Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Asking for the Impossible

Look at me, posting two days in a row! The sky is falling. But I'm posting because I need HELP. Here's the thing: I've barely been cooking the last few months, so I'm a little out of practice with the shopping properly and the cooking in a timely fashion. I attempted today to finally meal plan from a cookbook for the week before going shopping- as opposed to nauseously staggering down the aisles behind my enormous car cart, grabbing at whatever looks palatable- but I realized that I am not in the mood for anything but, well, hard stuff, requiring lots of ingredients and time. Or vegetarian stuff, which is fine for me but not fine for Jim. Like, I could eat cranberry-pecan-goat cheese salad with raspberry dressing every night. Or mushroom ravioli, or soup and bread. But he's usually hungry for, you know, MAN food, involving at least a smidgen of protein here and there.

In the winter, I'm often in the mood for this kind of hot, comforting stuff- shepherd's pie, meatloaf, chili, etc. In the spring, when there is sunlight and breezes and flowers (and also more than a hint of nausea, such that even though I've been trying to wean off the Zofran, I keep ending up taking it by noon every day) any dish that involves browning hamburger is kind of making me shiver just thinking about it.

What stuff do you guys like to eat in the spring/summer? Light, fairly easy meals that are acceptable to at least the majority of your families? And, if possible, that involve meat or another protein source, but in a very hands-off, non-smelly way?

Edit: Thank you so much for your suggestion, Omaha Mama! I subscribed to e-mealz.com last night, and this morning before shopping all I had to do was go to my computer and hit print! Then I went through the meal plan, crossed out the meal ingredients I didn't think I wanted to do, and voila. All set to shop. This looks SO AWESOME. Sure, there IS some meat, but the two meals that involved the most meat prep/ground beef smelliness I just skipped or altered in a way to suit me.

15 comments:

Jess said...

I have a recipe for Greek penne pasta that we both enjoy. Lots of veggies, very fresh and Mediterranean, and it doesn't even call for meat but I usually add chicken.

http://duwaxloolurecipes.blogspot.com/2010/01/new-recipe-greek-penne-pasta.html

Rachelle said...

I have a George Foreman grill, and it kind of becomes my go-to implement in the spring. Generally, it just does a better job of quickly cooking chicken breasts and salmon steaks, plus some asparagus or grilled cauliflower (sounds terrible, tastes great when it's caramelized).

Plus, you can make chicken kebabs nine thousand ways, with or without smelliness, and as long as you mix up the side dishes (potatoes, rice, salad) your husband might not even notice the repetition, especially if you deconstruct the kebabs afterwards and toss them on top of a bowl of pasta.

If I'm feeling REALLY lazy, we have Breakfast For Dinner, which is basically just bacon, eggs, and toast.

Lastly, my favorite quick and easy side dish is I use mashed potato flakes instead of cooking actual potatoes. I tweak 'em by mixing in sour cream, cheddar cheese, chives, salt, and pepper to taste, and really, it's just a baked potato without the skin, and it's ready in about 60 seconds flat.

AND, if you make too many of these kinds of mashed potatos, you can add just enough chicken stock and milk to turn it into baked potato soup. Again, sounds icky, tastes excellent.

Truthfully, if hubby starts to get hungry for beef, I'll prepare hamburger patties, and send him out to the barbecue to cook 'em.

Marie Green said...

Have him grill the meat outside, and just add a salad, veggie side dish...

pseudostoops said...

What about buying a rotisserie chicken and giving him some shredded pieces on top of that salad with goat cheese and raspberry vinaigrette you mentioned? Or does he perhaps like chickens in nugget form?

Fran said...

I have a recipe blog http://rcpmomfeeds.blogsppot.com that you could look for inspiration on. If you don't find anything of mine you like, look through some of the other sites on my blog roll. Happy hunting :)

Michele said...

I love this Kraft thing - it's four meals (five if you count a frozen pizza), and they plan out a shopping list as well. So easy, and none of the meals I've made have been particularly extensive, but they've all been good. Hoping this helps!

http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/dinner/1Bag5Dinners/Pages/main.aspx

saly said...

What I really like to do is make a big salad and get some good dressing like a nice golden Italian, or a peppercorn ranch. Then I’ll marinate some steak or chicken (in whatevs…I like cheap Italian dressing marinade for the chicken-and watered down A1 for steak just in a zip-top bag in the fridge for a few hours) and then I’ll bake it on a rack in the oven til it’s done (TECHNICAL!!). I cut in to bites, and I like it right on top of the salad, but Hub eats it on the side. We usually have cheddar biscuits or crust French bread and butter with it.

Tess said...

I wonder if a good temporary solution would be to buy meat or fish that's already cooked? I love salads this time of year, and I'm not above buying the precooked chicken or the frozen fish/shrimp in a pinch.

Also, I second breakfast-for-dinner.

Chelle said...

I banish Hugh to the backyard to grill his own damn meat. I'm a sweetheart that way ;)

Then, I eat all the spinach salad with sugared pecans, feta and craisons that my little heart will stand.

Huh. I'm starting to understand why my husband is often annoyed by me.

Oh well :)

Omaha Mama said...

we subscribed to e-mealz.com and it's fantastic! Meal plan and grocery list in one. Easy on the budget, healthy. The meals are also super easy to make, so yay! I'm so happy with it, I just had to share with you.
Good luck finding a good fit for you!

Scottish Twins said...

Once the weather turns nice we like to grill a lot of meats and veggies. I prefer poultry and fish - lighter meats - in salads and pastas.

Swistle said...

BLTs! I like them with turkey bacon and spinach, so they're...let's see...TBSTs.

Sarah said...

Thank you all so much! I'm getting lots of good ideas here. I mean, duh! The grill. The very nice grill sitting right outside my kitchen window, that I have apparently forgotten about. Score!

d e v a n said...

I always tend for less meat and lighter, more veggie stuff in the spring and summer. Winter and Fall make me want soups, meatloaf, chicken pot pie, etc.

In the spring summer, I want grilled veggies, sometimes meat but mostly for Dh's benefit, and lots of fresh fruit and veggies.

That salad you mentioned sounds FAB. Yum.

I like cold veggie and pasta salads. I could use one right now... yum

Anonymous said...

Love the e-z meal site....