October 18, 2012

More Than Meal Plans

Mmm... cheese...
I have a weird relationship with food.

First of all, I love food.  I love to eat it.  I love to cook it.  I love to smell it.

I'm a total (albeit vegetarian) foodie.

That said, I totally suck at eating.  If I'm hungry, and I'm the only person around who's hungry, I'm not going to bother cooking anything.  I'll just eat something- anything- already edible and on hand.

The most "cooking" I do when I haven't eating in six or eight hours tends to be the assemblage of a s'more.

That said, I try to cook dinner every night.  I love sitting down to dinner as a family, all eating the same food, all talking, catching up on our days... you know, the idyllic family scene.  I live for that.

So once upon a time, I was incapable of cooking a dinner for just me and M.  Every time I cooked, I made about eight people's worth of food.  That's how I learned to do it.  When I was a teenager, there were four teenagers living in the house, two parents, and usually a random friend or two for dinner.

There needed to be lots of food at each meal.

So over four years of marriage, I slowly and meticulously trained myself to cook for two.  For just me and M.

And I've finally figured out how dumb that was.  Why?


I am now almost entirely subsisting on leftover food.

It's great- I'll cook dinner one night, have the leftovers for brunch (I only tend to eat two meals a day- brunch and dinner), and then make dinner.


And that is why now I'm eating leftover gigantes (that's incredibly delicious Greek style lima beans) and day old bread.

The best part?  It's really helping with the girls' picky eating.  If they liked it, or just sort of tried it but didn't really eat it, I can present it to them again the next day.  Let it become familiar.

So hopefully, cooking all sorts of delicious and relatively healthy foods (how healthy is a hunk of bread even if you DID make it yourself?) will lead to me starving less, and therefore screaming less.

Hopefully, it will lead to me not counting a s'more as a meal.

And best part?  So much cheaper.

You plan your meals for the week around what you already have, and what ingredients you need to buy.

I know that every time I buy parsley, at least half of it goes to waste.  So I planned three meals this week that include parsley.  BOOM- a whole bunch of parsley, eaten up!

Two meals with chard.

Two meals with the can of fake chicken I'm going to open up tonight.

And of course, a bottle of wine for the week.

This week's meal plan was:

Baked polenta with swiss chard
Spinach salad

Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup
Oatmeal bread


Roasted potatoes
Grilled chicken/fake chicken

Cauliflower curry soup
Whole wheat raisin bread

Vegetable chard Soup

Roasted pepper soup
Honey wheat bread
Spinach salad

So how am I accomplishing this remarkable feat of culinary acuity?

MIT has cooler food robots than me.

Yeah, that's right.  Robots.

I have this super awesome slow cooker- it comes with three different interchangeable dutch over type pots.  That means that even if I don't get to cleaning one before nap time the next day, I have a different pot.  I just have to make sure that I'm not counting on using the same size pot two days in a row.  So, I have a slow cooking robot.  This week, it's in charge of the lentil soup, the cauliflower soup, the gigantes, and the roasted potatoes.  Boo-ya.

My other robot?  The bread machine.

Dear god, I love my bread machine.

And that, lovely readers, is how I am able to enjoy a meal while my children are at school.

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