Overall, I’m going to call my new menu planning plan a success. There’s room to improve, but I’m sticking with it for a second week which means success.
- We ate home cooked meals for dinner five nights this past week. We haven’t managed to eat at home that often in months. This alone made thinking through the new plan worth it.
- The plan allowed for flexibility. We ate six of the seven planned meals, but not ncessarily on the originally scheduled night. I like that it was easy to move meals around based on what had been prepped, number of baby melt downs, what we felt like eating that night, etc.
- Planning was simple. I made notes on a piece of paper to get down meals and what needed to be defrosted and prepped over the weekend. It took maybe two hours to do the planning and grocery shopping.
What Can Be Improved
- I planned a few meals that required too much prep. One meal had recipes to follow for a main course, a dipping sauce, and two vegetable side dishes. My only real prep time is while Paige takes her morning nap; I need to make sure to take all the preparation for a meal into account when combining mains and sides.
- I didn’t do enough prep for breakfasts and lunches during the week and ended up eating some junk here and there. My weekday day time meals are going to need to be fully prepped and ready to go to ensure that I eat them. I’m working on that this weekend and hoping to see an improvement in the coming week.
What We Ate
I made everything I had planned for dinner with the exception of the spicy tuna cakes as we had unplanned take out one night. On Monday night my best friend was in town and we ended up picking up dinner from our favorite Mexican place rather than cooking (witching hour was going STRONG that night). I winged it for breakfasts and lunches, which doesn’t work so well with the baby. I don’t think I made a single dish listed under breakfast and lunch above.
I found a few recipes to use veggies I had in the fridge from our winter CSA. The leek and lemon soup was really good and simple to make. I almost always end up composting fennel but was determined to use it this time. I made this kale and fennel salad, adding hard boiled egg and bacon to make it heartier for lunch.
Smothered pork chops sound a little more Southern than I’m used to cooking, but these were delicious. The recipe was really simple but tasted like something that was more time consuming to put together. I swapped in tapioca flour for the all purpose flour.
We had crockpot chicken enchilada soup that was pretty good. It wasn’t amazing, but it was ridiculously easy and good enough tasting, so it’s gets an overall “pretty good”. Easy as in I threw it together in five minutes before driving to the airport because I had forgotten about it earlier in the day. It also could be a freezer crockpot meal. Finding grain free freezer crockpot meals is not easy, so while this wasn’t amazing, I’m sure I’ll be making it again. (I don’t drink coffee for dinner, but I do eat soup leftovers for breakfast quite often.)
One of my all time favorite recipes is Nom Nom Paleo’s Kalua Pork. Recently she came out with a pressure cooker version that is ready in less than two hours (with less then 5 minutes of hands on time). I am happy to report it tastes just like the original. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, the original is made in a crockpot for 16 hours. Well worth every hour you spend smelling the goodness, waiting to taste it.
Phew… my first post-baby Menu Monday. Sadly it feels like a crazy big accomplishment!