ktallon

Struggling to find balance

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Okay so here lately i am struggling to find balance when cooking. So i am now cooking for not only myself and my son but my boyfriend and his son as well. They typically request a lot of carb heavy foods (all 3 are skinny twigs and love pasta and fried foods) i try to encourage them to remember i can't eat these things. So i am wondering how i can make meals that will be on plan for me but satisfy those 3 as well. Any ideas are definitely appreciated. Because honestly i don't want to have to cook a separate meal i am tired enough after work.

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I make and freeze a lot of pasta sauces - that makes it easy just to cook the pasta as needed.  But for myself, I use spiralized vegetables (zucchini, carrots,  etc.) but you can do that with a vegetable peeler too:  https://skillet.lifehacker.com/two-ways-to-turn-vegetables-into-noodles-without-a-spi-1698351323

Pasta sauce is great over a bowl of julienned or thin slices of zucchini, green beans, peeled broccoli stems, turnips and carrots etc.  And don't forget the humble spaghetti squash.

And a great way to get some veggies into the family is to mix the spaghetti (or whatever) with some of the vegetables.

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Cinwa has a great idea.  I don’t like most veggies so that doesn’t work for me.  Since most pasta dishes have a meat involved, I cook the meat (chicken usually as I don’t like hamburger), pull that aside for me then finish up their dish.  If it’s a marinara sauce I put a little on my chicken.  I usually fix a salad to go with supper.  And during the summer it’s usually berries for dessert.  

Another go to is string cheese wrapped with a slice of ham.  And I almost always have cooked chicken in the fridge.  I can cut that up and add a little salsa and cheese and I’m happy..

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I have two ravenous sons at home, but my husband and I both want to watch our weight. So some of the thing that we do are:

Anything that is a "wet" dish that you put on a carb, whether it be Italian meat sauce over pasta, or Asian curry or soy sauce meat dish over rice, or American meat sauce over mashed potatoes, I just make one extra thing. I make either spaghetti squash, or use pre-cut cole slaw cabbage, or just baby spinach and pour our sauced dish over that. The hot meat sauce wilts the spinach and softens up the cabbage, so I don't feel like I'm missing out. I'm hoping it's also a good lesson for them. My oldest son recently has decided to cut carbs, so now he is using our method as well. 

Any roast of any kind, I have always made the meat, then veggie of some kind, then whole grain carb, all three separately. I just eat the meat and veggie and don't miss the carb. Now that I eat so much less, my husband lets me pick the exact part of the roast that I want first! :)

Yogurt! Sometimes I'm either too hungry to wait to finish cooking, or don't feel like eating what they are eating. So I have lowfat yogurt and deli sliced turkey on hand at all times. In the beginning I even asked my family to cook for themselves sometimes when the thought of cooking seemed tiring and gross. And guess what, they all lived! :)  I plan all the dinner meals and shop once per week, so the menu is set. Then it's just a matter them cooking it. Easy peasy. 

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I’m lazy and just eat the sauce as my main dish if the hubs is having pasta or rice or something else starchy. The whole point of starches, worldwide, is to stretch out the good food (the sauce) in an economical fashion, so since I don’t need to stretch *anything*, I just have the sauce. Bolognese, shrimp in cream sauce, tofu or whatever curry, stroganoff, whatever it is, I just serve myself a half cup or so and call it dinner. No starches gumming up my pouch, and I still get all the yummy stuff. 

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On ‎6‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 7:30 AM, ktallon said:

Okay so here lately i am struggling to find balance when cooking. So i am now cooking for not only myself and my son but my boyfriend and his son as well. They typically request a lot of carb heavy foods (all 3 are skinny twigs and love pasta and fried foods) i try to encourage them to remember i can't eat these things. So i am wondering how i can make meals that will be on plan for me but satisfy those 3 as well. Any ideas are definitely appreciated. Because honestly i don't want to have to cook a separate meal i am tired enough after work.

She who cooks makes the rules :)

Just because they request junk doesn't mean you're under any obligation to provide it.  Just because they are skinny twigs doesn't mean eating junk is healthy for them.  This is the perfect time for them to learn to eat healthier.  That doesn't mean they have to eat exactly what you eat but there is absolutely no reason you should be preparing different meals or stressing over it.  I have the luxury of mostly just feeding myself now and occasionally my husband, but when I was feeding a growing family I used the crock pot a lot.  One of my favs was to throw frozen chicken boneless skinless chicken thighs and a jar of salsa in the crock pot in the morning, leave it on low all day.  When I got home I'd drain off the liquid, add some beans and maybe some green chilis and shred the chicken.  Then serve with "fixin's" and let everyone make their own burritos or soft tacos.  You can use the meat for several different meals usually.  If I do this now, I use it for salad or lettuce wraps. 

Then, they clean up because you cooked :)

 

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Very well said @msmarymac - and lots of great ideas here from everyone (that I totally intend on stealing :P ). 

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6 hours ago, msmarymac said:

She who cooks makes the rules :)

 

I totally agree - except that in my family I am the cook and definitely am not a “she”....

When my two sons were younger (and living at home) if they did not like what I cooked the family for dinner, I told them to have a bowl of breakfast cereal instead. :D

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25 minutes ago, Res Ipsa said:

I totally agree - except that in my family I am the cook and definitely am not a “she”....

When my two sons were younger (and living at home) if they did not like what I cooked the family for dinner, I told them to have a bowl of breakfast cereal instead. :D

Yes!  My kids had the choice of whatever was prepared for them or cereal, and we typically did not have the sugary kinds advertised on kids TV shows.  If I was feeling generous they were allowed to make a peanut butter sandwich.  Such mean parents we are :)

 

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A few ideas:

Make sloppy joes or shredded pork, and you eat the meat but don’t eat the roll.  Similarly, make chili con carne and cornbread and you don’t eat the cornbread. 

If you like to grill, then grill marinaded chicken thighs and make a carb dish (such as mashed potatoes) for the other people.

Or make shrimp or fish, and a starch, and you just eat the shrimp or fish.

In short, I generally make two dishes - one that I (and everyone else) can eat and a high carb dish for everyone else along with the first dish.

 

 

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Thank you all definitely some great ideas here. Before it was just my son and i and was definitely easier but with a growing family its been an adjustment thats for sure

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On 6/18/2018 at 7:19 AM, msmarymac said:

She who cooks makes the rules :)

 

Indeed!

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