I cook for another family once a week. I spend a half day in their home planning a menu, shopping, cooking and packaging up a few dinners and a baked good for them to enjoy during the week. A few of you have asked how I got into doing this and honestly, it sort of fell into my lap by way of a family friend. I generally haven’t found catering to be lucrative with all the work it entails on the backend as I am a one-woman show, but I do enjoy cooking for people and getting paid for it so this particular situation works well. I don’t have the confidence to be much of a teacher but I get to cook alone in the quiet of an empty house which is dreamy for me, given what feeding a family and work has become in my own home with two toddlers underfoot. There aren’t a lot of guidelines – they are all pretty flexible eaters – and it makes me think about complete meals which is good for me.
Anyway, I post about it on Instagram every now and then and I am always reminded by the comments and feedback of what a chore it can be to make dinner every night. I don’t mean to sound dramatic but really, it comes along so frequently right?! I am a snacker and nibbler, I don’t really eat full meals very often because I eat all day, so meals aren’t my strong suit as you may have noticed. At the end of the day, I have a table of four to feed and eating all together beats standing over the sink with a banana and spoonful of almond butter. Meal ideas are what people are most often looking for inspiration for, as it is typically the time a family or couple or individual is home from work or the busyness of the day and you sit at a table and enjoy a meal together. It is so special, but also a bit… fussy.
So how can we make this whole dinner thing work more efficiently for us? I find that dinner is the best place to set yourself up for another meal the next day, as we’ll inevitably find ourself in the same place. I make extra rice, chop extra veggies, prepare more than we need to ensure leftovers, which can either be eaten again or repurposed into something different. While you’re there futzing in the kitchen, do yourself a favor for the following day. Does this take a second thought? It does, but less so than an entirely new meal the next day. These wraps are a great example. They get wrapped in lavash or tortillas so they’re easy for the kids to eat (I just tell them they’re burritos for less resistance). I like mine in bowl form, always. I make extra sweet potatoes and kale to put in a frittata or into enchiladas with some black beans and cheese the next day. The extra rice gets made into veggie burgers or served with curry or Asian bowls with stir fry vegetables. The biggest complaint from people wanting to eat healthier is that it takes more time and costs more money. Both of which are true, but I think it pays off. So this recipe here, an inspiration for your next dinner, is both affordable and healthy. Full of fiber and color and so much produce and a delicious creamy sauce that makes the whole situation unique. Most of our meals are different versions of the same thing – a whole grain or veg alternative (zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash), roasted seasonal vegetables, greens, maybe a legume or a grilled protein and a yum sauce. The sauces are what pull everything together, and I love the one listed below because tahini is creamy, non-dairy deliciousness. I usually make a mustardy vinaigrette, jalapeno ceasar, an avocado or nut based creamy something…maybe we need a post on this, yes? Just a dressing/sauce arsenal?
So here we are, with dinner. From someone who doesn’t always like making it, but likes eating it in good company.
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