I just did a run-down of last year’s New Year’s Resolutions and — shocker — I barely batted 200. Still don’t drink enough water, still eat too many “incidental” French Fries off the girls’ plates, haven’t gotten any better at forcing myself to call friends instead of text them, never read The Hobbit, which was going to earn me big fun Mom points with Phoebe, which at the time was her favorite book. (I did, however, manage to see the movie — part 2 — last week, so I might just have to put that in the W column.)
It seems that the only thing I manage to accomplish every year, without even resolving to do it, is finding new healthy, one-size-fits-all recipes for the dinner rotation. In 2013, there was the ever-popular Burrito Bowl. There was the Indonesian Chicken Salad. (Which has the added bonus of being just luxurious enough for entertaining.) There was that Mongolian Tofu Stir-fry that falls into the category of Kids Won’t Touch, But I Don’t Care, It’s Just Too Good to Banish.
So the question is: Where should my 2014 Healthy Family Dinner experimenting begin? I’ve been eyeballing that Slow-Roasted Salmon with Citrus, Fennel, and Chiles in the current issue of Bon App, and I’ve been flipping (and flipping) through my go-to Feel Virtuous cookbooks shown above, but I want you guys to weigh in. I mean, it’s January after all and I know I’m not the only one attempting to lighten things up for a little while. So what’s on the menu for your family this month? What’s your favorite go-to easy family dinner that you know will be loved in the DALS house (and in the DALS community)? What’s America’s Next Top Family Dinner? Please swap thoughts in the comment field below and then…let’s all get cooking.
And since it’s not fair to just ask for your help without returning the favor, I thought I’d just share this week’s menu plan with you. I haven’t been in the habit of writing out the week in my Dinner Diary for a while, but for some reason, I’m anticipating post-vacation re-entry to be harder than usual this year (thanks to single-digit temps up here in the Northeast) and simply making a dinner road map for the week already makes me feel a little more in control. Which, of course, is all one big farce.
Anyway, the line-up:
Monday: Andy I and have plans in the city, so we won’t be home for dinner. I have leftover turkey bolognese (page 98 Dinner: A Love Story) in the freezer, so the sitter will thaw that for the girls. (Abby will have it over pasta; Phoebe, pasta-hater still, will have it sloppy-joe style on a bun.) I’ll toss some bagged arugula with feta and a homemade vinaigrette before I leave. That will be their veg.
Tuesday: On our Sunday Shop, we bought a head of cabbage and all the ingredients for a Post-Vacation Guilt Eraser, aka Asian Cabbage Salad with Shrimp or Chicken. (We’ll use shrimp, Trader Joe’s wild frozen shrimp if we don’t have time to pick up fresh.) I’ll try to make the vinaigrette before I take off for the day. (Reminder to NY-area readers: I’m speaking at Asphalt Green at noon on Tuesday!)
Wednesday: We also bought one of Maya Kaimal’s simmer sauces, so I’ll do that with chicken and rice. What I’d really like to do is make it with tofu, but the girls disdain towards bean curd in any form remains as steadfast as it was in 2013.
Thursday: I’ve been craving Anna’s Sausage-Kale-Bean Stew. We might be out of kale by then (there was only one bunch left at the market), but I have some frozen spinach I can use, too. Will try to pick up some kind of crusty bread for the crucial sopping.
Friday Not sure yet. Usually we go out, but since we are out on Monday — and trying to bunker down a bit after all the holiday cavorting — we’ll probably stay in. We have leftover short ribs from entertaining this past weekend, but I’ll probably want that as a fall-back plan next week. In other words, I’ll leave this night in the play-it-by-ear category.
Happy New Year Everyone!
Photo credits: Salmon top right, Ditte Isager; Short Ribs bottom right, Christopher Testani.