1362 - That is exactly how many weeks I've been married to the love of my life. That's how many weeks I've been picking his socks up off the floor, stealing his covers and sitting across from him at the dinner table. It's also the number of weeks that I've been planning his meals, shopping for the groceries that fill our kitchen cabinets and preparing our meals.
In the world of household chores, menu planning isn't my least favorite - cleaning bathrooms is top of that list - but I wouldn't say that it's my most favorite either. I enjoy fixing dinner and I really don't even mind grocery shopping but menu planning has always been somewhat of a struggle. I want to make yummy meals that my family will love but I have to balance that with the fact that we need to eat more vegetables and lean protein. 🥦
Last week, I got overwhelmed with catering orders which meant that I had to transfer some of my domestic responsibilities to my partner. It's not uncommon for him to step up and take over laundry and vacuuming duties but I've never turned over the menu planning. 😬 I must admit that when I tasked him to come up with a menu and a grocery list, I was a little nervous that we'd be eating filet mignon and kobe beef all week. 🥩
To my surprise, my carnivore planned a very well balanced menu for the two of us. There were fish dishes, chicken meals and even some meatless meals on his food plan. My only problem was that there were 14 pages of recipes for the week. 14! I think I may need to cancel all my orders for the week so I can make time for all this cooking. 😅
On Tuesday morning, I headed to the store with his ingredient spreadsheet in hand. (Honestly, I would expect nothing less from my technical thinking spouse.) #wireddifferently Despite my hesitations that his menu might be overly ambitious, I bought all of the necessary ingredients to prepare his menu - right down to the cremini mushrooms and marbled rye. 🥖💁🏻♀️
After 1362 weeks, I was grateful for the break from menu planning because I feel like I'd gotten into a dinner rut. Now I had 14 pages of new recipes to try and the groceries to make them all. No problem. 😅 Some of his dinner recipes were more complicated than others so I decided to start with the simple. This one was compliments of Taste of Home - adapted to better suit my own tastes.
Chicken Quinoa Bowls
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup brown rice, cooked
2 boneless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
1/2 medium ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
6 cherry tomatoes
Serve with dressing.
Now don't I feel silly for thinking my better half would plan meals that only he would like. Of course, he chose some healthy grilled chicken dishes to balance out the more indulgent meals on his plan. I'm not sure the he would admit that he enjoyed these quinoa bowls as much as I did but at the end of the meal, his bowl was empty. Just sayin.
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