Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Dinner Buffet

When my kids were little, one night I said we were having "Odds and Ends" for dinner. That meant I didn't have a plan, my husband was working late, and we were going to have whatever I had on hand. So I emptied the fridge, put everything on the counter, and let them pick and choose what they'd like. Wouldn't you know, "Odds and Ends" became a requested meal.

I think it was fun for them to decide what to put on their plates. I liked it because I had a bit of control (I offered healthy foods like fresh fruit, raw vegetables, cheese sticks, bread, whatever cooked protein I had around, and leftover pasta or rice), it was easy to prepare, and it helped use up the odds and ends.

My kids are older now and not as easily amused, so tonight I said we were having a Dinner Buffet. My main motivation was that I wanted to use up several slices of meatloaf and half a cooked flank steak from the freezer; there wasn't enough of either one for a family meal, but on the buffet, we had plenty for everyone.

It worked like a charm, and before you could say "odds and ends," the four of us were filling our plates with meat, freshly baked potatoes, green beans and other fruits and vegetables from the buffet.

Sometimes making (and eating) a healthy meal is easier than you'd think.

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