Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Good Food Ahead

(Citrus Chicken, Vegetable Rice, and bread)

I live in a house of males who are not real particular about their food. They have, shall we say, plebian tastes. Advantages: I can get away with a lot of simple meals. The nights I am tired or worn out, no one expects food magic. Disadvantage: complicated meals are not usually appreciated a great deal.
Case in point:  This happened years ago, but it highlights what I am talking about. I made a dinner of stuffed pork chops and some complicated side. I thought it was delicious and was proud of my work. ArtGuy responded with, "It is good". Next night I serve Hamburger Helper. The crew dug in, exclaiming, "Wow, this is really great!" So, I decided I was not going to sweat the whole cooking thing too much!
We have officially been eating on our new plan for 8 days now. Last Tuesday, I spent all afternoon cooking, and froze a bunch of meals - 12 to be exact. It was a lot of work, but totally worth it. One mistake I made that I will not make again - I made "almost" all the meals last Tuesday. I had to leave a few to do later. And frankly, that "later" is a big pain. Next time I devote a whole day and get it ALL done at once.
                     (Meatball Pot Pie - there was absolutely nothing left approximately 15 minutes after this picture was taken)

As far as costs go, I am going to reserve that judgment until the four weeks are up. I think it will be cost effective. I have tried many things. I did the whole coupon thing for a while. I saved a ton of money - like $100 a bill. However, I often ended up with more junk food and convenience food than I intended. Not to mention that really doing coupons takes a lot of time, even if you use a site like The Grocery Game. It is like another part-time job. Now, I just use what coupons I have when I happen to purposefully by that item. 
I only have main entrees frozen. I am pairing them with pastas, rices, vegs, breads, and fruit salads. Most meals take about 30 minutes to reheat and have on the table. Easy-peasy!
                                              Apple Meatloaf 

We are eating healthier and defintely eating better! The food has all been ultra-delicious! This will work great for summer. Fall might be harder, as we often have several days when we have activities that do not allow much dinner prep. But 30 minutes seems reasonable.
I have planned 3 of these meals per week, plus one day each week for leftovers. The other three days are for pizza, mac n cheese,  other easy meals,  for eating out, or for whatever comes our way.
The Chicken Manicotti was scrumptious. I forgot to take a picture - maybe next time around!
                  (Shredded Beef Tacos with Mexican rice - yuuuuummmy!)


Ang said...

Bwaaahahaha! I LOVE that you made a delicious complicated meal and they tore into the hamburger helper! Story of my life! Although now I just cook for my appetite and if they are hungry they'll eat it! Lots of misses, but lots of hits too. I'm with you on the coupons, but I think your real savings will come from just being prepared! :) That pie looked beautiful!!

Kenneth said...

Can you send me the recipe for the Meatball pie? That sounds awesome!