• Deborah

How to Juggle Work & Family: MEALS (Theory #12)


Okay. This time, I’ve really got it figured out. My sanity?! It’s all about the food.

As a working mom, preparing & serving healthy meals for the family is the most challenging of tasks.

Home-cooked dinners were the first casualty of my return to work. They show no sign of resuscitation.

Here’s the problem, though. Even my fat-pants are starting to feel tight. I think my diet of pasta, pizza and frozen chicken nuggets is to blame. Sure, they’re nitrate-free but really, I know it’s not healthy for me or the kids. But how to get those good, made-from-scratch, healthy meals back into our lives?!

Fear not. I have a plan.

Redundancy. On a 14-day schedule.

Welcome to the launch of my “Two Week Recipe Rotation Plan.” I’ve mapped out two work weeks’ worth of recipes (I’m no fool… we’re eating pizza and sushi on weekends). They are easily prepared in advance (which I’m going to do on Sunday nights) AND can be thrown together the day of in 20 minutes. I’ve got one shopping list per week (so I don’t have to think about what to buy as I walk the aisles & I’m eradicating the quick grocery run mid-week). The meals are varied enough to keep everyone’s attention, they’re pre-vetted for healthiness, they’re kid-friendly & adult-worthy, and did I mention they are easy? I’m going to make the same rotation every two weeks until it drives my family mad. Then, I’ll find a new set of recipes.

No More:

1.) “Oh, it’s Sunday night and here I am in the grocery store and I don’t know, what should I buy? Another bag of tortillas and shredded cheese? We can have quesadillas one night. Oh wait. We had that last night. How about hotdogs? Hotdogs are American, right?”

2.) “But I thought you liked my chicken stir-fry? If I served ice cream for dinner twice a week, you’d still love ice cream, no?”

3.) “Oh shit. I thought I had a can of black beans in here. I always have beans in the pantry. Sorry kids — We’ll do burrito night tomorrow. Tonight, how about a stir fry?”

4.) “What?! It’s already 6 pm? Not again. Let me look in the freezer.”

5.) “I’m sure there’s something I can make with frozen bagels, a bag of peas, a half-bag of tater tots and some chicken breasts dating back to December, right? They do this kind of thing on tv all the time.

6.) “Let’s just order in some pizzas tonight. Tomato sauce has tomatoes in it. Tomatoes are vegetables. Or are they a fruit?!”

7.) “Yes, kids. I’m all about our veggies. Let’s make a salad. Hmmm, I agree. That lettuce is a bit slimey. And, no, I don’t think celery is supposed to bend like that. I have an idea. Let’s put the carrots in a bowl of ice water. You’ll see. In 2 hours, they’ll be totally firm again. In the meantime, how ’bout we boil some hotdogs?

8.) “YAY, kids. It’s ‘Bizarro Night’ again. What’ll it be, kids — Cheerios or Rice Krispies? Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner?”

Hear me now, believe me later. This is revolutionary. This is me, being more organized than I knew was possible. That’s enough to make a girl go giddy.