Eats

So, I was a cooking machine in April.  After the early baby scare, I went into hardcore nesting mode which extended to the deep freezer.  Here’s what I whipped up:

Red Lentil Soup with Mint x2

Banana Espresso Muffins x2

Espresso Banana Muffins

Creamy Chicken and Quinoa Broccoli Casserole x2

Creamy Chicken Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole - real food meets comfort food. From scratch, quick and easy, 350 calories. | pinchofyum.com

Chicken Tamale Pie –Didn’t happen, but I have the stuff for it!

Chicken Tamale Pie

Steel Cut Oat Pucks x4

I have made the oats before and the lentil soup is a favorite of ours (sans the mint if you’re freezing it for later, we say).  The chicken quinoa broccoli dish was delicious but more high maintenance than I am used to, which was fine since we got several meals out of it, but I won’t make it on an average night.  I am a fan of half hour meals, tops, which usually happens thanks to habits like roasting a chicken at the beginning of the week or grilling some meat to use later when we’re short on time.

Let’s be brutally honest and say that this pregnancy has been a very hungry one for me.  Sadly (for Tim), it has been daytime hunger, not dinner time hunger.  There have been many, many nights that he asks what we are having for dinner and I literally have deer-in-headlights face because I didn’t consider that we all should be eating within the hour if there’s any hope of a normal bedtime routine for Boo.  Also, we already ate all of the muffins, so we’ll have to make some more breakfast food for postpartum.  I should get on that this week.  I intended to make Kait’s granola bars as well, but it never happened.

I blogged long ago about our method of a loose weekly structure to our food.  That went out the window when we moved and has never resurrected itself.  It really made high quality nutrition effortless while keeping our budget on target.  I also find Sunday afternoon cooking to be really calming, creative time and I have missed it since I’ve fallen off the bandwagon with pregnancy cravings and aversions.

After our postpartum survival mode window, I’m hoping to get back to a weekly menu that looks something like this:

Monday-Soup

(some faves: zucchini basil, potato leek, roasted red pepper and tomato, black lentil, red lentil, minestrone)

Tuesday-Whole Wheat Pasta

(We choose it over Barilla Plus because it only has one ingredient instead of about twenty.  We love it with sundried tomato pesto, cannellini beans and artichokes, with lemon and basil butter sauce, with cigliene mozzarella and cherry tomatoes with fresh garlic, or with red wine and mushroom sauce to name a few)

Wednesday-Protein and Vegetables

(grilled or roasted veggies with our Sunday roasted chicken, marinated beef, or some other meat from the freezer, red lentil tacos loaded with fresh vegetables, some sort of bean salad with a green salad on the side)

Thursday-Leafy Greens and Protein

(We love nut-fruit-cheese combos with vinaigrette on salads, like walnuts, apples and bleu, or feta, sun dried tomatoes and pistachios or pine nuts, or goat, dried cherries and sunflower or pumpkin seeds.  Adding chicken breasts makes it feel like a meal, which is nice in the summer months.  We also love a salad I used to get in Rome that has white beans, tuna, thawed frozen corn, sun-dried tomatoes and feta.  We’re hoping to become more adventurous with our salads this summer thanks to the farmers market.)

Friday-Pizza (if Tim gets to pick), leftovers, or eat out

(We like making puff pastry pizzas and we also occasionally buy frozen pizzas if the mood/sale suits.  We also often use Friday night as our take out night for the week and that’s always a nice treat for us.  We tend to oscillate between Thai, Greek, Italian and Chinese.)

Saturday-Farmers Market inspired meal or gourmet sandwiches

(Using quality bread makes a huge difference and we frequently buy it marked down at PayLess or Kroger and stick it in the freezer.  Some faves:  Baguette with goat cheese, bacon and arugula, or garlic rubbed grilled sandwiches with roasted local vegetables like eggplant, squash or tomatoes with a high quality cheese, or whatever else we have in the fridge that seems like it would cooperate as a sandwich ingredient)

Sunday-Cook meat; soak beans; make bread if feeling extra adventurous  

(Sometimes none of these three happen.  If I can make at least one happen, the rest of the week is infinitely healthier and less stressful.  Sunday tends to be a day we clean out the fridge and freezer and use up anything that would otherwise get pitched.  It’s like a sick game that we love to play.  We very rarely throw any food away.  Like almost never.)

So there you have it.  The goal for post baby and full on farmers market mode in the GB casa.  Lofty goals, eh?

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