It’s Friday, so that means I’m Fumbling with Being Green again. Everyone loved last week’s mashup of DIY Vertical Garden Ideas – if you try it out send a pic. I want to see it! I’m still working on mine. Saturday is coming – say it with me: Yard Sale! lol I am on the lookout for creative container ideas, and anything I can upcycle for my vertical garden.
Curb Shopping On Garbage Day
On my walk yesterday I saw someone had put out an old crib at the curb. I stared at those horizontal slat sides, and the head board that really just screamed for a summer’s worth of Morning Glories – but I couldn’t bring myself to curb shop on garbage day. Not while I was walking. *shakes head* I know. I know. I could have saved that bit of glorious wood from the landfill.
Today I wanted to share about eating healthier. I was asked to interview this cookbook author for some freelance work I’m doing. Sandi Richard has authored 6 bestselling cookbooks, hosted 2 of her own shows on the Food Network AND she’s a mom of 7! So, I gave her instant mom cred – this stuff has been tested in the trenches. I grew up having sit-down family meals every night – but that’s been an elusive hit-and-miss thing with my family. It’s something we all say we’d like to do more of – but we end up eating quick junky meals in front of the TV more often than not.
Anyway, the basic premise is that if you knew what you going to be having for supper there would be less ‘drama’ in the evenings after work, less stress, less guilt-food purchases. So, I figured I’d give a shot. I had fun with my daughter going over the recipes time coded for preparation and chopping time.
First – full disclosure. I got the books for free, and I will be doing other work with this author, but I’m not being compensated in any way for this blog post. I don’t have an affiliate account with Amazon – so if you head over to Amazon from here I don’t get a cut for that referral.
The premise is that you plan the week’s meals, and shop by meal. So, this week I didn’t stare into my fridge and pantry and think – what am I missing? Instead, I went through the ingredients for each of the meals I picked from the books and bought what I needed to make those meals. (Plus school snacks, baking necessities, etc.) So, for this entire week I’ve known in the morning what we’re having for supper, and that I have all the ingredients to make it. I know how much time it’ll take me to make it AND the sides are super easy so I got my kids involved. This week, my kids made a spinach salad. My son said, “This is the best spinach salad I’ve ever made!” Hey – the kid hates greens. It was a small step. They also made a raw veggie platter, and coleslaw.
But, here’s the biggest bonus. My kids have been eating things this week that they’ve never been willing to eat. Here’s why. They look up the recipe and flip to the page where it tells you what Sandi’s family thought of it on a scale of 1 – 10. Sandi’s family has more authority with their tastebuds than I do. *shrug* Never look a gift horse in the mouth.
But, this has also allowed me to avoid those quick meal purchases – the frozen pizza, the chicken fingers and fries – the ‘fruit-flavored’ lunch snacks. And we’ve eaten at the dinner table almost every night this week. There’s no more chaos at meal time, and I’m not spending more than a half hour preparing supper.
No More Guilt!
Now I don’t feel guilty about running out to Little Ceasar’s for a $5 pizza that slightly resembles cardboard because I couldn’t decide what to have, everything was frozen, I was missing too many ingredients for what I wanted to make, the kids were screaming they were hungry – and I just wanted everyone to be happy. I didn’t have to run to the grocery store for the one or two ingredients I don’t have for the meal I’m in the middle of making thereby blowing my grocery budget – again. I didn’t spend money on fast food that leaves us hungry an hour later.
I have a sulphite allergy (sensitivity – it won’t kill me). Sulphites are a preservative, it’s an anti-browning agent which gets used in most prepackaged/canned/precooked/kept-hot-under-a-heat-lamp food. Making things from scratch is something I need to do more of. The allergy shiners under my eyes lately have rivaled a football player greased up for the big game. Not pretty. But having this plan has encouraged me to make more things from scratch which is just better for my whole family (the odd can of Campbell’s condensed soup aside). This week I made applesauce from scratch, the morning porridge or cream of wheat, school snacks, chicken stock, and granola. And every meal has included meat, grains, and whole vegetables. Crazy – right?
Will this last? I don’t know – but I’m thinking this is definitely worth sticking with.
Do you have a system for making more meals from scratch? Do you find meal times are an energy-draining chaos you’d rather avoid? What’s the biggest challenge you face to having a sit-down supper every week night?