One upside of quarantine: regular family meals. In the absence of activities and outside-the-home-office work commitments, we’ve been sitting down to eat together between 6 and 7 p.m. almost every night.
My husband and I have been mostly splitting meal prep this summer. He does a big grocery shop once a week. This usually happens at Wegman’s, with a Costco trip every 3-4 weeks. We also get 2 meal kits from Sunbasket, and a Hungry Harvest box (rescued produce) every other week.
About 3-4 mornings per week, he cooks up a veggie scramble for us, or something for the kids (French Toast, waffles). I make pancakes once a week or so. We all fend for ourselves on other mornings. Lunch tends to be leftovers or, if the timing works, a group meal for the kids (e.g. mac and cheese).
We’ve gotten into a rhythm with dinner — following a template, though with some variation. Here’s what we ate this week, with the kid-modified versions.
Saturday: Following my husband’s Friday night Costco trip, we had fondue for dinner. He cooked up a lot of steak (enough for leftovers) and we cut up baguettes and apples to dip in the cheese. The kids will all eat various parts of this, and bread, cheese, steak, and apples do hit all the food groups, so it works. Saturday is usually a big cooking night.
Sunday: A quick supper of leftover fondue before we drove to New Jersey to meet my parents. If we don’t do leftovers from Saturday, we’ll have hamburgers and hot dogs.
Monday: This is the one during-the-week meal we have to think about. This week, we repurposed the steak into fajitas, using up at least some of the giant bag of peppers and the container of mushrooms from Costco. The kids had peppers on the side and cheese quesadillas.
Tuesday: Sunbasket kit meal #1: Yellow thai shrimp curry. I cooked. This was a fairly straightforward meal of Jasmine rice, and then cut up onions, carrots, and zucchini, simmered in Sunbasket’s curry sauce with shrimp. The other adults (my husband, our summer babysitter) really liked it. I made extra rice for the kids, and cooked fish sticks for them (plus some carrots and zucchini rescued pre-sauce).
Wednesday: Sunbasket kit meal #2: Turkey sliders with sweet potato “buns.” I have eaten a lot of meals in my life, and I have to say, this was a pretty original idea. The recipe called for slicing sweet potatoes into thin rounds, and baking them (in oil and salt). The turkey sliders had spinach, onion, and some spice mixed in. I served the sliders in the “buns,” which were kind of like thick sweet potato chips, and they were really good! The side salad was just baby spinach, cucumber, onion, lime juice, olive oil, and salt, and it also worked, and made a nice deep green contrast to the orange sweet potatoes. The kids had hot dogs plus cucumbers, spinach, and fruit.
Thursday: This has become our GrubHub night. I have found it is hard to stay motivated to cook by Thursday. Tonight I put in an order for all of us at a local Italian place. We wind up doing Italian or Mexican cuisine a lot, because of the pizza/pasta/quesadilla/nacho reality of the kids’ palates.
Friday: Pizza night. Often, the kids will do make-your-own pizza night, sometimes with store bought dough, and sometimes my husband will make the dough and set it out to rise. He and I often have a frozen pizza with some more grown-up toppings (veggies, sausage, whatever).
Do you have a regular meal rotation these days?
11 thoughts on “What we’re eating”
Sunday night – I cook something. From Milk Street mag or from one of our fave cookbooks, attempting something we *think* at least 2/3 kids will eat (can’t please ’em all!)
Monday night – leftovers!
Tuesday night – our nanny usually makes something from Dinner Illustrated (my fave!). This week = chicken tikka masala w/ rice & cauliflower. All 3 kids liked this!
Weds night – leftovers. Yep, my family is accustomed to eating anything cooked twice in a row. Makes life so much easier . . .
Thurs night – same as tuesday but different meal. This week – shrimp pasta w/ tomatoes + green beans. Only 1/3 liked unfortunately but, you win some you lose some.
Friday night – leftovers. (Will probably heat up frozen burritos for the 2 that refused on Thurs night)
Sat night – TAKE OUT NIGHT. Usually Door Dash (BOBW sponsor – must support 🙂 ). Cuisine is choice of rotating family member. Annabel always picks sushi. Pizza is at least monthly.
This is a fun question 🙂
Three cheers for repeats!
This week was/will be fairly typical.
Monday/Tuesday: tacos with Impossible meat, pickled red onion, crema, queso fresco, and chunky guacamole.
Wednesday/Thursday: easy, vegetarian take on Rick Bayless pozole verde soup.
Friday: takeout of some sort. Maybe Mod Pizza, so everyone can choose a pizza and all can share a salad.
Saturday lunch: walk to a local restaurant; get takeout for a picnic at local park. Probably falafel or an Asian street food place.
Saturday dinner: kids eat pasta; parents have date night around 9:30 with a cocktail, shared bottle of wine, and either homemade deep dish pizza (Food Lab recipe, the best!) or takeout Thai.
Sunday lunch: generally takeout from a local restaurant, like a really good taco place.
Sunday dinner: movie night with Szechuan food from amazing local restaurant.
We’re doing more local restaurants than usual during COVID, because we want them to survive the crisis. Fingers crossed!
I enjoyed this post! Your dinners are pretty creative- wow.
Despite being in Norway our weather is super hot now. Like sweltering. So have not been cooking much.
My favorite easy dinner now is BLTs (plus avocado for me and husband). Everyone likes these.
Otherwise I have been doing a lot of BBQ chicken, steak, burgers, hot dogs, etc. The amount and quality of the side dishes varies based on my mood.
