like vacation planning, which happens a couple times a year for us, to cooking/meal planning that comes up three x/day. Guess I needed to vent, too, Joy! Thanks for your great podcast!! I still love my man even though he won’t cook for me!

  6. Loved the pod cast this week. It was fabulous (as usual). As far as delegation of food preparation, the first part of my marriage (10-15 years or so), I would continually ask for assistance in the meal prep arena. We raised two kids and it was a chore. But over time, I delegated tasks that he would do a bit more willingly (laundry, dishes) so actually now I think I have the better end of the deal. I do meal prep most meals (except for pizza night, he does that!, I guess it’s manly) and he does all the dishes and the laundry. I like that. Love your podcast and listen every Wednesday a.m. on my commute. I look forward to it. I love a recipe idea or two when they come along. I’ve made the parsnip cake 3-4 times now and it’s always a hit. 🙂

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