Sunday, January 23, 2011

When It Absolutely Has to Be on the Table in Minutes

Last night the boys came home late from playing with friends (sorry, Cynthia!) and they were starving. I had already started to prepare Parker's Brassica Soup (you can throw anything in this soup, last night I added chickpeas and topped with pumpkin seeds, hot sauce, and za'atar) but I hadn't decided what else to fix and it was clear food was needed now. Sunshine Burgers to the rescue! I picked some up at the co-op when they were on sale the other day. Pictured is Parker's with his usual Vegenaise, nooch, za'atar, pickles, avocado, and lettuce. He ate three larger bowls of soup. He is definitely getting the appetite of a pre-teen as he approaches his eleventh birthday.
Tonight, I arrived home from the radio show and I was thinking of taking the gang to the local Vegan Meet-up, but it was clear they were hungry and tired (not due to staying up past eleven last night, oh no, I'm sure that isn't it) so I thought for a second about ordering out. Dema was already gearing up to fuss about whatever he could and I said dinner was going to be a treat. Then I remembered a can of Kaeng Kuea Curry Paste, Meat-free Mike, my co-host, gave to me weeks ago. I had thawed out some tofu earlier in the day and lightly sauteed it with some onions, boiled potatoes, steamed peas and carrots, pressure cooked some brown rice, and threw it all together with some water and coconut milk. Dinner was prepared, eaten, the kitchen clean, and the kids upstairs with teeth brushed within an hour and half. I would say it wasn't quite as good as my In a Hurry Thai Red Curry, but it saved me from relying on take-out. The kids ate seconds and then fresh mango for dessert. Thanks, Mike!

I'm trying to be okay with relying a bit on some prepackaged foods while Rob is out of town with his family. It actually hasn't been too bad and things have flowed really well, but I'll probably keep some items on hand for those meals when it absolutely has to be on the table in minutes. I have always had deep respect for single parents, but this respect is growing each day.


the sandwich life said...

oh, they're never at our house too long....if we have something to do I kick them out but otherwise we love having them!!

Stef said...

I know you have a lot more mouths to feed than I do, but I can tell you one thing that has helped me tremendously as a single mama to feed us meals is I spend about 2-3 hours on Sunday cooking and prepping meals for the week: I bake up some muffins, I cook a bunch of pasta, make a big batch of falafel, wash and cut up produce, fruits, make quinoa, rice, make some pb & j's... I can throw together dinner fast, heat up some pasta or grains with some frozen veggies, or heat up some pitas with hummus, carrots and falafel. I can put together a good breakfast for us in a minute or two, which is so nice! The two of us can sit at the the table and eat a good meal that took me 5 mins to throw together. We don't have a whole lot of time Mon-Thurs when we get home from school, so it helps that we have this time together, and I can take lunch to school this way, and throw a pb & j in my bag for the peanut to eat on the bus with out a lot of rushing around in the mornings. The packaged food does come in handy, sometimes we just heat up Trader Joe's frozen latkes and call it a meal with some apple slices! It doesn't matter really, as long as we get the time to eat together! I can't imagine how crazy things must be with Rob gone! You guys can come up here some weekend, let the kids play and hang out with me, after bed time, we can commensurate in our single mama-ness over some wine!