Dear Dinner Diva,
First of all THANK YOU for SAVING OUR DINNERS! My daughter who has sensory issues and developmental issues is very hard to please food-wise and actually ate and asked for more of the Cajun Salmon I prepared from your book and LIKED IT! She usually won’t touch any type of fish. She has eaten and liked so many of the dishes I have tried so far from your book. You have no idea what a blessing this has been to me. <>
Now for the question… have you every thought about Saving our Lunches? I would do just about anything to have your help on fixing this nightmare meal as well. It’s the same ole same ole, everyday (and not very nutritious either).
Thank you Leanne!
Flapping in CA
Dear Flapping in CA,
First off, hooray for you for trying something new, even with a child who has some issues that made you doubtful to begin with. Parents who try new things with their kids will be amazed that they will come around if you don’t give up. So kudos to you!
Second off, regarding your question on Saving Lunches–my hands are full with dinner! :-)I have been asked this several times (plus to Save Breakfast, LOL). My answer to this and the breakfast question is the same: this is where your Perpetual Pantry comes in. You have to have it stocked and ready to go and then in the morning or at lunch, you can offer a choice between two things or depending on the child/children, you tell them what is for breakfast/lunch.
Here is an example, regarding breakfast, from my Perpetual Pantry you will find (that includes the fridge and freezer): waffles, French toast, oatmeal, grits, 2 types of cold cereal, bread and eggs. See that? Seven different breakfasts. I don’t give my children the choice of all these, I will tell them it’s waffles or French toast this morning, which would you like? I use a really good quality, whole grain, the toaster variety without hydrogenated oil that I get at Trader Joe’s. Not everyone has TJ’s, but if you do, check out the frozen breakfast selections. You can get good quality toaster products at a health food store, too, though that’s expensive. A good option and the most frugal is to make your own on the weekend, triple the batch and freeze for during the week, too. That’s another excellent option. Just read the ingredients on what you buy. Remember, if you can’t pronounce it or identify it, chances are good you don’t want to eat it.
On to lunch. There are lots of products in the grocery store that are marketed as “lunches” and we all know that this is nutritionally inferior food, loaded with fat and chemicals and is outrageously expensive. What to do? Develop a mindset for the next day’s lunch while making dinner. For example, you made Cajun Salmon last night let’s say. Make one extra piece and the next day, make that into salmon salad sandwiches (use like tuna). Or extra chicken for a chicken sandwich, or anything leftover from dinner is great. Keep fruits you know she loves and will eat. Have other things like whole grain bagels and cream cheese, string cheese, yogurts, pita chips (make yourself: cut whole grain mini-pita breads into chips, lightly brushed with vegetable oil and crisped up in the oven). Those baby carrots are wonderful, with dip if you like. Leftover soups, stews, etc. all work, too.
Keeping your Perpetual Pantry well stocked and an eye for the next day as you’re making dinner will totally change the lunchtime panic mode, I promise.
Hope that helps!
FlyLady here; We have Leanne’s Saving Dinner books in our FLY Shop
Check out Leanne’s website for some great tip, tricks, and recipes.
2 tablespoons butter (or ghee)
4 4ounce salmon filets
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
1/2 cup vermouth (or 1/4 cup each balsamic vinegar & apple juice mixed)
In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt half the butter. Add the salmon and brown on each side, about 2 minutes per side for it to be about medium rare-ish, if you like it cooked more, by all means cook it more and remember too, adjust cooking time depending on thickness of the fish. Remove salmon and keep warm.
Add remaining butter to the pan, add vermouth and cook for 3 minutes or so whisking constantly with a wire whisk. Add salmon back to the pan and cook until fish flakes when tested with a fork (or to your liking). Serve with lemon wedges.
Low Carb Serving Suggestions: Faux-tay-toes (steamed cauliflower mashed with cream & butter, salt and pepper), garlicky sauteed spinach and a green salad too if you’re hungry!
NUTRITION PER SERVING (does not include Serving Suggestions, fish only):
243 calories, 10 grams fat, 23 grams protein, 5 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber. Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 0 vegetable, 1 fat