There is no better day than TODAY to start meal planning. Are there better days to do it? Of course! But you can still get on track with meal planning today. Yes, you can start today! Once you have a process in place, it’s so easy to jump back into things.
During the summer months, our overall schedule was very relaxed. I really didn’t meal plan like I normally do. But with school now in session, it’s so important to be on a schedule with everything, including meal planning. Meal planning eases everyone’s frustrations. About two weeks before school started, I started my 3 Step Process for Meal Planning Success. This simple method is very effective for getting a home-cooked meal on the table each night. So what’s on our menu for the week?
Breakfast and lunch is pretty simple around here though it still requires preparation on my part. Breakfast is normally a hot meal like oatmeal, cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs, bacon, or waffles. I do keep cereal and milk on hand lately for quick meals for the kids. However, I can rarely count on the kids for such a “hands off” meal. Marley is in training with the toaster so that’s good for toast and frozen waffles. But other than that, I’m in charge for all meals around here, including breakfast. Download my three step process here.
Lunch keeps everyone going around here with minimal fuss. The kids rarely complain about lunch because it can be a variety of things they like. Lunch is normally leftovers or something quick like flatbread pizza, baked potatoes, sandwiches, etc. Eating leftovers for lunch takes the guesswork out of midday meal decisions. However, sometimes I do fix a regular lunch and save leftovers for dinner. It all depends on what it was and how much is left. Thankfully my family is open to leftovers, especially if it’s something they love. I love cooking so whatever they want I make (within reason). Here’s some of the highlights from this week’s meal plan menu.
This one pot meal is so hearty and delicious. I love most soups and really love all the flavors this one offers. It’s basically a vegetable soup but not really. It’s like one of the best vegetable soups you’ve ever had! The ground meat adds this extra layer of comfort and you’re tempted to get a second serving. It’s perfect to cook year-round, especially on cold winter nights. Serve with cornbread or warm french bread.
Get the recipe here: The Pioneer Woman – Hamburger Soup
Chicken Fried Rice
Do you know what I cook a lot of? RICE! I cook a lot of rice around here because my kids love it. So to mix things up this week, I’m going to attempt to perfect my fried rice recipe. I’ll be trying a new chicken fried recipe from Rachel Schultz’s blog. I’ve been told that my grandfather could make good fried rice but I don’t remember the details of how he did it. I guess I’ll double-check with my Dad before I cook this recipe. With fried rice, I find that the texture of the rice is everything. So, I’m on a mission to cook “the most perfectly textured chicken fried rice”. Is that possible? I guess we shall see.
Get the Recipe here: Better Than Takeout Chicken Fried Rice
I’m harboring a few unripened avocados and hoping that they will be ripe sometime this week. That will allow me to make a quick tomato / avocado salad for my lunch or to have as a dinner side. Since I started working out 2 weeks ago, I am trying to be mindful of what I eat and how much I eat. This simple salad can be just as filling as flatbread pizzas. It’s quick for lunches and gives me a healthier option over pizza too. Just sprinkle a little vinegar, salt and pepper for taste. I find that the avocado is creamy and that you don’t need salad dressing.
Since both Brandon and I both have a new fitness routine, it’s important we have something to help us recover. During the week, we make protein fruit smoothies to have on hand for post-workout. There’s a ton of things you can put in a smoothie. We make sure to include greek yogurt and protein powder to help build lean muscle. I like including frozen fruit because normally it’s cheaper. However, this week organic bananas and strawberries were on sale for a great price. I’ll compare to see if we actually save money or not.