This Week [And A Meal Plan]

[I started writing this on Saturday and just couldn’t finish. It seemed inconsequential. Saying more prayers for the families impacted by last week’s tragedy.]

Today I was driving the kids to check out the ballet school we’re going to enroll Lucy in at the start of the new year. We rolled past a fast food restaurant where a worker was outside lowering a flag to half mast and I lost it. Who doesn’t hug their kids tighter after something like yesterday.

By nature we, especially mothers, have a deep rooted desire to protect and defend innocence. So whether it be the bullying of a child with special needs or the unspeakable events of yesterday, our inner warriors are stirred.

But I think hugging our kids tighter and lengthening our fuse when they make us feel crazy is exactly the response we should have. Before we start wondering who we should blame, perhaps we could take a moment and pray for those impacted. And then extend that to a prayer of thanks for all of the blessings in our lives, asking for grace that they ever be overlooked.

Remember those children when you get upset about the puzzle pieces that were dumped on your kitchen floor. Remember them when you’re giving your bath-averse children a dunk to the tune of splashing and screaming. And remember them when you’re making dinner; thankful for the opportunity to make dinner for my family.

I don’t know how to deal with something like that. And maybe that’s why I’ll always be the person that cries at a flag half-raised or a funeral procession. But I’m okay with that. I’m okay with my kids knowing that loss impacts me, empathetically.

Here’s how our meal plan looked last week.

real food meal plan for a family of four

Sunday: Leftover Veggie Pot Pie
Monday: Creamy corn and tomato soup with cheddar biscuits. I made this by shucking some corn into my dutch oven and creaming it. When it was finished I added some prepared tomato soup. Everybody liked this, especially after I told Lucy it was pizza soup [it certainly smelled like it]. We used a soup similar to this one [same company] but it was seasoned with basil. I’ll have to share the biscuit recipe soon. It’s one that’s been passed down for generations and they’re always yummy.
Tuesday: Pineapple Tofu Stir-Fry. This was awesome! I added a head of broccoli and 5 oz of sliced mushrooms. Will definitely make this again with a longer tofu marinating time.
Wednesday: Green Beans on a bed of wild rice pilaf. I was pretty swamped Wednesday so we ended up having salads and we’re going to have this meal tonight.
Thursday: Roasted Vegetable Quinoa. I put cauliflower, zucchini, and mushrooms in it. It was divine.
Friday: Butternut Lasagna This recipe intrigued me so much I wanted to make sure I gave it a great shot so I didn’t make any changes to the recipe. It had some pros and cons. It had a great taste. I loved trying celeriac [celery root] for the first time. It was pretty, with all the layers. And it seemed healthy. However, it was a multi-pot dish. With a lengthy prep time. And it was closer to Shepherd’s pie on the spectrum of deep dishes than it was lasagna. Even though I roasted the butternut the night before, I still felt like I was in the kitchen working for a while. And lastly, it was a bit more pricey than I usually spend on one dinner [especially one that did not yield a ton of leftovers (though that owns to how tasty it was)]. Just the celery root was $3 and a can of butter beans $2. Delicious. Curb appeal. A lot of work.
Saturday: Veggie burgers with sweet potato fries. I went shopping with a friend and left all the recipes for veggie burgers with sweet potato fries out for Chuck. No, seriously. He did great! Although I didn’t realize until the next day that he’d accidentally used millet instead of quinoa. And he yielded about twice the amount of burgers as I do [haven’t figured that one out yet]. So I know it wasn’t his favorite night [did I mention he also watched and fed both kids] but it was a wonderful time for me with a friend who’s moving soon. And he survived. And I made the homemade burger buns. Nice work, husband. I won’t do that to you again [for a while].

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