After my last post about menu ideas, a friend emailed to gently suggest I was too ambitious in the kitchen. I wish that were the case! When I am having a bad day (or days), we eat a lot of scrambled eggs with pesto, our most reliably-eaten meal. The little tykes are finally eating boxed mac and cheese, and they really love the chicken breakfast sausage, party meatballs, and frozen gnocchi dishes we get at Trader Joe's. But I have had a constant struggle with my weight (and really, with eating well) since adolescence, and I have had high blood pressure on and off since my long hospital stay after being in a head-on car crash in 2004. I'm concerned about my own health, and I am really striving to set good habits for my children. I want my kids to be among the exception to the obesity epidemic we are experiencing in this country. I want to be around and healthy to meet my grandchildren and have them know me.
Maybe my meal ideas look a little complicated, but really the part I struggle with the most is cleaning up! For now, while I am still at home with my children, I hope to continue cooking meals with basic ingredients and avoid processed foods as much as possible. As spring unfolds, I also hope to find us eating more veggies, something often lacking from meals.
Looking back on what I wrote last week, I'm doing pretty well. My lack of specific planning showed a little last night, when I was in the middle of a several-hour-long anxiety attack. I ended up cooking brown rice (which Max ate) and made the sauce for butternut squash mac and cheese, but no pasta. Thankfully Laurie came home early and cooked up some breakfast sausage, made some corn, and we warmed up some of the delicious chicken pot pie she had made the night before. When the boys refused everything but the meat, they ended up eating whole grain c*heerios with milk and raspberries while I sat between them trying to catch my breath. What a mess!
There have been better moments, though, like when Korin came over on Sunday and we made our sweet potato gnocchi to freeze. It's so delicious, but sadly I'm the only one here who will eat it.
I made sweet potato and cheddar quesadillas, and the boys actually ate them!
I also managed to make four loaves of cardamom bread, but I forgot to add the cardamom. We gave loaves to friends and sent one to work with Laurie to the delight of her colleagues.
We also made a corned beef crockpot meal, but it was too sour for both me and Laurie. I think I'm going to throw together an easy lentil soup this afternoon, to go with that brown rice from last night. I want to get more meat-free meals on the table. Do you have favorite vegetarian meals? I'd love to hear em!