What We Are Eating
I started meal planning shortly after Lila was born. You can read all about my meal planning process here and here. Now, full disclosure - I still don't really ENJOY cooking, but with a family, it is a necessity if we want to eat well and not spend a million dollars on take out. When I was single and living alone I rarely cooked because it seemed like a lot of trouble (and expense) for one person. And then I went on tour for four years where eating out was the norm because I was mostly living in hotels. So when I moved to Long Island with Eric and had Lila I had to figure out a system for myself in order to make meal prep work for me. It is still kind of a pain sometimes - believe me, there are a million things I would rather be doing than making dinner, but over the past two years, I have figured out a system that works for me.
I come up with our weekly meal plans on Thursdays and order groceries for the following week on Sundays. The groceries are delivered on Tuesday mornings (therefore my meal plans include the following Monday). This schedule works for me based on other commitments I have going on throughout the week. About a year ago, some friends started a meal planning group on Google where we share our weekly plans. I have found it really helpful to read about what other people are making and enjoying, so I thought, why not post my weekly plans here, too, as they might prove helpful to someone else who is trying to come up with something to make for dinner?
My meal plans are basically just made up of our dinners. I usually include one item that I will make for lunches, but otherwise we mostly eat leftovers or sandwiches for lunch. Quiche is also a big lunch item around here. Lila sometimes will eat the food I make for our dinners, but mostly I stick with her tried-and-true favorites for her dinners (mac and cheese, hot dogs, rice, quesadillas, etc) as the babysitter most often has to deal with her at dinner time and I don't want to have to make her pinch hit if Lila doesn't like what I've prepared for dinner. I will sometimes make one or two items specifically for Lila during the week.
Eric and I are usually only home for dinner a couple of times a week (I am home Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Eric's evenings off vary) - so the meals I make for our dinners have to be easily transportable to work, which is where they are re-heated and eaten. I like to make big meals on Fridays so that the leftovers last us through the weekend (I don't have time to cook on Saturdays and Sundays).
Meal planning has made cooking more manageable for me because it takes the guesswork out of the everyday prep. It also keeps my stress levels down, because I plan meals according to how much time I know I'll have on any given day. I know on Mondays I don't feel like cooking usually, so I plan something that is quick and easy. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays since I don't have to go to work, I will often plan something more involved.
Okay! So with all that being said, here is our plan for next week:
NEXT WEEK'S MEAL PLAN:
Cilantro Lime Chicken Pizza
Green Chile Turkey Burgers (from freezer)
Sweet Potato Fries (store-bought)
Cajun Shrimp and Rice
Easy Pad Thai (from Budget Bytes cookbook)
Trader Joe's dumplings
HITS FROM THIS WEEK:
Easy Baked Paleo Chicken Tenders
We love these. They are easy to make and delicious (they are breaded with almond flour). We eat them with our favorite barbeque sauce.
My Mom's Shepherd's Pie
If anyone wants the recipe, let me know! I grew up eating this and its comfort food at its best.
Honey-Wheat Sandwich Bread (from the Budget Bytes cookbook)
This was my first time making bread, and it turned out so good! Now I'm obsessed with the idea of getting a bread machine.
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I hope some of you find this post helpful...what do you think? Should I make it a regular weekly thing? Let me know in the comments!