Sunday, November 21, 2010

Diversifying The Menu

In a quiet moment today (I think there might have been two all day, since this one now), I was thinking about, you guessed it: food. I was thinking about tomorrow being meatless Monday and, therefore, being something I need to think about and plan for. Then my mind drifted... What am I doing the rest of the week? I, personally, could probably go mostly meatless, but my husband will ask almost every night, "But what meat are we having with that?" and I would have to say at least 8 times out of 10 my answer is, "Chicken."

We didn't start out this way. We discovered not too long ago that we actually love fish and so I started experimenting with all types of fish. Red meat, in the form of burgers, steaks, london broils have also been a part of our fare. We, on occasion, would even have pork in the form of a sausage dish. However, as of late, it just seems like everything, except on Monday tastes just like chicken.

I don't like this at all. I was not raised this way and I don't think this can be healthy. Here are some of the things that I think happened:

Fish Fear

Our newly developed love of fish slowly transformed into a fear of fish the more and more we learned about fish farms. I, being a slave to convenience, was shopping for large packages of fish from CostCo to then use throughout the weeks that followed my shopping trip. We had salmon, Ahai Tuna steaks, flounder and scallops - but as I started to learn about all of the toxins in the fish from fish farms I thought, "I need to stop buying fish from CostCo." A reasonable and rational thought, but I have yet to find a replacement.

Where's the (Grass-Fed) Beef?

Beef is something that I often bought in my grocery store, on sale, paying less attention to the cut of meat than to the price. As I began to learn more about beef I decided, and my husband agreed, that we should be eating grass-fed beef. This would now mean shifting my view from price to label and looking for the grass-fed beef, which, not surprisingly, is not sold in my grocery store (not that I have found yet anyway).

Previous Experiences

I never really was that crazy about pork on a day to day basis. I also never acquired a taste for lamb. These two meats simply never even crept into my mind when thinking about meals I would cook.  I would never have a problem eating it somewhere else if someone made it, but neither would be my first choice.


Doesn't indolence sound better than laziness? It doesn't matter if it does though, because THEY ARE THE SAME THING! I know how to cook chicken a ton of different ways. I understand the flavor of chicken and can imagine how other flavors will blend with it - not just in terms of its preparation, but also in thinking about what dishes to serve with it. I don't have this same feel for other meats. I could find out, but (enter laziness voice here:) why bother when I already know about chicken??

I never really had a reason for that before... but I think now I finally do. I will bother to learn about other meats because if my husband is going to insist that there must be meat every single night, then I will go completely mad and probably grow a comb (red thingy) on my head if I keep making just  chicken!!

So here is what I am thinking: This is only going to work if I really make up some sort of schedule of things. Also I am not going to worry about it this week - this week is all about growing a wattle since it is TURKEY TURKEY TURKEY on the brain. However, when my wattle recedes, and life goes close to back on track I want to diversify my weekly dinner menu. Since I am such a fan of alliteration, I am trying to come up with some cool sounding days that I can remember. Here is what I am thinking about:
  • Meatless Mondays With all the meat-thought I am putting into my entire week, I am truly hoping I can convince my husband to keep the meatless Mondays alive for more than just November.
  • Turkey Tuesdays I think a lot of different things can be done with turkey, so I don't think it is too nuts to give it its own day, but, honestly, this came to me because of the alliteration.
  • Wilbur Wednesdays Is this too cruel? I was thinking Wednesdays could be my days devoted to pork. 
  • Thrilling Thursday This could be the most EXCITING day of the week! Or the most mundane, depending on my mood that week. Maybe we'll try smething completely new or maybe I shock my husband to the core with some exotic chicken dish (hee hee). He'll never know what's coming!
  • Fishy Fridays The alliteration works and this works out great for when Lent comes around (we're Roman Catholic). If I get this going I won't ever be stuck saying, "Oh NO! I forgot it was Friday! I made CHICKEN!" (chuckle, chuckle... I said, "chicken" furthering the thought that I ONLY cook chicken).
  • Cattle-day Saturday This day can be devoted to red meat. 
  • Super Salad Sunday I love this idea and I just know, in my gut, that my husband will veto this one. However, I hope I am wrong, because salads can be fun! And, yes, dear husband, even they can have meat in them (rolling my eyes).
So what do you think? Have I missed some truly inspired menu opportunity? Is anyone else out there doing something similar?


  1. I'll fully support Rob's veto of Super Salad Sunday. No meat two days in a row.(unless you throw chicken in the salad.

    As a side note I figured you could incorporate risotto into Meatless Monday.


  2. No, no, no! This is DEFINITELY NOT a guaranteed meatless day! And my goal, course, is NOT to just make a bunch of salads with grilled chicken in them either!! With just a cursory search I have already found a bunch of recipes: AND a great idea for flipping the salad: that could be a lot of fun, too. I know, with my dearest Bobby, that if I EVER do a meatless salad on Sunday, there will be an outburst by Monday! My father was the same way (it kind of freaks me out that way)! When it was just me and my mom, we could have gone weeks without meat, not even realizing it (peas and macaroni, lentils & macaroni, garlic & spaghetti, homemade pizza, the list goes on...), but these BOYS - they simply won't have it.  

  3. Oh! And the risotto has been purchased, I am just looking for something yummy to with it. Any suggestions?


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