Monday, January 4, 2010

Menu Planning (or not Planning) Monday

Lately, I've been heading into the kitchen at 5pm to try to figure out what to make for supper. I never really feel very hungry at all so cooking, even though I love to cook, seems like a chore that just leaves me with a ton of dishes to do (which I DON'T enjoy). I tried to take part in Menu Planning Monday over at Organizing Junkie but as anticipated that only lasted two or three weeks before I gave it up. I never ended up feeling like eating what was scheduled so it didn't quite work out like it was supposed to. Now with winter upon us, my husband works many, MANY hours a day so that also poses a problem because I'd prepare a nice home cooked meal and no one would be here to eat it with me (when it is fresh and looks nice...I like my food to look good as well as taste good and rewarmed food just never has that same appeal.

I'm contemplating giving it a go again but I would love to hear how you decide in advance what you will eat for the week. I'd also love to hear some suggestions on meals that might be appealing but still filling enough for my husband who works pretty hard all day. With the pregnancy all I want is soup and the occasional salad (which obviously isn't enough food because I end up craving sweets later in the day!). Mike needs a decent sized meal when he gets in as well and soup and salad doesn't seem to be enough.

So please tell me how you prepare your meals for the week and if you have nice warm comfort foods that will appeal to a pregnant lady that only feels like eating "light" foods with a husband who needs meals that have "substance".

Hopefully, I'll be back with some ideas and an actual plan next week!

4 comments:

  1. I could have posted this myself, Katrina! I am doing the same thing lately... looking in the DEEP FREEZE at 5pm to decide what's for supper... how insane is that?!?!

    I have some menu planning sheets from http://tinyurl.com/bahamablessings that I love, and I usually use those to write up a menu.

    Two things I try to do.

    1. I ask everyone what they like... saves grumbles later on at meal times... so usually I'll get suggestions like shepherd's pie, homemade pizza, grilled cheese and tomato soup, and spaghetti and sauce. (I add to these)

    2. I try to find as many suppers that I can that involve the crock pot. That way if I get my butt in gear in the AM, I don't have to stress in the PM... and it uses less cooking tools to wash up later on.

    Our favourite crock pot meat?

    I put in about 1lb of frozen boneless, skinless chicken thighs, a bag of mixed frozen veggies (I like the Europe's Best because they have a mix that has no carrots in it for Greyson), and I miss 1 tbs of any Epicure spice mix or dip mix (our favourites is the Oriental Stirfry or the Dijon Terragon dip mix) into a can of low sodium tomatoes. Pour the tomatoes over top everything else - cook for about 8-9 hours on low... serve over rice or couscous or pasta...

    Simple and requires no defrosting of anything. Perfect! LOL! (and it's yummy too!) I imagine you could replace the chicken with beans or beef or whatever you like... but I haven't tried it like that, we like chicken 'round here.

    Looking forward to reading what you come up with!!!
    *hugs*

    ReplyDelete
  2. I suggest first selecting a few main dishes and healthy snacks that the family enjoys and composing a list. Oftentimes you'll see that you may use some of the same ingredients, therefore buying in bulk or buying larger quantities for a few extra pennies, help. Once you have this list, plan your menu around those items.

    For example, I may want beef stroganoff one day but tacos or nachos is a quick fix as well. Buying a larger container of sour cream would work wonders in this case.

    You may also want to cook double batches of certain dishes so that you can divide them up and freeze however you like, and pull out on a rainy/crazy day...I designate 1-2 days for baking/cooking these items (eg. lasagnas, chicken casseroles, meatloaf or mini-meatloaves, meatballs, muffins-apple cinnamon, pumpkin, etc). It sounds like a lot, but it saves time, money, and food in the end. That way you can have your salads/soups, and pulling a meatloaf or lasagna out of the freezer for him, would work wonders! This will help a TON when the baby comes too!

    I have a few recipes on my blog, however I can provide you with additional ones as I'm pretty new to blogging!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Shannon! I will check out the link that you sent.

    The crock pot meal sounds yummy. I might make it with chickpeas some time. Those are two epicure spice blends I would never think to use with tomatoes. I will have to give them a try. I have Dijon Terragon at home and I never know what to use it with!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Christi for your reply!

    I am going to head over to your blog to check it out. I have a recipe book of foods that are suppose to freeze well so I should probably look at it some time a start choosing some recipes to try. I guess I am nearly close enough to delivery that I can indeed look at freezing foods soon. I usually have a pretty full freezer but rarely of already prepared foods.

    We lost of freezer full of food not long ago so I am always hesitant to cook/buy a lot ahead of time!

    ReplyDelete