Browsing Tag:

menu plan

Healthy Eating/ Meals/ RECIPES

Menu Plan For The Week – 28 Healthy Family Friendly Recipes

~Breakfast Burritos
~Toad In A Hole
~Chia Oats
~Whole Wheat Pancakes
~Glazed Cinnamon Scones {Special Sweet Saturday Breakfast}

~Black Bean Soup
~Broccoli Soup

~Spinach Tortellini Salad
~No Knead Dinner Rolls {make before church}


~Chili Corn Bread Pockets
~Maple Cinnamon Butternut Squash

Tuesday: {kids have Bible Club & eat there…a serving of veggie orzo will make a hearty after school snack and get some nutrients in them}
~Orzo Pasta With Caramelized Fall Vegetables

~Brown Butter Spaghetti With Baby Kale & Roasted Butternut Squash
~Easiest Homemade Wheat Bread

~Popcorn Chicken
~Sauteed Green Beans With Honey Almonds

{We order out for family night}

~Hawaiian Ham & Cheese Sliders {Special Weekend Saturday Lunch or Evening Dinner, depends on schedule, will use turkey or chicken instead of ham}

Snacks: {I will choose a few from these, as we have all the ingredients on hand. What I choose

depends on what I am in the mood for & what my kids want}
Banana Pumpkin Muffins
Chewy Granola Bars
Cashew Cheese Dip
Cheezy Kale Chips
Fudgy Buttons
Crockpot Applesauce
Carrot Cake Raw Bars
Apples, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chips
Zucchini Bread {recipe coming soon!}

Pumpkin Spiced Chai
Everyday Green Smoothie
Pumpkin Cocoa
Green Tea

Homemade Pesto {gotta use up all the basil in my garden as the weather is turning cool!}

HOME/ How-Tos/ RECIPES/ Simplifying

Menu Planning For The Whole Family

Not being a natural cook, I have to stay organized or most of our meals would consist of frozen corn dogs and ‘Nilla Wafers. By teaching myself to make a plan, make a list and write it all down I do much better in the dinner department.

Having several kids that are old enough to cook, you can bet I get them in on the work. I assigned them each a morning to make breakfast and night to cook dinner and they decide what they want to prepare. On Sunday they each give me a list of what they need for their meals. I have veto power, of course. Sometimes I change their plan, especially when their meal includes ingredients that cost more than our monthly budget.

Once I have their list, I figure out what we need for the rest of the week and head to the store. I do NOT let myself buy anything that is not on my list. Just making that rule for myself has saved me a lot of money, especially considering my weakness for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. If they are not on the list then I can’t buy them (Sometimes I put them on the list; I’m not a martyr).

Once I get home with the groceries, I write out the menu while the kids put everything away. I found a magnetic calendar that I keep on the fridge with the menu for the week. The one I use is not available anymore, but there are several on Amazon that would work just the same, or you can simply use paper. I write the whole week of meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner, on the board.

With the menu on the fridge and the ingredients in the pantry, we all know what to expect. Anyone can look at the list to see what we are having any given meal. Another benefit, if Mommy sleeps late or is busy reading blogs the kids can just look at the menu and make their own breakfast….not that I would ever do that, but you know….other people might have that problem.

This simple system has saved me time, money and the headache of stopping at 5:00 and trying to figure out what to make for dinner. Each morning I look at the list and do the dinner prep in advance. If there’s soup for dinner, I can chop the onions during the day. I can toss bread in the bread machine or mix up the dry ingredients for cornbread any time.

I have a few helpers (besides my children) that keep the work load light. My rice steamer is a lifesaver. I can toss brown rice in the steamer in the morning and it stays hot until we eat it that night. My bread machine makes whole wheat bread, which is helpful when I haven’t had time to bake. I love my blender wand for making soups. If you could only start with one of these…I’d say get a steamer. You can get one at Target for less than $30 and it will change your life.

To sum up: meal plan (let the kids plan one meal), list, shopping, menu on the fridge. So, so, so easy. If I can make it work, believe me….anyone can!

Thank You, Lisa! 
 I love how you get your kids involved.  I was just thinking this week about how old my girls are getting and how important it is that I teach them how to cook!  I think the best way is to have them do it themselves on a regular basis, your post confirmed my thoughts.  

For More of Lisa please visit her blog, The Pennington Point.  You won’t regret it.  I especially love her home decor, she is bold but tasteful, and so homey.  Isn’t that piano to die for?  Yes, she is bold enough to paint her piano blue, and I LOVE IT!

