It's been, what? Six, eight months since I actually planned a meal? After looking in the fridge every night and wondering what the hell I'm going to make for dinner, I decided it's time that I start planning our meals again.
A little history as to why the long absence: Yes, I had a baby (who is delightful and now seven-months-old), but that hasn't been the problem. The challenge has been that work has been in.sane. and I where I used to have free time in the day, the reality is that I don't have that free time anymore.
As a working parent, I used to guard my lunch time pretty closely. It was my time to (ha!) not each lunch, but to run errands like going to the grocery store when I didn't have to take kids with me. Sure, there were times when I squeezed in lunches here and there, but that time really is no more. That time is either work time, client lunch time, or transit time as I get from meeting to my home office and, back to work.
No time to grocery shop means having to cobble together dinners out of whatever is in the fridge or pantry. Pepperoncini? Sliced turkey? Eggs? Frozen corn?
No time to grocery shop means pulling up to the store, hopping out to grab a couple of pounds of protein, a head of lettuce and an avocado, and then running back to the car—there is no time for a full grocery shop anymore, but that is going to change.
Yesterday, as I ran through the market while J. stayed in the car with a sleeping Baby Dash and two tired soccer girls, I vowed that I would start meal planning again. Because I really need to take control of this area of my life.
So, here we are. I still haven't properly stocked up (case in point, I keep adding to my Penzey's list—a list I started a month ago: garlic powder, dried marjoram, dried oregano, cumin, sea salt, chili seasoning, taco seasoning, peppercorns, cinnamon, vanilla beans... and haven't made it there yet), but I'm going for it:
Monday: Risotto with broccoli, lemony arugula salad w/ shaved parmesan
Tuesday: Grilled chicken thighs Spanish Meat Balls (but not in the slow cooker), green salad with pears, and toasted almonds
Wednesday: Soup, this one isn't fully thought out yet, but I'm thinking there will be leftover chicken to use (maybe curried chicken-coconut soup with rice?)
Thursday: Tuna casserole with green peas and buttered bread crumb topping
Friday Family Movie Night: Take out and a movie
Saturday: Not sure yet (do you have a "usual" Saturday night family dinner?
Sunday: This baked fish chowder sounds perfect
If I can get back into the swing of meal planning, my next goal to tackle is making time (taking time, really) to workout again. If you recall, before getting pregnant, I was on Weight Watchers and running 2-3 miles almost everyday, and I lost close to 50 pounds almost effortlessly.
I'm still nursing and when I tried counting points again, it really did a number on my milk supply. Now that Dash is bigger, I'm going to go back on Weight Watchers (I am 10 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight which is halfway to my goal), but for me, the main thing is working out. When I do it, I can eat whatever I want and the pounds melt away. I signed up for a 5k next weekend and am wondering WTF was I thinking, but perhaps it's just the motivation I need.
One thing at a time.
What are you cooking this week?