Monday, September 26, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Today marks the beginning of the Plan It, Don't Panic Meal Planning Challenge! Head over to Keeper of the Home to see the linkup and learn more about the challenge.

It seems quite common the start the week on Monday, and to plan the week's meals from Monday-Sunday. Of course I do things differently! Here's my process:

Tuesdays: our CSA posts the weekly share info on their blog so we know what we're getting. I write down our share contents & other seasonal produce on my planning sheet, plan out meals, and queue up my recipes.

Wednesdays: there is very little food left in the fridge mid-week. Meals are creative, to say the least.

Thursdays: CSA share pickup! In the peak summer months there is also a Thursday afternoon Farmer's Market, so I can also pick up fruit or other vegetables. We usually start dinner late these nights, so a quick meal is important. Freezer meals to the rescue!

Fridays: I drag the baby along grocery shopping and hope I get it all done. It's tough to haul bags of groceries home, even with a stroller (did I mention we don't have a car?). When there are too many heavy items like cans and almond milk and sweet potatoes and peanut butter and kitty litter all in the same week, I defer it till Saturday.

Saturdays: the big Farmer's Market happens this day. It's the perfect day to pick up flats of fruit, large squashes, raw honey, goat cheese, and homemade kimchi, since my strong husband can carry things, too. We will also pick up remaining groceries this day, and it's a nice family walk. Food prep, big batch baking, and once a month cooking happen on Saturdays because it's the day I'm most likely to get baby-free time in the kitchen for a few hours.

Sundays: finish up any food prep for the coming week, such as mixing up grain salads, soaking beans, and freezing food for later.

I want to mention that I rarely plan out breakfast or lunch on a daily basis. I'll have 2 or 3 options for breakfast every morning: granola, muffins, or eggs, always with some fruit and yogurt. Lunch is usually leftovers or sandwiches. On the weekends I might plan something special. I decided to go with themed days for dinners, with flexibility to allow for whatever seasonal vegetables we get each week.

And yes, we really want to have pizza every week! We won't have cheese and pepperoni very often, though. One of our most recent pizza creations was simply olive oil, garlic, and thickly-sliced golden tomatoes. Even the baby loved it!

For the purpose of this challenge, I'll be listing my menu plan in the standard Monday-Sunday format. Here's our Menu Plan this week!

Monday: Beautiful Beans
Cuban black beans & brown rice

Tuesday: Fresh Veggies
Fresh veggie stir fry

Wednesday: Leftovers
yep, leftovers...might add an egg
Prep: thaw chicken kabobs, locate & soak skewers

Thursday: Freezer/Crockpot Meal
Honey Chicken Kabobs

Friday: Creative Pizza
Pesto pizza w/vegetables & goat cheese

Saturday: Special
Baked sweet potatoes topped w/leftover beans
Prep: soak oats

Sunday: Soup
breakfast: Baked Oatmeal
Butternut squash soup