August 10, 2013

Thursday Meal Planning

Thursdays have become one of my favorite days of the week. For starters, it's this close to being the weekend (which I surprisingly still look forward to even though I'm not working anymore). And Thursday afternoons, Lola and I trek over to St. Louis Park to pick up our weekly crop share delivery. And then Thursday nights I happily sit down with a pile of cookbooks and magazines and do our meal planning for the next week.

I love meal planning. Although it sometimes takes on a life of its own. As I've told you a zillion times before, I get completely overwhelmed with all of the recipes floating around out there. The cookbooks. Pinterest. Random tweets I try to remember. Things I've heard people talk about. Things my mom has been making. There are a lot of possibilities.

I get on major tangents. Like this week, I grabbed a piece of paper and started jotting down Fall recipes that I came across and didn't want to forget. I have multiple pieces of paper like this that honestly I lose track of: random foods particularly good for Lola, toddler snack ideas, Summer-esque recipes, things that I think would be particularly blog-worthy, things to make for certain friends. I really must come up with a better system. The former 9-to-5-er in me tells me I should create a spreadsheet but...that doesn't feel inspiring. So for now I'll pretend that I'll actually keep track of my random pieces of paper and use them.

But this week, the menu was really crafted around the veggies that came in our share: zucchini, eggplant, summer squash, basil, peppers, cucumbers, carrots, potatoes, dill, cilantro, watermelon, and a couple of tomatoes.

It's like a game, menu planning. Strategizing how you'll use what you have or what's in season. Working with a budget, so being smart about making things that utilize at least some similar ingredients. Figuring out what we want to eat and making sure most of it is Lola-friendly (particularly that she can chew it with her two little bottom chompers and two barely-there-incoming uppers). Making sure that the week looks balanced for Lola nutritionally.

Meal planning is working for us big time. There are no questions about what to make early in the am when she's demanding her first square. We have what we need in the house to make lunch (a big challenge I learned since being home all day). We have enough snacks in the house. We all each much better because of it.

It's all good.

This week, I'm most excited for the chicken salad I'm making for our lunches with yogurt and tons of fresh herbs, the fish tacos with homemade tortillas and salsa, and Thursday's tomato toasts (thick grilled slices of Rustica bread rubbed with garlic, ripe tomato, and topped with serrano ham and manchego). Oh, and the brown rice pudding that I'm going to make for snack time. And the cheese crackers.

This week is going to be a good week.

1 comment:

  1. Meal planning is huge at our house. What did I do for grocery shopping before I meal planned?! Trips to costco help with staples like chicken breast, ground beef, olive oil, quinoa, etc. But I too have things take on a life on their own sometimes. I find myself e-mailing myself recipes and saving them in a folder in my gmail. We also have a white board at our house that I write down what we're having that week for meals on, so there is no surprise. It also helps plan financially for the week for eating out and the grocery bill.