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?