Breaking out of the Dinner Rut

Like a lot people, we get in dinner ruts. There are times when buying what’s cheap (hello chicken and ground beef) wins out over buying a variety of foods. I wind up making versions of the same meals over and over until my husband gets a little twitchy when he asks what’s for dinner and I tell him it’s chicken.

Well, he hit his twitch point recently and asked me to not buy any chicken this week. I already had some in the freezer, and admittedly my stash didn’t need to grow any larger. Instead, I focused on only buying non-chicken meat items.

I didn’t meal plan this week either because I didn’t have any time. I barely had time to even spend 45 minutes at the grocery store, let alone spending an hour planning what I was going to buy during my rushed trip. So it should be a rather interesting week, needless to say.

Here’s what I got:
Leg of lamb (on sale)
Pork chops (I gave in and bought them)
Italian sausage
Marinated pork tenderloin
Thin-cut steaks
Deli meats
Beef roast
Pork butt roast

I made the lamb last night because my husband loves lamb. Unfortunately, he’s the only one in the family that likes it. I tried one bite and wanted to die. My children wouldn’t even try a bite. I roasted it over vegetables with rosemary, thyme and garlic. It smelled ok, mostly like rosemary, and my husband said there was no hint of gaminess to it, but it just tasted gross. Like meat you shouldn’t eat. Then he put mint jelly on it and I really thought I was going to lose it. Oh, my, nasty.

So then the kids and I had chicken nuggets. Mom win, right?

Anyway, the rest of the week should go smoother. I hope. Maybe. I hopped on Pinterest this morning to try and find recipes for things I bought and one click led to another and before I knew it, I was looking at a pasta dish made with… chicken. Sorry husband, I like chicken.

So I have a freezer full of non-chicken items and I’m going to make chicken. That figures, doesn’t it? After last night’s lamb fiasco, I’d rather have something safe that I know the kids and I will like. We’ll get back to the adventure tomorrow night.

To my original point – when I’m in a dinner rut, I buy things that are outside of my usual comfort zone and force myself to make “different” foods for a week. What do you do? Do you have a way to avoid the dreaded dinner rut? I’d love some ideas!

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