This last week has really knocked me on my butt. It’s that time of year… the days are longer, people want to get together, and the hours required by my job are just insane. It’s like everyone else is fully embracing summer, and I’ve got to hold out for just a few more weeks. I know it’ll be worth it in mid-June, but I’m struggling now. I’m staying late trying to get my classroom in order. I’m more exhausted from the school day because the kids are just done, and we’ve got so much still to do. And when I’m exhausted, here’s how the evening goes:
Walk in the door. Ramona rushes up to me, begging to go out. Walk to the kitchen, let Ramona into the back yard, get a glass of water, and go chill out on my ever so comfy bed. Veg out, look through instagram, turn on netflix, play yet another game of 2048, etc.
Joel walks in the door, hears Ramona whining at the back door and lets her in, comes looking for me to find me asleep in bed with netflix playing on my ipad. His coming into the bedroom usually wakes me up. We then proceed to chat about our days.
We’re in the kitchen. I don’t feel like spending 30 minutes to cook some fabulous but altogether complicated dinner. We look in the freezer for gluten free pizza. No luck. I guess we’re going out for tacos.
It’s a bad habit to be in. And I haven’t been buying convenience foods like frozen pizza because when I go grocery shopping on the weekend, I care about health and how bad processed food is for me. But mid week, when I look in the fridge only to see uncooked/unprepped veg, I opt for going out for dinner.
Because the tacos aren’t good for me either. And so then I end up eating poorly and letting the healthy food I got at the farmer’s market go bad just because I’m too lazy to prepare it. Joel always offers to cook dinner, but he’s not the most experienced in the kitchen, I’m actually quite picky, and I’m too tired to give him step-by-step instructions.
So this week, we’re being realistic. 30 minute meals just aren’t easy enough. I’m looking for 10 minute meals, less if at all possible. I can handle some wait time while I lay in bed and watch netflix, but I need to count on at least some time where I’m laying down in the evening.
This means convenience foods, but I’m going for the right kind of convenience foods. Already grilled and chopped chicken isn’t substantially worse than what I could do myself, but can go on top of pasta and salads to create a complete meal. I go for the minimally processed, gluten free stuff, and Costco has a bag that I’ve been eyeing for weeks. Bread. Gluten free bread isn’t cheap (even at Costco), but sandwiches will do in a pinch. And a slice of peanut butter toast right when I get home can give me the energy I need to actually prepare dinner. And because I’m a total sucker, Joel and I picked up some gluten free kale chicken burgers they had at Costco yesterday. I had one for dinner last night when Joel went out with his friends, and I’m pleased with the purchase.
Another convenience food I’m planning on using is this gluten free teriyaki sauce I found at Costco (I know, I’m obsessed). I can throw just about any meat into it and bake. Put rice into the rice maker. Add a green vegetable, and we’re done. I know as well as you do, that homemade teriyaki sauce is easy peasy, but it’s clearly not easy enough, because I’m opting for tacos instead of making it. So for just a few bucks, I can have something as simple as open, pour, bake, which is hardly more difficult than a frozen pizza.
And this means prepping this weekend. I don’t like to spend too much time over the weekend chopping vegetables and getting everything in order for the week. I’ll plan to, but then I don’t follow through. Because vegetable chopping is boring. This weekend, I’m planning something simple, but substantially more interesting. We’re making pesto with all that basil from the garden. And granola bars that will help get me through each day. Recipes to come.