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One afternoon last week, my daughter asked me what we were having for dinner. I always get tense when I hear this question. I brace myself for the sighs and complaints that sometimes follow my response. But rather than answer my daughter’s question, I had an idea. This is an idea that I suggested in my post about how to meal plan, but I hadn’t actually started doing it myself. I walked across the house to my computer and opened up last week’s meal plan. I printed it out and returned to the kitchen. Inside the pantry door, I taped up the sheet of paper with the meal plan.
Here’s what happened from there.
8-Year-Old Daughter: Oh, cool! Sloppy Joes. Can I make lasagna next week?
10-Year-Old Son: We’re having Taco Night on Friday? Awesome!
Mom (in my head): Oh, cool? Awesome? Can I cook dinner next week? This isn’t how it’s supposed to go. What happened to ‘Aww, can’t we have pizza?’
Mom (out loud): Sure, I’d love for you to make lasagna next week. I’ll put it in the meal plan.
Why have I waited so long to try this?
Hopefully this week’s real food meal plan will receive another positive reaction. I’m including some fun, family-friendly recipes that I think we’ll all enjoy. I like to try a new recipe most weeks, so I went over to my “Recipes to Try” Pinterest board for inspiration. This gorgeous broccoli salad from Damn Delicious got my vote this week, so we’ll be trying it (using whole wheat pasta) on Tuesday. I’m guessing the leftovers will be great for lunch.
This Week’s Real Food Meal Plan
Monday: Homemade pizza, salad
Tuesday: Tomato Soup, grilled cheese, broccoli salad
Wednesday: Lasagna from ChopChop cookbook (cooked not by me!), salad
Thursday: Vegetarian chili, Quinoa/rice blend
Friday: Lasagna, broccoli (mom out for dinner with friends)
Putting together a weekly meal plan can be a challenge, but I think life without a meal plan is much more challenging. Things are less stressful for me when I have a plan in place, even when I don’t stick to the plan exactly. On last week’s meal plan, my friend Kirsten from Farm Fresh Feasts wanted to “peek behind the curtain” and hear if I followed the plan as written. In reality, I never follow my meal plans exactly. Last week, I didn’t get around to making biscuits on Monday, so we served the sloppy joes on baked potatoes. I didn’t make it to the store that had cauliflower on sale, so we had broccoli instead on Tuesday. And for the Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese, I didn’t end up putting pumpkin in it because the kids requested it plain this time. Even with these adjustments, meal prep wasn’t stressful because I knew the big picture of what I’d need to prepare each night.
Linking to Menu Plan Monday.