Meal Planning

We are still working on eating healthy.  It makes my head spin though – try to cut out sugar, and well there is fruit everywhere, and how can you not eat too much?  Cut back on processed stuff, but then I hear I need to lower one son’ carbs… ugh! 

I am trying to plan more meals out, makes the day smoother, and puts less stress on me.  But now, I need to plan low carbs (for one) and low sugar for all, and we are out of meat (for another week or two) – but have lots of chicken…. see what I mean.  My head is spinning.

So here is my meal plan for the next week or so…

Tuesday : Crock Pot Steel Cut Oats , veggie quesadillas & bean dip, Burritos & leftover Santé Fe chicken

Wednesday : Fried Egg Sandwiches, hummus w/veggies picnic, Baled Potatoes (crock pot) & salad

Thursday : Giant Breakfast Cookies & Smoothie, Sloppy Corn Muffins, Venison Steaks, grilled potatoes, salad

Friday : Breakfast Burritos, Tuna Salad, Pizza

Saturday : Hard Boiled Eggs & fruit, left-overs, Roasted Chicken

Sunday : Granola, fruit & yogurt, grilled cheese, Mexican Bowtie Pasta

Monday : Egg muffins, BYO Salad , Tilapia w/quinoa & salad

Tuesday : Baked French Toast, hard boiled eggs& veggies & fruit , Beans & Rice

Wednesday : Breakfast Burritos, Baked Potatoes, roasted chicken

Thursday: Baked oatmeal, Veggies & hummus, Tacos

Friday: Granola Fruit & yogurt, grilled cheese , BBQ chicken pizza


We are picking up our Organic Veggie co-op delivery tomorrow, so more veggies will be sprinkled all about the meals we have, but this is the bare bones of our schedule.

I keep thinking I will figure out some part of this, then I read something and it makes my head spin  more.  I guess I just need to rest in knowing I am doing the best I can, and relax.   But it is hard!!

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Meal Planning

I know, how much can we talk about meal planning?  I have broached this subject on more than on occasion.  However, it seems there is a new trend in meal planning.  Not sure if it is really a trend, but it sure seems like it in my world!

I keep reading blogs about meal planning for more than just dinner.  At first, I thought, what?  Plan more meals – ugh!!  But then, I thought about it and realized how much I hate standing in the kitchen in the morning and hearing “what is for breakfast?”  Really, I hate when I do not know what it for any meal I have to serve to my family. 

I know I only have 4 children, and many of the blogs I have read lately have more like 7-10, and so planning all their meals makes more sense, but with these hungry boys I am thinking it could really work for me too!

 

So I am compiling healthy recipes, and trying to plan the week out on Sundays.  It takes the guess work out of the way, it helps me make sure I have ingredients I need, and it helps me get out of the rut I can easily fall into, of making eggs every day, a different way.  The other good thing to this is that our chickens are not laying nearly as well as they were this spring, so we have many less eggs!!

This morning we enjoyed Baked Oatmeal and Apple Sauce bread.  I have leftovers of both to offer for a mid-morning snack, if there is a request made.  The kids enjoyed both and I think, really liked two new breakfast options.

Some other items on the agenda to come:

Baked French Toast

Giant Breakfast Cookies

Egg Muffins

Steel Cut Oats in the Crock Pot

Homemade Granola

Bumpy Cakes ( AKA Dutch Baby, Dutch Puff, etc)

Burritos

Smoothies

Banana Bread

Blueberry Muffins

Blender Waffles/Pancakes

Pancake Sausage Muffins (we liked these)

I hope we can stick with meal planning and work lunch and breakfast into the schedule to help me out!!  So far, so good!  We have enjoyed looking for some new, healthy recipes so that we are not wondering what to eat every morning!!

What to make for dinner?

Recently (Wednesday) Kristen @ We are THAT family asked how everyone makes supper without heating up the kitchen every night. 

(so forgive my late Wednesday link up)

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Since I love to plan meals ahead of time, I often do not think about the heating up the kitchen thing while I am planning.

As I was off to get a few groceries today, I decided to try and plan some meals that will not heat up my kitchen every night.  So here is what I did:

 

1. Bought a MEGA pack of chicken breasts, boiled 5 for chicken salad, and marinated the rest to grill.  {Meal 1 : Chicken Salad, raw veggies & some fruit}

2.  Defrosted a pound of ground beef & cooked it up for taco meat, while I cooked chicken – heats up the kitchen the same but more food cooked at one time. {Meal 2 : Taco Salad}

3.  We will grill the chicken tomorrow – LOTS OF IT.  {Meal 3 : Grilled Chicken Greek Salad} {Meal 4: Loaded burritos with grilled chicken}  {Meal 5: Grilled chicken with side of grilled veggies}

These are in no particular order but I know have a plan for 5 great meals in my fridge and all I have to do is grill the chicken or mix everything up.  I think I will make a big batch of rice tomorrow for the grilled chicken meal and make extra to have for the stuffed burritos.  {cook once, eat twice}

Another tip I learned this week : instead of serving an entire chicken breast half, slice a chicken breast into thirds before you cook it or before you serve it.  Chicken breasts are so large these days that a third is usually plenty of meat for a meal and it will stretch it tremendously!  They can always get seconds.  Melissa D’Arabian says that if it is left on your plate it is trash, but if it left on the platter it is left-overs.  So true!!  She is the one who offered the tip to slice the chicken too!  Check her out HERE

Happy Cooking (without heating up the kitchen)!!

