It was another adventure in cooking at our place last night. And just like every cooking adventure, it was one for the books. A part of me is pondering looking for way to film my mishaps and wins in the kitchen, but considering it takes me two hours to cook something that should only take 30 minutes…I am thinking I might bore most people. Still, my time in the kitchen is nothing if not….interesting…
I recently bought the Whole30 and to go along with that, I bought a RealMealPlans subscription, which was recommended by Whole30. It’s great because it takes the guesswork out of what to make and for the most part I know everything is healthy.
Tonight’s menu was bunless bacon burgers, sweet potato fries, and steamed broccoli. This sounds heavenly and healthy doesn’t it? I had this grand plan of making my own mayonaise and ranch dressing (both from the Whole30), so that I wouldn’t just have a healthy meal but I would also have healthy condiments to go along with that meal. I was super impressed with myself at this plan, I really was.
But I didn’t pack much at work because I worked late Thursday so I didn’t have anything prepped for Friday. And even though I ate well while I was at work, because I didn’t eat as much as I should have I was a hungry beast when I got home. But I was determined to stick to my plan. So after work and errands I watched Dr Phil (don’t judge me), and then made a quick cobb salad before starting diner.
Prep began about 530. I started out pretty proud of myself because I seemed to have it down to a nice system.
- Uncover the trashcan and keep it close while doing prep
- Have all ingredients and measuring cups out beforehand
- Prep the meat first, then the fries
- Start baking the fries, make the condiments, and then steam the broccoli while cooking the burgers
Doesn’t that sound like an amazing plan? I mean really this must be the kind of plan a three star chef goes into cooking with. Unfortunately, I am not a three star chef, And things started to crumble pretty quickly. So instead of the above, this is more like what actually happened
- Prep meat
- Realize there aren’t enough sweet potatoes to make sweet potato fries, opt for white potatoes
- Family requests potato wedges instead of fries. Prep that and melt the coconut oil to toss with the fries
- Add coconut oil to spice bowl instead of fry bowl…started over
- Prepped the spices the right way, laid out on a cookie sheet and baked (the recipe said to use parchment paper or a slipmat. Decided since I didn’t have them, I would improvise without them
- 6:45 Fed the starving teenager a yogurt. Despite the hunger, I am still planning on making my homeade condiments (go me!)
- Cook two burgers, they are raw. Can’t recook…sorry meat.
- Fries come out, not fully cooked…back in the oven.
- 7:20 – Cook rest of burgers with husbands help. Decide we don’t really need broccoli. Also decide we don’t need homeade condiments (yes, this is where I started reaching my breaking point)
- 7:30 – Fries still not done…looking back I should have adjusted the cooking time since I was now making wedges
- 7:45 – Fries come out soggy (Oh THAT’s why you need parchment paper). Let them cool while watching the end of Xmen
- 8:00 – Xmen ends, remember I have a family to feed, and we eat. To their credit, my boys didn’t eat buns or dairy with their meals. They didn’t even want condiments. They had a perfect #paleo #whole meal. I still used the romaine lettuce as a ‘bun’, but also threw cheese and mayo on that bad boy. I felt like I had earned it.
All in all we made it through dinner. I need to get a better handle on the prep stuff, and not proud about the two burgers that I had to toss. But overall I feel like I had a lot of wins. I am starting to feel really comfortable in the kitchen, and that’s a huge deal for me because I am almost forty and never really cooked from scratch before. I am also starting to make meals that my husband likes, (he eats all the meals to show a united front in front of the teen, but there have been times when I could tell he was just being brave).
And since the time it takes me to cook is insane , and I am pretty sure feeding your child dinner at 8:00 borders on a CPS call, I have developed a strategy moving forward:
- After dinner, prep everything for the next night (this is more than moving the meat to the fridge, it is also doing any cutting/marinating I can and moving all of the ingredients and measuring cups to the counter)
- Just before bed, look at the meal app to see the meal that is 2 nights out, and develop a prep strategy for the next night
So we still have a bit to go, but overall I am really happy with myself and I feel like every week is an improvement. I made two meals from scratch this week and they can both be added to the ‘make again’ category. This is SO much better than in the beginning when my poor family would walk away from each dinner a bit traumatized. And even the meals that aren’t completely whole or paleo are still more on the healthy side. (Except my hubby’s birthday cake, that was processed goodness. It’s about balance).