Good morning sunshines! I don't know about you, but waking up to cool weather puts me in a really good mood these days. It also makes me long for fall, which I have a feeling isn't quite yet just around the corner. Anyway......any of you struggle with dinner (nice transition, huh?)?
I used to love to cook. When my husband and I were first married, I love trying new things, cooking nice (and sometimes fancy) meals and even doing several courses. Flash forward a few years, add a couple kids, lose my income from working and it has all changed a bit. Now I dread meal planning, list making and grocery shopping. I suppose it's because I have to do it and there isn't much room in the ole budget for eating out. But, there are a few things that have made it easier for me (and helped me save time, money and additional frustration).
Before I continue, I want to point you to a friend of mine who has another GREAT blog and just wrote on the same topic. Check it out and become a follower of her blog too. Meet Julia from My Blue Canoe. You'll see her post that shows her meal planning. Check it out - she plans each meal for the week (I bow down). Scroll though the rest of her blog too - she has some really great info on there. I don't plan all our meals, but I do plan dinners. As I plan the meal, I make my grocery list. This keeps me from running to the store ten times for the things I forget (although I must admit, it still happens). I used to have a form I used, but now I just do it on random paper. But, I did want to steer you to a couple of great meal planning charts that I found free on another blog. They are pretty which always makes things nicer....Meal Planning Form. And, in case you need some ideas for what to cook, I'll share with you what I did this week (you'll notice that I splurged on a couple of pre-made meals from Whole Foods; this is my gift to myself for being pregnant and I do think they are worth the price):
Monday: Pre-made meatloaf dinner from Whole Foods (so worth the 13.99).
Tuesday: Shrimp Tacos (just cut up some shrimp, sautéed it, added pineapple salsa from WF and wrapped in whole grain tortillas) - yum!
Wednesday: Pre-made King Ranch Chicken casserole from WF and steamed broccoli.
Thursday: Brown rice with black beans, chicken, sauteed corn, guacamole, salsa and goat cheese.
Friday: Talapia with Asparagus and Rice.
Saturday: BLTs with mixed fruit and side salad.
Even thought I don't plan breakfast or lunch, here it was I have on-hand:
Breakfast options: Oatmeal, cereal, english muffins with peanut butter, scrambled eggs, sweet potato pancakes, veggie sausage....yup, that's about it (we're creatures of habit).
Lunch options: Turkey sandwiches, tuna salad on crackers, peanut butter and honey, turkey hot dogs, chicken quesadillas, turkey paninis, and grilled cheese (oh yes, I almost forgot my favorite....Chick Fil A). I usually serve all these with carrots or broccoli, fresh fruit and greek-strained yogurt.
I know this is soooooo long, but I hope it gives you some ideas and makes meal planning a little easier. Don't forget to check out Julia's blog My Blue Canoe for more great ideas. She even has a link to an electronic cookbook that has 65 recipes with only 5 whole food ingredients. I'm sure I'll have some of those recipes on my dinner list next week.