I try to make sure that we eat something different every day, so our multicultural meal plan is very varied. For example if we had meat one day, the next meal will be vegetarian. Or if we had Indian food one day, we’ll have something Polish the next. One day, something cooked, the next-something baked, the next-something fried or steamed.
A soup one day, pasta the next, and rice or potatoes after that. Salads, a choice of cut veggies, cooked or raw. We’ll have something really elaborate one day and a super simple meal that you can make in like 10 minutes the next. You get the idea. But I also try to find the balance between providing freshly cooked meals every day and not making myself crazy when I can’t. Our takeout choices are great: we have a Nepalese restaurant (which is fabulous and we love it) close by, a Chinese place that we also love and tons of Indonesian take-out restaurants.
We eat bread for breakfast and often for lunch. Since Dutch bread isn’t so good, all fluffy and tasteless, I either make my own bread or we buy our bread at either the French, Polish or Turkish bakery we have in our neighbourhood.
We usually have curries (palak chicken, or Thai curries with coconut mik) that I serve with rice and if I’m feeling really fancy, with homemade naans or parathas, soups that I serve either with orzo pasta, cheese sticks, or homemade noodles or csipetke. We have goulash or stews (served with pasta, potatoes, rice or kasha). We have pasta dishes (my favourite is with tomatoes, avocado, bell pepper and chicken or baked bacon) and once in a while when I am feeling adventurous, I’ll make something new, like the arroz con pollo that I made a while ago and it was delicious.
With three children whose schedules are totally different, it is hard to find something right for everyone so I put all my energy into the last meal of the day that we eat all together unless my husband comes home really late. I also have a baby who is breastfed at 9 months but he also gets solid food. If I make something he can eat, he will get that, otherwise he’ll get a jar of baby food. My eldest daughter has warm lunch at school (except for Wednesdays when she comes home early) and I pack her a snack box with bread, some fruit and water. My little girl attends daycare from 1-6 pm and she usually eats whatever we happen to have at home.
Saturdays, our eldest attends dancing classes so we’re at home and usually end up ordering food from a nearby restaurant (Nepalese, Chinese or Indonesian). Sometimes, I also make cake (like this tangerine soaked tea cake) when friends visit us. On Sundays, when the weather is nice, we spend the whole day outside and eat at restaurants wherever we are or also take out. Occasionally, I’d make pizza.
For this meal plan, I even had a great idea what I’ll serve but then I had the craziest week and had to compromise a little: my eldest daughter was sick and had to stay at home for two days. And on Wednesday and Thursday, she came back home early, so I didn’t really have a lot of time to think about cooking.
Breakfast: French bread with butter and ham, or Polish curd cheese, and some yoghurt and an apple. My husband doesn’t eat breakfast during weekdays. The baby ate bread with some curd cheese and had breastmilk. Water and juice to drink. I had tea.
Lunch: more bread with ham and cheese. The baby went to daycare and had fruit and some bread at daycare.
Snacks: apples, bananas, yoghurt, water and juice to drink. We also made carrot cake. We just added Nutella and the frosting was with Polish curd cheese rather than cream cheese.
Dinner: bulgur pilaf with zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes and carrot, sprinkled with Polish curd cheese
Breakfast: Polish bread with curd cheese, ham, yoghurt. I had tea, baby had breastmilk. The girls ate bread and had water and juice to drink.
Snacks: apples, bananas, water and juice, some carrot cake
Lunch: more bread, water, juice. Baby had breastmilk and a jar of baby food.
Dinner: pilaf leftovers, I just added some chicken breast and zucchini.
Breakfast: Turkish bread, ham, cheese. Water and juice, baby had bread and breastmilk.
Snacks: apples, bananas, carrot cake.
Lunch: more bread (my daughter had a packed snack box with bread, fruit and water)
Dinner: pumpkin and zucchini soup with orzo- the baby got that as well.
Breakfast: oatmeal with apple sauce, water and juice
Snacks: apples, bananas, carrot cake
Lunch: My husband came home early, we ate leftover soup with chorizo.
Dinner: we got stuck in a storm and so my husband ventured out and bought some sushi. The baby got a jar of baby food
Breakfast: oatmeal with apple sauce, water and juice
Lunch: leftover pumpkin soup, my eldest daughter had warm lunch at school.
Dinner: Finally I had some me time, and so made chili con carne served with rice, grated cheese, sour cream. I also made rapunzel, tomato and pumpkin seeds salad, and served some avocado.
Breakfast: oatmeal with apple sauce, water and juice.
Lunch: leftover chili con carne
Snacks: bread, banana, water.
Dinner: we ordered food from our favourite Nepalese restaurant: samosa, onion bhaji, chicken tikka, vegetarian curry sauce and rice, naan and papadum. We also had mango lassi and chai tea.
Breakfast: oatmeal with apple sauce, yoghurt, water and juice, baby had breastmilk and also oatmeal.
Snacks: pear, bread with cheese, water, juice, milk.
Lunch: we went for a walk in the dunes and ate in a restaurant. We had Dutch pea soup (erwtensoup or snert) with rye bread. Even the baby enjoyed it. We drank hot chocolate with whipped cream.
Dinner: my husband went shopping and brought home some pork meat, which we baked in the oven and served with rice and Rapunzel tomato salad. The baby ate a jar of baby food.