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No Staples Week is over… what did we learn?

Posted Sep 28 2010 9:51pm

Last Saturday I put forth a challenge for J and myself: One week. No staple meals/recipes for dinner.

Knowing my husband and his tendency to cling to the familiar and comfortable, I wasn’t sure what to expect from a week of new meals. I did know there was potential for things to get ugly, quick, though.

I did my homework way ahead of time… even before I brought the idea up to J. I sat down for a few hours and picked out easy-looking recipes I would be able to cook, but also ones that might appeal to a picky eater, such as my husband.

Here’s his take on how the week went:

100_2450 When Maria first mentioned the idea of “No Staples” week, I was nervous. I’m a picky eater, I know what I like, and I don’t like change messing up my routine. After all, when it comes to meals, I usually would rather get full than be adventurous. However, I agreed to try some new things and after Maria showed me the dishes she wanted to make and their ingredients, I said “okay” and began feeling better.

After a week of eating different foods and expanding my horizons, I can say that I am really happy that we did “No Staples” week. I didn’t love everything, but on the other hand I could and would eat everything that was made again. I especially loved the Mexican Stew and am really looking forward to eating it again. I highly recommend “no staples” week because you may just find a new dish or two that you love, and finding even one is probably worth it. Moreover, if you’re worried about having a bad week of meals, just do what I did and have a pizza on standby in case you need to get full instead of fulfilled. – J

Well there you have it folks, right from the husband’s mouth.

Now for my take: About two weeks ago I was starting to get really tired of eating the exact same foods for dinner, week after week. Spaghetti, pizza, and tacos had become our usual go-to meals night after night. I don’t think J really minded the food routine, but I knew we could do much better.

I’m really happy that my husband was up for the challenge because I learned a lot from No Staples Week. It can be nerve-wracking to try new recipes you’ve never cooked before and have no expectations of how it could taste. I think in the past my nerves have held me back from being adventurous with food and giving new recipes a chance. No Staples week forced me to step outside my comfort zone and that’s a good thing.

  • Sunday: Pizza Pinwheels: These didn’t turn out great, but I think it was a mistake on my part. I am going to try to make them again in the future.
  • Tuesday: Mexican Stew: This one was a hit with both of us. I used sweet beans and it gave the soup an awesome flavor. Amazing for dipping.
  • Wednesday: Spicy-Honey Chicken: I liked the taste of this chicken, J thought it would have been better as a marinade.
  • Thursday: Pancakes: A breakfast dish-turned dinner meal was a nice change of pace. It worked well because we could customize the pancakes with the toppings we like.
  • Friday: Chicken and Barley Stew: The flavor of this soup wasn’t what I was expecting, but it did taste good and I would re-make it. Another No Staples Week favorite of J’s.
  • Saturday: Pork and Soba Stir fry: Easy, quick meal that I really enjoyed. It was tasty and the sauce gave the noodles and pork a great flavor.

Overall, No Staples Week was a total success. We’re going to start incorporating “the usual suspects” back into the dinner rotation again, obviously, but I think, now, we’ll also begin to try new dishes a few nights a week. And that was the goal the entire time.

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