Posted by: Shell | June 20, 2008

Eek – WHAT’S for dinner?

I’m a planner. I like to plan things – trips, schooling, menus.

I usually do my menu planning a month in advance. Before you roll your eyes, let me tell you why. I am usually so busy that I don’t have time to plan daily for dinner. “What’s so hard about planning dinner?” you ask? There are six of us and all with varying tastes.

So, the monthly menu plan came into play.

Strange things started happening when I did the monthly planning. I was able to really think about what was on the plate – nutritionally speaking, I mean. I also started saving a LOT of money. Leftovers were creatively considered in the next meal’s planning. Turkey sandwiches on one night were turkey a la king on another.

It stopped the fast food giants from preying on my family too. I knew what was in the fridge or freezer at any moment. No need to swing by to get something “real quick” because I knew what “real quick” stuff was already in the fridge.

Sadly, for the last three months, I haven’t done a menu. Part of this was due to a serious GI illness that I had for about two months. They only just now figured out that I probably had a severe case of salmonella… from yep, you guessed it, tomatoes. Doctor’s visits, lab tests, etc. couldn’t find anything. That’s why it’s the “art” of medicine and not the “science”.

So um, yeah… menus. I’m trying to figure out what to have tonight. My buddy Deva had a SCRUMPTIOUS looking avocado picture on her blog. MMmmmm. That got my mind going. We don’t eat a lot of cooked food in the summer. Raw hamburger… I’M KIDDING! I mean we eat more fruits, veggies, and cold things in the summer. Hubby likes a lot of things that I won’t eat because they have a texture thing going on that doesn’t play nicely with my palate. (Couscous, tabouli, etc.) Tabouli? I mean c’mon. It’s like course sand with parsley. What a tragic waste of tomatoes! What am I missing, people?

Gazpacho is another of his favorites. I often ask him why not just pour a bottle of salsa in a bowl and grab a spoon. Another shudder. (Not that I don’t like salsa, mind you. I do. Just not in a bowl with a spoon.)

Hubby and I were veggie heads for years and slowly started eating meat again when I got pregnant with my first child and it was “mandated”. You see, I don’t like a lot of protein substitutes – tofu (again, that consistency thing), garbanzo beans, those kinds of things. I was between a rock and a hard place with an H/H that was near nothing. (Meaning my iron was low even for an anemic person).

I still cook a LOT of veggie only meals and the children love them. I find that meat is more of a convenience because I already know meals that I can center around them.

I don’t think I’d ever give up seafood, though. Red meat I can live without. I’m not real zealous about turkey either. I *do* like chicken. That one was always hard on me. But living without tuna fish just isn’t going to happen in my house. :o) Neither is giving up sushi. The final thing I put my foot down about is cheese. I’d give up chocolate before cheese, I’m telling you. I bet some serious contemplation would reveal some kind of vitamin deficiency that I have that makes me crave it so much. I just love the taste of all of them. Makes my mouth water just thinking of Canadian Cheddar or Spanish Port Wine Cheese. Yes, I’m a bit of a cheese snob, in all honesty.

So for tonight’s dinner – corn fritters (this is my favorite recipe for them), focaccia bread with sauteed vadalia onions and portabellos, spinache, feta, olive oil and vinegar drizzle, and fresh vine-ripened tomatoes (salmonella aside). Maybe a cucumber and seaweed salad too (with sesame seeds, ginger, and rice wine vinegar). I know. I know. I won’t eat tabouli but I’ll eat seaweed. Go figure. Oh, and I will eat tofu in the form of miso paste. And maybe I’ll throw in some lovely avocados with tomatoes and feta in a Greek vinaigrette. That would be yummy.

What’s on your plate for dinner tonight?



  1. Tonight?Bow tie pasta tossed with sauteed mushrooms and grated swiss cheese. Add a little extra olive oil if it needs it. Serve with some parmesan.We’ll also have some fresh fruit if my dh bought some today.Oh, yeah, there’s still some banana blueberry ice cream he made Monday night….We usually do menus for 2 weeks of a time. There are 3 of us, but the schedule, especially during the school year, can be pretty hectic. I hate getting home at 8:00 and not knowing what we’re doing for in okc

  2. Oops. Make that grated mozzerella, not grated swiss.

  3. Oh no, I am sorry to hear about your illness, are you on the mend now? Poor you!Dinner tonight, I was lazy mom, we had original boca burgers with avocado, and cucumber slices. Side of grapes and a banana half. Yesterday I made a delicious mac and cheeze (no dairy) and it looked just like the real stuff. Miranda turned her nose up at it at first because she thought it was real cheese. We ate that with steamed broccoli and green salad from our CSA. The cheeze sauce was a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Vegan Vittles. I usually menu plan for 10 meals, and that usually lasts about 2 weeks out. Tomorrow, tacos.

  4. I’m much better now, Deva. Thanks for asking. It was a long two months of trying to figure out what was wrong and having gallons of blood taken for tests only for them to tell me each time, “I don’t know.”Finally, my REAL doctor saw me and said it sounded like the salmonella outbreak that had been going around.It still hasn’t turned me off of tomatoes, though. :o)

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