This was delicious and everyone in the house ate it. One kid didn't love it, but ate it anyway. It's One-Pot Curried Cauliflower Rice.
I've been trying to pay attention to what has been challenging for me lately, what bums me out and feels hard. I think I just plow through the day trying to stay positive and upbeat and then feel so tired and don't look at what I can adjust and change to help myself out. Somethings are a pretty easy fix, I just need to realize they need some fixing.
For a few months now making food for anyone but myself has been hard for me. I found myself saying out loud that thinking about dinner was depressing me, and I was not really joking. This is new for me, I have winged it for my whole adult life and been fine, not meal planning ever. I never knew what I would make for dinner, I'd just make something. Often I'd be inspired by a recipe and try it, and even buy items specifically for it, but never more than one dish at a time. Never for a whole week.
This summer and fall I've felt creatively tired. And emotionally. It's been a hard 6 months, but getting better. I just didn't want to wing for dinner anymore it, I wanted a plan. Something to tell me what to do, buy, and serve. And I wanted to try new dishes and I wanted to worry less about the kid's nutrition and lack of exposure to different foods and all that. So, I am on week 3 of planning the dinner meals for the week. I know many families do this (most?) but it's totally new to me and I love it. I have never planned 5 meals (or so) for a week at a time and gone shopping for all the ingredients at once. I thought I would end up spending and buying more, and it has been way less. Mind blowing. In the last 2 weeks we have had all new dinners, almost all of them the girls have eaten, and I have spent so much less time in my head wondering what I will make and dreading making the same old thing. The key is to have all the ingredients in the house already, have a recipe, and follow the plan. Following any plan is ridiculously hard for me. I'm not sure why. It actually makes things so much easier, but I still resist it, or I re-evaluate a plan when I don't need to, wasting brain energy on something that's already been solved. I don't think I realized just how much I do this.
On Sundays I sit with a stack of back issues of my Everyday Food magazines and post-its and choose 5-7 dinners with sides dishes. Leftovers are eaten if I only make 5 dinners that week. I post a menu on the fridge, a dish for each day, and make a shopping list (I printed templates from the internet. I love the internet) and then I shop for it, or Pete can. Bonus. I never normally make lists, which means it's impossible to get help because it's all in my head. And also, I forget stuff. Not anymore. And because I am using all my back issues of Everyday Food (for now) the recipes are super easy—Pete can make any of them and so can the girls with some help. I keep trying to sabotage it, by wanting to swap out ingredients and alter the recipes, but I have resisted and every time I am happy I did. I usually throw hot sauce and curry in everything and I haven't at all this last week, except when it's called for like the recipe here. It's been so good for me to back off. Also, the girls really don't dig spicy food the way Pete and I do, so this has been much better for them. I will share more food successes as they come. I am a little self-conscious writing about this, it seems so basic and makes so much sense to have a system to feed a family, but you know, I get there when I get there.