So -- probably 2 years ago, I went all Flylady crazy and bought a bunch of her stuff. The dusters, the "control journal" -- and a little book that she recommended called Saving Dinner. I browsed through it, got distracted -- and left it at that.
Well -- after being sick of the same meal every week, I decided to give it another go. I figured I didn't have much to lose. If you saw my recipe book collection, it would become painfully obvious how many I've tried, and how many I've given up on. I'm tired of trying and putting all this effort into foods that the family doesn't eat.
So, I pulled it off of my book shelf, blew off the dust and took another look at it. I'm into week 2 of using this - and let me just say, this book is awesome! She has her recipes set in different seasons (so a winter, summer, spring and fall group) She has a weekly menu complete with side dish suggestions (that's what always gets me when I make a meal!). She has a grocery list -- nicely divided up into categories for you (such as produce, dairy, meat, etc). Best part -- So far, it hasn't taken me more than 1/2 hour to cook my meals, they are healthier than anything else they would have eaten before AND most of the time, most of the family likes it.
That's saying A LOT. You see -- if it were up to my kids, we'd have Spaghetti every night. I'm lazy - so I'd rather just "cook" cereal. Hubby's picky and likes his 4 square...it's a never ending battle!
I've been really sneaky with my meals so far. I've told the family that we will be using this book for the whole year, and that I expect them to let me know what they think of each recipe. We are rating it on a scale of 1-5; where 1 is please don't serve me this nastiness again!! and 5 is oh my God, I've died and gone to heaven!! So far, most meals have been a 4. That's something considering the range of picky eaters that we have!
We've had amazingly yummy things like Tuna Fusilli (sounds horrible, but was so good. the kids each gave it a 5!), Sweet Bean Burritos, Herb Crusted Chicken Piccata (This was fabulous -- even though it was a little more black than nicely browned -- lol!), Ginger Beef, Romano Turkey Burgers (mmmm!!!), Fish Nicoise....etc...
It's been FABULOUS. It's been fun to find some of the things on her shopping lists (like Neufchatel cheese....even the deli manager didn't know what it was -- but a quick google search told me I could easily substitute Cream Cheese). Kale is a vegetable that I'd never heard of or even knew what it looked like -- but the produce boy showed it too me...I was dubious when cooking it - but it's now my new favorite!
Her book has a bunch of recipes (also quick and easy) in the back for side dish options - BUT -- even better - she has "serving suggestions" listed under each recipe. Things like "a big green salad and some roasted red potatoes" -- and she has those serving clearly marked on her grocery lists so if you don't want to make something, you can simply leave it out.
The menus serve 6...as in 6 adults - so we always have left overs. My own family is eating fabulous, but my daycare kids are eating just as well - as the left overs often make it to their plates for lunches. I nearly fell over when my little daycare girl (a very picky eater) ate 1/2 a chicken breast and a side of spinach and squash and then asked for seconds!
Yup, I'm sold. I love this book. I think you should try it. Give it an honest to God try. She only has 5 menus/week - so you still have the option to make an 'old favorite' or go out for dinner, or whatever. So, my lovely readers -- if you'd like to check out the book, the link to it on Amazon is up near the beginning of the post, and my fellow Canadians - you're link is below. I think the only complaint that I have is that it's written in US measurements (like "buy a 15oz can of ___") where as in Canada, everything is in grams. It takes a little