The never-ending meal quest ~ the 11,104th dinner that needed to be made – give or take a few

I have a confession to make ~ maybe I really haven’t been on top of things.  That number of 11,104 dinners since I married is quite a bit too high if you factor in vacations, days when I just cannot make another meal, days when I was out running with my teens and we pulled through somewhere since we weren’t home at dinner time.  But EVERY SINGLE DAY another day gets added and even if it is half, optimistically, that’s still 5,552 meals that have needed to be on the table EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.  It’s weird, but my tummy likes to be full and if it’s going to be that way, I need to HAVE A PLAN.  And whether it’s from fatigue (Not ANOTHER meal that needs to be made!), other projects that are way more interesting, or planning too much going on in my life, I have consistently found that I have to have a plan if we are going to eat.  It’s just that simple.

I am really not quite sure why, during this Epic Journey called life, it was designed that we have to eat so many times during the day.  It seems to me that filling up once a week, like in my car, would have made a whole lot more design sense.  So there must be something to stopping, sitting and eating that has a whole lot more meaning than just a fill-up.  I am still processing this one but I’ll let you know if I answer that question in a profound way.  Also planning to put that one on my list of “whys” to be asked at the end of this journey when I am standing in front of the big G.

So I noticed things were not working really well on this end – eating out budget being blown out on a regular basis; I had been skipping meals, which is a real no-go for my metabolism; 11 year old boy child was definitely not being fed good food consistently (Wow – Aldi’s has gluten-free pizza – my latest discovery!) so I knew it was time to HAVE A PLAN.

So this was the plan:  cook one 12 lb. turkey in my freezer from the holidays (Butterball All Natural – less garbage injected into it than the typical store-bought version).  This is what I did with it:

1.  Ate dinner first night off said turkey.

Lots of meat off a 10 - 12 lb. turkey
Lots of meat off a 10 – 12 lb. turkey. This is what was left after eating various meals.

 

2.  Ate two lunches off said turkey.

3.  Pulled the turkey off said turkey carcass and made a rice and turkey casserole for dinner tonight, which I found at this website:  http://www.hellawella.com/18-comforting-casseroles-use-your-leftover-turkey

This was probably the best Turkey & Rice casserole I had ever had!
This was probably the best Turkey & Rice casserole I had ever had!

4.  Ready what turkey was left after making above casserole to make turkey enchiladas from the same site as soon as we eat through the casserole or freeze what’s left when we grow tired of it.

5.  Throw in the bones, skin and a little meat with some veggies to make more turkey stock as I am almost out.  Rebooted the turkey stock with more water over the same old meat, bones and veggies so I got double the stock.

Turkey bones into stock. I pressed down the carcass after it cooked a bit and softened. Then cook for 12 + hours to make healthy, rich stock.
Turkey bones into stock. I pressed down the carcass after it cooked a bit and softened. Then cook for 12 + hours to make healthy, rich stock.
After cooling the stock, I put it into zip lock bags in the winter as my outside fridge freezes everything in cold weather.
After cooling the stock, I put it into zip lock bags in the winter as my outside fridge freezes everything in cold weather.

6.  Made Turkey Fried Rice (no recipe to click to, just google Fried Rice and throw in turkey basically) and this, 9 days after cooking said turkey.

I am thinking I need a couple of go-to ideas like this that involve a large piece of meat that can be used in multiple ways.  Even if I only prepared them twice a month, (one hunk on one weekend ~ eat through the week) and another hunk of meat on the third weekend (eat all week), then I could continue to creatively pull together on the other nights, as needed.  I know it’s not a perfect plan, but at least I will stopgap the eating out and deal with the other two issues in front of me (my metabolism & better meals for the 11 year old man-child).

This is the only problem with large batch cooking! Large batch dishwashing
This is the only problem with large batch cooking! Large batch dishwashing

So that’s the plan, loosely, at this point.  What do you do to solve the planning, eating, creating meals dilemma in your house?

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2 thoughts on “The never-ending meal quest ~ the 11,104th dinner that needed to be made – give or take a few

  1. So, fine minds think a like. I bought an Instant Pot. It’s a dreamy pressure cooker that does it all in one pot. I made a large pork roast with lots of broth 3 days ago. It cooked in 60 minutes, saving me mucho money in watts. Then for each meal I take out my 2-4 ounce serving of meat, put some of the stock in a pan and add vegetables. Delicious! I have enjoyed a variety of stews and soups from my one roast.

    I just used the sauté function to brown up a chuck roast, celery, fresh thyme, and a leek in my pot. Then on goes the lid, and in one hour I will have tender chuck roast with delicious juices. I will eat beef stews and soups for the next several days, always having different fresh veggies added to it.

    I also love it for making bone broth, which is incredibly healing with all that wonderful collagen and nutrition from the marrow. I add that to my soup and stews too! Used to have the stove on for 48 hours to make bone broth. 3 hours and It’s done! Love my INSTANT POT!

    Like

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