I spend a lot of time thinking about food. How many carbs my husband is eating for his diabetes throughout the day. What should the boy be eating and what will he eat? How do I work getting to market for fresh produce and meat? Am I getting the best deal for my money? Why is peanut butter, cheese and milk so expensive? Do I have time this week to make my own bread? Do I have any coupons? Is the frustration and annoyance of Walmart worth the actual savings?(The answer to this one, is always a resounding HELL NO!)
I try to run this aspect of my family’s life like a well-oiled machine. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I plan dinner schedules at the end of every month for the next month based on what I have in the pantry and freezer. It’s almost cliched, but I try to cook healthy, nutritious, delicious meals that are affordable and not time consuming. (We’re talking less than 30 minutes.) I don’t have two hours to prepare a meal especially with a whiny, picky, almost-five-year-old and a diabetic who needs to stick to a schedule.
When planning I follow some basic rules. Every meal needs to have a vegetable and/or a fruit. Mondays are meatless. Wednesdays are for leftovers. Thursdays are crock-pot days. Fridays involve seafood. I don’t plan Saturdays other than for leftovers. Every meal must produce leftovers. Sunday’s meals may take than 30 minutes to cook.
Now, for some of my more neurotic behavior. I don’t use plastic containers in the microwave. I try not to buy prepackaged foods such as Hamburger Helper or frozen meals like Stauffer’s Lasagna which are usually always high in sodium, fat and carbs for the serving size. I try to cook high fiber grains mostly brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, quinoa and couscous. I measure food out in measuring cups for accurate serving sizes. I prefer making breads and mixes from scratch. (They taste better and don’t have all the preservatives in them.)
I will also try almost any recipe. The boy always hates what I’m cooking, but the rule is that he has to try at least one bite of everything. I am fully prepared for my husband to hate the new recipe. In which case, I use new recipes only on days after I know I’m going to have leftovers.
Attached is my January calendar of dinners. If you want a specific recipe, let me know here. I’ll post it in the comments section.
How does your family plan for meals?