Meal planning is not the worst task I take on, but it is also not my favorite. I enjoy cooking the meals I plan, but having to think of what to make and then make out a grocery list and then do the actual grocery shopping is a giant headache for me. I’d rather clean up the aftermath of my kitchen mess after making a meal, then have to plan them, make a list and grocery shop. It’s just so monotonous.
Growing up, my mom always made home made meals. I rarely remember a time that she made something from a box. Mostly, I do a lot of my own home made cooking, yet convenience has been a factor in our meals too. Ultimately, I do admit that I use a lot of boxed items. There is no shame in that, although I try to avoid it when I can as I like to know exactly what I am putting into my food and into my body. Lets face it, home made tastes so much better too (if you are a good cook). It is also healthier to not eat those convenient foods all of the time. Not that I am tooting my own horn, but I consider myself a decent meal maker!
Trying to make something that everyone is happy with can be hard though. Never was this a challenge when it was just my husband and I, but when you throw children into the mix it gets hard-really hard! Most nights, I am either finding myself separating a meal for my daughter (like a casserole or taking fixings off pizza) or preparing something else she claims she will indeed eat. This would have never worked for me growing up. My parents would not have made me anything special and would have made me eat the food that was so graciously prepared for us. If we didn’t eat it too bad so sad, we could go to bed hungry. Lucky for me, I was never too much of a picky eater growing up, and my mom was a good cook. I don’t remember too many nights where I was starving. Thank you Mom!
As I sit this week and look around in my kitchen and I am scraping by food wise and trying to hold off on grocery shopping for a couple days I realize the inevitable. It’s time to plan for the next 5 days of meals. Sunday we had boxed Mac & Cheese & frozen Peas (Gasp!) and last night we ate home made chicken tenders and canned greened beans. Tonight’s meal will be a mystery because our fridge is literally bare, but I do have some staples in the cupboard and I know there is a container of frozen Pork Chops in the freezer!
Speaking of freezer, and just a little side note before I get into my menu for the next week, I wanted to mention that I had a freezer full of home made meals that I slaved in the kitchen over while I was pregnant with K and then we had a mishap! The freezer door was left open (or magically popped open on it’s own) overnight and we literally lost everything. Mind you this is the 2nd time this has happened since we’ve had our upright freezer. Well, the third time will not be a charm for us because I made my husband put a lock on it! Now, it’s just remembering to lock the freezer once we are done with it-so far it hasn’t been an issue but as we well know, it only takes that one brain fart moment to forget. I would have a massive heart attack now if it happened because it’s completely full of my breast-milk. In fact, we bought a 2nd freezer, a 7 cubic foot chest freezer, at Costco the last time we were there because we had run out of room and my milk doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon! With the loss off all those home made meals that would have put us well into Christmas (I’m talking meatballs, soups, lasagnas, breads, muffins, garden veggies, etc) I’m a little more bitter about having to make home made meals daily when I could just be pulling them from my freezer. Little by little when I make home made meals I am trying to put away any left over in the freezer to build that goodness up again! It’s so much better to have those kind of quick meals to pull out and throw together then convenience box foods!
Getting to my meal plan for the next 5 days, here is what I came up with. If anything sound remotely delicious to you or something you would like to try, feel free to leave me a comment and I will post the recipe. I’d post them all now individually but I am running short on time today as my oldest is on spring break all week and in order to keep everyone’s sanity I am trying to keep her VERY busy!
- Broccoli Cheese & Potato Soup with home made French Bread.
- Chicken Cordon Bleu Crescent Rolls with steamed Mixed Vegetables.
- Oven Baked Fajitas and Corn Bread.
- Swiss Steak over Egg Noodles (Crock Pot Version).
- Ham & Scalloped Potatoes with Corn (Crock Pot Version)
See…nothing fancy. I try to just keep it simple and most of this is far from healthy (but I plan on working on the healthy aspect little by little as this extra baby weight isn’t going to fix itself otherwise). However, can you believe it took almost 3 hours to get this meal plan accomplished? I betcha it only takes 3 minutes to devour! Uffda!