We Survived Week One [Real Food]

Day One
Well my planning didn’t go so well. And it’s only day one.

It’s 4pm. The meat I took out of the freezer for tonight’s meal isn’t defrosted. We could eat the chili I took out for tomorrow … but wait – that’s frozen too. Did I mention there’s a huge football game on? Which means D isn’t going to want to pull himself away from the TV long enough for family dinner. So – perhaps we’ll just have snacks for dinner. I take out some frozen shrimp (cooked of course) and stick it in some water to thaw. Cheese & crackers, shrimp, and wine. Sounds like a good enough dinner for me.

Verdict: I ended up making a shrimp and rice casserole and roasted brussels sprouts. I knew I needed more sustenance than just snacks for dinner. Breastfeeding makes this mama hungry! It was decent. Better than snacks.

Day Two
It’s Sunday – which means we pack our dinner and take it with us to church. Easy peasy … stick the chicken chili from the freezer (defrosted of course) in the crockpot. Make some pumpkin cornbread muffins. Toss in some applesauce and we’re ready to go!

Sometime this morning I realized that in my planning and preparation for this project, I didn’t think about breakfast. Or lunch. I really need to get better about planning those two meals. Before A is old enough to know we’re supposed to eat more than just one meal a day. Since we didn’t explicitly say no dining out, we went to La Parilla for lunch. Yum.

Day Three
D’s birthday. We’re headed to the Botanical Gardens to see the Christmas lights. Although I wanted to make him a special birthday dinner, we really won’t have time for it if we’re going to make it to the lights and back before sweet little A turns into a super crankbox … so Crockpot Fried Rice it is. Pull out some frozen veggies – and some of that leftover turkey – and we might just have a masterpiece in the making.

Verdict: D makes a mean fried rice. This did not even begin to compare. But – it was super easy. And pretty tastey. If I need a quick crockpot meal in the future, I might turn to this one again – but it definitely isn’t my favorite way to make fried rice.

Day Four
Today went off without a hitch. I ate leftover fried rice for lunch. D went out to lunch with his dad. For dinner, we had:
Roasted Chicken Thighs with Mustard-Thyme Sauce – This turned out so much better than I ever expected.
Sweet Potato Home Fries
– This *might* just be my new favorite way to eat sweet potatoes.
Patty-pan squash with basil – This was terrible. I couldn’t even finish a small portion. I’ll never make it again.

Day Five
A has croup again. Which makes for a tired, cranky baby. And a tired, cranky mama.

We were supposed to go to church tonight for dinner – but since we have a sick, and contagious, child – guess we’ll be staying home. For lunch – D had leftovers from last night. I had leftover fried rice. And pita chips with hummus. And yogurt. Quite the assortment!

For dinner – I pulled out all sorts of creative. I needed quick. And easy. And meatless – since all of our meat was frozen solid. Our CSA box came – with fresh sweet potatoes! I remembered seeing a recipe for sweet potato & black bean burritos … so I read through a few recipes, combined some of my favorites, and tried my hand at it. We need to do a little tweaking to the recipe – but it is, I believe, a keeper. It’s one of the best quick creative meals we’ve had in a while. We’ll post the recipe just as soon as we’ve mastered it!

Day Six
Neither A nor I slept very much last night. This croup thing is exhausting. Thank goodness for pumpkin cornbread muffins in the freezer. They make a delicious breakfast to wake up to.

I failed in the lunch department again. No leftovers in site in the fridge. Guess we’ll meet D for lunch somewhere.

For dinner – I had planned to make enchiladas with leftover Thanksgiving turkey – but I never made a note of the recipe I planned on using. My Weelicious cookbook came to the rescue – the Mexican Enchiladas did not disappoint! We halved the recipe – but next time we’ll make the whole thing and freeze half for later. Yum!

Day Seven
The day started out strong with my favorite slow-cooker oatmeal for breakfast. But then…

I broke the rules.

Whole Foods had an incredible deal on wild caught salmon today. One day only. So I caved. And bought some. For tonight. And two more to stick in the freezer. Ha! I’m supposed to be cleaning out my freezer and what do I do? Go buy something else to stick in it. Oh well. The deed is done. And the salmon was delicious.

The other items I left the store with:
Take and bake pizza – because once again there was no planning for lunch today
Cilantro – hey, that’s a spice, right?
Cream cheese
Heavy cream
Wine – because they said it went well with salmon. And it too, was on sale today only. I’m a sucker for wine sales.
Avocado – the littlest loves it. And I got it for free. So that means it doesn’t count, right?
Whole wheat flour

All in all, not so bad. I almost got pimento cheese and bread, but I was a good girl and put it back. I know I know … I cheated pretty big with the salmon & the wine, but I have to say I am pretty proud of sticking to my guns on everything else!

Next week I’ve got a special book club meeting planned. And I will not be breaking the rules for it. I’ve got some delicious treats planned … so stay tuned!

Goals for next week:
Plan for lunches.
Eat breakfast every day.
Stop going out to eat. Even though it wasn’t in the original stated rules, it’s cheating, don’t you think?

You are reading Clean Out the Freezer Month. Read more from this series of articles.

Crystal Rowe

wife to D, mama to A & E, sister, daughter, niece, aunt, follower of Christ, writer, book lover, beloved child of God