With three kids under 3 years old, and two parents who work full-time, Sara Haines’ Brooklyn apartment is bustling! But the GMA3 host and her husband, Max Shifrin, still manage to cook up healthy and delicious meals for their party of five. The two share children Alec, 3, Sandra, 23 months, and Caleb, 5 months. Whether that means making meals ahead of time and freezing them or convincing their 3-year-old that yams are candy, they’ve managed to not only keep their kitchen mostly “whole, real foods,” but also super tasty!
Before their kiddos were running around, the couple, who have been married five years this November, admit they were “ordering a lot of Seamless.” Haines explained how their children changed their kitchen habits: “The kids kind of forced my hand – or forced my spatula – into the kitchen. Max’s most important thing with the kids is treating food like its medicinal. Like it’s your foundation, it’s setting you up.”
“We cared about what was in our foods,” Shifrin, 36, added. “The best way to eat is to eat what you make.”
While game day can be an easy day for a cheat meal and overindulging, Haine’s chili keeps things in check with hidden vegetables like butternut squash and sweet potato.
“The reason we love this chili is our kids are semi obsessed with sweet potatoes. It gives it a texture, a chewy texture, something hearty to bite into,” Haines, 42, told Us.
Since Haines leaves the house around 6:30 a.m. to head to ABC, she tries to make food ahead of time: “I make this chili and freeze it in mason jars so I can pull it out in servings during the week when the week is rushed and we barely have any time.”
One must-have ingredient while cooking in Haines’ household? “I love having a glass of wine while cooking,” she noted. “Our wine cooler is a plus because we do imbibe!”
Watch Haines daily on GMA3: Strahan, Sara and Keke. The show airs weekdays at 1 p.m. ET on ABC.
Sara’s Game Day Chili
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup green bell pepper, chopped
½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
½ cup yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicy!)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups sweet potato, cubed
2 cups butternut squash, cubed
1 (28-oz) can diced tomato with juice
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup chicken broth
Fresh cilantro, for garnish
Fresh jalapeno, for garnish
In a large dutch oven, heat the oil over high heat.
Add red and green peppers, yellow onion and sauté until onions are translucent.
Stir in the garlic.
Add ground beef in batches, breaking up as you add.
Stir in the red pepper flakes and cumin. Season with salt and pepper.
Stir in the sweet potato and butternut squash.
Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce and chicken broth.
Cook, simmering for 30 minutes.
Garnish with cilantro and jalapeno.