Before I get on with the meal plan, I just want to say something. Today, my friend Bettina at The Lunch Tray shared an op-ed from the Washington Post which theorized, among other things, that the problem of unhealthy school lunches wouldn’t be a problem if mothers across the country hadn’t had their heads turned by feminism and were now protesting their parental duties by refusing to pack lunches for their kids. No, seriously, that’s what it said, at least in a nutshell.
Here’s my thing about that (well, technically, this is only ONE of my things about that, but I don’t want to take up a bunch of space tonight): If people are supposedly not feeding their families properly because of feminism, what does it say about those who do cook at home? Are we anti-feminist? I think most of my friends, and certainly my husband, would laugh at the notion that I’m somehow less than a proper feminist because I bake cookies and make dinners at home. In fact, I thank feminism for teaching me that it’s okay to bake cookies, or not bake cookies; it’s okay to be a great cook and take pride in domesticity, and it’s okay to be a lousy cook but have other skills I lack, like, say, a sense of direction. Feminism is about choices, not about rejecting family life, motherly duty, or anything having to do with hearth and home. For me, well, this whole cooking and meal planning gig is just a part of what I do because 1) It’s easier to keep on top of meals, as a full-time working mom, if I have a plan to follow; 2) I like to cook, whether that makes me a “proper modern woman” or not; and 3) I believe that it is SOMEBODY’S responsibility, in a family setting, to take charge of providing healthy meals, as far as such a thing is possible given the family’s socioeconomic status, resources, etc. In our house, we’ve got one person who can’t boil water (sorry, J. — I love you, but we both know you have many other fine qualities) and one person who excels at boiling water. So tag, I’m it, and it’s got nothing to do with feminism, just like it will have nothing to do with feminism when I pack the kids’ school lunches tomorrow. You know what I’ll be thinking about tomorrow as I’m accomplishing that chore, in fact? I’ll be thinking about how gosh-darned lucky we are to have a fridge full of food and nice lunch kits to put it in, and how my seat of privilege as a middle-class Northeastern white woman with an education is no place from which to be judging anybody else, and how literally within walking distance of my cozy little kitchen is one of the most food-insecure neighborhoods in my state, where over 60% of kids probably really, really need us to come through for them on that whole “better school lunches” thing. Those kids don’t care what any of us think about women’s liberation. So can we please cut the crap and focus on the real issues at hand?
Rant over. Meal planning time!
Sunday, 6/1: No-fuss chicken and farmer’s market vegetables
Monday, 6/2: Macaroni and cheese casserole with broccoli and tomatoes
Make it GF: Use Jovial or Tinkyada brown rice pasta
Tuesday, 6/3: Grilled ham steak, vegetables, spelt flour biscuits
Make it GF: Omit the biscuits and make corn muffins instead, using masa harina in place of any flour in the recipe.
Wednesday, 6/4: Grilled London broil, sauteed mushrooms, salad, roasted potatoes
Thursday, 6/5: DIY salad night
Friday, 6/6: Fend night/kids cook
Saturday, 6/7: Having dinner with family
Sunday, 6/8: Spaghetti and meatballs, salad
Make it GF: Use brown rice or quinoa pasta, or serve the meatballs on a bed of sauteed spinach.
Monday, 6/9: “Cheater” scallion pancakes and vegetable stir fry
Make it GF: Use brown rice tortillas if you can find them, or wrap the stir-fry in rice paper rolls.
Tuesday, 6/10: Grilled pesto chicken and foil potatoes
Wednesday, 6/11: Bacon-wrapped turkey bites, vegetables
Thursday, 6/12: Baked samosas, mango lassi, and vegetable curry
Make it GF: Use teff flour to make the samosa dough, or bind the samosa filling with egg and cook it into potato cakes
Friday, 6/13: Fend night/kids cook
Saturday, 6/14: Chopped salad and garlic bread
Make it GF: Omit the garlic bread and serve cheese fricos instead
Sunday, 6/15: Father’s day! Haven’t quite decided what we’ll make to laud my wonderful J., but we’ll do something special.
Monday, 6/16: French lentil salad, crusty bread, grilled vegetables
Make it GF: Serve the lentil salad with omelettes or a potato cake instead
Tuesday, 6/17: I’ll be at a potluck tonight, so it’s a fend night for the guys!
Wednesday, 6/18: Pizza chicken spirals, broccoli
Thursday, 6/19: Turkey and rice burritos
Make it GF: Use corn tortillas
Friday, 6/20: Last day of school! We’ll hail our conquering scholars with a good old fashioned burgers-and-dogs cookout.
Saturday, 6/21: Pasta “poulet” and salad
Make it GF: Use brown rice or quinoa pasta
Sunday, 6/22: Sunday roast chicken dinner
Monday, 6/23: Breakfast for dinner
Tuesday, 6/24: Chicken and broccoli calzones, salad
Make it GF: Serve the calzone filling over baked potatoes
Wednesday, 6/25: Simplest stuffed peppers
Thursday, 6/26: Panzanella
Make it GF: Use toasted cornbread or substitute roasted chickpeas for the bread in the salad.
Friday, 6/27: P. “officially” graduates Pre-K today. I suspect we’ll have some sort of family celebration tonight.
Saturday, 6/28: Antipasto kebabs
Sunday, 6/29: Lamb burgers and grilled vegetables
Monday, 6/30: Farmer’s market quiche, salad
Make it GF: Make omelettes instead of quiche