Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Meal planning

Do y'all meal plan? I'm pretty compulsive about it. If I don't I spend too much time trying to figure out dinner, running to the store to buy things I don't have, and basically being stressed about something I normally enjoy doing (cooking) and time I look forward to (dinner with my family.)

I like to figure out what my week looks like first. I go through my personal calendar  and write that on a weekly print out for the fridge. I add the kids activities and any family plans we have. This gives me a good idea of what types of dinners I need for each day (hands off crock pot meals for busy nights, kid only meals for date nights, or more labor intensive/time consuming meals for days with nothing else going on.)

Then I start the actual meal planning. I use the app PepperPlate because it's easy for me. I used to use cookbooks and recipes cut out of magazines, but PepperPlate keeps it all in one spot and everything easy to find.

 I usually do all this on Monday. Then I shop on Tuesday. So I start my planning with Tuesday, which is usually an easy day but I had to do taxes yesterday and didn't get my planning done so I'm running a bit late and will shop late, so I'm making an easy meal tonight. That's the way it goes sometimes (most of the time)so "the plan" is flexible. Tonight we are having Pasta with Pesto cream sauce from The Pioneer Woman. 

I'm changing the recipe a bit of course. I'm using Amore pesto paste instead of making the pesto.

 It's vegan so I don't have to worry about the cheese in regular pesto, since our oldest is allergic to milk. Then I'll swap the heavy cream with unsweetened soy milk, the butter with Earths Balance, and the grated Parmesan with nutritional yeast. 

As I figure out each day I make my shopping list. PepperPlate will make one for you from the recipe but I'm a list person and still write mine by hand mostly. I also put reminders on the weekly planner/calender such as taking meat out of the freezer or soaking beans. Forgetting those things can ruin the best plans!

Here's the rest of our week with the links if you want an easy plan. I'll post my dairy free changes as I make the recipe. 
Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb BBQ sauce, broccoli, roasted potatoes 
Crock pot Chicken with black beans and Cream cheese

I hope you enjoy the meals and that the plan simplifies your life a bit!

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