There was a period when every weekday I’d develop low-grade anxiety as the day went on… the question inducing my anxiety? … “what’s for dinner?” and also “how will I possibly get it on the table by 6pm?”
I took a year off of work after C+E were born. During that time, I took over many of the household chores (not that I did them well, but I felt they were my responsibility since I wasn’t workout outside of the home). You see, cooking and cleaning aren’t really my thing. I am able to clean and I do believe I could learn to cook more complex meals, but I’d much rather streamline those two areas of my life and focus on other things. I have lots of respect for people who cook well!
Now that I’m back to work and training, there’s even more pressure when it comes to getting healthy food on the table in a hurry. I can’t be bothered to create a weekly plan for dinner. I’m impressed by those moms who can, but it’s just not in me.
To give you a flavor of what we usually eat, common dinners around these parts are a grain, green, bean combo, tacos or burritos, ‘one dish wonders’, pasta with veggies, vegetable stir fry, loaded baked sweet potatoes, and soup and salad.
Our household is still very much a work in progress, but the dinner situation has improved immensely in the last 6 months.
How we improved our dinner situation:
- order out, without guilt. We order delivery once a week. I used to feel bad about it, but we rarely go out to eat (something we used to do often as NYers) so I figure it balances out. And we usually order Indian, Thai or Chinese dishes that I can’t make. Occasionally we’ll splurge on vegan pizza, which is a crowd favorite amongst the twins.
- grocery shop regularly (via web). For me, having healthy foods on hand makes #1 (above) less likely and greatly improves the health of our meals, but I was struggling to find the time and energy for a big grocery run so I decided that I’m willing to pay a bit more for the convenience of ordering food from my phone and scheduling delivery.
- I tried Amazon Fresh and Fresh Direct and ultimately, because of the price of delivery (Amazon is out of control), opted to order regularly from Fresh Direct. The vegan selection isn’t great so I supplement with either visits to or orders from our local health food store.
- prepare meals on Sunday. Setting aside 2 hours on meal components is key. Here’s the usual line-up:
- Rice and one other grain (couscous, millet, faro, quinoa, etc.)
- Sweet potatoes
- Roasted veggies Brussels sprouts, asparagus, carrots, cauliflower, etc.
- Some sort of salad (Bean salad, lettuce-based salad, etc.)
- Grilled tofu
- double down. When I do actually prepare a meal from start to finish, I make enough so that we can have it for lunch or dinner the next day.
In the future, I am planning to explore freeze-ahead and crock pot meals because I think they could further streamline our process.
How do you decide what’s for dinner and get it on the table in a hurry?