Sunday, April 18, 2010

What's for dinner?

Next week we have, for your dining pleasure, the following:

Monday: Falafel-stuffed pitas (from Cooking Light Magazine's Dinner Tonight cookbook) with grape and walnut salad (that's it in the photo above)

Tuesday: Turkey burgers and apples

Wednesday: Tacos and black bean salad

Thursday: Chicken Tagine (I'm following a recipe reviewer's suggestion to use a sweet potato in place of the eggplant, because I have a sweet potato sitting around waiting for something. Also, couscous will have another chance to redeem itself with this recipe.)

Friday: Lentil with smoked sausage and carrots

Because I drove to Dallas and back yesterday I didn't have a chance to write out any menus or to do any shopping. Consequently our dinner tonight had to be made from items I had on hand. It was meatloaf, cheesy mashed potatoes, and green beans. It was delicious. Even though I'm making menus and shopping from a list, I have in the past and will continue to always have in the freezer and cupboard the basic ingredients to prepare at least a few complete meals without having to go the store. I had the ground beef and green beans in the freezer, and the mashed potatoes came from instant potato pearls from my food storage. I will always have garlic, onions, some cheese and other basic ingredients like that. It's how I was raised.

Part of my long-range goals are to be able to last for quite a long time, months or more, without having to go to the store. To be able to this, even if I don't ever have to, adds a feeling of safety and security about how I would feed my family in a crisis situation. How much more pleasant and comfortable it would be if we are able to eat the normal foods that we like, instead of living on wheat and rice and beans! (Although I'm sure I'd be grateful that I have those things if it came right down to that.) How much easier to possess the freedom to spend perhaps limited funds on electricity and water bills instead of food! I plan to use whatever grocery money I have left, after carefully shopping from my list, to save up for and purchase a deep freezer and food to fill it, and to acquaint my family with meals that can be made from mostly non-perishable food - like the falafel pitas above.

I've noticed something about myself in the last couple of weeks, and that is that when I take the time to really cook dinner, and not just throw some stuff together, I feel like I had dinner. It must be a psychological thing, because the sight of a prepared meal makes me feel like I ate, and then I'm not scrounging around the pantry for food a couple of hours later. Maybe my new plan will not only us save some money but help me lose some weight.
And wouldn't that really be something!


  1. Looks great--I'm going to try the chicken for sure.

    I shop from a list but haven't made menus ahead yet. I usually buy what's on sale and decide what to cook afterward. I guess that's backwards...

  2. I also always buy tuna every time I go to the store because I think we need it. We dont. Its how we were raised I think. I think it was Wendy that told me she does the same sort of thing.