To coincide with the bit about meal planning in the side bar, I’m going to post a series on how different meals look in our house and I thought I’d start with dinner. When planning dinner, I try to get in as much fibre and as many veggies as possible, so that I know at least Daughter has gotten her day’s worth. I don’t worry so much about protein, as that is relatively easy to get other places throughout the day.
In order to do be as balanced as possible, dinner is almost always at least two courses, sometimes three if I am motivated. The first course is a vegetable course, with either a soup or salad-type dish. The soup will normally be some kind of vegetable soup, such as Scotch broth or creamy cauliflower soup. Sometimes, if it’s hot outside or the main course is a stew, then I’ll serve crudites or something similar with a light dip, such as hummus or tzatziki.
The second course is the main course, which consists of a carbohydrate, protein and more veggies. The main dish is usually some kind of carbohydrate/protein combination with vegetables thrown in. This can be something like war-time meatloaf or a risotto, or even a lentil stew. I rarely serve just meat by itself. There is also always a vegetable side dish to go with it, such as green beans or broccoli. If I don’t have carbohydrates in the main dish, then I’ll whip up a potato or rice dish as another side to fill out the meal.
Dessert, if we have it, will inevitably involve fruit, such as sliced fruit or a crisp, or sometimes veggies, like zucchini muffins. Sometimes it’s just cookies/biscuits, which usually have oatmeal in them for fibre. Alternatively, if the main meal has been a bit light for whatever reason, I may serve a heavier dessert like rice pudding. Given our collective sweet tooth in this house though, I really try to watch what gets eaten as a sweet.
This is truly how we eat. No one complains about vegetables, and we rarely have problems with Daughter saying she doesn’t want to eat something. I can cook every soup I know how to make in the same time or less that it takes me to cook the main dish, which is usually about forty minutes total. Any side dishes also get made while the main dish is cooking, so I don’t spend longer in the kitchen for serving more than one course.