Six O’Clock Scramble — fourth week

The Six O\'Clock Scramble : Quick, Healthy, and Delicious Dinner Recipes for Busy FamiliesOh my god, I cannot believe I did it. I stuck to it for four weeks and it was great. Dinner was not traumatic any night for the past month. We ate totally healthy, novel meals with very little fuss. I’m kind of still in shock.

Before Holden was born, I thought that staying home with a kid would include keeping the house very clean and preparing a fresh hot meal each night for dinner. After a few weeks of my husband coming home to find me in tears, I relaxed that standard somewhat (but it was always still my ultimate-June-Cleaver-fantasy stretch goal). We gradually eased into a pattern where I would decide on dinner and he would prepare it while I was nursing the baby before bed. Anyway, I feel like I’ve arrived! Ok, so that’s the good part.

Getting all our groceries in one big bang (as a family complete with helpful daddy) is sweet. And it’s possible with very little thought using the printout grocery lists. The bad part is that our basil got pretty wilty by the end of each week.

Your success is also going to depend on the number (and variety) of picky eaters in your house. Since I’m the pickiest, I can cross off all the cilantro, peach, and pork recipes from the get go — btw, she makes it very very easy to do this by numbering and cross referencing ingredients to recipe names.

Another small complaint is that the side dishes are not highlighted very well from the main recipe page so if you’re not careful you can prepare the dinner in its entirety without realizing you should’ve put some rice on the stove.

All that being said, we loved it and we’re trying a modified fifth and sixth week where we weave back in some of our old favorites (chicken parm, where have you been all month? and steak, why hast thou forsaken me?)

Some favorites we discovered:

  • hot meatball sub sandwiches with Morningstar veggie meatballs
  • pecan-crusted trout with orange rosemary sauce
  • California taco salad
  • fusilli with fresh tomato sauce (and basil, she loves basil in the summer!)
  • pita stuffed with Greek salad
  • grilled chicken sausage kabobs with summer vegetables

Ones we could have lived without:

  • orange salmon (too orange-y)
  • Japanese eggplant and green beans in garlic sauce (we may have waited too many days on this eggplant)

All that being said, it’s pretty awesome to have someone plan five meals a week for you using fresh, seasonal food all year-round!