Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Meal Planning Part 1: "Theme Nights"

It is officially fall now and I actually feel like cooking again, which is nice. Obviously, I still need to cook in the summer, but somehow it just never feels very inspired. I am really more of a casserole and hot dinner person, I think. Comfort foods, you know.

Still, even though I have been feeling excited about cooking again, coming up with a weekly meal plan feels like a drag. Seven dinners for six people, each and every week, not to mention breakfast and lunch! It can be all too easy, I am finding, to fall into a meal rut. And meal planning is one of those weekly chores that I just have not taken the time to sit down and simplify. Until now, anyway.

I have decided to take the advice I have seen time and again, and set a "theme" for each night's dinner.

*Our Weekly Dinner Themes*

Monday: Casserole or Dutch Oven Dinner Night- We got our first le Creuset oven last year. A pricey splurge, but I am totally in love with it:). I need to use it more.

Tuesday:  Pasta or Hot Sandwich & Soup Night-Tuesdays are swim afternoons and everyone gets back tired and in need of a shower. A quick dinner is in order!

Wednesday: Crockpot Night-We are generally out until dinner-time with the kids' activities, so dinner needs to cook itself!

Thursday: Try a New Recipe Night or Taco Night-We subscribe to Food Network Magazine, and the kids love poring over it. It really encourages them to try new things because they are so excited to see something from the magazine brought to life.

Friday: Sandwich Night-Another late night, but this time we need something portable to bring along to an evening activity. The trick is going to be breaking out of the turkey and cheese rut!

Saturday: Pizza Night (to be replaced with grilled burger night on warm days).

Sunday: Whatever We Feel Like Night!

My next step is to come up with a list of dinners that fit each of these categories. Hopefully this will streamline the task of writing out the weekly meal plan and shopping list. We have also been getting a bit dull and repetitive with our breakfasts and lunches lately, so I am thinking we need themes there as well.

Till Next Time!

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