I decided to print a monthly calendar for meal planning yesterday so that I could plan ahead. I think this will help me out a lot because I struggle with a meal plan. I sit down to make it and you would think that since I have been cooking for 16+ years I would be able to easily write down 7 meals for the week and move on, but that is not the case. I stare at the calendar and my mind goes blank. I think there are so many things going through my head like, how much time will I have to cook that day? Will the kids like it? Is it healthy? What would I make on the side? that I get overwhelmed and can't come up with anything. I am thinking that if I do a chunk ahead of time, even if I have to tweak it because of a schedule thing, at least I am only changing a day and not a week, and if I am working on three or four weeks from now and not tomorrow, maybe I will feel less overwhelmed and time pressed? All theories, but I am trying it!
I started with a list of meals. I just jotted down all the things I could think of that we like to eat and then worked on plugging them into the calendar. I thought about when I would want leftovers for lunches and other meals and tried to be really strategic about when I planned certain things. For instance, tonight I am going to cook extra BBQ chicken for a couple of reasons. My dad's birthday is tomorrow and I don't know yet if we are going to my parents for dinner. If we do, then I will use the extra chicken for our lunches this week, but if we don't we will have grilled chicken salads for dinner tomorrow. I won't be getting home until later in the afternoon so it will be a nice quick and easy dinner if I need to make something.
Here is the start of my July calendar and my list of things we like to eat!
Now for my dinner meal plan...
Monday - Grilled chicken with BBQ sauce, Brown Rice and a veggie
Tuesday - Possible Grilled chicken salad or eating at Mom and Dad's. I am going to make this Easy Lemon Vinaigrette dressing from Peanut Butter Fingers to put on my salads this week.
Wednesday - Egg sandwiches with a side of fruit (Olivia has dance so we don't have a lot of time)
Thursday - Teriyaki salmon cooked on the grill with quinoa and veggie. I am going to use this teriyaki recipe from Mix and Match Mama click here.
Friday - Steak on the grill, Pasta Salad and a veggie
Saturday - we won't be home, we will be at a cookout
Sunday - Mussels with French bread. This will be a night where I feed the kids and then the hubby and I eat alone, a little at home date night. I haven't decided if I will need to serve something else with this or if it will be filling enough? This is a picture of the recipe I am going to use. I couldn't find it online so I just took a picture of the book!
That's it! Now I am off to start my day. I have a little time to myself this morning to grocery shop in peace, then I will be taking Olivia out on a date day! I am not sure what is on the agenda, but she mentioned shopping, she has a few gift certificates that she can't wait to spend! I was also thinking about taking a walk around Mackworth Island which we both love. Either way it will be nice to spend some quality time with my little lady!