If you had told me that dinnertime would be one of the harder tasks to accomplish as a parent, I never would have believed you. Maybe it was because I was more worried about the lack of sleep. I am a monster at 2 am. But for years, literally four years, I’ve been clawing my way through dinnertime as a mother. I’m not a planner. In fact, planning makes me feel like I’ve lost all spontaneity in my life. And when you’re not all that spontaneous to begin with, it’s a huge loss.
This post is sponsored by GreenPan, affordable, ceramic nonstick pans, in celebration of their 10-year anniversary. Healthy cooking starts with healthy cookware.
This is news to no one except me—motherhood requires planning, especially if you want to eat something besides pasta every night. After trying many techniques to trick myself into meal planning, I’ve found something that works. At least for me.
Kev swears I’ve told you all this before. Maybe so. Mom’s love to share information, but because their brain never works quite as well post-baby, they share the same information over and over again. Like, have I told you about that nonstick, ceramic pan that actually works? GreenPan? Right, I guess I did. It’s absolutely worth mentioning again.
I know I haven’t told you my secrets to meal planning yet. I’m writing a book, which will unpack this topic in great practical detail. But the long of the short of it—meal planning is a lot like working out. You just have to do it. And the second secret/truth—out of sight, out of mind. I was doing a decent job meal planning, writing things down in a binder, tucked away in a drawer that I didn’t see throughout the week. Yet we were still eating pasta every other night.
I took drastic measures and bought a 90 lb vintage slate chalkboard for the dining room earlier this year. See here. On Monday’s, I write out the weekly menu on the chalkboard so I can see it multiple times throughout the week (whether I want to or not). It seems as if there’s some sort of magic at play because it’s working. I also have a huge bank of recipes that I’m cooking from (my book). That’s the unfair part. I can’t give you those quite yet. In the meantime, keep a bank of beloved recipes stored for easy reference when planning.
The two largest pieces of meal planning magic are this—force yourself to do it even if you feel like you’re losing all spontaneity. Second, make sure you’re accosted by the plan. It has to be visible (if you’re like me). Maybe it’s on the inside of a kitchen cabinet or pantry door that you open every day. It doesn’t have to be a 90 lb chalkboard.
I think when you find success at meal planning, you might spontaneously celebrate with a single serve margarita. And then you might find yourself making these BBQ Cauliflower Lentil Tacos that come together in under 15 minutes.
You can find this recipe at GreenPan in celebration of their 10 year anniversary along with tons of other healthy, festive recipes from some of my favorite bloggers. In honor of this celebration, use the code FAUXMARTHA20 at checkout to receive 20% off the 12-piece Lima Set (offer valid from 5/25/17 to 6/1/17).
- 1 c. yellow lentils
- 2 c. water
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
- 1/4 tsp. cumin