The dreaded question, whats for tea? Strikes fear into the heart of disorganised people across the world.
Since returning to work, and lets be honest, even a bit before then, I have struggled to find a rhythm to meal planning and actually finding time to cook nice healthy meals to satisfy three hungry tummies seems like the impossible task. I like to cook, not to sound big headed, but I even consider myself to be good at it, however I have completely lost all passion and interest in cooking. We are so far into this food rut that I can't see a way to claw myself out.
It doesn't help that Paul is a picky eater, he doesn't like most vegetable and has issues with texture, so lumps of onion or mushroom are a big no no, so if I want the deliciousness that these ingredients bring to things like pasta sauce or stew I have to blitz them, which is time consuming and annoying. I personally love chunky vegetable in my bolognese and whole baby onions in my stew but short of making two entirely different meals I have to pander to the most fussiest in the family.
In a fit of frustration last night I took to twitter for some tips, sadly most assumed the fussy eater was a child and advised the "eat what you're given and like it" approach. Which, for a three year old is fine but when the fussy one is 41 it doesn't really work.
His fussiness is not the only issue, I am also pretty lazy, especially after being at work all day and doing the nursery run/ bedtime routine. After all that the idea of starting to cook fills me with dread and the chip shop starts to look pretty tempting.
So, after my twitter plea and some fairly heavy pinterest reading I have come up with a plan of action;
1. Leftovers, leftovers, leftovers; always make 1 or two portions more than we need to pop in the freezer, or for lunch the next day. For those really busy or lazy nights having a few homemade freezer options would be great. Theres only so many fish finger sandwiches a family can eat!
2. Meal plan every single week, and stick to it; most weeks I do jot down a vague meal plan based on the meat we have in the freezer but often I forget to defrost it and we end up not sticking to it.
3. Routine, cook, clean, prepare; at the moment we cook, maybe do some of the dishes after, but mostly we don't. It is a really bad habit as by the following day the stack of dishes puts you off making more and demotivates me from cooking even more. I need to stick to a routine of cooking, cleaning up and then preparing for the next day.
4. Research; I need to find more recipes that excite me, things I look forward to eating. Boredom with the same old things puts me off making the effort to prepare them.
So now I know what I need to do, I just need to huge kick up the bum to actually do it.
I'd love to hear any tips you may have, blog posts, words of wisdom, recipes for fussy eaters. Thanks!