Cooking Early: Pros & Cons

My routine has changed a bit in that this past month I've found myself exercising more in the late afternoons, around 4-5 pm. Since I still do most of my workouts in Greensboro, this means I've been getting home around 6 pm and guess what? The last thing on earth I feel like doing when I'm tired, hot, and sweaty is to stand over a stove and cook a healthy meal. This has meant a lot of PB&J or bad snacking dinners.

My solution? Cook early. I take a break after my morning writing session and, where before I would exercise, now I find myself chopping onions and sauteing mushrooms around 10 am each day. 

The good part is that I love having a meal ready to eat when I come home tired and hungry. I dig into the fridge and bam! Three minutes later food is on the table. 

The down side is that there's something not quite as satisfying as reheating food in the microwave vs. serving it hot from the pan. Also, I find myself doing a LOT of preview "taste testing" of our meals. Eating Black Bean Cocoa Quinoa (sooooo good, btw) and roasted brussel sprouts with garlic and lemon at 10:30 am? Sure! Why not? I'm eating forkfuls of each while standing over the kitchen sink, so the calories from this side meal don't count, right? Right??

Anyway, it feels... I don't know... almost ridiculously luxurious to have the option of cooking the evening meal before I've eaten lunch and sometimes--if I know my day is going to be busy--before I've even had breakfast. 

Does anyone else do their cooking at odd hours?