What’s for Dinner?: Week of November 15, 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 Hannah, a New Zealander living in France with her husband, three-year-old and infant.

What’s Hannah’s Family Food Philosophy?

Homemade, but easy! I’m a housewife with 2 kids under 4 and a Frenchie for a husband. Before moving to France I never cooked and quite frankly hated cooking. I was use to having good quality, healthy, ready-made food readily available but when I first moved to France I was forced to learn how to make everything from scratch – at the time I couldn’t even find ready made salad dressings or pasta sauces that weren’t disgusting. In general, French love quality, simple food and I have learnt to appreciate their way of eating. My second “food shock”, which I have now come to appreciate, is that traditionally their main meal is lunch. My husband comes home late most nights, however, is home at lunchtime so our main family sit-down meal of the day is lunch. Unless I’m short of time, we are not big refined carb eaters as both my husband and I put on weight easily if we eat too many. In general, I try to make meals that my 3 year old eats so that I’m not cooking more than I have to. For dessert we always have yogurt and fruit available.

My current go-to salad dressing is a good quality white balsamic vinegar with a lemon and ginger infused olive oil from A l’Olivier.​ When I find the vinegar doesn’t seem quite right for the dish I use lemon juice instead of the vinegar and sometimes add a bit of wholegrain French mustard in this case.

Lastly – 90% of all my groceries are organic.

What inspired this week’s menu?  Lack of time!

So what’s for dinner?

Lunch – Quinoa, Cherry Tomato and smoked wild salmon salad (white vinegar/ olive oil dressing). This is a favourite with my husband and daughter and super quick and easy!
Dinner – wholegrain pasta, cherry tomatoes, red onion, capers and canned sardine salad (with a lemon juice/olive oil dressing).
Due to time constraints, both meals had to be made a few hours ahead.

Lunch – leftovers from Monday
Dinner – roast vegetable salad with smoked duck. (I roasted, kumera [sweet potato], beetroot, fennel bulb, pasnip, carrot, baby red onions, and garlic. Baked 45 mins with olive oil, S+P, and nutmeg then drizzled balsamic vinegar before serving)

Lunch – skinless boneless chicken thigh roasted with chickpeas and baby tomatoes (plus S+P, lemon juice and olive oil). Takes 2 mins to chuck in a dish and 30mins max to cook!
Dinner – I ordered sushi

Lunch – whole grain rice and baked organic salmon with steamed broccoli.
Dinner – colesaw (without mayo – I use the whole grain mustard dressing above) and calamari.

Lunch – pasta with lardon, cream and wholegrain mustard as a sauce. Not very healthy but super yummy and quick to make.
Dinner – Hadley’s chickpea and celery salad, humous, dips, raw veggies, dates, grapes, breads etc. On Friday night we always sit on the floor round the coffee table, light candles and eat what I call a picnic dinner. It’s our favourite meal of the week and everyone choses something they like.

Lunch at the in-laws.
Dinner – depends on how much we ate at lunch!

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