Lately, I've gotten pretty lazy about meal planning. We still manage to eat something every night; but, I feel a bit disorganized going into dinnertime. I've also found that without a good plan, I end up wasting oddball veggies that end up shoved to the back of the fridge and forgotten .
In order to get a little more organized, I decided to start a weekly board with recipes I find online that I'd like to make in the upcoming week that will utilize the veggies and meat I have on hand. Everything else I find, I just pin to my regular recipe board to sort through later. I still flip through my stacks of cookbooks when I have spare time or am looking for a particular recipe; but, I find that just about every recipe is online now anyway and it gives me a simpler way to organize.
Next, I put together some meal ideas using the recipes I'd like to try, the ingredients and easy sides I have on hand or in the freezer. I make my shopping list for the weekend and hit the farmer's market and grocery store to pick up my missing ingredients plus staples for the week.
Finally, I put a dry erase board on the fridge and sort out which meals would fit best into which slots in our weekly schedule. Some days I have more time to prep and cook than others so I plan my more complicated meals for those days. Nights that we have events or activities, I keep it simple with a meal from my freezer that just needs a quick warm up.
I thought I'd start sharing my weekly plans here to encourage me to keep it up... and to keep me honest! Having a plan has helped me insure that I'm not missing little odds and ends that keep me from making a recipe. It also reminds me to pull things out of the freezer in time to thaw for the next day. Feel free to share your plans for the week or any great recipes you've found in the comments below.
Sunday: Tonight for dinner, we grilled steaks (I've decided to embrace Spring, even if it is still snowing.) I also baked the braided country bread above from my favorite bread book, Beard on Bread. I had some chioggia beets in the fridge that I wasn't quite sure what to do with so I found this recipe for a Badass Beet Salad and gave it a go. It was pretty interesting: raw beets, endamame, oranges and goat cheese in a citrus vinaigrette. I'm getting over a cold so I couldn't taste much; but Matt assured me everything was yummy. (Well, except the goat cheese. He's not a lover of the goat cheese.)
Monday: We've got LOTS going on Monday so I am keeping it super simple with a giant lasagna from GFS. Those lasagnas are REALLY BIG. All of you are welcome to join us! I might go all out and make a salad... time will tell.
Wednesday: Another busy night, so we're having Chicken Stir Fry (from the freezer... thanks, Mom!) and Fried Rice.
Thursday: I'm trying this recipe for Blackened Chicken with Quinoa (I've had a few run-ins with quinoa in the past that didn't go well; but, I have a few friends who assure me I will like it if it's cooked just right. Hope I cook it just right!) I'm also making these yummy snap peas.
Friday: PW's Beef with Snow Peas. I've made this before and it's yummy! I figured we could have our leftover rice from Wednesday.
Saturday: Fried Fish (caught by my awesome Uncle Bill), Swiss Chard and this heart-attack inducing Gnocchi Mac and Cheese.
So... that's my plan. We'll see how it goes. You know the old saying, "The best laid plans of mice and men often go to Buddy's Pizza..."