Weekly Meal Planning Session
Another week, another meal planning session. Do you ever feel like just as you settle into the week, you turn around and you have to do it all over again? Raises Hand Ugh, sometimes just being a normal adult is really taxing. I cannot believe it’s another Saturday and, once again, I find myself having to get creative with food. I do this for a living and even I am exhausted by it at times. BUT that is exactly the point of these posts…hopefully to make your life easier.
3 tips for making weekly meal planning easier
Try to only cook one new thing or follow one recipe per week. There are definitely times, where I feel inspired to follow lots of recipes, but the idea of following a recipe can sound like a lot more energy, which might cause me to bail from my plan.
It’s ok if the plan doesn’t work. I really really like the “What really happened” part of this blog post because that’s real life. Each week, something does not go according to plan and there is nothing I can do about it. I actually plan for it to not go according to plan. I used to get really wrapped up in the plan and get really frustrated when it didn’t work out. I really had to let go of that expectation because it was only hurting me in the end.
Rely on connivence items to shorten cooking time - boxed muffin mix, microwave rice/quinoa packets, and frozen vegetables are just a few suggestions. If cooking time is shortened, you may be more likely to stick to the plan and cook at home.
This Week’s Meal Plan
Option #1 - Banana Muffins + Hard Boiled Eggs + Strawberries
Options #2 - I didn’t plan an option 2 really, but I did have sourdough bread and oatmeal as back ups in case we felt burnt out with muffins.
Option #1 - Tuna salad, tortilla chips*, veggies (cucumber, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes), and strawberries or a nectarine.
Option #2 - Hummus, pretzel flats, veggies (cucumber, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes), string cheese, and strawberries or a nectarine.
* I like eating my tuna salad with tortilla chips because it reminds me of this dip my mom made when we were younger that we would eat with tortilla chips, but you could totally do crackers if you prefer.
Sunday: Pan seared chicken, twice baked broccoli and cheddar potatoes
Tuesday: Venison burger bowls with picked carrots and onions, lettuce, and chipotle mayo
Friday: Take out or out
Saturday: Dinner with friends at Mot Hai Ba
Weekly Meal Planning Session: Preparation Beforehand
On Sunday I spent 20 minutes preparing breakfast and lunches for the week. I prepared 2 lunches for myself and my husband. Later in the week I will prepare additional meals as we need them.
Lets start prepping. For breakfast this week I made banana muffins from a box. I still had some hard boiled eggs from last week, so I didn’t have to prepare any additional eggs. I placed two muffins in a reusable plastic container along with one hardboiled egg. I put a handful of strawberries in plastic baggies. I didn’t really plan another breakfast because last week when I made the spiced muffins we both ate them all week and never got tired of them. However I did have sourdough bread and oatmeal on hand just in case we did get tired of the muffins.
For lunch I made homemade tuna salad, but you could also purchase store made tuna to reduce time and effort. I portioned the tuna salad, veggies, and fruit into individual containers. I knew that I was likely not going to make the hummus option more than maybe once because I had two work lunches this week so I decided not to prep anything ahead of time for that meal. All the prep can be seen in the videos below.
Weekly Meal Planning Session: What Really Happened
Plans are a great starting place, but we need to be flexible with our food. So here is what really happened…
Sunday I did end up following the plan and I made the chicken and twice baked broccoli and cheese potatoes. They were good, but man did that recipe take a really long time. In total, the meal probably took almost 2 hours. Now most of that was putting the potatoes in the oven, but still…not a week day kind of meal. I was glad that I made them on Sunday. The recipe also made A LOT. I made 4 potatoes, but then realized that means 8 halves of potatoes and that is a lot of potatoes. On Monday we actually ended up eating the potatoes again instead of the planned shrimp because we had SO much leftover. I ended up making the shrimp recipe on Tuesday. Wednesday was supposed to be the venison burger bowls, but the venison was still slightly frozen when I got home from work so we ended up eating at one of our favorite Chinese food restaurants. Thursday we were supposed to make the burger bowls, but as I went to start preparing it dawned on me that I did not have a carbohydrate to go with my burger bowls. What the heck? I don’t even know how I missed that. When I told my husband he said that he actually had a burger for lunch, so he was completely fine with doing something else for dinner. We ended up eating at our favorite Greek restaurant. I am going to make the venison burger bowls sometime next week and I am going to make sure I buy frozen sweet potato fries to go with the dish.
Cheer’s to the week ahead and don’t forget to sign up for my FREE PANTRY STAPLES LIST below.
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