What’s for Dinner is a series dedicated to what real-life families eat. Each week, a parent shares his or her menus for the week and talks about the food philosophy behind it.
This week, we hear from Allison, a fabulous woman that I’ve known since high school. She and her husband, along with their toddler, are currently living in Virginia while they wait for renovations on their new home in North Carolina to be completed. She’s expecting Baby #2 this summer, so a special thanks to her for participating during this period of transition!
Allison’s Family Food Philosophy: We like to balance our menu based on food-as-fuel, cost effectiveness, and mealtimes as family time. Our two-year-old daughter has never been a big eater. She is not picky but quantity has always been a struggle for her so I try to make food that, eaten in small quantities, still packs a lot of nutrition and calories. Generally I start the week with a sauce or protein that can be used again in a different way. Since I’m a stay-at-home-mom and my husband works from a home office, we usually have three meals a day together. We like our food to be fun and enjoyable since it doubles as family time for us. My husband and I enjoy eating “kid food” while also exposing our daughter to a variety of foods, flavors, and textures.
What inspired this week’s menu? My daughter was having a “hungry week” where she was actually eating a fair amount of food three times a day. Because of this, I decided to make some of her favorites to keep the momentum going. My Italian step-mother-in-law taught me to make a simple, delicious marinara sauce that can be used in variety of dishes. I started blending in extra veggies for a little more nutrition and to use up vegetables that are about to go bad. We also try to have fish at least once a week and I always try to make food that works as leftovers for lunches.
So what’s on the menu?
Monday: Homemade marinara sauce with extra veggies (onions, mushrooms, and green pepper) and penne pasta, green salad
Tuesday: Dinner with the in-laws (this week was a restaurant)
Wednesday: Turkey meatloaf (substitute homemade marinara sauce for ketchup, oatmeal for breadcrumbs, olive oil for butter), roasted brussel sprouts, baguette
Thursday: Baked salmon, baked sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli
Friday: Pizza rolls (using last of homemade marinara sauce)
Saturday: Chicken and veggie fajitas, black beans
Sunday: Grocery store rotisserie chicken, corn on the cob, green salad