The Parent Trap


We went to dinner at my parents’ house on Saturday. While this wasn’t a problem for me, the girl succumbed to the lure of BBQ’d ribs. We had discussed what we might have for dinner at Grandpa’s, since my dad asked what he should cook (my mom doesn’t cook at all). We decided to ask for spaghetti, and we would bring some soy Italian sausage, but my dad said that he didn’t want to heat up the kitchen. Yes, I know, it’s January, but he gets hot easily. So, I asked Sabrina what she wanted and she said she didn’t want to be a vegetarian. I told her that was up to her, but what did she want, and she said ribs.

This was not a problem for me, because eating meat off of the bone has always kind of grossed me out. I went to Trader Joe’s and got some supplies for the night–veggie samosas for my main course, fingerling potatoes (which are awesome, by the way) and broccoli, cauliflower and baby carrots for the side dishes for everyone, and soy ice cream–mango/vanilla and very cherry with chocolate chips. Before dinner, we had some guacamole leftover from Christmas–in a pouch, not fresh made, which would have been bad by now! I ate a lot of food, but I didn’t really get into all the candy and junk they have there. I did try some mini-Pringles and I had one caramel Hershey’s kiss. That is excellent for me going over to my parents’ house, the junk-food mecca of our family.

Today I made a menu plan for the coming week. I didn’t make it to the grocery store, but I will go tomorrow night while the kids are at their dad’s. It is much less stressful that way. Trader Joe’s is always so crowded, and they are wild children!

Monday: Something easy from Trader Joe’s–either the Mediterraean feast, or something frozen.

Tuesday: Sloppy Lentils in the crockpot (kind of like sloppy joes, but with lentils instead of meat), fingerling potatoes (did I mention these are awesome? Also, you can microwave the little bag for 5 minutes and be ready!), steamed cauliflower and broccoli

Wednesday: The girl has tumbling class at 6:30, so we will eat dinner late. I am thinking I will bring whole wheat tortillas spread with peanut butter and wrapped around bananas for us all before the class/workout for me. After class, we will either have leftovers or fruit and yogurt. I also need to make something for my monthly vegetarian potluck at work, probably chili, unless I get really inspired before then, and I happen to have all the ingredients for my inspiration dish.

Thursday: Curried Stir-Fried Noodles with Veggies, salad, some kind of fruit, maybe mangoes.

Friday: Seitan “Meat and Potatoes” Stew, Cabbage, Apple and Raisin Slaw, steamed green beans.

Saturday: I think I am going out with friends.

The recipes for Seitan “Meat and Potatoes” Stew and the Cabbage, Apple and Raisin Slaw on Friday come from Nava Atlas’ The Vegetarian Family Cookbook, which is a fantastic resource. I was paging through it today writing down recipes I would like to make, and after about 160 pages, I already have 19 recipes noted. I think there are others I saw that I would like to make, too, I was only noting the ones I want to make as soon as I can work them into my menu plan. I don’t want to out too many brand new recipes into one week, though. It’s not like I have never been a vegetarian before and I am having to come up with all new recipes.

I am pretty sure I will follow this menu plan as long as I make it to the store tomorrow. Menu planning is something I need to get used to again, but once I have a menu, I am good about following it. It makes my life so much easier to come home from work and know what I am cooking, and that I have all the necessary ingredients, so I don’t go changing it up all that often.

On a final note for this entry, I did succeed in bringing a lunch every day last week, but Friday was payday, and a friend convinced me to go out to eat. I had a vegetarian curry dish that they said they were going to make spicy, but it was pretty bland. Fortunately they had sriracha hot sauce, so it was pretty good. I have some leftovers from tonight (whole wheat pasta with marinara sauce, mashed tofu, and spinach) in the fridge for tomorrow, and I have various sides to take with me. Hopefully this will be a good week, too.

4 responses »

  1. That’s a good idea, Pam! I need to prepare Sabrina more ahead of time, I think. A few ribs won’t kill her, though, I guess. We’ll try to have some better ideas for next time.

  2. Susan … I’m loving following you on your challenge this year! And I really admire the way your kids have come on board with you. Menu planning is key, to me, no matter what the diet might be. Otherwise I’ll just walk through the grocery store and buy what looks good, which usually leads to a lot of spoiled fresh fruit and veggies because I overbuy. 🙂 And it always leaves me reaching for something I need but don’t have later in the week.

  3. Laura, that is exactly my problem–throwing away produce if I don’t plan ahead. And having a ton of food, but not everything for any particular recipe. I just need to get back in the habit of menu-planning.

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