One Week in Dinners.

As I mentioned last week, I planned to post photos of each my meals from Monday to Sunday in the hopes that I will see what I’m eating every day, and hopefully be inspired to eat healthier foods. Here are the results:

Indian-Style Yoghurt Chicken

Monday: Indian-Style Yoghurt Chicken from Kayotic Kitchen, with wild rice and salad. (I blogged about this earlier in the week.) This was a pretty spectacular meal. I marinated the chicken for only 30 minutes, but it was so easy and I already had most of the ingredients. The rice balanced it out and for greens we went with a simple salad.

Pasta and Meatballs.

Tuesday: On evenings when I work from 6-9pm, I usually eat dinner either before or after my shift depending on what I eat in the afternoon. This Tuesday, I took a nap until 5pm and I didn’t have time to make dinner before running for the bus! I grabbed some chocolates before heading out but when I came home I just made some pasta. I mixed four cheese Classico sauce with some generic Superstore brand tomato sauce, and added some Blue Menu meatballs from Superstore.

Pork Bits with Pasta and Salad.

Wednesday: I call this “Pork Bits” because I’m not sure it’s actually called, although “Pork Bits” doesn’t sound too appetizing. They come frozen from M&M Meat Shops so we heated it up, had a Sidekicks pasta, and a salad.

Wontons.

Thursday: I worked again on Thursday evening, and again I had dinner after my shift. It looks simple but the wontons are actually homemade so I wrapped them earlier in the week and saved a bunch in the fridge. I eat them with a mixture of soy sauce and balsamic vinegar, with a small teaspoon of sweet chili garlic sauce. Just microwave them and they’re good to go.

Asian-Style Perogies.

Friday: Yup, it all started to go downhill from here. Corey wasn’t home on Friday evening and I don’t really get too motivated to make a fantastic homecooked meal for just myself, so I boiled some perogies and stir fried them in soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, and sesame oil. I didn’t have any green onions but I usually chop those up and throw them in there too. The dollop of yoghurt on the side is to even out the spice – left over from Monday’s dinner!

Spinach & Artichoke Dip with Tortilla Chips.

Saturday: Here’s where it gets embarrassing. Spinach & Artichoke dip from M&M Meat Shops with chips. That’s all. Corey was also not home on Saturday evening.

Sunday: I forgot to take a picture of today’s meal, so you’ll have to rely on my description. On our last trip to M&M Meat Shops, Corey bought a small stuffed turkey breast, so we heated that up and made gravy. (St. Hubert’s gravy out of a can, but oh man is it ever delicious – it’s an Ontario/Quebec thing.) We had the turkey and gravy over bread, and then salad as the veggie part of our meal.

The Results: Well, it’s clear I’m eating a lot of processed food, or food that doesn’t really need to be “cooked,” just heated up in an oven or on the stove. Only Monday’s meal involved any real cooking, in my opinion, and even then the rice came packaged as “instant.” The wontons also show some real cooking effort, as you have to mix the meat with veggies and then wrap them in wonton wrappers (which you can get at the store), so it’s a bit time-consuming when you make close to fifty, and then you have to boil them.

What I’d really like to stop doing is eating frozen foods and Sidekicks pasta. We live right by the M&M Meat Shop, and if you’re unfamiliar with that store, it basically sells everything frozen, so whatever you buy from there, you just put it in the oven or microwave and that’s it. No cooking, just heating. They sell everything from pre-cooked packaged meals (a la TV dinners) to stuffed turkey (today’s meal) to kebobs, desserts, pizza, Chinese food, etc. I also have a weakness for Sidekicks pasta, cause I sure love sodium. Again, I would like to stop eating this stuff. Where is the nutritional value, I ask you?

I read a blog post recently where the author decided to start buying groceries from the store that only her great-grandmother would recognize. Fresh vegetables? Check. Raw meat? Check. Dried pasta in a bag with powder? Not so much. And certainly no ready-to-go frozen dinners, whether it’s a frozen pizza or TV dinner.

For awhile now, I’ve been wanting to get back into good old-fashioned cooking, as in reading recipes and spending some time in the kitchen making food. I definitely miss my mom’s homecooked meals every day (Mom, I know you’re reading this, thank you for feeding me properly and I want to cook just like you). I have a few ideas of what’s stopping me – first, I sometimes can’t spare the extra time to get some ingredients together and make dinner, so I choose convenience instead. Second, I have very little income as a student and usually can’t afford all the ingredients for seven incredible meals per week.

There are certainly a few things that probably won’t happen. For example, I’ll never make fresh pasta on a regular basis (although I’d like to try at least once). I don’t find baking bread very interesting but that could change. And I will probably continue buying pasta sauces but at least I can add some ingredients to pasta sauces (that don’t include other pasta sauces with frozen meatballs).

Last year (or the year before?), I set a goal for myself: to try cooking at least one new recipe a week. I did it for about two months before I got lazy. I think I’d like to try that again. In the meantime, I will try to make more informed choices about my eating habits, and when I go grocery shopping, I will try to refrain from buying processed, prepackaged, frozen foods. Obviously I can’t change my eating habits overnight, and I can’t have gourmet food everyday. As long as my meals are balanced and healthy, I will be pleased.

But I will never, ever give up instant kimchi noodle bowls.

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