Does Michelle Obama Like to Cook?

Michelle Obama gardening

Michelle Obama | TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images

Former First Lady, Michelle Obama is known for creating and nourishing her White House garden. She’s long held an interest in health and wellbeing. And her passion for wholesome food and nutrition began before her husband became president. “I first had the idea to plant a vegetable garden at the White House…early in the presidential primary season,” she wrote in her cookbook, American Grown. “The Iowa caucuses hadn’t even happened yet.”

Not only did Obama create an epic vegetable garden, but she also ensured the vegetables ended up on the Obama’s dinner table. Along with her passion for health, does she also like to cook too?

She’s strict about dinner time

While still in the White House, the Obama family sat down for dinner at 6:30 p.m. every evening, The Daily Beast recounts from Obama’s cookbook. Before they dig in, they say grace that ends with, “We hope we live long and strong.”

Also, cocktails and soda are not allowed with dinner. Only water and skim milk are included. Plus dessert is only reserved for weekends as a special treat.

Obama reveals what kind of food she had growing up

Michelle Obama book

Obama’s first book | Crown

She recalls the dishes her mother used to prepare when she was growing up in Chicago, Cooking Light reports. “She was famous for her lemon chicken, and that was a good Sunday dish,” Obama recalls. “There was always the sad and unfortunate liver Wednesdays. That was during the time—my father loved liver, and it just depressed me and my brother to no end when we knew it was liver time.”

“Weekends were more fun,” she continues. “You do fish on Friday, and maybe once a week we’d do takeout, get pizza. But there was a pattern to what we ate. They were familiar flavors. There was my mom’s lasagna, and we had dinner around the kitchen table.”

She carried her mother’s traditions to her family

Obama incorporated some of the same approaches to meals and dinnertime to her family, according to Cooking Light. She recalls how her father was a shift worker. And her family led a very busy life. Which meant dinnertime was when you came together to talk and discuss the day.

“And it’s that tradition that Barack and I really try to incorporate in our lives, even though we’re extremely busy in the White House,” she says. “We’ve found that we’ve been able to have dinner every—almost every night together, between 6:30 and 7:00.  We have a bigger table and somebody else is doing the cooking, but the conversation and the mood and the tone are still the same. It’s our most important time of the day.”

And this is what she cooks

Barack and Michelle Obama posing and smiling

Barack and Michelle Obama posing and smiling | Barack Obama via YouTube

Obama says as a busy mother and attorney she never really learned how to cook. But when she became a mother, she wanted to ensure her kids were eating healthy. She started slowly and consulted with her pediatrician. “I cooked probably one or two more meals, and it was something simple—maybe a baked chicken, couscous, steamed broccoli,” she told Cooking Light. “I kept it simple but made sure there was always a vegetable and always a good grain on the plate.”

“But more importantly, we just eliminated all the processed foods, all those packaged lunches, all of the canned juices,” she adds. “We started using fresh-squeezed juice and added more water into their diet. So when the kids were thirsty, we would even mix water in juice just to dilute it so it would get them out of that habit of wanting that sugary taste. And the kids adapted to the changes very quickly.”

But does she enjoy cooking?

While Obama is laser-focused on a healthy diet for her family, does she enjoy being in the kitchen?  The Washington Post asked her to disclose her favorite recipe and her response was telling. “You know, cooking isn’t one of my huge things,” according to The New York Times. Also, when a boy asked Obama if she liked to cook, she admitted she did not miss cooking while living in The White House.

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!