Monday, June 13, 2011

I Think We Should Stop Eating Dinner

We didn't eat dinner last night.  Okay, we ate some healthy food and you could even call it a light meal, but I normally cook our biggest feast of the day for dinner.  Last night we had watermelon and yogurt and it was quite refreshing.

I've come to hate having a big meal at night because I, for one, don't sleep as well after eating so much.  I hate it because I don't like spending the hours in the afternoon when we're all ready to chill out and wind down before bed cooking and then cleaning up.  This is something I've been mulling over for some time, but I haven't come up with the perfect solution.  I could move "dinner" to lunch time, but that is less than ideal for many reasons.  I could try harder to have dinner earlier in the afternoon so we aren't going to sleep with  full stomachs, but I've tried that before and it's really hard, especially during the school year.

Right now I think the solution may be planning fewer "big" meals and more "light" meals.  It's not the way my mom ran her house, but I've decided that especially in the summer time there is nothing in the world wrong with actually planning on cheese sandwiches and fresh fruit for dinner.  This week's meal plan will be my experiment.  I'm shooting for three heavier, probably meat based dinners and four lighter, possibly even raw foods nights.  I'm going to be spending some real time today playing with a site I wrote about last week hoping for some good ideas (that will also help save some grocery dollars).  This venture comes with one big potential bonus - my girls usually just eat things like a piece of fruit and some cottage cheese for dinner anyway because they don't like foods like pork chops or baked potatoes.  With this plan, they'll hopefully eat what is planned instead of having to pull out something additional for them.

I'll post again when I have this week's meal plan all figured out.  And of course, if anyone has suggestions for simple meals, please post them in the comments!  I'm always looking for tried and true ideas!


  1. Great idea, my hubby is not home most nights during the week. We always eat early usually no later than 6. Sometimes we will have a light snack icecream or something like that a treat I guess you would call it.
    My son likes baked potatoes so doing a potato bar would be great for him give him cheese and bacon and he will make a meal. He too loves cottage cheese, so sometimes I'll get one of those whole chickens at the grocery store that are already to eat a cottage cheese perfect meal for the 2 of us.
    When hubby is home he is a meat and potatoes kind of guy so can't get away with something lite when he is home but when you eat as early as we do it is usually not too bad.
    Does your kids like popcorn, I think that is a good snack a good lite dinner and to them it's more of a treat than food. Maybe a veggie and fruit bar with yogurt dip for the fruit, and cheese dip for broccoli, cauli, and any other fun veggi you want. To them it's a treat but they get the nutrients they need.

    Good luck with your dinner plan.


  2. Those are all good ideas Daynene! I am thinking I'll either do a potato or salad bar this week. My spouse is also a meat and potatoes guy. And, he only really sits down to eat at dinner time so I feel like I'm shortchanging him if I don't do a nice meal, but he might have to reform his ways...

  3. I think it's a fabulous idea, especially for summer when it's so hot. We've had several 100 degree days here already. I'll have to give fruit and cheese and fruit and yogurt dinners a go, especially when the hubby won't be home for dinner.

  4. So many interesting comments. Since my wife does the majority of the cooking, I don't really get that much say in what she makes. Fortunately, we have much of the same tastes, but even if not, I don't think I'd complain too much. Another idea (and every family is different, so Shawn, don't get too mad at me for this one): our tradeoff is that she cooks and I clean up after. Anyway, good luck.

  5. I like your thought process. We're not in the habit of having bigger dinners during the week, so I need to plan something better than macaroni cheese and pigs in a blanket. It also got me thinking of one of my favorite things to make in the summer - Pizza Pasta. Basically a pasta salad with chunks of pepperoni, salami, tomotoes, cheese, or whatever other "toppings" you would enjoy. Toss it together with your favorite Italian dressing. Get the Pizza taste without the heating up the kitchen.

  6. Hummus Veggie wraps are delicious, fast and mostly raw. If you have left over chicken or tuna or something it's easy to roll it into the wrap for the carnivorous.

    I like bruscetta, I make it with tomatoes, onion, basil, cubed mozzarella olive oil and balsamic vinegar. cut up a baguette and toast, rub with raw garlic. Yum-o!

  7. @Paul - The spouse and I used to have that arrangement. Then I quit my job and had babies. Now he helps a little, but I'm still the cook and the cleaner. That's not terrible, but I just really don't care about food and he does. That creates a dilemma.

    @Michelle - OHHHH! That pasta dish sounds good! I am pretty sure my family would eat that - even if I did have to leave the Italian dressing off the kids portions.

    @lish - We love Bruscetta, too! Cherie gave me a wonderful homemade tomato sauce for pasta that goes perfectly w/ it. Maybe I'll have to post that here some time soon.