I actually wrote for over an hour, composing a blog post that is not even done. I started to get overwhelmed with it, so I saved it and here I am going to write about something else entirely.
Double duty meals.
I was talking with a few girlfriends this weekend about how much I love prepping and cooking meals. My habit is to do bigger shopping trips every other week, with a weekly catch up trip for that week's deals with coupons and fresh produce. They were surprised I think with how much I like it, but in thinking about it, I realized it's because I feel efficient and productive. And I love when my family enjoys what I make. My dream is to have an entire weeks worth of meals that all 4 of us eat happily, with no complaint. But as it is, half the time I make the kids something else or they eat cereal. I have bigger battles, people.
So here is our menu for the week. I double duty almost everything I ever make. Meaning whatever I cook, I plan a different meal out of the leftovers.
Monday - creamy homemade chicken soup. I used leftover rotisserie chicken, that was from a meal I had served last week of chicken, potatoes, veggies. I froze the chicken along with the veggies. So today I made a roux of butter, diced onion and flour, added homemade broth and milk, tossed in leftover brown rice and the frozen chicken and veggies. Took 15 minutes start to finish and it's ready to reheat tonight. I made this meal this morning as I cleaned the kitchen from breakfast. The kids will eat this but will pick out and bitch about all the veggies. They will also have banana or applesauce and I'll make biscuits.
Tuesday - spicy italian chicken sausage links in homemade tomato sauce, pasta and salad. I'll double the sauce so I have leftovers, and cook more sausage than we need, reserving for later this week. The kids will not have any sausage, they only eat chicken, eggs and fish sticks. If one morsel of the sausage gets in their mouths they'll gag and cry. So they'll have plain pasta and use jarred tomato sauce bc mine is too full of "chunks" for their taste.
Wednesday - shredded bbq pork in the crockpot, cole slaw (for me - no one else will eat this), roasted potatoes. The kids will have something else, not sure what, but quick and not heavy bc Tate has softball. Will make extra pork, remove before adding sauce and freeze it.
Thursday - Sausage sandwiches using the leftover sausage, adding roasted onions, mushrooms and red peppers. I used these ingredients in my sauce earlier in the week and saved some to roast. Fresh rolls, with cheese for Kevin. Rest of the salad from Tuesday as the side. Breakfast for dinner for kids - eggs, toast, turkey bacon. Bailey can cook the breakfast mostly by herself and she will be happy I'm not crowding her bc I really only need to saute the veggies and toast the rolls for Kevin and I. She will, however, complain about the smell of the peppers and onions. Another softball night, so it's good this will take 20 minutes if that.
Friday - SOFTBALL AGAIN. Will feed kids before softball but Kevin and I will do a date-night-in when they go to bed. I have steak in the freezer, I will throw it on the grill with asparagus (if it's not too expensive at the store today - substitute is frozen green beans) and cook slices of leftover cooked potato from Wednesday. Reserve rest of steak for wraps during the weekend. Meal will take only a few minutes to prepare.
Almost every single time I make meat I think about how I can use it again for something different. Really, I do that with a lot of ingredients like fresh veggies, rice, pasta. I plan a broad menu plan each month, meaning I plan what meals we want to have based on sales and items we already have, but I don't plug it into a day of the week until each Monday morning beforehand. Weekends I don't plan, we have leftovers, eat out or eat quick things like grilled cheese and tomato soup.
So there it is - I filled my blog post goal for today of actually posting something, and avoided the emotional toll the other post was taking on me :) Win-win.