Prep Cooking for Two

That is a picture of Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole.  It is one of my favourite Trim Healthy Mama recipes.  Last year I stumbled across this plan, and thought I’d give it a whirl.  I can say it works, as long as you work at it.  I have been bouncing between fifteen and twenty pounds lost in the last year.  From playing with it.  I am never 100% on plan.  But I have made some changes, and feel better when I try hard.  So this is one of the reasons I am working harder at it this year.

I need to plan ahead for grocery shopping and cooking meals to stay on track.  I have started prep cooking on weekends.  Prep cooking for two doesn’t have to be complicated, unless the other person doesn’t want to eat what you have made.  At first, I was disappointed with my husband for not wanting to do this with me.  I had to take a step back, and think about how to progress with it,  and keep us both happy.

There was a point when I realized that I was merely existing and not really living my life to its fullest potential.  I came to that conclusion for myself, about myself.  Not for him.  So he will have to deal with his choices, like I am dealing with mine.  I am choosing to try harder.  Which means sometimes I cook his and hers lasagna.  Other times we make spaghetti sauce and he makes pasta, while I have spaghetti squash with mine.  Sometimes we eat the same thing.  Sometimes I eat things that are not on plan, with him.  Other times I make what I want and he has to feed himself.  We manage.

Adapting the grocery list and budget for this was challenging.  We use coupons when we have them.  We circle what we want in the flyers before making our grocery list.  And when I am on top of things, I pick a couple of recipes and add missing ingredients to my grocery list.  That is work too.  Not hard work, but it is time consuming.  So it helps to have a time set aside for this.  We like to go get the groceries together.  One reason is that we are on a budget, and if I go alone, a sale could cause me to “forget” the budget.  He keeps me within the guidelines of the budget.  Also, it is good to have help getting it all in the house and put away.

Storage is another issue we have.  Living in a mini home, we have to maximize the space we have.  That is an ongoing struggle.  It is part of the reason I am involved with the cleaning and organizational challenges.  There would be more prep cooking done if I had the space and money for more storage containers.  Also time.  I would love to cook all weekend, but then, there is the cleanup.  So that slows me down sometimes.

I have learned that one or two casseroles a week gives me enough food for lunches all week, and for some suppers.  Which is reasonable.  Until he doesn’t want anything I made.  Which on the wrong day makes me angry.  But I am learning to let that go, it’s not me he doesn’t want, it’s the food I made.  Which by the way, is really tasty, the recipes rock!  He just misses potatoes and veggies and meat.  Together.  I do eat sweet potatoes more than white potatoes, now.  Sometimes we bake some of each.  He turns his nose up at spinach.  That’s why I make his and hers lasagna.  He eats traditional, and I eat Lazy Lasagna, which does have spinach and no noodles.  I have been teaching him to cook some things, so if he decides he wants something different, he has choices.

Ideally, there would be a way to cook enough for a whole month at a time, have containers to keep it in the freezer, and have him join me on this journey.  Reality is that he doesn’t like spinach.  So, in this like other aspects of our marriage, we choose to compromise.  Sometimes that is the only answer, until he realizes I am right.  Which he will, eventually, I have no doubt.  Seeing is believing, and we will be seeing results this year.  I plan on working hard at all of my goals for 2017.

 

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