“Today’s Menu: Eat It or Starve!” I need to get this hanging in my kitchen somewhere! I am not, and never have been, an extraordinary cook. In fact, not much in the kitchen is familiar to me. Growing up, I was always the one that had music lessons, piano competitions, cheerleading practice, or other busy activities that kept me out of the kitchen. My younger sister, however, got enough kitchen time for both of us! She became very good at both cooking and baking. To this day, at family gatherings Tricia brings home-made cheesecake, delicious strawberry pretzel jello, or perfectly soft cookies. Me on the other hand? I feel accomplished when I bring brownies that I added chocolate chips to!
So last Friday night, with a fire going in the fireplace and snow outside, I decided to actually do what I’ve pinned a million times—Meal Plan! I read lots of blogs and got ideas from Pinterest, but I ended up combining some of their ideas and making my own plan that works for me. One blogger plans food for the whole month, takes a couple of hours on Saturday morning and buys ALL the ingredients that she’ll need, and then spends a few hours sorting and putting food away and storing it in her basement. Another blogger writes meal names (ex. Spaghetti) on decorative cards, then puts the recipe and ingredients on the back of the cards, and hangs them on a pretty calendar board on her fridge. Then, each week, she takes a card and clips it to each day of the week, and does her planning week-by-week.
I printed out some healthy recipes from Pinterest (we’re trying to eat healthy in 2015), and started my planning. I used my January calendar and planned for the next two weeks in January. Then the next day, Saturday, Abe and Kali and I went to Home Depot and Aldi’s (we love doing family trips to those two stores that are right next to each other—almost every weekend!) and we bought a long list of ingredients that I had made after going through my meal plan recipes on Friday. So yesterday was my first day on the meal plan—chicken avocado burritos. We loved them, and they were actually really easy!! I’ll share the recipe below, but it is SOO nice and freeing to have a schedule of meals. I like doing it on a two-week basis, too, instead of a month, because I have a better idea of our schedule and can plan the meals accordingly. (For instance, I knew that tonight we have a meeting at 4:00, then going to King of Prussia to pick up some furniture, so a big lasagna dinner wouldn’t work. Also, 7 AM-7 PM is a little long for a crockpot, so I found a quick recipe for “French Bread Pizza.” It’s healthier than store-bought or frozen pizzas, and I can add whatever I want on top. Again, I love the freedom of knowing ahead of time and then being able to adjust it to whatever you want!)
Now, I did leave some days empty. Saturdays and Sunday I left open—either for leftovers, for going out, for visiting our parents, or for trying a new meal if I have lots of time. I also left some days like tomorrow, Wednesday, open—because I’ll be on the rotation of teen visitation and won’t be home until 5:15, and also because we want to have one night a week for pizza night and we just might pick Wednesdays. J I love meal-planning because it gives you a general structure and schedule, but is soo flexible and can be changed when needed. If we go out unexpectedly, I can save a meal for the next night or save it for an open night.
Do you meal plan? Do you have a method that you love and that works for your family? Abe and I are excited (especially after the success the first day) to eat healthy and not be stressed about dinner. Kali is still in the chicken nuggets/macaroni stage, but we are working on introducing more foods to her taste buds. 🙂 She still enjoyed helping me meal plan though!
- 4 cups cooked shredded chicken
- Half jalapeno pepper, diced (Can use the whole thing if you like spicy!)
- 2 cups Mexican mix cheese (Can use mozzerella, chedder, taco cheese, whatever you like!)
- Four large tortillas
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- Heat olive oil in skillet on medium-high heat.
- Mix chicken, pepper, and cheese in a bowl together.
- Spread out one tortilla, and put 1/4 of the mix in the tortilla.
- Fold up the tortilla like a burrito (I’m not that talented at stuff like that, mine were falling all over the place but still tasted good. :)) and place in the skillet.
- Heat on one side for about 2-3 minutes, then flip and heat the other side.
- Repeat steps 3-5 for each tortilla, until the mix is gone.
It’s so easy! Hope you enjoy them! 🙂