Yesterday, I mentioned that we have a new housemate and a new dinnermate who is a future housemate. It is a weird transition to go from feeding two adults to four. When it was just Dexter and I, I would often “wing it” at dinner time. I’d search through the freezer and pantry, and we’d usually come away with something edible. Although the last time we did this our dinner was a chips and salsa appetizer with pancakes for an entree. Nope. Not joking. The pancakes were whole wheat if that counts for anything.
Now that three hungry men sit around my table at dinner time, the pressure is on. Thankfully, these guys are generous with their compliments and willing to take risks. So far, we’ve had lentil tacos, bean burritos, pasta with vegetarian meatballs, and chili with optional ground beef. These meals were all quick and easy to prepare, which is important now that the meals I cook won’t stretch across the whole week. I’ve realized that I will not be able to make everything from scratch, and I’m learning to be okay with that. I’m still not sure how to plan for leftovers, especially since not everyone eats dinner at home every night, so I’m planning five meals at a time and keeping copious amounts of canned food on hand for dinner emergencies. Here’s the plan for the my next five meals:
- Leftover chili, homemade apple-pear sauce from aging fresh fruit, peas
- Polenta & vegetable bake, salad, bread
- Taco pizza with beans or beef, salad, canned fruit
- Spinach-artichoke grilled sandwiches, salad, green beans
- Huevos rancheros, whole-wheat raisin biscuits, canned fruit
What are your best tips and recipes for cooking for a group on a regular basis?