THE PENNINGTON POINT–The experiences of mothering a large family on a budget, keeping a lovely home and training children Biblically
Lisa’s Etsy Shop— Personalized with a fresh perspective

FUN/DIY/ Healthy Eating/ HOME/ Homemaking/ How-Tos/ RECIPES/ Simplifying

My “Laid Back Method’ To Making Simple Meal Plans

One of my favorite things to do is to go to the library and look in the “new release” section for interesting cookbooks.  There always seems to be one that catches my eye, (this week it is Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce, great cookbook!) and it keeps me up to date with what is happening with food.

Ever since I was little, I love to sit with a cookbook and read it like a regular book, starting at the front and working my way to the back.  I remember when I was about 10 years old being so excited to find Amy Vanderbilt’s cookbook at a garage sale for ten cents.  I bought it and devoured the insanely thick book from front to back!  When I was 11, I made an entire Thanksgiving meal with very little help.  I loved cooking!
 I think I got my love of cooking from both of my grandma’s.  I remember my Grandma Thelma having us over and making us little snacks, commenting on why they were good for us.  I remember her telling me why whole wheat bread was better than white– she knew back then what Doc Oz is trying to tell us now!!:)  She always had something on hand to feed us, and to this day, even if our visit is unannounced, she loves on us with some sort of bite to eat.  She makes the world’s best sunny- side- up egg and toast!  Love her..
My Grandma Marian, who is in heaven now, was also known for her love of cooking.  She had a strawberry patch in her back yard, and was the first to introduce me the amazing freshness of homemade strawberry jam.  I remember watching her grate a potato when I was young, and making us the best potato cakes for breakfast. On Valentines day, she would send homemade candies in the mail to us, all the way from Michigan to Nebraska.  A box delivered in the mail, full of homemade goodies from grandma, was one of my most favorite childhood memories.  Under all the newspaper stuffing were tiny little chocolate peanut butter cups, wrapped with such love and care.  Now that I’m old enough to know the work that was involved, I would so love to tell her how much that meant to me as a child.

The Start Of A Plan…

Back to cookbooks and meal plans… what I have been doing lately is while reading a cookbook, I keep some post its and a pen handy.  When I come upon a recipe that sounds appealing, I write the name of the book at the top of the post it, *and list the recipe title along with the page number.  I keep the post it (or two) stuck to the front of the library book. Then, on the day I am going grocery shopping, I find the book, look at the post it, and pick a few chosen recipes to make for the week. I look at each recipe to jot down what groceries I need to buy, which is the start of my grocery list.
When I make a recipe and decide it is a keeper, then it goes on this blog.  My recipe tab on this blog is slowly becoming something that I have always wanted, — recipes that I use regularly, organized and easy to find.  If it is a week that I don’t have a new cookbook to inspire me, or time to browse the web for new recipes, I just click on my recipe tab and use my tried and true recipes here on the blog.
*I use the same method while reading magazines.

Things I consider when meal planning:

I usually only plan for 4 meals a week.  We have Bible Club on Tuesday evenings where we are served dinner,  and on a couple Saturday nights a month we have a bunch of young men here at the house for a “video game club,” so we order pizza to feed everyone.  On Friday nights we have Family movie night and order Arby’s Roast Beef Sandwiches–5 for $5.95, baby!  We have spaghetti with this sauce at least once a week, because it is so simple and everyone loves it. So really, that only leaves about 3 meals that I have to plan for.  I try hard to make healthy meals on those evenings, especially when we are eating fast food (pizza and Arby’s) on the weekends!
We keep it simple.  Oatmeal, whole wheat bagels, cereal, toast, eggs, and whole grain pancakes are our usual choices throughout the week.

I choose a soup recipe (one of his favorites) and make a big batch at the beginning of the week, to put into mason jars, (use 1/2 pint mason jars to freeze in individual portions) for my husbands work lunch.  I pack my girls lunch all though the school year, again keeping it simple.  Usually a sandwich, vegetable, fruit and crackers.  Sometimes they will get hot soup or noodles in a thermos if I’m extra motivated!
I usually find some great snack ideas when reading through my cookbooks, so I refer to the post its!  I talk about some healthy snack ideas in this post.
Use What I Have On Hand-
Before sitting down to write weekly meal list and grocery list, I do a quick check of my pantry and freezer/refrigerator.  I take a mental note of what we have on hand and do my best to plan meals around those items.
I usually do not assign meals to different days of the week.  Instead, I have a list of meals that I keep on the refrigerator for the week, that I’ve bought groceries for.  I am too fickle with food to assign an exact day.  I have to see what “mood” I am in that day as far as what I want to cook and what sounds most appealing from the list.  Because of this fickleness, I don’t think I will ever be one who has super organized & printed calenders on the refrigerator, with assigned meals for each day of the month, but I’m at peace with that.  I make a grocery list every week, go to the grocery store once a week, and have at least 4-5 meals planned for the week.  Simple, laid back, and good enough.
This post is linked to:
Tip Junkie
The Trendy Treehouse
We Are That Family