Thursday, 30 January 2014

The five day challenge

I struggle with planning meals. It has to be one of the hardest parts of keeping house, running a household, or whatever you want to call it. The food has to be palatable, nutritious, balanced and appeal to the picky eaters. It also has to work with mine and Hubby's work schedule and the little monkey's extra-curricular schedule. These are a lot of variables to take into consideration for meal planning.  Not easy! 

A week ago I said I would cook dinner every night from scratch. Nothing from cans, no prepared frozen stuff. And I did it! Did it meet all the criteria? Not really, the appeal to taste buds being the most challenging. But overall it was not bad. Not all of them were 100% balanced either. But hey, they were hot dinners, all home cooked. By the way, the meals I am speaking of is just dinner. Let's not even go near planning lunch and dinner. 

Monday - Bengal-style fish curry - I found the recipe on Canadian Living (my go to magazine for all recipes) and I had all the ingredients except mustard powder. I figured I could just grind some mustard. I only wish I had used the blender to do it because what I think it called for is fine mustard powder. I coarsely ground the mustard and used it. So, if you are going to try this recipe, use finely ground mustard powder. An easy dinner. I might add a raita next time to tone down the heat and include some greens.

Tuesday - Quinoa cakes with lemon yogurt sauce - Another Canadian Living recipe. I had to rush off to work that day so Hubby had to fry the cakes and serve them. I also had just the pine nuts so whether or not he toasted it as well as it should be I am not sure. I asked him to take a picture because I didn't have the time. More balanced than Monday's dinner. But I was told it was rather bland. I did make nearly fifteen cakes. They are in the freezer. I will provide an update on the flavour and my feedback when I have had the chance to taste it myself. According to my beautiful offspring - 'it tastes not good at all.' But I never take his word for it because if he had been watching Batman while eating it would have tasted just fine!    

Wednesday - Pasta and chicken wieners stir fry with arugula and sun-dried tomatoes and a whole lot of other things. That's right, it is my very own recipe. Well, this has to be the easiest thing to cook. It also has sweet bell peppers, cloves, cardamon and a tiny stick of cinnamon, a pinch of dried red chili flakes. Made it easy to cook and leave for Offspring's swimming lesson and come back to a warm dinner.              


Thursday - Salmon and crispy potatoes with orange buerre blanc - More Canadian Living recipes! I love their tested till perfect recipes and the ingredients are easy to find. This is also my first time cooking with wine and I have to say I loved the sauce. I would cook it again. I have to work on my presentation skills a bit, but this was a good, wholesome dinner. Even the offspring ate it with few complaints.                                  

Friday - Dosa and sambar - We went totally ethnic. I made all of what you see from scratch. It tasted okay and everyone ate well. I am still working on perfecting it. But the lentils with the eggplants in the sambar makes it a nutritious gravy and the rice and lentils in the dosa is not totally unhealthy. A little lean on protein and perhaps some fiber, but overall, not bad.
So there! I completed my challenge for the week in question. I cooked more this week. I have to because no one else will and one must eat. Hope this inspires you to plan and cook from scratch. If I can do it, anyone can!


Nicole said...

This is impressive! I really wish I could challenge myself to do the same... you will be my inspiration to try!

The Dork said...

Why thank you!