It’s been a strange adjustment period over the last few weeks where meal planning is concerned. Now that I’m living alone and don’t have a second person to feed (not to mention a second person who had a big and manly appetite), I find I need to shrink my meal plan substantially to prevent wasting food. Three meals at most is really all I need to plan for, especially since nearly all the recipes I love are made to feed 4+ people (and last time I checked, I generally have the appetite of 3/4 of a person).
This has proven challenging: I love food, I love to cook, I love trying new recipes, and I love making all my favourite dishes in regular rotation… so cutting back and paring down my menu on a weekly basis has been hard! It’s also a little sad to be making meals for one. I’m no Julia Child, but I do think that everything I make tastes really good so it’s always a bit of a bummer to take that first delicious bite and not have anyone sitting next to me to confirm that I have in fact made a delightful meal. Last weekend I had friends over for dinner and it was the highlight of my entire month. (And not just because they all told me that the food was excellent, it was also really nice to have human company in my empty house!) Sigh. Divorce problems.
On the plus side, at least I am enjoying food again. The first few weeks after the break-up were obviously really rough and I struggled with having no appetite and zero pleasure eating, even when I knew the food was delicious. Thankfully I am (sort of) back to normal and my desire to eat ALL the food and try ALL the recipes is back with a vengeance. So enough of my divorce talk – let’s get to the good stuff!
Weekend Food Party: I stumbled on this recipe for Peanut Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach in a BuzzFeed article earlier this week and knew immediately that I was going to make it this weekend. (Gotta say, one of the positive things about this divorce is the fact that I can now make whatever I want, and I’m sure that this vegetarian meal would have been on my ex’s veto list.) This was last night’s dinner, and I must say: YUM. It was warm and hearty and flavourful and I’m excited to have it again later this week. I omitted the clove because I don’t have any in the house but put in extra ginger to compensate, and man was it good. And of course, I doubled the recipe, putting half in the freezer to eat in a few weeks. (Hopefully it defrosts well… guess we’ll see!)
There was a surplus of cheese in my fridge (leftovers from my mini dinner party last weekend when I made Stuffed Shells and Bolognese) so I decided to make a double batch of my homemade Mac n’ Cheese – one for the freezer and one for my stomach this week.
Monday: PF Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps. This recipe is sooooo good. I’m sure I have featured it a few times already this year and I can’t wait to make it again. The main reason it made it to the chalkboard this week is because it includes ginger on the ingredient list and I was already picking some up for the Peanut Stew, and I really hate seeing ginger go to waste in my fridge. Also it’s sooooo good. Did I say that already?
Tuesday: Movie Night! I’m going out with friends to see a movie! I have a social life!
Wednesday: Fajita Chicken Bake. This is so easy to make. It’s literally roasted chicken breasts with peppers, onions, seasoning, and cheese. A little rice on the side… Easy with a capital E.
Thursday and Friday: Leftovers Au Max. Peanut Sweet Potato Spinach Stew. (Sweet, sweet stew.) Mac n’ Cheese. (Cheesy, carblicious goodness.) Fajita Chicken. (Spicy, cheesy yum.) PF Chang’s Chicken. (So PF. Much Chang.) If I somehow miraculously consume all of these things before then, well, I’ll improvise. Or more likely I will somehow end up not making one of the above before next weekend. It’s all very strange, this single life.