Monday, September 29, 2014

Why I Meal Plan, plus Menu and Recipe Review

I don't think I've ever mentioned why I plan our meals each week. And, if I have it's been quite a while.

Back when I was working full time, I did my grocery shopping for the week or two weeks or whatever but never really had an idea of how I would use those staples. Each work day, I found myself constantly turning over ideas of what to make for dinner with what I had and eventually would have to run to the store on my way home to pick up an item or two that I needed for that meal. This happened day in and day out. It ate up so much of my time and was costly in gas and supplies. I felt like my life was consumed by what we were going to eat and then making it. It finally occurred to me that if I came up with a menu each week, my days and evenings would be free-er to consider other creative pursuits. In beginning my planning, I stumbled on I'm an Organizing Junkie's linkup and other meal plan sites that fueled this new habit. While I'm no longer working full time, I've continued to use my meal plan strategies because it limits that "What the heck are we going to eat" question from plaguing my thoughts to only once a week, the day I plan. It really has been a time-saver.

Breakfasts: Smoothies, Cereal, PB Toast w/fruit, Ham and cheese omelets, Monkey Muffins

Lunches: Black bean burgers w/sweet potato fries, Soup and grilled cheese, Chicken finger wraps, Cheese quesidillas, Creamy garlic pasta w/salad, Chicken salad sandwiches, PB&J

Dinners:
General Tsos Tofu w/green beans and rice
Homemade kitchen sink pizza (pizza dough in freezer) w/salad
Thai chicken breasts w/broccoli and wild rice mix

Obviously, I'm linking up at Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.
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Recipe Review

Coffee Braised Brisket: The hubs really liked this recipe. I thought it was okay. I think he was just hungry for some real meat/real food. I'm not sure I'll be making this again though. I've got a couple other brisket recipes to try.

Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Mushrooms: This is my recipe and I haven't altered it. As always, I love these.

Bowtie Chicken Alfredo: I loved, loved, loved this, It wasn't a very traditional alfredo sauce, but I really liked it anyway. Even without the ease of a microwave, the hubby ate the leftovers. I'd say it's a winner.

So, do you plan your meals too? Why or why not?

6 comments:

  1. I think meal planning is great - more economical in every respect. I'm too lazy to do it, I guess. I do, however, when we have people visiting for a few days and even cook a couple of meals in advance. On the other hand, my husband loves shopping for food and there's no way he would miss his weekly visit to the food store :)

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  2. HaHa "grab a bottle of dry white wine from your bedside table" (Ree in Alfredo recipe) I love it :) My own super-quick microwave Alfredo involves Carnation and cornstarch, but with fresh garlic and Parm you'd be amazed how tasty it is :)

    Seriously, having planned meals saved my sanity with four kids, 6 and under, Hope! I think when you have done it long enough, it becomes a lifelong habit. My oldest is now 26, but I still have certain meals for certain days of the week, and I only shop two days a week. Why reinvent the wheel? :)

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  3. You've just described my life until I started meal planning. I've only planned dinners though and just had extras on hand for sandwiches, cereal, etc. But, I love your thinking about all three meals!

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    1. Kim, I try to plan all three (and even snacks sometimes) just to make sure we have ingredients on hand. Usually breakfasts and lunches are cereal and sandwiches like you have but I like to mix it up some since there are so many great breakfast and easy meal ideas on Pinterest and elsewhere. Of course, Fairhope has a fabulous array of lunch places too and we eat take-out more often than I really like, but it's so good!! :)

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  4. With a vamily that has various activities and volunteer events we are seldom home at the same time.It really makes id difficult to plan a meal. Maybe one of these days things will slow down.

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  5. I have tried to plan meals but my hubby is actually the main cook. I keep trying to tell him that it would make it easier on him but no go.

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