A better way to dine

March 19, 2010 § 4 Comments

Image Credit: http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/tools-and-techniques/questions-about-pots-and-pans.htm

So this whole cooking dinner every night thing?  I think I finally figured it out. Or at least have developed a system that I am going to try for a few months.

The problem with dinner at Apartment 61 is that Alex and I both get home at about 6:00. If I want to work-out after work (which I usually do), then it takes me until 7:00 before I even start dinner prep. Plus, my feet are tender little dysfunctional things, which makes standing for a long time to cook an UN-comfortable option.

For a long time I have been winging it. Buy whatever meat and vegetables are on sale, throw them in to the crock-pot with some rice and broth and *VOILA* — you have soup. Fry up an egg, melt some cheese on top, warm a few corn tortillas – instant dinner.

Now, I am not opposed to these quick, easy and pretty satisfying meals.  Not opposed at all. However, after one particular crock-pot experiment, where I had combined potatoes, carrots, onions, spices and beans, and everything ended up tasting like beans, and I couldn’t even finish one bowl for the overwhelming bean taste, and we had tons and tons of leftovers that we forced ourselves to eat, I decided it was time for CHANGE.  I decided I needed to plan at least one meal per week that I actually wanted to eat, rather than looking hungrily at all of Pioneer Woman‘s recipes and taking no action.  I decided to take control of our dinner life.

However, all of my above listed “handicaps” still stood.  No time. No energy. No feet.  So, I decided to start small.  One new recipe per week. Plus one egg-dish per week, and one pasta dish per week (eggs and pasta are basic foods that can be changed with little effort so you don’t mind eating them more frequently). Here is the system I came up with, which operates on a two week basis:

Week#1:

Monday — eggs

Tuesday — recipe (chicken or fish)

Wednesday — leftovers of recipe

Thursday — pasta

Week#2:

Monday — eggs

Tuesday — recipe (beef or sausage)

Wednesday– leftovers of recipe

Thursday — pasta

Does that not seem like the most exciting thing to you? Maybe not.  But it was slightly revelatory for me —  it makes life predictable on some days and experimental on others, which I think is good.  AND the predictable dinners are usually quick-to-make, which equals less time on my feet. This week we had breakfast burritos on Monday (predictable) and Mediterranean meatloaf with boiled potatoes and broccoli on Tuesday (experimental).

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§ 4 Responses to A better way to dine

  • Rondi Lauterbach says:

    I love this! You are brilliant…and I want to subscribe to your blog. Oh wait, I already do. I’m proud to be your mother and want to be just like you when I grow up. Oh wait, I already have.

  • Morielle says:

    mmm…I have totally adopted some sort of menu plan while here in Kansas. Granted, I have all day to make food if I really wanted but somehow, it just makes life flow better. I like how simple your menu plan is. Consistent but with opportunities for variety. This makes me think that maybe I should try working with some of the same ingredients on some of the same days of the week too. I love food but not when it consumes my whole life 🙂

  • Madelyn says:

    What about Friday, Saturday, and Sunday? Are those days when you have more time to make meals because you don’t work? The mystery of what you eat on those days is killing me.

    I wish I could cook like you, but if you have to add spices to it, I will probably never make it . . . I don’t even have any spices in my apartment.

  • Morielle says:

    About eggs, I’m sure you like quiche and you may have already discovered this recipe but it has been a favorite of Brandon and mine since the day I saw it on Allrecipes. It is incredibly easy AND delicious. Just keep in mind it is a “quick quiche” so it is going to taste a little quicker than the fluffed pastry-type quiches:

    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Quick-Quiche/Detail.aspx

    We usually just throw in whatever we have at hand. In fact, not once have we made it with all the ingredients called for, although onion is a definite must (I prefer to saute it before adding it but Brandon likes it added raw).

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