Live your life with an appreciation of coincidences and you connect with the field of infinite possibilities. Chopra.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The crazy way I menu plan and our menu for the week.

For years we ate dinner according to what we felt like on any given day.  Oh sure, we had our go-to meals that we could always create with food in the pantry, fridge and freezer, but often we would decide on something at 4 pm and make a run to the grocery store to grab the ingredients.

Over the last few years I grew tired of this and the fact my boys were starting to think I was a short order cook, especially with Josh not being a big fan of meat and A. being the picky little monkey that he is. Another factor is the boys are getting a bit older and are hungry all.the.time., especially Josh.  I knew I had to get serious about menu planning and also having food available for Josh at other times that was quick to prepare or heat up so that he wasn't always grabbing chips or cookies or something similar, not that there is anything wrong with a treat once in a while. 

I'm sure each and every one of you has at least one or two little food issues with your kids, or maybe you are like my sister and insist your kids eat what is on their plate.  Having been through enough food struggles with Alec when he was little I have learned that we are both much happier when we work around his issues and having said that, I'm perfectly okay with working around Josh's aversion to things like pork also.  Does this mean we don't eat a lot of vegetables because Alec doesn't like them or pork because Josh doesn't like it?  Absolutely not!

It is pretty easy to offer Josh another protein source such as a portion of homemade mac and cheese when we eat a pork roast or pork chops and to cook up a side of fries for Alec when Josh and I are having salad or some form of vegetables with our meat. 

Since the kids are supposed to be with their dad one night a week and every other weekend I also have times when it is just myself and I have found it much easier to make up things I love that the boys might not and freeze individual portions to have on hand if I want something easy.    Yesterday for example I made up four individual servings of turkey buttermilk Shepherd's Pie and froze three of them for future consumption.

This is turning out to be a very long post so without further ado, here's what is on our menu for the week.  It is such a little thing to plan and it makes life a little easier!

As mentioned I made turkey buttermilk Shepherd's Pie for myself.  I made extra mashed potatoes and baked a couple of chicken breasts as well.  Josh didn't go to his dad's for the weekend so he had a chicken breast with bbq sauce and mashed potatoes. 

Lasagna and garlic bread with a salad on the side.  Since Alec is still learning to like lasagna (he's getting there), he'll have a bit of lasagna with the other chicken breast from yesterday.

Roast beef dip sandwiches with cut up veggies and oven fries, so easy and something we all love.

Wednesday or Thursday
I'm not sure which day their dad is coming so on one of these days I'll do maple chicken, stuffing and roast vegetables.

Our traditional buy dinner night on the alternating Friday that the boys aren't at their dad's.  It's usually pizza for Josh and I or Tally Ho (an amazing local roast beef sandwich place) and either Wendy's or McD's for Alec. 

Pork Roast with cheesy scalloped potatoes, a vegetable and oven fries.  Josh won't eat the pork and I will save half of it to make pulled pork sandwiches for another time. 

To add to my quick snack/meal freezer stash I'll make a few individual servings of the scalloped potatoes for Josh and portion the pulled pork for myself, since the boys won't eat it. 

Also planned for this week are a batch or two of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (made with half whole wheat flour), an apple crumble that Josh and I will enjoy over several days and some home made granola for quick and easy fruit and yogurt parfaits.  If I'm feeling nice I might even make cookies for Josh.  After all he's going to be around a lot over the next week and a half due to exams and then semester break:).

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