Admitting that I’ve been “meal-ing” wrong

I love to cook. That’s not a surprise or shocker to anyone. It’s probably one of my favorite passion-hobbies. However, just because I love to make food doesn’t mean I’m any good at putting together a meal.

Ok. That’s a lie. I am amazing at putting together a meal. I’m just terrible at remembering to do so.

I’m not sure if it’s years of studio kitchens, fluctuating (sometimes unreliable) income, or just outright laziness… but for way too long, I have rarely put together a proper meal. More often than not, my “meals” just consist of one dish. Pretty much just a life of entrees only. Yeah, sometimes you can do that and it’s all fine. But it’s really not a good way, or necessarily healthy way, to eat — let alone live. Mac & cheese is great and all, and I love making it from scratch, but it’s kind of a really boring meal all on it’s own.

Slowly and surely, I’ve been trying to retrain myself to not just stop at the entree but to remember the glory that are side dishes. Even if it’s just adding a salad.

Burrito & Enchilada night

Ok. So I didn’t add any salads or vegetables with that meal. Mostly because it was from the dinner where my eldest niece and and sister number 3 were visiting — neither really have much interest in green stuff if they have a choice in the matter. Since we were all making dinner together, I decided not to push it. But, we at least did have some beans & cheese and some Mexican rice on the side. As well as the chips and salsa (aka sneaky veggie dip).

Dinner with the roommates

This meal was a bit more rounded. And super simple. Garlic butter chicken and veggies (thanks Campbell’s sauce packs!) and a salad. And of course a side of bread and butter because that’s just what you do in the S. family. This meal was a big hit too. Which I sort of chuckled at because I didn’t think it was my best — and also I really didn’t have to do much (if any) work thanks to my crockpot. But the summer roommates (more on that in another post) loved it. Compared to dorm food, though, well, that’s not too hard.

Anyway. While I am doing this largely because I need to be better at adding more veggies into my life, it’s also because it’s a fun challenge. Trying to create a good flavor balance while also being maybe a tiny bit healthy. Maybe. I’ve also found that when I actually have more than just one dish for a meal, it makes me feel like a real adult. So bonus there.

What about you? Are you more likely to have one-dish or entrees & sides sort of meals? Do you have a go-to?