FOOD + DRINK, RECIPES + menus | November 6, 2012

How I Solved the What’s for Dinner Dilemma

weeknight dinner
photo: IKEA

In a few words, I gave me less time to think about what’s to eat for dinner. Since my toddler go to day care, the need to quickly prepare dinner has taken a new meaning. I remain impulsive when it comes to decide what to eat for dinner but I added more organisation than it used to. I factor in what my son ate for lunch, what I would like to eat and make sure that our diet provides a variety of meat, fish and poultry.

At couple weeks ago, I gave Jamie Oliver’s 30 minute meals a try. The recipes were delicious but I lost a lot of time by having to constantly read the instructions to find where I was. My guess is that if I redid the same recipes, it would fast.

I reserve 30 to 40 minutes before I pick him up at day care to shop for what I’ld need to cook dinner that night. It used that time as a transition between work and family time.  If the recipe is from a cookbook, I will take a picture of the ingredient list with my iPhone. This is quicker than to make a grocery list. I head to the stores with a “plan B” recipe, in case that they don’t have in stock an essential ingredient.

Our main courses for a week might look like that:

  • Casserole of grilled Italian sausage and vegetables on rice – Like father, like son, since both adore this recipe.
  • Dijon mustard trout served with grilled asparagus and rice – another winner
  • A pasta dish made with a home made sauce
  • Colombine potatoes (slices of potatoes with red peppers, french shallot and parsley), boiled green beans served with a T-bone steak
  • Thai shrimp noodles
  • Veal al limone with rice and broccoli - I used to serve Brussels sprouts with that recipe. Since my son has not yet developed a taste for them, I cooked broccoli instead.
  • Tender and crisp chicken legs with sweet tomatoes – a recipe from Jamie Oliver

Over the week, I might grab a home made dish from the freezer. But tonight, I want to try a new recipe. I will quickly browse Donna Hay cookbooks for a change. I only have five minutes left to decide.

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