Before we left on our big travel adventure in 2018, I told Brett that I didn’t want to cook any more. I was tired of menu planning and the time spent in the kitchen, and decided that going forward we would be eating more prepared foods like casseroles, soups, sandwiches, and so forth.
Well, here it is 2021 and I’m menu planning every week, in the kitchen preparing meals almost every day, and we rarely if ever eat prepared meals or have soup and sandwiches. What the heck happened?
What happened was several things. Brett and I want to eat healthy meals at an affordable cost. Prepared foods cost more, and are often high fat and low fiber and with a few exceptions are as enticing as I thought they would be. These days I’m cooking for someone who makes no complaints about the menu, the ingredients, or how I season things – his one request has been that I steam green beans occasionally versus sautéing them. It’s a big change from the years I cooked for a bunch of (lovable) critics. They ate whatever I prepared, had favorite dishes they still ask for, but there were always comments or complaints or mutterings behind the scenes from someone about what I fixed or how I made something. It was exhausting. I cook now for an appreciative audience of one, and that has made all the difference. While I no longer have to plan and cook big meals, or worry who will be at the table on any evening I still enjoy the challenge of coming up with and preparing a healthy, varied diet for the two of us while staying within or below our budget. Finally, Brett takes care of all the evening clean-up these days, washing the dishes and making sure the kitchen is spotless and ready for the next day. That also makes being back in the kitchen these days a more pleasant experience.
Last week’s dinners are pictured below. We finished up our gingerbread mid-week and are now enjoying a small piece olive oil orange cake topped with a little Monkeypod Jam chocolate-orange sauce for dessert each evening. And, leftovers made sure we had tasty lunches all week:
Sunday: Grilled beef Polish sausages in Hawaiian sweet bread rolls; cucumber spears
Monday: Kabocha squash risotto; sautéed green beans
Tuesday: Ground beef soft tacos
Wednesday: CookDo mabo tofu with steamed rice; cucumber spears
Thursday: InstantPot pork chops with sauerkraut, bacon, and apples
Friday: Breakfast for dinner: cheese omelets, bacon, and sliced tomatoes
Saturday: Mini pizzas with pesto, roasted kabocha, and diced onion
Next week’s menu plan in no particular order
- Mississippi pot roast with mashed potatoes
- French dip sandwiches
- Chicken soup with rice and vegetables
- Grilled fish tacos
- Mini pizzas with vegetables
- Subuta (Japanese sweet & sour pork)
My new walking shoes are great, and make such a difference. If I have to complain about anything it’s that there’s not as much cushioning as there was originally with my old pair, but otherwise the fit is perfect and they’re lightweight and comfortable. What I really need though is new socks, something with a bit more cushioning. Brett needs some as well, so they will go on our shopping list for next month. Anyway, I tried the shoes out for the first time on four-mile walk on the east side beach path this past week and had no issues. I love the blue color as well, a welcome change from gray.
We only got in four walks this past week because of the weather, and got rained out on a couple of days before we had completed our walks. It’s to be expected this time of year, and I adjusted my portion sizes down on the days we couldn’t walk.