Monday, December 1, 2014
After my frustrated post about the slog of figuring out what the put on the dinner table every day, I poked around the intertubes looking for family meal planners. I'd been thinking that I might benefit from a little more structure, at least so I could avoid the daily panic and trips to the grocery store (it's been cold). I've done meal planning before, and I had a hard time sustaining it because it was hard to adapt on the fly to (a) changing plans and (b) picky eaters. Also, I don't like the pressure of feeling I've failed if I have to make a lot of substitutions or skip a few days.
I decided to try something about as minimal as you can get in terms of a planner, and that would allow me to use my own variety of recipes. I took five index cards and labeled each as follows:
They now reside on the refrigerator, and my plan is to cycle through them each week, so that at least I have a broad category to guide me. On the back, I'm writing down each successful meal so that I have a resource of things that have worked in the past if I am really out of ideas.
So far we have had:
SOUP: Cauliflower Soup with Red Curry and Homemade Pita Bread (half a thumb up on the Lucas Scale)
PASTA/RICE: Stir-Fried Noodles with Fresh and Baked Tofu, a Deborah Madison recipe that to my surprise got a two thumbs up rating from the judging panel. I left out the hot chili, carrots, and red peppers and just made it with plenty of snow peas, broccoli, and mushrooms. Lucas was able to pick out any suspect vegetables, but ate lots of tofu.
CHICKEN/TURKEY: Chicken Thighs and Legs with Maple-Mustard Glaze, Potatoes, and Carrots (see photo), which I based on a Martha Stewart recipe. I love these dishes I can roast in one pan, which makes clean-up a lot more pleasant, and root vegetables cooked underneath chicken automatically taste good. This got only one thumb up (maximum two) because the chicken "had seeds on it."
I'm going to do FISH tomorrow, I think, because my mom arrives late tomorrow night and as she's not a giant fish fan, I will spare her.
SO FAR, SO GOOD.