Meal Planning

Meal planning is such a chore, isn’t it?  And, why is that?  Our parents couldn’t browse the web for a recipe using what they had in their freezer.  They couldn’t search Pinterest for a cute free calendar page on which to record all meal planning.  We have so many tools, and so many awesome food choices!  Yet, it is still a chore that is difficult for me.

Nevertheless,  whenever I plan meals, my week goes so much smoother.  Life just works better!  And so, I have begun again.  I’ve been here before… but somehow this time it’s different.  (Maybe it really is the cute calendar print out I found on Pinterest?)  Whatever it is, I really hope and pray that this time it sticks.  I have been planning my meals for 6 weeks now, by writing them out on a calendar page 5 at a time.  I leave the weekends blank for simple meals or dad’s choice or going out.  And, I really try to make “real meals,” even when my husband isn’t home… which has been a lot, lately!

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Soup and bread is becoming a staple.  There are so many different soups to make, and no matter what I choose my kids get excited because fresh bread is involved!

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Leftover fresh bread makes great french toast!

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This funky salsa is all from our garden tomatoes!  I LOVE my Pampered Chef salsa maker this time of year.  We use the fresh salsa for burrito bowl night.  I just grill any meat and cut it into bite size pieces.  I cook rice in the rice maker, have black beans, steamed white corn, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole.  Oh, and shredded romaine.  All my kids love this meal, so I can get away with having it twice a month.  I usually do chicken once and beef once.

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Grilled pork chops are what won me my husband.  (I told Sierra that story tonight, and she loved it!) I just spread some dijon, garlic salt, and soy sauce all over.  You don’t even have to marinate!  Then grill them, but don’t over grill pork or it is way too dry.

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I was inspired to try this dinner from one of the food trucks at our church’s 25th anniversary.  I cooked pork in the crockpot all day with a little salt and pepper.  Then I drained most of the juice, and added some ketchup and asian flavors; hoisin sauce and sweet chili sauce.  For the shredded cabbage, I made a sweet sesame dressing.  And, for the buns I used Hawaiian rolls.  The kids really liked this asian-style pulled irk slider.

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I don’t ever plan out lunches or breakfast, though sometimes I wish I would!  Ever since becoming a fan of cupcake wars, Sierra wants me to take pictures of her breakfast “recipes.”  (Basically, what toppings she puts on her mini german pancakes)  She invented the honey, whip cream, strawberry pancake.  Mmmm, now I’m hungry.  Is it breakfast, yet?

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I’m hoping by putting a spattering of some of our meals here that I am encouraging myself to stay diligent with the meal planning.  I’ll keep you posted!

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