12 November 2009
cooking, these days
in the weeks before and after our move, i lost all cooking motivation. luckily i did have a few quarts of frozen soup stocked up, so that got us through a little bit. but there was actually about a whole two weeks when i went out to lunch every day. something i almost never do. once we were moved in, unpacking the kitchen was my top priority (well, after putting together our bed, which we did the very first day). i knew that once the kitchen was unpacked, i'd be more inclined to cook. and, well, having food always helps things (especially since i have a tendency to have popcorn for dinner).
last fall i failed miserably at making weekly meal plans. i had a few really good weeks and then just let the whole thing drop off. but i'm going to give it another go. this time, though, i'm being a bit more realistic. i know myself well enough to know that i will not make a whole meal from scratch every night of the week. jared is not always home for dinner (and neither am i) which really diminishes my motivation. so, i'm aiming for cooking two full meals each week (keep in mind, when i say "week" i'm referring to weeknights only- the weekends are another story around our house). this allows for leftovers a couple nights, and maybe one or two nights of snacking for dinner (which may or may not include popcorn).
so, what have we been cooking? our first week of this meal planning coincided with the last weekend of our local farmers market and i decided that i wanted to cook something with pumpkin. i found a recipe for pumpkin saag (a curried pumpkin and spinach dish) in one of my favorite cookbooks. along with the saag, i made some plain basmati rice, and a delicious mango chutney. it was amazing. and one batch of it gave us two dinners and two lunches. i had planned on making some roti to go with it, but i lost a little bit of steam.
that same week, i also made broccoli potato soup (recipe from the same book). soups are key around here in the fall and winter. we try to make a big pot of soup or stew almost once a week. our trick? we always double the soup recipe. this generally gives us enough for a few meals, and then toss one or two quarts in the freezer. those frozen soups really come in handy during busy weeks when this whole meal plan thing gets tossed aside.
so yeah, that was our "meal plan" for week one. this week- we had mashed potatoes with sauteed spinach (leftover from what i bought for the saag) and herbed baked tofu. and tonight, i've whipped up a batch of hummus, and now i've got a double batch of lentil soup simmering on the stove right now.
and now, a question...do you do meal planning? what have you found is the best way to make sure you have a good meal every night (or at least, most nights)? i'm open to any and all tips from your own kitchens!
i realize that i didn't even talk about snacky foods or other staples that we make regularly and always have on hand. i'm going to save that for another post.
Labels: in the kitchen