I remember complaining a lot growing up about the constant ‘meat & 3 veg’ dinners served up in our household. That’s not to say it actually was constant… we certainly ate a lot of different meals… one of my favourites being fish fingers, dim sims and chips… but I digress. I think it was more that ‘meat & 3 veg’ was just the easiest, healthiest and quickest thing to fall back on… especially when you’ve got kids to raise.
When I moved out of home, I vowed that I would be different. I was going to make my cooking interesting, and find meals that were easy, healthy and quick… but weren’t basic meat with steamed veg. I was going to cook and eat exciting, healthy food.
Guess what? I discovered pretty quickly that nothing else quite beats ‘meat & 3 veg’. Yes, pasta is super fast, but to get a good balance of protein, carbs and veggies, you can’t stick with a simple bolognaise. Salad’s easy and healthy, but making it unique for someone living alone requires going the extra mile. Stir fry is a great option, but by the time you cut up masses of vegetables, your night’s running away from you even before you’ve started cooking.
When I was living alone, meat & 3 veg made it so easy to shop, and I never wasted anything. And I hate to waste things, especially food (you can read more about that here). It did mean that I inevitably ate meat, potato & broccoli (or meat, potato & beans, or meat potato & cabbage… you get the idea) 4 nights of the week, but at some point I realized I just didn’t care. I didn’t want to have to visit the supermarket every day to mix up my meals, I wanted to come home, eat a healthy, quick and filling meal, and then get down to the fun things – like catching up with friends or hanging with my dog.
I know it’s super boring, and the thing is I love food. And I love different varieties of food. But I save that. I save it for the weekends when I’m out, cooking up a storm for visitors or travelling. During the week, especially if it’s just me, I can defrost a bit of meat, boil or mash some potatoes, and eat up whatever green & orange vegetables I’ve got in the fridge or freezer. I can literally cook up a meal in under 20 minutes, so even if I’m short of time it works!
And importantly, I can save myself for the weekend, when the interesting thing happens… and inevitably that’s when hubby cooks!