Meals & Chores

Finally I seem to be getting a plan again with meals.  It has been so long since I have cooked a nice meal for these people I live with!  I am tired of throwing things together, and I am quite certain they are tired of being served like that.

Tonight I am making a real meal.  A meal that I have not made, but have had the recipe in a file for a while.  Calypso Chicken with Down Island Salas (with asparagus on the side).  Sounds yummy & I even splurged on some strawberries for the salsa!

So here is what I have planned for the next 7 days:

15

Friday

Calypso Chicken w/down Island Salsa & asparagus

16

Saturday

Sesame Noodles w/broccoli & grilled zucchini

17

Sunday

Grilled Asian Marinated Round Steaks

18

Monday

Beans & Rice

19

Tuesday

Sour Cream Enchiladas

20

Wednesday

Baked Potato Bar

21

Thursday

Meat Loaf w/mashed potatoes & salad

 

I think my kids might start listening better if I am feeding them better.  Well, I don’t really think that, but I know they will enjoy getting some real meals again!

So, the other night I made it to church frustrated at these little sinful people I seem to be raising.  Sometimes I am shocked when they act their age – and I have to remind myself to deal with them with grace!  But ugghhhh!!  What do you do when your kids don’t listen?

I asked 2 moms I like & respect, both responded with “spank ‘em” – but oh, I wish it were that easy!

The next suggestion was chores.  Okay, that I can do.  But I usually add a few chores, I get busy, they get away and the punishment does not end up being so effective. 

Grounding them to the their room is only slightly affective since they share a room, being grounded is like a mini party!  Ughh! (again)

So, Wednesday night I came home and I wrote every chore I wanted done down on a piece of paper.  I mean every one!  Things I needed todo but never found the time (i.e. move the fireplace tools to the storage room, move the firewood off the front porch….)well, never mind, here is my list:

Clean the toilet

Clean the bathroom floor

Clean the bathroom sink

Wipe down kitchen baseboards (all the way around)

Sweep garage floor

Move firewood from front porch to wood pile by school building

Move all compost out of bin area & put back

Sweep Front Porch off (move everything out of the way & put it back)

Vacuum Laundry Room

Vacuum Kitchen Floor

Sweep porch in back yard

Sweep School building & vacuum

Vacuum living room (move couches)

Take Fireplace tools to Christmas Room

Clean out Christmas room

Organize book shelf in living room

The best part of this was that they knew the list, they got a copy.  They knew they could not do anything else until they were all done.  They knew I was serious!

The other best part – they managed themselves.  I was freed up to do some other things around the house. 

The result was like we spent the day spring cleaning!  The porch looks great, my bedroom looks amazing!  There is still some clutter on tables, but the results were more than I could do if I cleaned all day!

Whew!  It was great!

Today, I seem to have children who are listening a bit more.  I think I got their attention.  I think they know I mean business.  They are worried we are going to have another chore day, but to be honest, the list at this point would be much shorter!  But, don’t tell them that!

So I feel a bit better with my more obedient kids, my cleaner house, and a shorter to-do list!

My plan is to start a list, keep it on my fridge, of consequence chores.  It seems in the midst of the trouble I fail to think clearly with consequences – I get frustrated and upset and I lose my sense of what to do.  So, I am going to keep a list of chores we do not do weekly, yucky ones I don’t particularly want to do, and when they mouth off, treat each other disrespectfully, or something else the list will come out & assignments will be made.

I feel like I might just be able to handle next week, and maybe the week after with some planning behind me.  We will see!

Back on track

I need to get things back in order.  I think it is the spring bug!  I want to organize everything, I want to get back into a set routine, and I want order.  Ahhh, order – the thought already calms me!

Meal planning has been lacking unless we have company coming, and the family would love some real meals instead of what is on hand – sometimes resorting to ramen noodles (with peas to justify it).  I am ready for some new & yummy meals too!  So I am going to stalk THIS blog (thanks to Jenna) this week and get some recipes to try out with our family.  Healthy, yummy and cheap (relatively on all the above I think).

I need to get my room back to looking like a Master Bedroom and not a laundry room/mud room/man’s workshop like it does right now.  I am taking our bathroom back – I need to fix a spot or two on our walls (sand off the spackle and re-prime the underneath, and then re-spackle) but I can do all that while we are using the room!! So no more showers in the kids bathroom at some point this week!!!  That is the plan anyway!

I plan to get everything ready (together in one spot) for next year so I know what I need to find or track down.  I also need to check out a few more curriculum items that I may invest in in the next few weeks – that is the fun part!!

And finally we need to get some stuff out of the garden I think and some more seeds in before it gets too far into spring and we miss the window!  So far things are looking great though!  This weekend we put in watermelon, cantaloupe, more squash, and more green beans.  the potatoes are looking great and so is the lettuce and sugar snap peas!!  I am hopeful – but we need to get a fence up before the hogs realize what we have going on!! I would be devastated if the hogs hit our garden one night!!

We got 2 more eggs today – so we have 3 now – in a few days we will have enough to have a breakfast compliments of our hens!!  Cannot wait!!

Well, it looks like I have  busy week set before me, off to bed so I have the energy to do it all.

Did I mention I am behind on my scripture memory?  Yeah.  Just a bit.  So this week is our “free” week – I am calling it my catch-up week. I have 14 verses I need to get memorized if I plan to keep up – ugh!!  So I will work on my bathroom walls while repeating verses I think – the only way it will all get done!!  (that and I think I am not allowing myself to watch tv until I get these verses down – it may be a long week).