Megan's Offbeat Home cooking challenge

By on Apr 25th

THIS is currently my idea of the perfect meal: a ginormous pizza and beer.

I always say, the biggest mistake that Aaron and I made in our marriage was NOT marrying someone who cooks. We both have TERRIBLE eating habits and no skills when it comes to cooking. I happen to love eating food, I just don't happen to love creating food. Aaron is one of those people who, if he could, he'd just take a pill in order to get all his nutrition — he has no love of food and hardly any time to eat anyway. If either one of us married someone who knew how/loved to make meals, we'd be so happy. So folks, if you've got a partner who loves to cook, CHERISH THEM.

I just came back from an Offbeat Empire work retreat at Ariel's mom's property on Bainbridge Island. Part of the deal with the trip was that we would all team up and take turns making each of the meals. As I know there's no Trader Joe's on the island, my go-to meal of frozen pizza and pre-packaged salad was NOT going to be a possibility. Barring that, I got NOTHING when it comes to feeding the masses. So I offered this up:

Also, reminder to anyone who is partnered with me — I'm more of a hinderance then a help in the kitchen. So, if you don't want to have to instruct me like you would a toddler when it comes to making food, I'm MORE than happy to pay for everything we (you) need if you're more than happy to turn it all into food.

Which then got turned into "useless Megan does all the dishes, while the other, competent, Empire workers created the edibles."

I was more than happy with that arrangement. I washed and cleaned and, in turn, ate wonderful things like grilled cheese-and-pear finger sandwiches, black beens and homemade tzatziki, and pancakes and dutch babies for breakfast. My stomach gurgles just thinking of it all.

Once home from the trip, Ariel contacted me with an idea for an Offbeat Home post…

Ariel: Basically, CAN THIS PACKAGED FOOD NON-COOKING PERSON SURVIVE WITHOUT PACKAGED FOOD FOR ONE WEEK?
Cat provides meal plans/recipes for you.
Megan: HA!
Ariel: You document your experience.
Megan: that would be hilarious.
i would totally try that

And so it's looking like, starting next week, I will be totally trying that! I'm going from eating like this (and, yes, this is seriously my meal plan EVERY DAY unless I go out to eat)…

  • Breakfast: toast
  • Lunch: pre-packaged salad or turkey sandwich
  • Dinner: frozen pizza or frozen beef and broccoli

…to something like this:

  • Breakfast: Spicy scrambled eggs for two!
  • Lunch: Cheesy crunchy sandwich and a sweet potato!
  • Snack: Cookie break!
  • Dinner: Spinach and parm risotto with an apple nut salad and for dessert ICE CREAM!

Cat's rules are:

  • Three meals + 1 snack + 1 sweet/dessert each day
  • Prep time must be less than 30min
  • Work within the five-or-fewer ingredient rule for packaged foods

I'm thinking that if Aaron or Coco (or anyone else that knows how to run a camera and possibly edit!?) are around while I'm attempting this experiment, I'll have them capture video. Because that way, even if I fail at my meal attempts, at least will get some HILARIOUS footage. Possibly including panicked shopping trips? Me no likey shopping.

So stay tuned to see if this will be the best or WORST idea in Offbeat Home history!

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About Megan Finley

Megan Finley is the Associate Publisher for the Offbeat Empire. When she's not slaving away for the Empire, she's sharing her dork side on her own blog, Twitter @meganfinley, and Instagram @meggyfin.