I know that some people dislike meal planning as much as I do, so I thought I would share the results of last week’s plans just for kicks. Maybe it will be useful to share ideas/methods/recipes, etc.? Maybe? I don’t know. Also, I did not remember to take pictures of everything we ate. Sorry. But please enjoy the pictures I did take.
First, how I plan. (Some of these may seem really obvious, but I know that it took me a while to figure things out — and I’m still figuring things out — so I am sharing them anyway.):
- I like to try new recipes, so chances are about half of the meals I make on any given week are things we’ve never tried before.
- If we have things left over from the last week (a half carton of sour cream, some spinach, some olives), I try to incorporate those into the next week’s meals so they don’t go bad.
- I try to use a variety of everything: carbs (potatoes, rice, bread, pasta), proteins (beans, meat, cheese, eggs), veggies (tomatoes, broccoli, peas, carrots), soups, salads, Mexican, Italian, oven, stove, pressure cooker, rice cooker, blah, blah, blah, etc. etc.
- I try to cull recipes from a variety of sources: our cookbooks, websites (some of my go-to sites are epicurious.com, allrecipes.com, the Pioneer Woman Cooks, and 101 Cookbooks), recipes from friends, etc.
- I usually do not have many side dishes. Our family is small enough at this point that a main dish will feed us and usually produce leftovers for lunch. If the main dish isn’t colorful or vegetable-y, I’ll add a salad or a vegetable to keep us healthy.
- We often have things come up and one of the planned meals won’t get made, at which point it goes on the next week’s list.
- I don’t really shop the sales or use coupons. Too much work. I would end up going to 7 different stores and I don’t have a car . . . not worth it. If something is a good deal at the local store, of course I’ll get it, but I usually don’t see the sale items until I’m actually at the store, so I don’t plan a meal around it until the next week.
So, this is what we ate last week:
Monday: Poached Chicken Breast with Peanut Sauce and Noodles from The Everything Thai Cookbook. I made this two weeks ago and had a ton of sauce leftover. The second time around I fried the chicken instead of poaching it and I served it with broccoli instead of snow peas like it calls for in the recipe. Sorry, no picture. It didn’t look that great anyway. But it tasted good.
Tuesday: Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup with muffins. I made this soup several weeks ago and we froze the leftovers. At Micah’s request, I made some lemon-poppy seed muffins to go with it.
Wednesday: Cheese and Potato Layer Bake from SuperCookery Potatoes and Vegetables cookbook. I was looking for a way to use a leek I had leftover from a previous week and decided on this. It was a lot easier and tastier than I expected. Don’t ask me why I made it when I didn’t expect it to taste very good.
Thursday: Olive Cheese Bread and salad (which I threw together at the last minute — arugula, grape tomatoes, feta, salmon from a can, and capers). We’ve had this before as well, only without the salad. It is very tasty, but note that it contains 1. butter 2. mayonnaise 3. cheese. The only way I can feel good about it is if it is served along side lots and lots of leafy greens. I used some of our homemade bread instead of a store-bought loaf.
Friday: Spinach and Feta Pita Bake. This is a new recipe. I wanted to try making pitas with the bread dough we use and came across this when looking for a way to serve them. I really wish I had remembered to take a picture because it looked — and was — super tasty, but I didn’t. Sigh.
Saturday: We ended up being invited to a friends’ house, so I didn’t have to cook and our Saturday meal became our Sunday meal.
Sunday: Pancakes. I was in the mood for pancakes after reading several posts about Fat Tuesday and pancake traditions on various blogs. I wanted something a little bit healthier than our normal breakfast pancakes. These are topped with frozen blueberries that I heated up and added a wee bit of sugar to.
And that is that. Feel free to share anything you feel like sharing. Tips, tricks, favorite meals, food aversions. The grossest thing you ever ate. The grossest thing you ever made. Confessions from the middle school cafeteria. You know, whatever.