Friday, 27 March 2015

A challenge for the week

HomeI've never claimed to have my finger on the pulse so it's not a massive surprise that I only realised it was Meat Free Week after it was too late.  I'd written a shopping list, hauled myself around Asda and stocked up for beef madras, chicken bhuna and pork escalope completely unthinkingly.  Ok, it's all going to be very tasty but I think reducing meat consumption is good on both a personal and a global level.  In fact, I think I'll opt in for it at a later date.  Just need to clear out my fridge first...

However, I have made a small challenge for me and my husband this week: eat a home-cooked meal each night for the next seven days.  Now, I'll admit it seems like a pretty humble challenge, particularly as most people manage this without trying.  We struggle though, partially due to laziness but also because of unstable schedules, work commitments and the like.  We're in the enviable position of being able to eat out or order in without too much angst, but that doesn't mean that it's a good thing to do.  There are some weeks where shopping, cleaning, cooking and every other domestic chore has to be pushed to one side.  This week, I'm hoping to undo some of the damage.

That sounds a bit melodramatic but I can always tell when I've been eating out too much.  It's not like I'm surviving on pizza and burgers (although I've had both this week); it's just that there's something much more satisfying about a home-cooked meal.  It always feels heartier and healthier and you can be assured that you know exactly what's going into it.  After a week of naughty food, I'm practically jonesing for salad or something more nutritious, and my body feels sluggish and tired until that need is satisfied.  It's a bit like exercise: I don't always want to do it but I know I feel better afterwards.  

This week is proving to be a little less frantic workwise than last week.  I've also had a couple of days off in order to do a mental reset, meaning I feel capable of managing domestic duties alongside my work ones.  So far, I've bought the ingredients for the three meals mentioned in the introduction, as well as for pancetta-covered chicken and a mixed bean and prawn salad to take to work.  I'm thinking of having a Friday night beef roast so that the leftover meat can be converted into beef stew on Saturday and rendang on Sunday.  It all makes for a meat-heavy week but maybe my body will be crying out for dhal, falafel and tofu at the end of it.  I'll just have to break it gently to my husband that we're going meat-free for a bit...

(Amusing side note: as I was rereading this, my husband came into the room to tell me that the casserole dish had exploded when he was cooking beef madras.  Not an auspicious start to the challenge)

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