For someone who greatly enjoys experimenting with cooking, having a family that doesn't enjoy eating anything "funky" is a bit frustrating. Since I'm wheat-allergic (not gluten-free, but close enough), another layer of complexity -- beyond picky eatering -- factors into our meal planning. If I were to list the amount of things this family does *not* eat ... well, wait, that could be a twitter feed, kind of like "sh*t my dad says," just called "sh*t they won't eat." I could make millions! Just not dinner.
For example, my entire family will not eat meat on the bone. Imagining the standing rib roasts that will never be cooked in my wood-fired oven brings a tear to my eye, as did the chicken cacciatore I cooked with "boneless breast of chicken," which might as well be called "why bother eating."
So, we often solve this problem by going out to dinner. There's a local Mexican spot that will make hamburgers for the Guv and for Petunia -- who didn't used to be fussy, but who has recently entered preadolescence and, is, therefore, Sick Of Everything. When I'm there, I eat spicy sopes or albondigas. At our favorite vegetarian South Indian spot, there are cheese dosas (we call it Indian grilled cheese) and idly (we call it Indian wonder bread) for the Guv and Dash; Petunia and I get a little funky and sample around the menu. And we also go out for pizza. Lots and lots of pizza. (I usually am stuck with salad on these nights.)
With the exception of the South Indian fare, I cook better than most places I eat, so, unless I'm going out for something I never make (e.g. veal at Il Fornaio -- yeah, I know, baby cows, I'll probably get virtually paint-balled by PETA), I should cut back on the dining out as a solution for my picky eaters. Dining out isn't exactly good for our collective waistlines, either, or for our wallet. There's a better way, so, this week, I'm cooking. And, like it or not, family, I'm going to push your palate a wee bit.
Inspired by my friend CityMama, and including one of her recipes, here's my plan for this coming week:
Monday: Turkey Tacos on organic blue corn shells topped with diced tomato, jack cheese, and guacamole; mixed veggies on the side
Tuesday: Crock pot night: something from The Indian Slow Cooker, steamed rice, and homemade mango lassis. I'm assuming the boys are unlikely to eat whatever's in the crock, so I'll make a side of chicken nuggets, too, that they'll enjoy with the rice and lassis.
Wednesday: CityMama's Yummy Balls (with oatmeal substituted for bread crumbs and Amy's tomato soup substituted for Campbells so that they're GF) with bread (sourdough baguette for them, homemade Pamela's GF white bread for for me) and a veggie crudite tray
Thursday: Crock pot mac-n-cheese and salad
Friday: Grilled burgers, baked potatoes, fresh tomatoes
Saturday: South Indian for lunch, so a light dinner is in order; possibly a date night since Grandma's here, so she'll have salad (she always does) while the kids do a pick-me-up of leftovers or scrambled eggs and toast
Sunday: No idea. Leftovers wil be in order for lunch, and Petunia eats at our church youth group, so it's probably pasta night for the rest of us, since Petunia is always sick of pasta. That's a win-win!
Wish me luck ... I'll report back next week on how this attempt at planning went ... Meanwhile, what are YOU cooking this week?