I've been trying to do more real cooking lately. Lately, of course, being all of last week. I'm trying to get as close to cooking from scratch as I can, at least for dinner, and at least more often than not. My goals are not lofty, but I'm enjoying it. Since a few of you expressed interest, I'm planning to talk about it until you or I lose interest (smart money is on me losing interest pretty quickly). An added challenge to this is that I have two kids who don't think cooking dinner is an excuse to stop playing with them. So I have to pick recipes that can be completed, or at least prepped to make the actual cooking part really fast, while the kids are eating breakfast or lunch or during naptime. My other challenge is to make things that freeze well and put half of it in the freezer, so that eventually I can get down to cooking half of the week and eating decent food from the freezer the other half.
Anyway, here's what we ate, linked to the recipes for those I got online:
Spaghetti. From a jar. I plan to make a huge pot of spaghetti sauce one of these days and freeze it in smaller batches, but I haven't gotten to it yet and won't this week. Also, I consider dry pasta to be a "from scratch" qualifier. I know there are people who make their own, but those people are crazy. We also had salad and french bread. I don't make bread either.
Black bean tacos. I soaked the black beans from dry and cooked them in the crock pot, then simmered with onion and red pepper. I used store bought taco shells and salsa. I have plans to make and freeze salsa too, but we'll see whether that ever happens. I put half the bean mixture in the freezer and we're having tacos again this week, at Chris's request. Served with Spanish rice made from a mix.
Stuffed shells with mushrooms and onion and using tofu instead of ricotta. I used store bought pasta shells and spaghetti sauce. Oh, and the tofu too, obviously. Served with salad.
Red beans and rice. I made this in the crock pot, which am trying to do a couple of times a week because it means I can take the kids to the pool in the afternoon instead of thinking at all about dinner. I tried to soak the beans from dry and then cooked them in the crock pot, but they turned into a disgusting brown mush, so I used canned. Chris hated this. Served with salad.
Pizza. From Papa John's. But I made a salad! From a bag. I chopped the avocado though.
Date night. Lovely Italian restaurant, I had spinach gnocchi and Chris had cappellini pomodoro. At my request, my mom made the kids mac and cheese from a box. But it was organic, so half credit, right?
Eggplant and basil lasagna roll-ups, again with tofu instead of ricotta. Instead of making a traditional lasagna, you spread the filling on a noodle, roll it up, cut it in half, and then bake with some tomato sauce. It was a lot of work, but I thought it would be easier to freeze half the rolls than to make two entire lasagnas and freeze one. Chris, who hates eggplant, went back for seconds before he realized this was full of eggplant, and then he kept right on eating. I bought the pasta and spaghetti sauce. Served with salad.
And now you know. This week, we are having a frozen pizza, minestrone, risotto (found a crock pot recipe, wish me luck), broccoli casserole, tacos, spaghetti (from a jar again, too lazy to make sauce this week, and we have to have spaghetti once a week so that we have noodles for Mia for the rest of the week), and portobella mushroom burgers (cook a mushroom, put it on a bun, ta-da!).