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Monday, May 26, 2008

Rant: Food rut

(Desperate plea for help at the bottom. Please don't miss it!)

I have been in such a food rut lately. I can't find anything that I'm in the mood for that doesn't irritate anyone in my family and/or that does not require my undivided attention in preparation.
  • Sammy can't have: dairy, soy, peanut (or anything processed in a facility with peanuts), egg, peas, theoretically fish (although he tested allergic, we've not found one he'll actually react to, so allergist said keep giving it to him and just keep an eye on him). Won't touch hot cereal with a 10-ft pole.
  • I can't (or shouldn't) have: dairy, soy, egg, beans, yeast, possibly wheat, mushrooms, broccoli, chicken, pork, potatoes, anything white/refined/processed, too many carbs vs. proteins, anything that aggrivates reflux
  • My husband won't eat: salad, stir-fry (which the rest of us ADORE), anything that isn't drowned in cheese, anything with bell peppers, anything brown/unrefined/unprocessed, hot cereal except grits (very white/refined)
  • Katie: I haven't quite figured her out yet. It used to be there wasn't a meat she'd turn down. Now she doesn't eat very much meat. And she actually voluntarily ate a bite of bread for the first time ever yesterday. Don't let this one know if you have hot cereal for breakfast (or make extra for her) because she will eat at least half of it!
  • My brother: doesn't like beef. Prefers chicken. Doesn't even bother to eat with us anyway so I don't know why I'm bothering to list his preferences.

What I need to do is come up with a weekly menu and then if I feel that's too repetitive, have some alternatives. And to find some way to get us to eat more veggies, because nobody gets enough of those around here.

Okay, weekly rotation ideas. Here goes...

Breakfasts: Oat-Bran Muffins, pancakes, Oat Bran (hot cereal), Oatmeal (hot cereal), Quinoa (hot cereal), Bacon or breakfast sausage or ham (need a meat/protein every day)
Lunches: Salad, Sandwich, Pasta, Leftovers
Dinners: Hamburgers, Taco Bar, Spaghetti, soup when it's wintertime (which it isn't), pizza (spelt flour, baking powder instead of yeast, no cheese. Very carby so shouldn't have it often!)

That's it. That's all I can come up with. And half of those are not acceptable to everyone in question. See what I mean about a rut? I can't even come up with a week's worth. No wonder I despise meal planning/prep so much! I need some ideas. Please, please, please share any you might have!!! While you're at it, please share your 3 favorite veggies so I can have some veggie ideas, too.


Mamaebeth said...

butternut squash is delicious. i have a very tasty rachel ray reciepe for mac and cheese that has butternut squash in it. you could make it without the cheese for your non-dairy people and have shreaded cheese on the side for your cheese people. since the squash is yellow-orange it satisfies the color requirements too. if pasta is a problem you can make it with spaghetti squash.

i have heard of people using spaghetti squash as a pizza crust. cook it then press it into a big patti and top like normal.

i just found out that fresh raw corn is delicious and way better than cooked.

leeks are also really tasty. rachel ray has several reciepes with leeks. there was one, creamy leaks and bacon that you serve with salmon that is so good. there is bacon in it, how could it be bad.

zucchinni squash is a good bland veggie.

you definitely have a tough job there though. food allergies are difficult. aren't there receipe books for restricted diets?

Mamaebeth said...

later... i was thinking that Holly Pierlot had covered this but i couldn't find it.

i think you might have to get a little mercenary here and prepare meals for the people with food allergies and everyone else can eat it or fix their own. i know the ideal is to have meals everyone will at least eat, but that may not be possible every night of the week. keep sandwhich stuff on hand for whomever doesn't want what you prepared.

Beorn said...

Yeesh. I can't think of a thing in my usual repertoire that would match up with all of the needs and preferences you listed. It's probably not practical for you, but I think that the preferences would have to die a slow death so that I could accommodate the needs while managing to stay sane.

I'm all about vegetarian stuff, especially Indian-based recipes, when I'm at home because they're (generally) easy, fairly inexpensive, and almost always really good for you. Of course, it helps that I love vegetables so much that it's tough to pick favorites. In terms of consumption, my top three are probably baby Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, cauliflower, and whatever squash is in season. I also eat a ton of garbanzo beans prepared in various ways, if you count that as a vegetable.

I can send you my recipe for black bean spaghetti (lots of vegetables and beans, and definitely gets an enthusiastic response from folks when I make it for them) and my recipes for red curry hummous and sun-dried tomato hummous if you like. Not very helpful I know, but out of the stuff I make, those fit your criteria better than anything else. IF you want 'em, shoot me an E-mail and let me know!

Marie said...

What about turkey? We eat turkey sausages, turkey meatballs, turkey breast, etc.

I do sometimes just make different foods for different people. Like I'll make fish for dh, hamburger for me, and K & F will get almond butter sandwiches or pasta w/tuna or something.

For veggies, I love dark green things these days: broccoli, spinach, green beans, peas, lettuces. Raw veggie trays make munching handy.

Artichoke pasta is supposed to be good for Os but I've never actually found any.

When you say you shouldn't eat beans, do you mean green beans or are you excluding all legumes? Adzuki beans & rice are nice, and there are a billion different kinds that can't all be irritating!

Beorn said...

Sorry, I missed the beans the first time around. Good luck!

Stac Cole said...

How about stir fry with a can of nacho cheese on the side so husband can heat up some cheese and mask the taste of the stir fry?

Other than that...meatloaf.

Jennifer said...

I second turkey - love turkey! You can roast it in your crock pot and it's delicious and so easy. I even put a completely frozen turkey breast in the crock pot and 6-8 hours later it is juicy and yummy. I usually put butter & lemon pepper and that's it.

I also make pepper steak a lot, either traditional or in the crock pot. If your dh doesn't like peppers, either serve his before adding the peppers in the last 5 minutes or just don't put them on his plate; I don't actually eat the peppers, just like the flavor.

I also make Steak Diane with the real thin steak, it has onions, soy sauce (but I think you could use something else for flavor...), lemon, butter & parsley. Very tasty & easy, I will send you the recipe if you'd like. Megan is not a big meat eater, so I usually try for a couple of bites & then give up.

As far as veggies... I'm not much help. My girls will eat any veggie as long as they can have ranch dressing. We steam most of our veggies or do salads. My husband really likes butternut squash with a little olive oil & garlic salt grilled straight on the grill.

You have quite a challenge, lady! Good luck adding some meals to your rotation.