I've been struggling with meal planning lately. We're a family of four with four very different palates and limited hours in the day. This week I stumbled across this meal planning post via another post that Lean Green Bean linked to. My wheels started turning and the next thing I knew I opened up the calendar template in Word and started sketching in meals for the next week and September. The gist of what I came up with:
- The only days that I really need to plan are our family meals (Sundays when I have time to cook, Mondays and Tuesdays when I don't, and every other Friday) and Wednesday date nights (nights when I want to do something special and have limited time to cook). I didn't plan for any of our other non kid nights or Saturdays, those are spontaneous nights.
- I want to make sure that we're having things that we really like more often. We love lasagna and it's easy to make, but for some reason it falls of my radar and we don't have it as often as we should. Hubs adores chicken parmesan and stepson #1 loves tacos...you get the idea, any meal that is loved that much should happen at least once a month if not more.
- Stuff happens, and we need to be able to let go of the plan at a moment's notice. Recently we've had nights where family came into town on short notice, and heck yeah we dropped everything and hung out with them. Sometimes I work late/kids have unexpected stuff come up/other unforeseen events take place. Ya gotta roll with it.
Avocado toast x3
Breakfast burrito x 2
Saturday: Veggie omelet with hashbrowns and bacon. Veggies via the freezer & Trader Joes: spinach, mushroom medley, and pepper and onion mix. Potatoes were the last of the leftovers from here.
Sunday: scrambled eggs, chicken sausage, and english muffin.
Monday & Thursday: Chrissy Teigan's Actual Drunken Noodles via last Sunday's meal prep
Tuesday: Veggie burrito
Wednesday and Friday: salads via work catered lunch. For Friday, the protein options were sketch, so I brought in a salmon filet that I'd cooked up at home.
Saturday: leftover pizza
Sunday: late breakfast/snacks
Monday (family meal): Baked chimichangas. Now that school is back in session, Monday nights are tight. There's a small window between the time that adults get home and kids have places to be. We had planned on making chimichangas on Sunday but then got invited to a family dinner at the last minute. I left the chimi's prepped in the fridge. Hubs threw then in the oven as soon as he got home. Then we just had to reheat the rice and mix up some guac. I'd made enough chimi's for two meals, but hubs was smart enough to just bake what we needed for that night, so the rest are in the freezer waiting for us.
Tuesday (family meal): Leftover family lasagna from the freezer.
Wednesday (date night): Chicken bacon ranch burgers and fries via the freezer.
Thursday (fend for yourself night): hubs found a chicken burrito hanging out in the freezer. I had random snacks.
Friday (family meal): takeout pizza.
Saturday (last big family blowout of summer): A small family gathering of 13 people at our house. We've become pros at dividing and conquering for family meals.
Sister in law #1: meatballs and sauce
Sister in law #3: sausage, peppers, and sauce, salad
Hubs: pasta and bread
Me: chocolate chip cookies and oreo balls (recipe: combine one box oreos + one block of cream cheese in food processor. Scoop into balls, freeze on a waxed paper lined baking sheet. Dip in dipping chocolate and store in fridge or freezer until chocolate sets). I prepped the balls on Friday night and had the stepsons and their cousins take care of the dipping part before dinner. They were not mad about it. We put quite a dent in the desserts and I was able to send leftovers with the college aged cousins.
Sunday (adult meal): Kids are at a friend's house par-taying it up for a birthday. Adults and stepdog had burgers.
Sister-in-law #1 left us with her famous spaghetti sauce, so you'll be seeing that next week.
For lunches, I made Blue Apron's Zesty Shrimp and Fettuccine. No, I'm not a member of Blue Apron (not opposed, just not something I've felt the need to do), but I read about the recipe on Hungry Runner Girl a while ago and have had it on my list. I took a few nibbles afterwards and I think it's a winner.
Monday: weights and 2 mile treadmill run
Tuesday: 5 mile outdoor run in the rain. Running in the rain in summer = one of my favorite things.
Thursday: 5 mile treadmill interval run
Friday: weights and 2 mile treadmill run
Saturday: 6 mile outdoor run
(from the treadmill): How to Get Away with Murder, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
(from the couch): Adults: We finished Halt and Catch Fire and we're going to need a bit of time to mourn our loss. Family: Disenchanted. The stepsons are old enough to appreciate mild adult language and to understand 75% of the jokes. Hubs and I get to enjoy the 25% of the jokes that they don't have quite enough life experience to understand yet.
Nothing. I've tried a few things but haven't found a book that's holding my attention yet.