One of my goals for the new year (really, any time of the year) is to meal plan and budget better. I don’t know why I am not awesome at this. It should be genetically imprinted on you when you become a parent.
This past week I made old stand-bys like the VegNews Mac and Cheeze (great for using up spare farmer’s market potatoes and carrots) and Tofu-Ricotta Stuffed Shells. I also tried a new recipe from the most recent issue of Real Simple, which features a bunch of slow cooker meals, Sauerkraut, Potatoes, and [Tofurky] Sausage. We also ate frozen pizza and got take-out. Baby steps, I suppose.
To keep myself motivated and interested I’m opting to forgo my, perhaps shamefully massive, library of vegan cookbooks and shop Pinterest for meal ideas. So, in no particular order because I find having a list to pick from instead of assigning them to specific days is more realistic for my needs, here are some meals I am hoping to make this week:
I am also going to try my hand at some slow cooker seitan. It won’t be my first run, but I don’t feel like I have really mastered it yet. And, for the pickiest eater I’ll probably make a big batch of nuggets, and supplement with raw veg (I am glad he at least likes undressed vegetables) and a metric ton of sunbutter sandwiches.
… to the bleakness of this day.
Rain in January is an abomination and only serves to worsen my mood of late. I have been guilty of giving in to the time suck that is the internet and getting further behind in everything real in life. My head is so fuzzy with to-dos and oh-ahs my mind is ready to just turn off. I think I am going to have to ground myself from the internet. Ya know, read a few extra books to these guys…
Before I dimly stumble away from my computer (so cold, alone, and confused without you), how about a little over-share for the road. We have been eating quite a bit of fermented food recently (black pepper tempeh; kimchi; potatoes, sausage, and kraut; fermented pickles), and my belly has been a bubblin’. It has been a very tasty, very stinky week.
A vendor at our local farmer’s market sells vegan kimchi and fermented pickles. They are so delicious. I bought some (totes out of season) cukes so I could make a batch of fridge pickles because mama cannot afford farmer’s market pickles on the regs. Would you believe I hated pickles up to a few years ago. If my picky-eating, ten-year-old self could see me now… Oh, she would NOT approve.
I basically woke up muttering profanities at the World, and I refused to put on real pants until almost noon. Usually, I forgo the morning coffee routine since I am still breastfeeding , but this morning I drank 3 cups in a row (atypical for me even when I drank caffeine freely). I needed every drop.
First, can I just say how much I love that in the past few years people seem to have collectively embraced “goals not resolutions” for the New Year. I love making lists and trying to build myself into a better person, but resolutions are just so darn resolute. I like the wiggle room implied with goals. Room for amendments. Room for my humanity and imperfections. I like it.
I have thought about what goals I would like to reach for in the next year, The Dozen. So, I am looking ahead at where I want to be, and I realize that in 6 months time our lives are turning upside down. After almost a decade of service, Mr. Darling will be leaving the military and looking for civilian employment. I cannot convey the excitement. Knowing there is less than a year, knowing this was the last Christmas we live too far from our families to visit for the holiday, the joy is without words.
I cannot even envision where I want to be because for the first time in years the door is so very wide open.