I also have a summer salad that even the kids like. It is basically just cabbage, chicken, and a sauce made out of peanut butter, soy sauce, lime, etc. It is really good.
We don’t really have a rotation exactly, but I have been consistently trying to be better about meal planning for the last couple of months now. I find that it is so refreshing to KNOW what is “on the menu” instead of standing at the fridge at 4 pm on a Wednesday thinking….hmmm…..now what? Haha. We eat a lot of Mexican inspired dishes as my husband is Mexican. This week we have had shrimp tacos with pico de gallo and avocado plus a side of Mexican rice, chipotle chicken tinga tostadas with a side of zucchini, tomato and corn and earlier in the week we ate some pozole (like a red chile/ pork/hominy soup, if you’re not familiar- it’s delicious) that my sister in law dropped off for us for a couple days! We are planning to get take out pizza tonight because my husband has a coupon for a free pizza from a place nearby that we can’t let go to waste.
I like this question–it is so fun (and helpful to see what other do). This is our current rotation. We do most of our shopping via FreshDirect (grocery delivery in the tristate area) and our local farmers market with a monthly Costco trip.
Breakfast: Mostly on your own, kids eat cereal, toast, toaster waffles or eggs made by my husband (I am usually already out the door to work)
Monday: Kids have some version of kid food (chicken tenders or meat balls with veg). I work late and the adults eat after the kids are in bed usually a salad and some cheese and crackers from the local cheese shop.
Tuesday: My night to cook, typically fish or vegetarian options. This week is farro salad with tomatoes, mozzarella and mint from Melissa Clark’s Dinner. Kids will eat a deconstructed un dressed version.
Wednesday: Au pair cooks, usually chicken or pork with veg and starch this week it was chicken in a spinach sauce (no sauce for the kids), green beans and a green salad.
Thursday: Pasta night with sauce from the farmers market. Whichever adult in the house has time throws it together and makes a green salad. Some kids in our house eat sauce, some don’t.
Friday: Pizza night (Because who wants to cook on Friday???), I usually throw together a salad while my husband goes to pick up the pies.
Saturday: (Movie night or date night–my husband and I went out for dinner with no kids for the first time in 3 months last Saturday and it was heavenly) This week is movie night. Husband is grilling steaks and veg ad I will make a salad.
Sunday: This is my big cooking day. This week I am marinating pork tenderloin my husband will grill, with asparagus and a green salad.
Our local pool is open and has a fantastic casual dining option. One night a week is “pool night” and serves as our only meal out all week. One night a week is grill on the hot dog/hamburgers front, while another night is chicken or pork on the grill. One seafood night (either shrimp, which I’ve been buying in bulk when it goes on sale for the freezer or salmon). We fill in the other nights with leftovers or mac cheese. One weekend morning we do a big breakfast–other than that we keep breakfast and lunch very simple these days and try to eat all leftovers to avoid waste.
Where this?! I want to join in on the dining option! 🙂
Raleigh, NC: the university club affiliated with NC State.
We have some quick and easy dinners we rotate through, with the odd take-out thrown in the mix.
– Cauliflower Mac n’ Cheese: everyone loves this. I add an entire bag of frozen cauliflower, or head of fresh, to the macaroni noodles while cooking to thaw/soften. Pour homemade cheese sauce on top. Everyone loves it, including toddler. I sometimes sub or add in broccoli florets too.
– A meal around a jar of Indian simmer sauce: Buy jar of premade simmer sauce from the store. Add whatever I want to the sauce – cauliflower, chicken, garbanzos, bag of stir fry veg, potatoes. Eat over rice. Another favorite, especially with the 7 year old.
– Stirfry: get bag of stir fry vegetables (either fresh or frozen). Fry as is, or with tofu, shrimp or other meat in simple sauce of soy sauce, sesame oil, & ketchup, or a peanut based sauce. Serve on rice or rice noodles.
– Loaded potatoes: Either bake whole potatoes or, for faster preparation, fry cubed potatoes. Then really load them up with all the fixings- broccoli, cheese, mushrooms, bacon, sour cream… etc.
– Pasta + sauce: super fast and easy, use either jarred tomato or pesto. Add frozen meatballs if available. This is actually my 7 y.o.’s favorite meal.
– Bean bowls: cook pintos or black beans in instapot (only takes 30 min from dry!). Top with cheese and eat with tortilla. Optional: chicken/ground beef, cumin baked sweet potato, salsa, rice, corn chips, pickled jalapenos.
I have always been one to eschew unnecessary kitchen gadgets but the recent introductions of an air-fryer and instant pot have made meal preparation way faster.
I enjoyed this post! I think reading about simple things like this is comforting. I have two older teens (16 and 18). My husband and I both work from home. I do all of the cooking and meal planning. I enjoy it. As a trade off, I never clean up. That falls on the kids and my husband. I use Giant Direct for groceries (I live in Philadelphia area too)! During the pandemic my kids have helped me cook more than ever. We make it a family experience of hanging together while I do most of work, I also assign tasks here and there. We order in one or two nights a week but, honestly, everyone prefers the home cooked meals and they are good at showing their appreciation for my doing it. To that end, what I cook is usually simple and we rely heavily on leftovers. I’m going to try that sweet potato slider recipe this week! Thanks again for sharing!
Yes actually! We’ve always done pizza Fridays, but in pandemic mode we’ve also started doing Breakfast for Dinner Thursdays. Like you, I am just too tired to cook by Thursday, but we have food allergies so can’t eat out. My four year old can make the pancakes mostly by herself – just a little supervision on measuring and hot surfaces.