Meal Planning

Shortly after Lila was born, I started using Evernote to do meal planning, inspired by this blog post by my friend Sarah. In the past I sort of just winged it at the grocery store, or ate out. For four of the five years before Lila was born I was on tour, so I ate out almost every meal during that time. Now being a working mom and having such limited time to shop and cook, I find meal planning to be absolutely essential.

I start planning for the next week on Thursdays and spend the next three days getting my plan together. I look on Pinterest for ideas or just look through my recipes in Evernote and pick ones that have been hits before. A few months ago, some of the girls I know on Twitter started a meal planning group on Google. That has also been a great source of ideas for me.

I take into account the time I will have to cook on each day and I plan accordingly . On Fridays I like to make a large batch of something that will last us through the weekend since I don't have time to cook on Saturdays and Sundays.

On Sunday mornings I place a grocery order through Peapod, which is Stop and Shop's delivery service. I used to go grocery shopping on Mondays, but I really, really hate grocery shopping (especially with a toddler), so this time save of ordering online and getting delivery has been a game changer for me. Our groceries are delivered Tuesday mornings and last us through the week.

  I am really not a fan of cooking - it is not something that is enjoyable for me, but I do like to eat as healthfully as possible, and I don't like spending the money to eat out all the time, so cooking is sort of a necessary evil. Luckily, meal planning has at least taken a lot of the stress out of it for me.

Today I posted a list of recent "hits" on our Google meal planning board, so I thought I would share them here, too.

LUNCH:

I usually make one of these and it lasts a week. A slice with some salad is a great lunch. For the quiche I usually put broccoli, tomatoes and scallions in it instead of ham.

Make Ahead Quiche

Martha Stewart Tortilla and Black Bean Pie

DINNER:

Fried Rice and Skinnytaste Shrimp/Asparagus Stir Fry - These are really easy to make and super tasty.

Skinnytaste Baked Chicken Parmesan - I live with an Italian dude so this is a staple. So good and easy.

Paleo Chicken Tenders - These are so tasty. I love them with BBQ sauce.

Skinnytaste Pasta with Sausage and Escarole - This is one of our favorite pasta recipes. Spicy and different!

Cauliflower Casserole - this is super decadent and makes a TON. Seriously, will last you a week as a side dish. Yum!

Smoky Bacon Chili  - This is our favorite chili recipe. Eric is not a fan of beans, so this beanless chili is a win. Also, BACON. Yum.

DESSERT:

If you haven't made the Red, White and Blueberry Trifle from Skinnytaste, you should! Its one of our favorite summer desserts and great for a party. Its super easy to put together, looks spectacular, and everyone LOVES it. We've already made it three times this year.

Happy eating, everyone!