Easy and safe food prep…Repeating meals over and over again!…Wild weather, but we still ventured out last night and again tonight!…

The eyedropper bottle is a mixture of liquid stevia and sucralose. Unable to consume any form of sugar, it is a staple for me to use in moderation. You can easily substitute other sweeteners that you prefer to use.

Ten years ago, on this date, I posted the recipe for our favorite sugar-free coleslaw, which can be found here. In that post, we also wrote about how most of us home cooks tend to repeat the same ten meals repeatedly, meals that don’t require looking at a recipe or spending lots of time in the kitchen, chopping and dicing and prepping ingredients.

In that old post, I wrote:

“Let’s face it; food is fun. Dining is an integral part of our daily lives. It sustains us. It gives us comfort. It gives us joy. It brings us together. It inspires memory and emotions. If done correctly, it can provide good health, renewed energy, and a sense of well-being.

Suppose you were coming to dinner at our home in Tuscany tonight. In that case, we’d be having a string-tied grass-fed beef roast wrapped in fresh herbs from the garden, served with natural au jus, roasted carrots, onions, and mushrooms, stir-fried seasoned eggplant, tomatoes, and basil (from our garden) and, course, a side of Jessica & Tom’s Repetitive Coleslaw Recipe for World Travel.

Repetitive meals are comparable to a happily retired couple being together daily, night after night. It’s looking at the same face, hearing the same voice, and hugging the same less-than-a-perfect aging body, and it still feels good.”

Green cabbage and carrots that we prepped most days for our repetitive coleslaw recipe, a favorite while traveling the world with the ease of finding and keeping the vegetables fresh. Lately, since we’ve been in the US, we’ve been eating lettuce salad instead of coleslaw since we can get romaine lettuce here, which isn’t always available in other countries.

Here we are, ten years later, and nothing has changed. We still eat the same meals repeatedly during the usual five nights we cook dinner since we dine out twice a week. Breakfasts are also routine, consisting of bacon and eggs, bacon and omelets, bacon and scrambled eggs, or as of lately, an egg, mushroom, sausage, and onion casserole that I cut into portion sizes and freeze, taking out enough to defrost in the refrigerator each day for the next day.

As for repetitive dinners, it was fun to look back and see what has changed for our list of “ten things” that “they” say most households repeat repeatedly. Here is our list, posted ten years ago today…

Our meals are made using local ingredients, grass-fed, free-range meats, and organic vegetables when available.

1. Pizza with a side salad, cooked vegetables
2. Italian meatballs with sugar-free, wheat-free pasta sauce, topped with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Side salad and cooked vegetables.
3. Chicken breasts or whole chicken with a side salad and roasted vegetables
4. Steak with sautéed mushrooms (this could include various cuts of steak, prime rib, filet mignon) with a side salad and cooked/steamed vegetables
5. Pork which could include pork chops, pork roast, baby back ribs (rub type seasoning, no sauce), side salad, and cooked/steamed vegetables
6. Pot roast/roast beef with roasted carrots, onions, mushrooms, with a side salad and additional roasted seasonal vegetables
7. Mexican taco salad with chicken, shrimp or leftover pot roast, olives, tomatoes, onions, grated cheese, sugar-free/wheat-free taco sauce (no chips, no shell) topped with sour cream, avocado, or homemade guacamole
8. Seafood to include crab legs, shrimp, salmon, and cooked fresh fish or crustaceans with a side salad and cooked/steamed vegetables (mainly me since Tom isn’t a huge fan of fish)
9. Hamburgers topped with nitrate-free bacon, sautéed onions and mushrooms, cheese with a side salad, and additional cooked/sautéed/steamed vegetables.
10. Chicken salad, tuna salad, or seafood salad made with onions, celery, and mayonnaise atop a bed of fresh greens with a side of coleslaw and cooked/steamed vegetables

In going over this list, there have been some changes but not that much. As for #6, we can’t always get the cuts of meat to cook a pot roast, but we’ll substitute a beef roast of one type or another, whatever we can find; some require slow cooking, and others can cook more quickly for medium-rare doneness.

This morning I did a Kroger order which will arrive on Monday morning, and we’ll make one of our favorites; a copycat bread-free subway-type sandwich called an unwich at Jimmy John’s. However, we only “real” sliced meats and aged cheese rather than highly processed deli meats and cheese. It is much more expensive this way, but we go for the more healthy version whenever we cook anything. I’ve written several posts about how to put together these “unwiches.”

We posted a repeat of these instructions in this post in 2020 while we were in lockdown in a hotel in India for ten months when we were dreaming of eating these fun “sandwiches.”

Most of us don’t change our menu preferences that much in ten years. We’d love to see some of your lists. Please feel free to post in the comments section!

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, July 8, 2013:

This knife was part of the kitchen equipment available for our use in the house in Boveglio, Italy. It’s sharp and with two hands on the handles, making it impossible to cut oneself. That fact, in itself, makes it a must for me. The bonus is the ease with which it cuts and chops almost anything. For more, please click here.