An anonymous poster commented the other day that my menus have a lot of fat and calories. This seems like a good time for me to first point out that I hate anonymous comments! I allow them because I know that not everyone who might read my blog has a blogger or google login, but I think it's common courtesy (or at least it should be) to sign your post, even if you're "logged in" anonymously. But I digress...
I feel like I should address this person, even though I have no idea who they are or if they will ever visit my blog again. Yes, it's true, our dinners are not the healthiest dinners on the planet. And, without seeing the ingredients I buy or the way I prepare my food, one might think that some of these dinners are spectacularly UNhealthy. And yes, some of them are, LOL! Mmmmm...deep fried shrimp...
A year or two ago, we ate fast food four or five times a week. Compared to that, our menus are downright health food! But seriously, I do my best in the parameters I have to work with. A lot of what we eat is dictated by the way I must prepare it. My husband works in the mornings. I work in the afternoons, and get home an hour and a half before he goes to bed. This way we don't have to have day care, which is important to us, but it also complicates menu planning quite a bit. He's willing to put things in the oven, but is not willing to prepare anything. Which is fine, I've always been the cook in this relationship. So, on the weeknights, I am basically limited to things that can be cooked either in a crock pot or a casserole dish. No grilling, no sauteeing, no steaming (except for vegetables, I cook those up when I get home).
I'm also married to a picky eater who is deathly afraid of new recipes (in his defense, I have made a couple of doozies). So I work within the confines of what I know he will eat, with the occasional venture into new territory, and try to "healthify" where I can. When we eat ground beef, it is either 90% or 96% lean (depending on what's on sale when I buy it). When we eat pork, it's almost always loin chops. Chicken is almost always tenderloins. He detests fatty meat and all but refuses to eat it, so I buy the leanest I can find.
I use a lot of olive oil in my cooking. I also don't use a lot of convenience foods, and I typically cook from scratch. Oh sure, there are canned soups in my cooking (I keep meaning to try the homemade "cream of whatever" soup mixes, but haven't done it yet), and on a weekend we'll have the occasional box of Helper. If I'm making meatloaf or meatballs or something like that, I'll make it with half lean ground turkey and half lean ground beef. If a recipe calls for shredded cheddar, I'll use sharp instead of medium, so I can get the same amount of flavor with a little less fat.
I also don't post side dishes in my menus, which may lead a person to believe that we don't eat vegetables. This is not the case, I just usually don't know what I'm going to do about sides until I actually get to that meal. We eat baked potatoes frequently, some rice (both white and brown, depending on our time schedule), and a lot of buttered noodles with parmesan (because that's my 14-month-old's favorite food in the whole world). We also eat a good helping of vegetables with every dinner. Sometimes it's a hot vegetable, sometimes it's a salad. Sometimes it's both. We eat a lot of fruit, too, and almost always get in our five servings for the day.
So yes, some of my menu choices may look like they have a lot of fat and calories. But, where I can, I minimize that by the ingredient choices I make and the sides that I serve with them. Hope that helps clear things up! :-)