Friday, November 16, 2012

Giving it a Try: Meal Planning

Now that we're back in town, hubby & I are trying to prepare for the holidays by getting a little more on top of our diet.  We tend to be a little all-or-nothing with food.  Either we eat everything in sight, or we're being really stingy with our food.  I really want to hit on a happy medium.  There's also the issue of always trying to figure out what we're going to have for dinner.  I don't even have kids & the whole figuring out what to have for dinner process is always so exhausting to me.  It seems like all of our "regulars" we have a little too "regularly" & I'm just getting sick of everything.

So I'm going to give this meal planning thing a try.  I'm not exactly a cook, I can't just whip up something out of whatever I have on hand.  So, I'm using Pinterest & various magazines I have around the house to help me come up with some new ideas, and sticking some old favorites in during some weeks too.

I also am giving myself the option of trying out this place in town called Main Dish Kitchen.  I've been wanting to try them out for a while.  Basically, they are a kitchen that makes various homemade meals & freezes them, so that you can purchase meals for your family & stick them in your freezer for those busy days when you don't want to cook.  They have an extensive menu that changes every month, so there's always something new.  My idea is to get a few meals each month, that will be there for the days when say I planned to have leftovers but there aren't any or B is working late & I don't want to cook whatever was on the schedule.  Right now I'm thinking their Tilapia Scaloppini & their Cherry Pine Nut Pork look really yummy.

So, when we returned from vacation on Tuesday, I put together a meal list & grocery list for the rest of this week, so Tue-Sat.  On it?

*Skinny Chicken Divan by Eat Yourself Skinny (pictured above)
*Grilled Flank Steak with Tomatoes by Skinny Taste
*Roasted Shrimp with Spaghetti Squash by Martha Stewart (pictured below)
*2 days of leftovers or out

So far, we've only had the chicken divan, which by the way is super yummy!  B loves chicken, I love broccoli, so we're good.  I made it on Tuesday & we had leftovers Wednesday & yesterday.  We're having the spaghetti squash today & the steak Saturday.

Now I'm putting together next week's schedule.  In a full week, I want to try to have at least one meatless day, and at least one seafood day.  I also don't want to necessarily assign meals to certain days, because we are used to going by how we feel, so having the flexibility to move meals around.  With that in mind, here's what I'm looking at for next week.

*Stout-Soaked Porterhouse Steak by Better Homes & Gardens (Oct 2012 issue)
*Spinach Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce by Skinny Taste (pictured above)
*Thanksgiving dinner
*Mozzarella and Herb Pasta by Eat Yourself Skinny
*Parmesan Tilapia from Whole Foods fish counter (or whatever's available)
*2 days leftovers or out

I like recipes that are light, & don't have too many ingredients that I don't typically buy.  I hate buying a big container of something that I'll only use for one recipe.  What if we don't like it?

Also, for recipes we really like, I'm writing them down & adding them to my recipe book.  I have one of those old school books that have clear pages in which you can put recipe cards.  Love that!  After I made the Chicken Divan, we decided it was one that should be added... so that'll be going in!  Woot!

Do you follow a meal plan?  Where are some of your favorite places to find good easy recipes?

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