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.
15 thoughts on “Staying Healthy: Eating & Exercise (2/28 – 3/6)”
The other day Costco had whole chickens for $3.99. I roasted one last night and it was delicious. There is plenty for probably 2 more meals with my daughter joining us today for lunch. You are way more organized than I am. I don’t plan as far ahead as you do and mostly I go to our freezer at the last minute.
That is an amazing price for whole chickens! We like to buy the two-pound bags of roasted breast meat for $5.99 which I repackage into 1/2 pound servings. I have to be organized these days because we have so little storage, both in our pantry and refrigerator/freezer. I have to plan ahead so things get used and allow more room for newer items!
Would you mind sharing the brand/model of your new walking shoes? I have trouble finding ones that fit properly (older Asics models fit best) as I need more room in the toe box and these look roomy. Thanks and thanks for sharing your menus and recipes. I made the pork fried rice last week, so simple and quick, yet tasty!
The new shoes are Hoka One One Arahi 5. I ordered them in W and they fit wonderfully, and I have a very wide food so need a wide toe box. They are also room around my toes (my old pair were cramped around the toes).
So glad you liked the fried rice. I learned a lot from watching YaYu make it – she honed her technique by watching Chinese friends at school, but her fried rice has always been good.
Such a difference when there’s only two of you! I’m trying out a fortnight’s worth of vegetarian dinners for Mr S and me. The boys would eat them but ask/whinge about the meat.
I like the colour of your shoes too. Fit in with your seaside colours.
It really does make a difference now that I’m cooking for just the two of us, and especially that Brett eats everything I fix enthusiastically. So, I’m having fun in the kitchen again, something I wasn’t sure I’d ever say again about three or four years ago.
The color looks deeper in the photo than the actual shoes. It’s a very happy color!
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I’ve bought great wool walking socks with excellent cushioning at Sierra Trading Post.com x 2 this year.
The rainbow photo is FANTASTIC! Reminds me of Na Leo’s song, “where I live there are rainbows!”
One of the great things about living on the south shore now is that we see a LOT more rainbows. They always stop me in my tracks. The one in the picture was a full arch too – absolutely beautiful.
Thanks for the tip about where to look for socks. I will check them out because the socks I have now are uncomfortable, especially with the amount of walking we do.
I’m sure I’ve said this before, but your restraint on baked goods is admirable. We would NEVER have a cake in the house that long. Neither of us can stay away from it. 😂
Did you buy your normal size in Hokas? I looked at them at Zappos and they’re recommending a smaller size for me than my New Balance? Of course, with Zappos, I can order multiple sizes and return those that don’t fit, but it’s nice to have them fit immediately. I tend to find a shoe I like and reorder the same shoe until New Balance discontinues it.
These days the small piece of cake is enough, but it wasn’t at the beginning – we both craved sweets like crazy. We mostly keep all sweet things out of the house now – if it’s in the house both of us are very good at making excuses to eat it all throughout the day.
I did buy my normal size with the Hokas. I was a little worried until I put them on because sneaker sizing can be all over the place. They fit perfectly. I’m a little surprised they recommended a smaller size for you because with the shoes I ordered it specifically said “order your normal size.”
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I need to thank you for one of my favorite new recipes during this year of pandemic cooking. Some time ago you posted a link to a vegan roasted red pepper pasta dish. I loved it! I can never resist tweaking recipes. Sometimes I add sauteed mushrooms to it or “deveganize” it by adding shrimp sauteed in butter and garlic.
THANK YOU for mentioning the pepper sauce! I was thinking about it a couple of weeks ago, then forgot about it again. When I read this comment I added the ingredients to my shopping list! The addition of shrimp sounds heavenly. I love to have the sauce with eggs for a twist on Eggs Benedict.
I cook for the two of us. He never complains! I like that.
It makes such a big difference to cook for someone who will eat whatever you make for them. Three of our kids were picky eaters though, and it was a minefield at times cooking for everyone.
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