A great point about the single life from a friend: you get to eat whatever you want. Which in this particular friend’s case has meant creating a wide variety of healthy meals and in general taking admirably good care of herself. Would that we were all so disciplined. In my own experience, it means that I have (at least once) simply skipped dinner and eaten a bowl of ice cream when I got home from work because it was all I had that I could eat quickly and without cooking. Or skipped dinner altogether. Or eaten out for lunch too many days in a row. And I could probably take out stock in Starbucks…
Occasionally I’ll get on a good streak and plan a few meals, do some heavy duty weekend cooking and freezing, and keep my fridge well stocked with healthy vegetables, etc. (I’m thankful that I can cook, even if I don’t do it nearly as often as I should. If you don’t cook…you might consider giving it a try. It’s a good money saver, it’s healthy, and–believe it or not–it’s a lot of fun.)
Lumped in with all the half-resolutions I’ve made for this new year is the determination to learn some new recipes. It’s easy to fall into a “food slump.” I know what I like, I know where it is in the grocery store, and I know that I’ll use it up before it goes bad. (I feel like I’m constantly cleaning out my fridge and throwing away half-rotten tomatoes, dried out citrus, and molding jars of spaghetti sauce.) So I inevitably return to the same aisle, stock my refrigerator with the same items, and cook and eat the same things. I spend so much time planning ahead for other aspects of my life that it’s almost a relief not to plan ahead for food. I realize that this is a mistake–and that, like all the other important things (you know, prayer, exercise, spending time with loved ones), you don’t have time for it…you make time for it.
But I’ve got a catalogue of excuses I’ve been making for the past three years on this subject. “I can’t fit good grocery shopping habits into my budget.” “I don’t have time to cook.” “I don’t have time to shop.” “My kitchen is too small.” “I don’t have the proper appliances.” “My roommates are always in the kitchen/making a mess of the kitchen.” The list goes on. And on. And on. I’m also a little hesitant because, as with all new things, I’m a bit scared. With new recipes there’s always the possibility that they won’t turn out. And then what? Well, I’m going to try to focus on even the not-so-good meals as “adventures.” And being single is a helpful fact in carrying out this resolution–I can cook whatever I want, and I won’t have a hungry spouse trying to keep a brave face on as he swallows each disgusting bite.
So I turn to you, my readers. How do you manage your menus, grocery shopping, et al? Any suggestions for people like me who can’t seem to get organized in this area? And I would welcome any and all recipe suggestions! If you have anything you’d recommend, please post the recipe in a comment to this post.