Oatmeal For Lunch, Squash for Dinner

A couple of friends called me yesterday inquiring about what I’ve been eating during this plastic-free week.  At their suggestion, I am sharing a couple of the meals with you.  I’ve learned quickly that it takes a bit of creativity in the kitchen when I don’t have the convenience of  grabbing a frozen pizza (wrapped in plastic) if I’m feeling lazy.  I will tell you right now that, though I enjoy baking, I do not love to cook.  I never have and I can’t imagine it will soon become a favorite activity of mine.  In some ways, this week has actually decreased my dread of dinnertime.  I have a simpler list of ingredients to cook with, therefore I don’t spend as much time trying to figure out what to make.

Yesterday, I picked the first cucumber from our garden.  Of course, I added it to the lunch menu.  I looked around the kitchen for ideas on what to feed the kids for lunch.  The loaf of bread was down to the heel and the grilled chicken was all gone.  I thought why not oatmeal for lunch?  That solved it.  I gave the kids oatmeal with cucumber and nectarine slices on the side. Simple and nutritious!

When dinnertime rolled around, I eyed the bowl of squash on the kitchen counter.  It was staring at me, begging to be cooked.  I heated up some olive oil in a skillet and threw in about 2 tablespoons of diced onions.  I sliced up a yellow squash, a zucchini, and a Mexican squash, then added them to the pan.  After sauteing the squash for a few minutes, I added tomato, salt and pepper.  I ran out into the garden and grabbed some oregano and basil to add to the mix.  Remembering there was a grilled hamburger patty in the fridge, I cut it into small pieces and put it into the pan.  Oh, it all smelled wonderful.  After it was done cooking, I drizzled pasta sauce on top and added watermelon as a side.  Lacking a cook’s intuition, I was proud of myself for creating a tasty meal without a recipe.  My daughter wasn’t thrilled with the dish, but ate it anyway.  My two-year-old son asked for seconds and Dan said it tasted quite good.   Now, I won’t be winning any awards for my cooking, but I feel I’m getting along pretty well.

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