What's For Dinner?
This can be a loaded question in some ways. It can be asking what is a healthy option that I have the energy to put together? What will my kids eat without much of a battle or complaining? What will taste good right now? I want something I will enjoy.
As you see in the picture above, I love cookbooks. I love looking through all the yummy possibilities and the beautiful settings. I imagine a happy family around the table exclaiming their delight in the new flavors. In the beginning of my cooking journey, I somehow neglected to imagine the time and effort it would take. I ignored the possibility that my kids would grown and complain and sometimes even cry if it wasn't pizza or mac & cheese. Then you add in any evening activities like sports or community gatherings and all the blissful imaginations vaporize.
So how do we do this? I think it starts with reality checking our life and the place we are in. We need to let go of some of the expectations of how things will play out. We need to be honest about the time and effort it takes to prepare real food in the kitchen. There is a very real reason convenience food is so prevalent - it's convenient!
Now when I turn through the pages of a new cookbook, I am looking for prep and cook times. I am looking for options my kids will maybe enjoy. I am looking for simplicity. Oh there are definitely times I set aside to make a more complex meal because I really do enjoy that, but I now know not to try that on a busy weeknight filled with obligations. We stick to a pretty simple rotation. Kids don't mind routine either. We have our veggies that I know the kids don't balk at (green beans, broccoli, spaghetti squash, cauliflower rice, zucchini) and then pair it with a protein of some kind (shredded chicken from the InstantPot, ground beef with tomato sauce, pork chops) "Keep it simple," is my motto for most weeknights. And sometimes, it's actually the simple meals, with real ingredients that taste really good!
So give yourself permission to not have to live up to the beautiful cookbook pages or pinterest. You are enough. Simple nourishing food is enough. Find what works for you in the stage of life that you are in.
Now it's time to do some meal planning. :)
To your health!