Lately I'm uncooking. This weekend I tried to prepare all of the vegetables in the house because they are the last things to be eaten and then
1. Spaghetti squash. Never eaten it before but it's all over paleo recipes. Because my knives are never that sharp and prepping squash is treacherous, I roasted the squash whole at 400 degrees for one hour. After cooling a bit, I cut it in half, scraped out the seeds, and raked out the flesh, which is very noodle-like. Stirred in a spoonful of pesto from the fridge -- a revelation! So tasty. The squash retained its crunch after a day in the fridge and reheating. How much are spaghetti squash? I'm going to be eating a lot of them.
2. Butternut squash. I bought a clamshell of cubed butternut squash at Costco without a plan for it - typically a huge $3.99 mistake as it will linger in the fridge/freezer until I forget about it (somehow this doesn't happen with the Costco milk chocolate almonds). I had two red onions on the counter so I googled butternut squash + red onion and followed this but with a much longer oven time because I had much more squash. Somewhere in my googling I came across 'add goat cheese' - always a good idea and I usually have it on hand. After the veggies had cooled a tad I crumbled goat cheese over them and it got all melty and oniony and sweet and savory. Delicious. Would also be great mixed with salad greens or with toasted walnuts for some crunch.
3. Sweet potatoes. Were also lingering on the counter... google google... maple mashed sweet potatoes! No peeling! [This is how I read a potato recipe: 6 lbs potatoes, peel--NO. Do not proceed with reading]. I am lukewarm about sweet potatoes but speaking of Lukes we agreed this was the best sweet potato dish we've had. Now that I've made it once I might slowly back off of the butter and cream a bit. Or not. I used a potato ricer for smooth consistency. Bordered on cooking but the skipped step of peeling made up for that.
All of these required very little to no measuring, no difficult or time consuming prep, and capitalized on seasonal produce. I broiled pork tenderloins and microwaved a bag of brussels sprouts and using the veggies above prepared several individual meals for the week. Hands-on time was less than 30 minutes. Pre-made meals are becoming paramount because when I arrive home with the girls around 5 or 5:30, it's a sprint to get C some dinner, a bath, and to bed by 7. Preparing healthy meals on Sunday - and sitting to eat them, rather than hovering in the kitchen - will hopefully decrease the frantic what's for dinner?! rush and prevent getting takeout or resorting to spoonfuls of peanut butter or bars of EEZ for Clementine (the child loves cheese). So far she has refused the pesto spaghetti squash but I think bolognese spaghetti squash will be approved.
Other uncooking plans: pineapple kebabs and bacon-wrapped butternut squash bites.