Manage episode 262384194 series 2526214
You know the drill if you’re in an active family—there are all those commitments after work and school that need to be done, plus things to do to prepare for the next day. Somehow, there is a meal that needs to get squeezed in before everyone calls it a night. Be honest…how many times has the answer to dinner turned into swerving into a fast food restaurant drive-through?
Marie knows this pain because she heard so many talk about this problem. They wondered how Marie managed to bypass fast food, herself, and routinely serve real meals at home. Marie had figured out the answer for her family, and when others asked her about it more and more frequently, she went on a mission—and built a business—to help others do the same.
The biggest revelation for Marie in answering the quandary of dinnertime came when she learned about reverse engineering and how to better approach the question. I marveled at how she flipped the question, and I think you will, too. Her point made so much sense: “If you don’t know when you’re going to eat, there’s no way to plan what you’re going to eat.”
FOOD RUTS AND SENSITIVITIES
When I hear “meal planning” I immediately feel intimated, as though faced with a blank page and an assignment to write. It can seem overwhelming to plan ahead when you haven’t even decide what you’ll eat tonight. However, you’ll quickly discover during this interview that Marie has easy and fun ideas to break down that planning into bite-sized pieces. And she even provides this free downloaded meal planner (link) to help you get started!
If you feel stuck in a menu rut, Marie offers ideas to help you expand your horizons. Her logical process of exploring new dishes will make so much sense that you’ll actually enjoy considering new ideas to add to your menu list.
Marie’s story about her family’s discovery of Lebanese food was particularly charming, and left me with a craving for stuffed grape leaves. One of my favorite meals to enjoy with my brother and sister-in-law was stuffed grape leaves, which were served with hollandaise sauce as a decadent and tasty addition.
Stuffed grape leaves take some time and preparation, but as Marie explains, the ritual of making them together with her family has become a part of the joy of the dish. I found this wonderful step-by-step process over at Feel Good Foodie if you feel like giving them a try.
Marie’s method for determining the “winners” and “losers” for meals that make it into the permanent rotation on her family’s menu was funny, and yet it will resonate for those of you with several mouths to feed.
And, these days, as everyone has food sensitivities, the planning ahead allows for accommodations of these as well so that a meal can be enjoyed by everyone sitting at the table. In fact, when it comes to food allergies, eating at home looks to make life so much easier than trying to navigate a restaurant menu (and Marie talks to how to do this, too).
Given the timing of the pandemic, I thought Marie’s points about how dinnertime has become much more compressed were helpful. These days, the question has become more significant, as many of us share more meals together in close confines.
Marie’s recipes and her podcast are sources for real people dealing with the daily issues of eating at home that apply not only to the lives of busy families but also to the realities of living in “the new normal” of COVID-19.
Do you struggle with leftovers, for example? Marie’s suggestion for how to turn bits of this and that into dishes to share with everyone at the table was truly inspiring.
MEMORABLE MEAL AND DINNER TONIGHT
I think that any meat and vegetable that is roasted is simply marvelous, so Marie’s memorable meal captured my interest right off. And that the meal took place in Italy just made it more lovely. I challenge you not to be head-over swooning when you hear her story.
The theme of chicken continued when I asked Marie what her family would be eating for dinner at the end of this particular day. She talked about Tequila Lime Chicken with Mango Salsa, which sounded fabulous, fresh with just the perfect zing. You can find the recipe here.
The question of dinner needn’t be such a chore. With the helpful tips and ideas of Marie Fiebach from her recipes and podcasts, you’ll find easy actions you can take to make dinners enjoyable for you and your whole family night after night.