What’s for Dinner? Week of July 6, 2015

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.  Want to read more? Check out our WFD archives.

This week we hear from Jen, who lives just outside of Philadelphia with her husband, Christian, and one-year-old daughter.  She’s Chinese-American and her husband is from Germany, so their daughter (lucky her!) gets to benefit from both cuisines. Jenn shared TWO menus:  one for a week when she was traveling for work, and one when both she and her husband were in town.  Thanks, Jen!

Jen’s Family Food Philosophy: It wasn’t until I became pregnant that I realized my former food philosophy of “I live to eat” turned into “if I continue eating like this, I won’t live long”.  We love food, especially the indulgent kind.  But now that we have our toddler, the focus is now on healthy, balanced meals.  We’re too busy to be perfect, but we have some guidelines, such as prioritizing vegetables, choosing organic for the “dirty dozen”, and trying to make home-cooked meals for dinner as much as possible.

What inspired this week’s menu? Since we both travel for work, getting dinner on the table can often be a challenge.  We’re still working on planning ahead, but subscribing to our local organic CSA farm share has helped provide inspiration (and a good source of veggies!).  Each week can vary widely, but the goal is quick, healthy meals or large batches that can be refrigerated/frozen for reheating on a busy night.  For our daughter, we will periodically make large batches of healthy food to freeze, so if we have to order takeout for us, she still gets some good home cooking.

So what’s for dinner?

Last week (travel for me on tuesday and wednesday)…
Monday: grilled shrimp, grilled peppers, vinegar potato salad
Tuesday: some leftovers, sandwiches and soup from local deli
Wednesday: airport food for me, frozen leftovers for the family
Thursday: pasta with asparagus, green garlic, and tarragon with a chunk of boursin to make a sauce (green garlic from CSA)
Friday: tomato/mozzarella/basil salad, grilled peppers, burgers with cheddar on the grill (ground beef from CSA)
Saturday: short ribs braised in homemade tomato sauce with veggies, mashed potatoes
Sunday: hot sauce baked chicken from a friend’s family recipe, leftover grilled veggies
The next week (no travel – woohoo!)…
Monday: fish tacos,  cucumber salad with vinaigrette
Tuesday: stir-fried beef with scallions and green garlic, stir-fried turnips, rice (scallions, green garlic, and turnips from CSA)
Wednesday: split pea soup with some sort of meat (not sure as Christian’s in charge of this one!)
Thursday: leftovers
Friday: TBD – we usually leave friday open to see what we’ll be in the mood for!
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