I am so lucky to have a husband that will indulge my “brilliant” ideas to make our lives easier and to save us money and blah, blah, blah.
Lately, as my evenings have been getting busier, I have been slacking on meal preparation. Meals have been getting simpler and simpler or B has been making them. Definitely not fair to him since he also does more than his fair share of dish washing, laundry, and other miscellaneous cleaning.
Although we have tried our hand at meal planning it has never seemed stick. Either we wouldn’t be prepared with ingredients or we would be too tired to cook or we just wouldn’t be in the mood for what we had planned. This time I decided it would be different.
You see, I love to cook but I hate the prep work (and the clean up, obviously). So, my “brilliant” plan is to create a meal plan, check out my pantry and create a grocery list, and go shopping; which is exactly how I should have been doing the whole meal planning thing in the first place. The next step is where the brilliant part comes into play. I need to spend a chunk of my Sunday getting the tedious prep work done that I never want to face after a day at work.
We sat down Saturday afternoon after I got home from yoga and lunch with Terra and created our meal plan.
Sunday : Lunch – deer sausage with peppers and onions
Dinner (Superbowl!) – buffalo chicken dip and twice baked potatoes
Monday: Lunch – leftovers
Dinner – Asian lettuce wraps
Tuesday: Lunch – frozen burrito
Dinner – vegetarian tacos
**I forgot to mention that I also talked B into one vegetarian meal this week too!
Wednesday: Lunch – taco salad
Dinner – Out
Thursday: Lunch – sandwich
Dinner – turkey noodle soup
Friday: Lunch – leftovers
Dinner – steak with mashed potatoes, salad, and green beans
Saturday: Lunch – BBQ sandwiches with broccoli slaw
Dinner – Out (celebrating V-day early at Bonterra)
While preparing lunch and throughout the afternoon I took on the task of chopping vegetables and braising turkey legs in preparation for this weeks meals.
All sorts of goodies are chopped and in containers according to the meal they will be used in along with some pre-made oats, strawberry sauce (made with some fresh strawberries that were on their last leg which I plan to use in the oatmeal) and some stray veggies and bacon leftover from all of the prep. I am really hoping this will help with our cooking situation.
I also baked some potatoes to have for lunch or as a side later in the week and braised turkey legs for the turkey noodle soup.
Now onto the Superbowl eats. As you can see on the meal plan above Sunday night eats included buffalo chicken dip (B’s request) and twice baked potatoes (inspired by one of Jenna’s posts this week).
After lunch I put the potatoes in the oven to bake and then we decided to take Piper on a walk in the park, totally forgetting about the potatoes. As we got in the car to head back to the house I finally remembered the potatoes and we raced back to the house to make sure everything was okay. All was well and the potatoes were just right.
The buffalo chicken dip was super easy. 2 packages of cream cheese, 1/2 bottle of Frank’s Red Hot wing sauce (I used the hot buffalo flavor since I like some heat), and 2 chicken breasts. I don’t believe there is anyway to truly healthify this recipe, but I did try to add some nutritional value by adding a box of frozen spinach.
Initially we ate the dip with tortilla chips, but later I got the idea to cut up some carrots and celery which made for a delicious combo.
Last but not least I ended the days activities with a batch if chocolate toffee blondies, inspired by Jenna. Yes, recipe no. 2 in one post a la Jenna, apparently she was speaking to my foodie soul this week.
I really like the base recipe (1 stick butter, browned; 1 c packed dark brown sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 c all purpose flour) and then you can mix in whatever makes you happy. Next time I am thinking butterscotch chips and coconut.
What kind of eats did you have at your super bowl party?
What are your best tips and tricks for meal planning and cooking on week nights?