Monday, April 26, 2010

Weekly Menu - Week 8

"Qui dort dine”, we like to say in France to express the idea that if you skip dinner/lunch, you’ll be fine as long as you get a good night of sleep/nap. While I remember my parents telling us this proverbe when we were sent to our bedroom before the end of dinner because we misbehaved, my maternal instinct always tries to make sure my children go to bed with a full stomach. I think that my biggest apprehension is not so much that they would not eat enough (children don’t starve themselves and you can always balance over the course of one week) … but that they would wake up too early the next day: hence depriving them from well needed sleep and depriving me from my necessary sleep par la même occasion (!). And, like my children, I get cranky without enough sleep! 
Staying at home with my children and feeding them most of their meals have made me aware of their ability to eat or not to eat a proper meal. There are three main reasons why children would not eat a proper meal: 1) Not being hungry enough (because of all these unhealthy snacks eaten too close to mealtime). 2) The Menu Attractiveness and 3) Tiredness
When my children are tired, they don’t eat properly… so I feel that I am always walking on a fence when comes meal time: if they are hungry and not too tired yet, I know they won’t argue too much no matter what I put on their plate. If they happen to be tired, then even if I give them things they like, we might be in for trouble. It’s the same for adults you will say except that with children a few seconds can tip off the balance. Badly. That’s why planning meals, or having emergency meals options available, is necessary. That’s why leftovers are great: a few seconds on the stove or in the microwave will spare you tantrums, meltdowns and all their snowball effects.
What do I do when I know that we won’t be home on time for them to have a proper meal or if the dish I had planned to cook is taking too long? I fall back on an emergency healthy options. One of my emergency lunches is avocado, a mashed banana mixed in with plain yogurt topped with nuts or granola. This is not sophisticated but at the stage my children reached when I am putting this in front of them, I could not care less. They have enough healthy calories to go and take their nap, allowing me to have a few quite minutes for myself! One of my emergency dinners would be: beet or cucumber salad, couscous with canned chickpeas and frozen peas/edamame, yogurt and fresh fruits. And if they are too grumpy to make it to yogurt, I send them to bed, telling them that “qui dort dine”. And if I don’t make it to the end of their meal, I take a deep breath, pour myself a glass of wine and have a few nuts...instead of going nuts! Bonne Cuisine! 

Weekly Menu - Week 8

Day Suggested Menu

Monday Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp and Lima Beans
Plain Yogurt with Chestnut Spread
Fresh Fruits

Tuesday Tomato Soup with Gougeres
Homemade Plain Yogurt with Honey
Fresh Fruits

Wednesday Quinoa Salad with Beets and Tofu
Homemade Plain Yogurt with brown sugar
Banana Bread

Thursday Chicken Stir Fry
Pommes Au Four

Friday Cucumber Salad with Yogurt Dressing
Spinach, Mushrooms and Ricotta Filo with green salad
Fresh Fruits

Game Plan:
Monday Evening:
  • Since I am publishing this Weekly Menu Late, Monday night dinner is easy and does not require much preparation.
  • If you have not made your batch of homemade yogurts on Sunday, make it tonight.
Tuesday Evening:
  • You have to make the Tomato Soup and the Gougeres.
  • Preheat your oven and start with the Tomato Soup. While it cooks on the stove you can make the Gougeres.
  • Since your oven is already hot, make the Banana Bread for Wednesday evening (the bread tastes better reheated)
  • You should also steam/roast the beets for Wednesday evening
Wednesday Evening:
  • If you have not made Banana Bread on Tuesday evening, you have to make it together with the Salad.
  • Start by roasting/steaming the beets
  • While they are steaming/roasting, cook the Quinoa
  • While the Quinoa is cooking, make the Banana Bread; it will cook in the oven while you finish preparing the salad.
Thursday Evening:
  • You have to make the chicken stir Fry and the Pommes au Four
  • Start by pealing the apples and putting them in the oven to cook.
  • While they are cooking, make the stir Fry
Friday Evening:
  • You have to make the Filo and the Cucumber salad
  • Start by making the Filo : cook the vegetables first, and then start preparing the filo triangles.
  • While they are baking in the oven, you can make the Cucumber Salad.
  • Don't worry if you are a little bit off schedule, it's Friday!

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