I developed a great menu plan last Monday. It was wonderful. It made use of food I already had in the freezer. It required a minimum of grocery shopping. It was healthy. The girls loved it.
And do you think we actually ate any of it?
Everything seemed to go wrong last week when it came to dinners. One night Keith was called out unexpectedly, and I hate cooking just for the three of us. So we had breakfast foods for dinner. It was easy and quick.
Another night we went out to a restaurant with a friend who was in town suddenly.
Another night we had an unexpected meeting where they had pizza.
But here's the thing. We still had a nice week, but I felt like we missed something.
And that something was the stuff we always do after dinner. We usually read the Bible together, and some poems, and just talk. And last week we had the "Holy Week" Scriptures we were going to walk through, with different readings everyday leading up to Easter. We only got one done.
It made me realize once again how important it is to eat dinner together as a family. That's when the real STUFF of a family happens--the important conversations, the knitting together of your family with its unique indiosyncracies, the times when you figure out who you are together. And it's the special time when you can breathe into each others' lives.
You know those studies that say that when you eat dinner together, your kids are more likely to get A's, less likely to get involved in drugs or alcohol, and less likely to get involved in crime? I believe it.
Going out to dinner with friends is fun, but then we miss our traditions. How much better it is to sit around the table and really bond.
So I'm going to repeat my menu plan from last week, with a few changes. But this week, I hope to actually do it!
Monday: Whitefish in a Weight Watchers cornmeal batter. Apparently this tastes just as good as a regular batter, but it doesn't have that many calories or fat. You just roll it in cornmeal and some herbs, stick the whole thing in some milk, and then roll it in the cornmeal and herbs again to make a thicker batter. Then broil like usual. Sounds yummy! I'll use whatever fish they have fresh.
I'm trying to do fish once a week, and find a recipe that the girls like. I'll tell you how this turns out!
Tuesday: Pork Tenderloin in maple syrup & dijon mustard. Now this is yummy. Just roast the tenderloin in the oven with a marinade of syrup & mustard. Doesn't take very long, and it's really tasty. And tenderloin is good for you!
Wednesday: Ham and Scalloped Potatoes. My family's favourite. I make the scalloped potatoes a low-fat way. It's our compromise.
Thursday: Chicken-Rice Casserole. I just add cream of chicken soup, some leftover chicken gravy that's in my freezer, veggies, a bunch of rice, and leftover chicken. Mix it all together, cover with breadcrumbs and shredded cheese, and cook at 350 for half an hour. The girls love this, and always ask me to make it when we have company.
Friday-Sunday: I'm away speaking at a women's retreat this weekend! I'm looking forward to a blessed weekend, and I'm very excited about the talks I've prepared. I'll write more about them later. But in the meantime, my plan with all the dinners is to make double while I'm cooking, so the rest of the family can just heat stuff up while I'm gone. That's the thought, anyway.
Especially since I'm away this weekend I want to spend some time with my family during the week. So I better make these dinners happen!
Labels: cooking, family meals, Menu Plan Monday