Monday, May 24, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Last week after my Monday post I realized I wrote almost the same thing that I had written a couple of weeks earlier. I never said I was clever. But I think that just shows how our life is very much status quo. One Monday after another are very similar.

So today I'll rant a little about living with picky eaters. I find myself having a really hard time with picky eaters, or even people with food "issues". It's not exactly fair to feel that way, but nonetheless I do and I try to keep that frustration in check. Because really, we've all got our likes and dislikes. We could all be considered picky. I don't like raw onions. I can handle them cooked, in some forms and I cook with them to impart flavor into food, but I probably pick over then more than eat them. So in general, I always try to consider someone's like and dislike's when cooking for a group or for friends, etc.
I don't do so well with my own family. I take my cooking personally. I'm passionate about it. Granted sometimes I slap something together and it's nothing special or all that good. But most times, especially lately, I'm really trying to impart change in our house. I should not go any further without disclosing that I was a picky eater as a child. I can't even remember what it was that I'd rather eat. We didn't have fast food restaurants in our small town. I remember boxes macaroni and cheese and the occasional Stouffer's tv dinner, so I don't think it was that I had a palate for only processed foods. I just ate "like a bird"; never cleaned my plate, didn't like the taste of a lot of vegetables. Textbook sort of picky eater. I just grew out of it as I got older. College in San Francisco and working in the hotel/hospitality industry probably exposed me to foods and flavors that helped me expand my tastes. Plus a love of cooking. So it can sting when I am eating something I think tastes great and everyone else at the table is not loving it.

I think parents might have it harder these days to get their kids to try more foods and be less picky. At least, that's my experience. There's too many alternatives now, they are exposed to more unhealthy processed foods. Do I regret allowing too much of it in our house before I "saw the light"? Yes. But, I try not to dwell on that. I'm not imposing a strict, only whole foods rule in my house. I'm just trying to decrease the intake and make more of an effort to cook organically and get my kids to try more vegetables. Last week, in my weekly subscriber email, I referenced a recent blog post from the Meal Makeover Moms that was about inspiring your kids to like a food they hate. It mentions trying to relate to them and to maybe think about a food you don't like and try to like it just like you want them to do. I've been thinking about how I can try to do that in my house. So, with all of that, let's move on to what I plan to make for dinner this week.

Monday- Our busiest evening is made busier with an appointment between school and soccer. I have to pack some snacks for the girls to eat while we go from place to place and make dinner ahead of time. So I'm making some fried rice using a bit of leftovers from a couple of other meals. I've got a whole pork chop, a leftover chicken thigh, leftover rice (although I'm making more), plus a few various frozen and fresh veggies. I don't follow a recipe, but this one from In Jeannie's Kitchen is good.

Tuesday- Turkey Burgers, sweet potato fries (the frozen ones from Trader Joe's are good!)

Wednesday- Thai chicken salad- I think I can throw this together based on what I've got in the cupboards, freezer and fridge. I'm grilling some chicken and using a spicy peanut dressing from Trader Joe's. Plus I have cabbage, cilantro and fresh lime.

Thursday- It's supposed to rain, or be overcast and it will most likely be just me and the girls for dinner. So we'll be meatless and have our favorite, tomato soup. And probably a few quesadillas to go with it.

Friday- We have plans to be out.

Saturday- We have a soccer tournament and dinner with our team

Sunday- We have more soccer during the day, so that evening I want to keep it simple. I've got frozen scallops and I'm going just toss them with angel hair pasta and vegetables. I'll save my efforts to do some fun barbecuing for Memorial Day.

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