Good in the Kitchen

Kitchen canisters

I haven't been all that happy with the food I've been preparing lately. Not because it isn't healthy, or frugal, or because it takes too much work, or anything like that. Not even because it doesn't taste good to me (because it does).

I made a realization, though. Over the last year or so, I have slowly shifted away from making many of the simple, basic, North American style meals that my husband loves. In favor of that, I have moved towards more ethnic meals, more beans and legumes, more experimenting, and less sticking with what we know and love.

This past month, I started really noticing that my husband hasn't been as keen on my cooking. In fact, neither have my kids. It's harder to make use of the leftovers in the fridge, so I end up eating most of them myself. I miss the rave reviews, and the hugs and kisses when my husband comes home from work and sees what's waiting for him.

The GirlTalkers are exploring the Proverbs 31 woman right now, and the past two weeks they've been focusing on this verse:

She does him GOOD, and not harm, all the days of her life." Proverbs 31:12

It's been revealing and convicting for me, in many regards. The one that really hit me yesterday was that making all the healthy and interesting dishes in the world is just a complete waste if it isn't doing good to the most important man in my life!

So there's a shift taking place. Last night while my husband was out at an event, I spent a lot of time writing out a list of meals that I think would serve him better, meals that he would be excited to eat once again. They don't sound quite as healthy, but in actuality they can all be made with nourishing ingredients, and have generous helpings of salad and veggies added to their sides (and my hubby loves veggies, so that's not a problem at all). 

My new meal plans will include a lot more dishes like: taco salad, fajitas, roast beef, homemade pizza, lasagna, quesadillas, beef stew, grilled cheese and homemade tomato soup, meatballs, turkey stromboli, salmon or chicken kebabs, cheesy beef and rice, spaghetti with tomato sauce, mashed potatoes, butter chicken, burritos, and I'm sure you get the point.

Sure, I'll still make the odd lentil or butternut squash soup, or cold rice and bean salad, or the like. Mostly, though, I will be refocusing my efforts on making these comfort foods that he really loves, with high quality ingredients and nourishing methods, along with a really good variety of veggies alongside them. I already examined my budget to see how I could make this work, and it's tight (not that it wasn't before), it requires more discipline and intentionality, but I think it will be alright. (And a huge thanks to Laura, whose meal plans, recipes and Getting Real with Food series were such an invaluable help to me last night!)

Best of all, I told my husband what I was thinking, and read him the list of meals I had put together. He smiled, and the relief was so evident, not just in his face, but his whole body relaxed. He said he would love it if I made meals like that all the time. I could instantly see that this change was truly doing my husband good.

It's okay to want to challenge our families a bit, and make new and interesting and nutritious dishes. But our priority is still to serve our husbands (and our children, though I do believe their tastes need to be guided by us for the most part). If what we're making just isn't doing it for him, then something needs to change.

I want to truly "do him GOOD", and that includes what I do in my kitchen.

Does the food that you're serving bless your husband? Are you trying to make healthy changes that he is resisting? How have you learned to balance improving your diet with making food that your he still loves?

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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  1. I am so glad I found this blog about a month ago now. Your site really truly helps women like me find easier ways to serve our husbands and family. Thank you for investing time others and not just your family it truly shows in your writings, I can say that I read everyday now and implementing many of the things and tips you have here. Thank you so much.
    .-= Elizabeth Ashe´s last blog ..Paraben Free beauty Products – What You Don’t Know =-.

  2. Great post…and a wonderful reminder about how important it is to do good to our husbands. I just found your blog and I’ve got it marked in my favorites folder…I’ll be back. : )

  3. along these lines, i have really been missing meal plan mondays. i would love if you could keep us in the loop of the meals you do make for your family (after this decision). thanks

  4. These same thoughts have been running through my mind lately too. Over the last year, I have moved to cooking a lot more ethnic foods, mostly vegetarian, and with lots of legumes, rice, etc. While my husband has never complained, I know that he doesn’t enjoy my cooking as much as he used to. Last night I made a venison roast, biscuits, mashed potatoes, green beans and coleslaw. I have cooked like this in a loooong time, and it isn’t my favorite way to cook. But my husband was SO happy and obviously enjoyed the meal. I too, want to start cooking more foods that he really enjoys, while making them with healthy, fresh ingredients.
    Thanks for this encouraging post!

  5. This is actually something that I have been thinking about a lot lately as well. I have been trying hard to only have one or two meals a week that are not his stlye. To make it work for our budget, it has to be that way…at least for now. But it used to be more like 4-5 meals a week that weren’t what he liked. He is happier now with things this way.

    Its so hard sometimes to balance all the needs- as a mom the tiredness, as a wife the needs of the husband, as a homemaker the financial crunch, etc. but I know my husband needs to be a priority. Thanks for the insight on how that is in your family!

  6. I totally get this and believe that food can’t be healthy and nourishing if your family doesn’t enjoy it!! I’ve made it my challenge to make our food healthy AND delicious!

  7. Megan, hi! Long time no see! You’re oh so very welcome!:)

  8. FANTASTIC post, Stephanie. Absolutely timely for me and I thank you for it. EXCELLENT!

    (and while I’m here, can I just say THANK YOU for continuing to publish full feeds? I do almost all of my blog reading through email these days – in an attempt to keep things simple – and you full feed publishers are my heroes! Also, I hadn’t seen your button yet so I am gonna grab it and add it today! Blessings.)

  9. I agree totally. A few years ago I went on this kick of new and different dishes EVERY night. My husband and kids never really complained but I knew they were not really excited and I also ended up eating or trashig leftovers. So, I asked my husband and he said I just want a good roast, hamburger steak and maybe a normal cheap pasta. I laughed so I save a day or two in the month to make those new interesting meals and if they are hit they become regular and if not they are BYE-BYE!

  10. Like everyone else I feel like you are speaking to me. I’ve been struggling with making meals healthier (or just making meals at home period!). My husband turns up his nose at anything that even sounds healthy. I will have to try making “normal” meals with healthier items. Thanks so much for your post. It’s really great to hear other women’s solutions to this issue :o)


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