I believe in the healthy idea of meal planning. It allows you to take five or fifteen minutes at one point of your week, instead of more than an hour throughout the week trying to figure out to feed everyone.
Especially in a diet restricted home, I need to do this to ensure that my husband still gets meat, my children have no red meat, and I am trying to eliminate meat all together. On top of satisfying everyone with what they want.
We usually do this on Sunday and everyone can pick one meal they want that week, so that everyone knows they have a voice in the matter. Than I look at when Paul is gone, that's when I serve a meal I know he doesn't like. I look at what we are doing that week and when we need crock pot meals and when we can eat leftovers. I also try to pair that up with what's on sale and what is in our house and cupboards that I need to use up so it doesn't go bad. So many pieces to put together it seems, but in the end, I am much less stressed when it comes to meal time.
I love to cook, but the expectation of cooking three times a day gets tiring. This is my attempt to curve stress, reduce the trips to the grocery store, and limit the complaining. All these things I believe lead to a healthier life. Less gas being used, more time at home doing what we want, and less stress for my heart and soul, which also means probably less frustrated cries for help or yelling on my part. That's better for everyone.
Well, my folks get in on Tuesday night for Thanksgiving and I am so stoked! What I love about my parents is that even coming to have fun, they always want to help. But truth be told, I don't want to spend my time while they are here going to the grocery store and cooking the whole time or trying to figure out what to eat. That question stresses me out to a very severe level these days. I want all the groceries bought and the plan figured out before they get here so I can make what I can ahead of time, have less time in the kitchen and more time in relationship with them doing fun things with my kids.
So I made a plan. Wednesday is Thanksgiving prep day so I wanted limited time in the kitchen for meals for that day. Friday I will be tired of being in the kitchen the whole day before. Friday we will also have friends over for lunch, and then head to the light parade on Friday night. Saturday is get the tree day, decorate the tree and prep for Waller Christmas on Sunday. Putting all those things into consideration, this is what I came up with.
(I am not fancy yet enough to figure out how to add links to my blog, so most recipes I either adapted, or found with Gluten Free Goddess, Simply Sugar and Gluten Free or Living Without.) Enjoy!
Breakfast - Pumpkin oatmeal, banana's
Lunch - Lettuce wraps with egg salad, carrots, country style potato's
Dinner - Mushrooms/sun dried tomato's in a white wine sauce over GF noodles
Breakfast - Pumpkin scones, strawberries
Lunch - Chips/bean dip/guacamole/salsa, grapes, cucumbers
Dinner - Thanksgiving Feast - another blog!
Breakfast - Fruit and Spinach smoothies, hard boiled eggs
Lunch - Chicken, beans, salsa Mex dish over rice in crock pot
Dinner - Turkey sandwiches, veggies, hot cocoa at parade
Breakfast - Scrambled eggs with spinach, grapes
Lunch - chili in thermos' at tree farm with apple slices and almonds
Dinner - Leftovers and popcorn while we decorate tree
Breakfast - Granola with raisins, cucumbers, and country style potato's
Lunch - BBQ Chicken and baked root veggies
Dinner - Leftovers
Snacks: veggies, nuts, fruit, popcorn and LarBar's for the road.
I love that I don't have to think about this now and can just enjoy my parents visit. I hope you also feel inspired and ready to make your own weekly meal plan. It really is one of my greatest stress relievers.
Now if only I could start that great idea of once a month cooking. That would really save me time.
Happy T week.