I Broke the Mom Code: I Made 3 Meals in One Night
Disclaimer: If you are one of those moms that sticks to your guns and makes one single meal that is delicious and interesting and full of all colors of the rainbow, with herbs, spices and sauces and that everyone thoroughly enjoys, bravo, I tip my hat to you. And yes, I’m a bit jealous, too. No need to read on, you can carry on making your Thai Curry Fish Stew, that you place in the middle of the table while everyone clamors to dig in and take their share.
For the rest of us that reside somewhere between tweaking a meal and fully making a variety of meals, I hear you. Read on…..
I started with a plan…
Shrimp & Pasta for my husband and kids
(figuring the one who doesn’t love shrimp, might just have pasta and I can figure out a veggie to throw on the side for him)
Pad Thai for me
(with leftover rice noodles, a super simple Vegan sauce recipe, and some veggies that I have on hand)
It seemed like such a simple plan…..
Fast forward to post football practice, I am heating up leftover meatballs and sauce, leading to three different meals on the table.
This used to mean defeat, I’m not doing it right, why can’t I make one healthy, nutritious, delicious meal for all to enjoy as we gather around the dinner table and reminisce and rehash the details of our day.
How I got here
Rewind to a point when I found myself making such “basic” meals in order to please all palettes that I often fell short of satisfying anyone’s, least of all mine. So I decided to reclaim the meal for myself, becoming crafty at mixing and matching meals that each man and child will enjoy and so far, it is working.
Typically, the food we eat crosses over, we all like Rice & Beans, we are always up for a good Taco Tuesday, Marinated or Spice Rubbed Grilled Chicken, Steamed or Roasted Veggies and Fried Rice with everything in it on leftover night.
The idea is to expand from the basics, taking baby steps to introduce new flavors and open their eyes to a different way of eating without assuming they are going to automatically eat Italian Marinated Tofu in Kale Salad.
This is a work in progress, but for now, it is more important that we can share a meal together, at the same time, at the same table. That is when I claim victory. And my stress level over “doing it the right way” and being able to wear a badge that says “ I only make one meal and everyone eats it or else” lessens and I can enjoy creating something for everyone.
I no longer restrict making my Pad Thai, Tiki Masala, Homemade Veggie Burgers, GF Pasta and anything else my Cook Books and Instagram feed inspire me to make. There is something for everyone and always a leftover on hand, just in case.
I want my kids to see and smell and be around different food, ingredients, ways of making things and have an open mind, even if it’s behind my back, to eating a little better, a little more variety. What we say, do and even what we eat does seep in, I am sure of it. And in my moments of doubt, I just go deep into my imagination, envisioning in the future, all of us together, cooking and eating meals full of curry and coconut milk.