Happy Monday! And Happy October! I can’t believe it’s already October 3rd. I had planned to join a Write 31 Days Challenge where I posted a new post each and every single day in October and I’m already behind since I didn’t post on the first or second. But today is a new day, and I’ve decided better late than never, right?
For my Write 31 Days Challenge, I’m trying to get some accountability in my own life. A lot of people have asked me over the years how to get started cooking from scratch. And honestly, you just have to do it. I can’t make you get in the kitchen and start cooking, but I can give you some tips and tricks to help you begin and I need the reminders too.
Because I’ve been failing myself lately in the cook-from-scratch department! It just hasn’t been happening much – I try to keep it real on this blog. We haven’t really been eating out, but I haven’t taken the time to make meals my family enjoys. So for my first Write 31 (or 29) Day challenge, I’m challenging us all to get (back) in the kitchen and start cooking. Whatever your status in the kitchen is, this challenge is for you.
Get started cooking from scratch
If you’re new to cooking from scratch, or haven’t been doing it for a while, I highly recommend starting with a recipe you know your family likes. It’s just so lovely and motivating to hear your family gripe about what you cook. I love it when my peeps pick around the food on their plates, hide it in napkins so they don’t have to eat, and ask over and over WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO COOK SOMETHING WE ACTUALLY LIKE? It’s so motivational and inspiring, isn’t it?
Choosing something you know your family enjoys might motivate you to stick with cooking, rather than quitting before you really give from-scratch a chance.
Choose a quick, from-scratch recipe you know your family enjoys
To be effective in my world and busy life, cooking from scratch needs to be quick. I don’t have, don’t want to have, can’t take the time, to spend all day in the kitchen. But that doesn’t mean we can’t cook from scratch. We just need to be smart about it, take a bit of time to plan, and then get busy. To get myself back in the kitchen, I’m choosing my family’s favorite meal (tacos), and then serving a variation of it every single day this week using planned (and re-purposed) left-overs! It could be overkill – we shall see. How many different ways can you think to serve tacos? Here are my ideas!
Taco Menu Plan – 7 different variations, 1 inspiration
Monday: Traditional Hard Tacos – using my recipe for taco meat for a crowd. I’m making a huge pot of taco meat using 3 pounds of ground beef and a bunch of beans. Adding beans is one way that I stretch meat to reduce our consumption and decrease my grocery budget. We’ll see how long this batch of taco meat lasts. 🙂
Tuesday Taco Pasta: I’m loosely following this recipe from Damn Delicious, but I will use my own leftover taco meat
Wednesday: Taco Rice – leftover taco meat and rice made in my Instant Pot. When my husband and I lived in Okinawa 16 years ago, one of our favorite lunches was taco rice from the base bowling alley. Yes, it’s true! You might also call this meal a taco bowl, but I will forever refer to it as taco rice.
Thursday: Soft Bean Tacos – using vegetarian beans cooked in my Instant Pot and homemade tortillas. Since beans are super easy in the Instant Pot and I have a bit of time during the day on Thursday, I will have time to make homemade tortillas and then rewrite that post because it’s terrible.
Friday: Taco Pizza – using leftover meat and making homemade pizza crust. Friday is also a slow day, so I will make homemade pizza crust and make extras to freeze as well.
Sunday Vegetarian Taco Soup: I’m trying to do more meatless meals even though I don’t think 3 pounds of ground beef and one meal of fish counts as excessive meat consumption for 5 or 6 people’s main dinners for the week. I’ve got a recipe in mind for making in my Instant Pot. If it turns out, I will share it with you. If not, you can check out our normal taco soup recipe here. It’s a family favorite for sure.
Now I know what you’re thinking. Michelle, what an unhealthy menu with no variety. Yes, I do see why you might think that. 😀 Let’s call it an experiment. Do you think my family will love it or be sick of tacos by the end of the week? I’m honestly not sure, but I’ll report back on next Monday’s menu and let you know.
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In the meantime, share what one meal you might be able to base an entire week’s worth of menu plan around! I’d love to hear.