Utah Passport: g84cso

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

You Are What You Eat

I had a question asked of me this week that has really been on my mind. At a class on Monday one gal asked me what we eat. I told her we try to eat semi-vegetarian. What I mean by that is that when I cook I try to only have meat every other day. We eat a lot of veggies and fruit. Cheese and milk for cereal are the basis of our dairy but not consumed in huge amounts. Truthfully some weeks we eat better than others. It depends on the work load at home, the places we need to be each night and/or my mood!

I love trying new foods and recipes-I hate repeating meals and especially having left overs. When I cook I like to try to please everyone without cooking seven separate meals, however this is almost impossible so to make it justifiable in my mind I try to customize my cooking for my family making someones favorite one day and another's the next. I want our family to cut down on processed foods and meats so instead of start World War 3 I just settle with vegetarian every other night or at least twice a week. (I sometimes just pick the meat out of my food or I don't have that piece of steak that everyone else is enjoying.)

I guess the reason I am sharing this is to tell all of you out there that you know your families best and you must be able to choose for yourselves what to feed your families. I am lucky I don't have very picky eaters and my husband is extremely supportive and rarely complains over our food choices. He told me once he really doesn't feel like he can complain since he doesn't do the cooking as long as he is fed he is happy! (I know his least favorites and I do try to keep those choices to a minimum just to be nice.)

I will share with you a few things that have really helped me in meal preparation but please feel free to do what works best for you:
  • Keep a list of favorite meals in a note book, recipe book, white board etc... when your in a pinch you can always start there to decide what to make. I broke mine down into categories like: Meatless, Beef, Chicken, Pork.
  • Stock up on the things that you need to make these meals. I love, love, love this Excel worksheet from the website foodstoragemadeeasy.net it helps with breaking the meals down, giving you an idea on what you need to store for 3 months.
  • Instead of planning meals then looking for what is on sale I look at what is on sale or in my pantry and ask, "What can I make with that?" I use websites like Kraft, Food Network (my favs are Ellie Kreiger and Robin Miller), Family Fun and Betty Crocker as well as Google.
  • I never plan what we will have on a certain day, something always comes up or maybe we (I) don't feel like Italian that night. Instead I just make a list, usually on the back of my shopping list, of meal ideas for the week. I make sure I have all the ingredients to make the meals then plug them in when I can. I only plan about 5-6 meals to make room for left over night(sometimes you just can't avoid the dreaded lefter night!) or eating out.

I hope this helps someone out there. If you have some tips that help your family please share!

I guess if it is true you are what you eat then I would say our family has multiple personality disorder!

2 Happy Shoppers:

Kelibby's Mom said...

okay you are really going to have to explain all of this to me sometime soon-it looks pretty amazing. How much time do you spend on it per week?

Anyway, I wanted to share a menu idea I got from a friend (and now use)
Every day of the week has a theme:
Monday-Mexican
Tuesday - iTalian
Wednesday - With rice
Thursday - New recipe, leftovers
Friday - Fast Food (not McDonalds, but things like frozen pizza, hot dogs, mac and cheese, etc.)
Saturday - Leftovers
Sunday - Soup (easy to make a lot for dinner guests :)

It gives you a pretty good road map, so you can use whatever recipes you would like, but you have a good idea of where to start each week.
It also helps her kids because if they don't like mexican food, then they know that is what they will be having on Monday so they can make something for themselves or just suck it up.

I know I won't always be able to cook the meal I planned for the night I planned it...like you say, things always come up, but I have the ingredients I need on hand and have a good idea of when I will need to start dinner to have it on the table at a reasonable time.

**Bonus** Since you have a good idea of the kinds of foods you need, you can stock up when something is on sale, so say green chilies or refried beans or pasta or rice are on sale, I know I will probably need them so I get as many as I think I can use.

Hope that is helpful for someone!

(sorry for the long post!)

Shauntell said...

Thanks commenting. I have seen that idea before I think it is great. Any time you want to know how to do what I'm doing let me know. there are a few places on the side bar with my email and on the Grocery Smart page, you will find links to that everywhere on the blog, you will be able to find my phone number.