What not to cook.

Eating healthy food requires planning.  We struggle every week to have healthy, local food on our table while holding down full-time jobs and parenting our two beautiful children who seem to know that dinnertime is THE WORST TIME for a meltdown.

I do my best to at least have some sort of a plan for what we’ll eat.  The plan gets changed pretty much every week but at least it ensures that I have something to eat in the house.

When I’m reading/pinning recipes, there are a few key factors that lead me to immediately mark a recipe as NOT WEEKNIGHT FRIENDLY:

  1.  Does it require any kind of full attention? I’m looking at you, pan fried anything.  Even scrambled eggs can be a challenge with two little ones fighting at my feet.  Stir fry also falls into the category of “This looks easy and this magazine thinks this is a great 15 minute weeknight meal.” It is hard (impossible) to stir fry anything when you are holding a fussy baby.
  2. Does it require forethought?  Let’s say a recipe requires marinating or thawing.  This is probably not the weeknight recipe for me. Our weekdays are HECTIC and I have no faith in my own brain (except on Sunday meal prep day- that is my saving grace.)
  3. Does it have any bizarre or unfamiliar ingredients?  I don’t have time to learn new things at the moment.  If your recipe calls for, say, anchovy paste, or a type of noodle that isn’t spaghetti, I have to say goodbye.

We do eat every day though, and I’ll share those recipes here that I have tested and given the “Harried Mom Seal of Approval.”

Now after that rant, here’s what we ARE eating this week.  This is a pretty lame meal plan but it’s a realistic look at what we can accomplish during the week:

Sunday: Stir fry! (Sundays are a day that we can co-wrangle the kids so this is actually possible)

Monday: Tacos (family favorite!)  Pro tip- we precook the meat (which we procure as responsibly as possible) during nap time Sundays.

Tuesday:  Breakfast for dinner (we pre-make waffles and pancakes and freeze, and I will be cooking the bacon during Sunday nap time as well.)  Since we have chickens, we have a lot of egg-based meals.

Wednesday: Spaghetti with meat sauce

Thursday: Baked potato bar!  (AKA take everything out of the fridge plus cheese and potatoes for dinner.  I’ll save some of the bacon for this from above)

Friday: We have a standing pizza date with our family every Friday so this is a “free” night

One thing that makes our life WAY easier is buying on bulk at Amazon or other stores.  Some items we’ve bought in bulk are: taco shells, bean, rice, flour, applesauce, sugar.  Always looking for ways to be more efficient – what do you do to make your weeknights easier?

 

 

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