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The Unnatural Cook

a chronicle of weekly meal plans from someone who can't just throw a meal together

I remember the first time I went away without my kids. I spent four days with a friend and her sister at the Saint Lawrence River. No one else had children. The first meal they served was lamb with three kinds of vegetables. Three! I remember thinking that was a perfect representation of of how my life had changed since having children: the days of three vegetable side dishes were gone.

One of the reasons last night’s broccoli went awry is that basically, I’m a vegetable novice. When I first started meal planning the kids were about to turn four. The goal was simple – get one dish on the table. It was all about the main course. Until very recently they only took their vegetables raw (carrots, celery, cucumber, eventually peppers) or frozen (corn and peas). The fact that I can now experiment with cooked ones is great but I’m still at the stage where if it can’t be roasted it may end badly.

Tonight I got to work with two very forgiving vegetables potatoes & peas. I made Shepherd’s Pie by adding worcestershire sauce & frozen peas to leftover beef stew and topped it with mashed potatoes. I usually use pot roast but the stew worked out really well. It was another easy meal for a school night and no vegetables were harmed in the process.

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