Monday, February 18, 2013

Candice: Turns Out I'm Horrible at Planning Meals

Meal planning is something I aspire to, but just isn't happening. I did join the winter CSA and I keep the newsletter up on my fridge, checking off veggies as we go. This winter has been brutal for me. It's unusually cold for Northern California, and I'm about 20 weeks into my third pregnancy. We're also in the middle of renovating our master bathroom and repainting the master bedroom so our bed has been relocated to the living room. The novelty has long worn off. All of the above, coupled with a body clock that is still confused by my distance from the equator even after a decade in the Bay Area, has made for a really sessile mama. I normally love the meals of winter: hearty soups and stews, chunky casseroles, more bread and pasta than is wise…but we're not making any big culinary plans over here.

My childhood memories, though, are filled with my mother's obvious disdain for cooking, so I keep trying to be less bitter about the fact that I have to produce meals for my family every damn day. It certainly didn't make her any happier to feel that way and it's not working for me, either. And, when I do force myself to plan out meals in advance, I find it makes things easier on everyone because my husband is grateful to have an "assignment" even if I am too exhausted to assist in the kitchen.

Here's a list of things we've been eating for dinner: 
-Meat Muffins (really just fritattas in muffin tins)
-Butternut squash soup (with ham, beans and greens)
-Nacho night (a weekly favorite. I probably should establish a set day of the week for it)
-Pad Thai (homemade and thus peanut free for the boy. He LOVES it. I get weepy knowing he will probably never experience real pad thai out in the wild)
-Beef Stew
-TJ's corn penne and some kind of tomato-based meat sauce

I've also been trying to reduce the amount of packaged cereal and cow milk eaten by my children. My husband takes breakfast duty and has been pretty good about trying new ideas. He mixes and matches from the list below depending on hunger levels:

-Sprouted-grain toast and jam
-Plain puffed millet with almond milk (the girl loves and requests this)
-Yogurt with jam
-Leftover meat muffins
-Scrambled eggs
-Fruit with everything

When I am functional in the morning I make myself pretty much the same thing every time: Full fat greek yogurt, nuts and seeds (sunflower, chia, sliced almonds, pepitas), some kind of freeze-dried fruit from TJ's (blueberries or grapes), a diced apple (minus whatever the kids claim when they see me cutting up an apple) and a boatload of honey. Lots of fat and calories for incubating, yay!

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