Wednesday, October 10, 2007


This summer, Jesse and I perfected our meal planning and grocery shopping routine. We were participating in a CSA, visiting the farmer's market each week, and also shopping at the grocery store, so we had some amazing produce and fresh meats, breads and cheeses. While the CSA ended in August, the other habits continued, as did my practice of planning out our meals for the week. This works great for us, since I tend to do the shopping and Jesse usually cooks, but he doesn't necessarily want me to tell him what to cook each night. I get his input when I make the menus and grocery list - if he's interested in giving it - and then when he comes home, he chooses from the menus and makes what sounds good to him.

Our menu this week:
  • Chicken Noodle soup, salad and bread (I use a whole chicken for this, then reserve much of the meat for other meals)
  • Potato & Leek soup with salad, ("Tastes just like Central Market's! " says Hannah brightly). This recipe was SO EASY.
  • Grilled Pork Tenderloin, mashed sweet potatoes (with, ahem, sauteed onions and bacon) and broccoli
  • Chicken tacos - flour tortillas or corn tortillas as tostadas, leftover chicken, beans, cheese, lettuce and tomato
  • Orecchiette Pasta with Rapini - I love this dish, with anchovies and red pepper flakes - so easy, yet so tasty and filling. We have some mustard greens growing, and Jesse can't wait to make this with them.
  • Spaghetti and salad - a staple, I add as many vegetables to the sauce as I can, and use a 1/2 pound of local, grassfed ground beef.
  • Pizza and salad - we keep mozzarella and tomato sauce handy, and then add whatever toppings we have left over from the week. If we end up not having pizza one week, nothing goes to waste, and we save it for the next week.
Of this week's meals, the kids like everything, except the mashed sweet potatoes. Hannah can eat her weight in salad, and they both like meat and pasta. Hazel eats tons of fruit at breakfast and lunch, and even if they skip something one night, it all evens out in the week.

We've been aiming to eat between 6:30 and 6:45 each night, which is the magic time that allows us to get home from work and cook, allows the children to eat a quick snack when we get home and then run it off with their neighborhood friends, and gives us time after eating to clean the kitchen and the children before settling down to bed.

Most nights, it's pretty awesome.


Jennifer said...

Yes, all that meal planning is a must, although at times it does feel a bit constraining. I usually plan meals and shop on Mondays (my day off). I am responsible for 3 weeknight meals and Anthony for 2. He is not an inspired or enthusiastic chef, so I let him off the hook for ordering pizza or the like one of his nights.

I really hate that most of the days I work I don't get home until 7pm, and the family meal is over. At least I have a meal hot and waiting for me, and usually a nice cocktail, to boot!

peevish said...

I'm still jealous that your kids will actually eat real food. It all sounds yummy.

Krispy said...

We've been stealing your meal planning scheme. So far, so good.

Poor J, he sees tomatoes and you can see him get excited, grab it to eat it and then realize,
"damn! it's that thing I hate! I though it was something else this time!"