There's been talk recently around the idea of meal planning. I'm curious.
Growing up there were dishes that we ate often in my family (ground beef, rice, and petit pois peas all mixed together comes to mind,) but I don't think there was ever a Plan with a capital "P". And up until now, as an adult and a parent, I have not felt the need for the sort of order that something like a week/month/season of pre-set meals would offer. I guess the idea seemed strict or limiting or too domestic or would put me in front of the stove all day or... But then my mind changed, and I started believing that the order and control it established was actually free-ing. If we knew what was for dinner that week, and shopped accordingly in advance, then we'd have more time to enjoy cooking good food that we all liked and eating it as a family. Whoa! I could actually make a great meal with or without another pair of hands because I would already know what dinner was going to be and could work towards it throughout the day as opposed to slapping something (hopefully healthy and well-rounded) together in the 30 minutes after Jeff gets home from work.
Maybe we need the time, routine, and peace that meal planning can offer.
So, with that in mind... and 3 days into the plan... here's what we're doing.
Sunday: roasted chicken, broccoli, cornbread
Monday: left-over chicken, polenta, roasted cauliflower
Tuesday: hamburgers, spinach salad, applesauce (peeled apples cooked down)
Wednesday: mujadara, broccoli, sweet potatoes
Thursday: noodles with parm and home-canned tuna, peas, "cabbage noodles" (We don't use the hot sauce or soy, and we do use purple cabbage instead of green. Molly's original recipe is delicious, but wouldn't work for Calder. The way we make it now, he gobbles it up. His friends do too!)
Friday: slow cooker pot roast, red potatoes (from roast) or mashed potatoes, cooked carrots (from roast), kale
Saturday: left-over pot roast tacos, white corn tortillas, pinto beans, brown rice, green salsa
Though I like the idea of planned breakfasts and lunches too we aren't there just yet. (I think it's a great idea especially because I find myself often skipping lunch - not a good idea for a nursing mama!) I think we may be able to get by with a shortlist for "what's for breakfast" for the time being. You know, cereal, almond butter and banana smoothies, peanut butter toast, eggs, etc. I'm also considering setting up a snack drawer for Mr. Calder.
It's the no-pressure meal plan system. If we get invited to dinner at a friends'... great! If we want to go out... great! We're flexible and can work with our plan. It's ours to tweak and change as necessary. I like it!
And speaking of pressure... our neighbor returned from the coast with some fresh tuna and i canned a few 1/2 pints on Sunday. Made the house smell a tad fishy for a few hours, but the end product is absolutely the best canned tuna you'll ever eat. So worth it! Yum!
I love feeding food I love to people I love. (See, I told you they do this a lot!)