Meal planning is a real life-saver for us. We definitely don't stick to it 100% of the time, but having a rough idea of what we're going to eat in a given week prevents last-minute shopping trips, allows me to prep things ahead of time (which is important when nursing an infant!) and keeps us from having to eat out. It's an easy change you can make that will make a big impact on your sanity and health!
In this crazy season with a two-month old baby and a toddler, I'm doing a few things to make my life simpler:
1) Use the freezer. I have a lot of food in the freezer that I pull out to make meals easier. When I was pregnant I tried to make double batches of things so I could freeze food without working any harder. I'm so happy I did!
2) Lots of salads. Salads are easy to put together, require little time in the kitchen, don't heat up the house, and are perfect for summertime!
3) Intentional Leftovers. I make sure to cook enough that we can get multiple meals out of whatever I'm cooking. Then we use the oven to heat them up instead of the microwave. (It's really easy! Just put your food in a plate or a bowl and put it in the oven. Then wash some dishes or play with your kids while it heats up!)
4) Rest on Sundays. This is the day that works best for our family to have a Sabbath in this season of life. After church we come home, eat leftovers for lunch, take naps, and eat a very simple meal or more leftovers for dinner. A mother can't really ever take a day completely off, but I'm trying to be intentional about refraining from cooking and housework as much as possible.
So here's this week's plan. Hope you find some inspiration!
MondayBreakfast: Fried eggs cooked in coconut oil, sourdough toast with butter
Lunch: Tuna melts on sprouted bread
Dinner: Out to City Vu Bistro with my parents
TuesdayBreakfast: Cottage cheese with fresh peaches
Lunch: Sauteed vegetable sandwich (portobello mushrooms, summer squash, and onion, on sprouted bread with homemade pesto and mozzarella cheese), fresh cherries
Dinner: Salad with leftover oven-baked chicken, hard-boiled egg, bacon, avocado, and homemade Caesar dressing
prep for next day: thaw meatballs and sauce
WednesdayBreakfast: French toast frittata, raw milk
Lunch: Egg salad
Dinner: Spaghetti with Meatballs (homemade meatballs and sauce are in the freezer!), salad with homemade Caesar dressing
Dessert with friends: homemade ice cream (not sure what kind yet, something from this book with less sugar than she calls for...)
prep for next day: soak oats, soak brown rice, thaw cooked chickpeas from freezer
Lunch: Leftover egg salad and/or spaghetti and meatballs
Dinner: Brown Rice Salad with Kale and Roasted Chickpeas (with escarole instead of kale)
FridayBreakfast: Fritatta with veggies (greens, mushrooms, zucchini, onion), sprouted toast with butter
Lunch: Leftover brown rice salad
Dinner with friends: bring dessert - more homemade ice cream, perhaps?
SaturdayBreakfast: Soaked pancakes (I use sour milk to soak them - great way to use it up!) with butter and maple syrup, fresh fruit, organic bacon
Lunch: Mac and Cheese
Dinner: Spicy southwest fish with pinto beans (new recipe!), corn tortillas, soaked Mexican brown rice (from the freezer!), roasted zucchini
prep for next day: boil eggs, thaw chili
SundayBreakfast: yogurt with homemade granola and fresh fruit, hard boiled eggs
Lunch: Leftover fish with pinto beans
Dinner: Baked potatoes with chili from the freezer, salad with homemade vinaigrette