Real Simple Challenge: Wrap-Up
OK, we finally finished the Real Simple Challenge! The recipes were all very interesting and made us think outside-of-the-box. I’m so glad we did this. Putting the recipes aside, I will say the best part about this is that we have really gotten into the routine of eating one meal, together as a family. And it has really been wonderful. We’re having conversations, the kids are staying in their seats (for the most part) and the whole dinner process seems more organized.
I felt like across the board everything was true to the time stated in the recipe and overall fairly budget-friendly. Again, not buying options for dinner was a big cost-savings for me. For the adults, there were no major disappointments that weren’t based on our taste-preferences. And while there were several dishes that were untouchable for my pretty open-minded kids, there were also several that they liked and I probably wouldn’t have tried without a challenge. So now, our repertoire is now greatly expanded. So here are the highlights:
As you know, we really liked Week One. You should do this week if you do no others.
Week Two was not as great but not abysmal – – with some modifications. We gave it a B- but I would have changed that to a B after Week Three. The menus in Week Three were just not good at all for the kids and even the dishes that we liked, we didn’t like them enough that we’ll make them again as an adults only meal. So because really only one meal was a home run, I had to give Week Three a D.
And finally, Week Four was almost as good as Week One. So we finished on a high note and most of these menus needed very few modifications, with the exception of Friday’s, which we didn’t do anyhow. Week Four gets a B+.
- The roasted pork chops with polenta were really good and the kids loved the polenta. My husband isn’t a big polenta fan so we have never had it before with them and they loved it.
- The salmon and potato salad was perfectly tasty. Everyone ate it.
- The steak and cauliflower puree was a huge hit. No changes there. The kids really liked the cauliflower so I’ll definitely do that again. When South Beach was big, you saw that pureed cauliflower everywhere but I kind of forgot about it.
- I can’t even articulate how much I loved the sweet potato and brie flat bread but that is because it combined ingredients that I just love so much. I will absolutely make that again.
- And we didn’t do the Cajun chicken because I don’t like Cajun seasoning and I wasn’t in the mood for it. And I’m the boss.
So, seriously, try some of these recipes. Mix and match from different weeks. Try something new. There were definite surprises in here and some good twists on things that get boring week after week.