What if you lowered your expectations?

Somewhere along the way we accepted the belief that our lives should be flawless.  Our homes should be clean and organized (even though toddlers are like little human tornadoes), our dry-clean-onlys always dry-cleaned, our phone calls returned, that pile of mail opened and filed, our careers advancing, our relationships strengthening, our waistlines shrinking, and our dinners home-cooked, delicious, and conflict free.  

Let's blame it on Pinterest for taking DIY to a whole new level of perfection, or maybe it's all of those shiny happy people on my newsfeed.  Regardless of who's to blame, it's our responsibility to take control of our lives and lower our expectations.  A great place to start is in the kitchen.

We've turned the kitchen into a scary place and cooking into something only experts can do (hello, Iron Chef America, Chopped and Cutthroat Kitchen) and now normal people are scared to even attempt to cook.  If we lower our expectations my guess is we'll do more cooking and less ordering out.  And the more we're able to cook real food, the less we're exposing ourselves and our families to the truly scary things - the additives, antibiotics, GMOs, hormones, and the rest of the nonsense being added to many of the foods we consume. 

Next time you're at the end of your day without a plan for dinner, avoid the blinking light on your phone, skip over those toys and grab whatever vegetables you have and your favorite kind of pasta to turn what seems like nothing into something that's delicious and definitely good enough.  

Ingredients:

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 head chopped broccoli

1 box of whole wheat or brown rice pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (if you have some)

Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

Cook Pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside. 

Preheat oven to 375.  Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Place cherry tomatoes and broccoli on baking sheet and drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Stir to combine and bake for 15 minutes until the tomatoes are soft and starting to burst.     

Place cooked pasta back in the pot over medium heat.  Drizzle with remaining one tablespoon of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add vegetables and stir.  Heat for 3 - 5 minutes until the pasta is warm.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, lemon, and parsley and consider yourself a cook!