So after my last post..or a past post rather, I am not sure where we are now...Answering some questions about how we are managing our No (food) Waste Plan.
I'll share below what we are doing and it's honestly not a lot just being more aware and intentional. A few things that pushed me to this decision, firstly our demands as a society have dramatically increased. Hoarding aside, we are ALL consuming a significant amount more than our norm and our supply chain was not prepared to service this immediate influx of purchasing. Secondly, being more aware of waste. Like most people, a lot of stuff ends up in the garbage at our house. Even stuff we purchased and never even touched. RIP broccoli, lettuce, cucumbers...the usual suspects. Lastly, we are trying to purchase less more frequently and meal plan accordingly.
As I mentioned, we are not doing extravagant meals and I really cringe every time I see someone making meals with 5, 6, 7+ menu items. Not judging, but we just need to be more aware right now.
So back to our strategy, we shoot for 2 maybe 3 items. Supplementing with vitamins and some random veggie and protein powders I found in the pantry. It's a good time to get through those things "you had to have" that have been collecting dust in your pantry. I know I have several. And if a refrigerator could collect dust..well, there might be a few dusty things in there as well!
I am not really "meal planning" in the true form, but rather thinking about two meals I can make with whatever I am cooking. Note, this is mainly in reference to dinner. We are eating breakfast and lunch at home as well but those are easy meals. Cereal and half bagel, breakfast tacos, eggs & fruit are some of our typical breakfasts. Sandwich or salad and fruit or chips typically for lunch.
Back to dinner, which seems to always be the most difficult meal of the day. Not sure why, but it is for me at least. The second thing I have done, first being to limit the number of items I prepare, is minimize our portions. I don't love leftovers. So either I try to plan to cook only what I think we will actually consume or plan for the next meal with the leftovers. For me, the leftovers need to transform into something that looks completely different to be appetizing.
So for example, we cooked a roast one night. Actually, it was a mystery meat. The packaging with the label came off in transport and I was not sure what it was until it thawed. It was actually a brisket but I tossed it in the crockpot anyway and prayed for the best. I made our favorite 5 minute Kroger potatoes and that was our meal. It was simple, easy, and delicious.
The next night it was supposed to be a bit colder in Dallas. So I chopped up the rest of the meat, threw in the leftover potatoes, added some carrots and we had stew the next night. Again, I'm not planning a week at a time, rather just thinking "if I have leftovers what can I do with this". Checking the stock and status in my pantry, of my fresh items, veggies, breads, etc and planning meals accordingly. Focusing on what needs to be cooked before it goes to waste.
It seems to be working fairly well for us but again, we are only two people. It's much easier for me to plan for the two of us than it will be for someone planning for a large family with some picky eaters.
My last bit of advice, take it easy on yourself. We don't all have to be Barefoot Contessa right now. Make your meals and if one night is pj's and pancakes night, so what. Your kids will probably love that night the most. You might not be getting all of your suggested daily fruits and veggies, most people aren't. That's ok right now too. We are all doing the best we can under the circumstances.
Remember, We are one day closer, friends. We are one day closer to this all being over!
6' Cyber Hugs from Me to you!