Sooooo, I feel like I am due to write another post about how — for the second and likely final time — I quit eating paleo. However, this is not that post. Several of you asked about menu planning and go-to meals.
the meal plan routineJanuary 12, 2016
Readers from years back may remember that I like to cook. In fact, I did a “cook-through” once, christened “Doin’ Time with Martha“, where I went through all of the recipes in Ms. Stewart’s cookbook Great Food Fast. It was fun and I would do it again.
But not now.
I don’t cook very much now. I do miss it, actually, but there is not an easy or practical way to fit it in on weeknights right now, so I don’t. I have started to cook more for dinner parties or Sunday potlucks — usually fitting this in during C’s nap.
However, I still place a high value on healthy food made from good ingredients. And I am (incredibly) lucky to have a nanny (G) who is not only willing to cook, but adventurous enough to make most of the recipes in Practical Paleo and Well Fed when I was heavily into the paleosphere last year.
Despite the fact that I am not the one actually whipping up our family meals, I still do all of the planning. Every Monday morning (usually my workout rest day, because it’s sacred weekly planning time), I sit down and create a weekly list of meals & an accompanying grocery list. G shops for us on Monday and does the cooking during the week, typically while C is napping.
This week (for example):
M – shrimp, green beans, plantains (kids fave)/sweet potatoes
T – taco soup (made with hominy & shredded chicken, topped with avocado) from Dinner: A Love Story cookbook. Tortilla chips & salsa on the side.
W – leftovers
R – butternut mac ‘n’ cheese, salad
F – leftovers
1. The kids eat what we eat. No separate meals. If Annabel really really doesn’t like or want the meal, she can have carrots & hummus. (Generally Cameron will eat almost anything if hungry, but A will flat-out refuse in certain circumstances. Usually she is pretty good about eating what is served, though.)
2. Leftovers are usually 2x/week – Wednesday & Friday.
3. Monday is usually a simple meal of fish or seafood, veg, and sweet potatoes or plantains. Because I looooooove this meal, feel like it’s healthy, and it’s one less thing I have to come up with. Although Cameron may or may not be allergic to some fish (but not salmon or shrimp. Thank goodness!).
4. One night I am going to aim to make vegetarian (yeah I know, 360-swivel from paleo. Thank you Cowspiracy.)
On the weekends, I don’t meal plan. We either eat leftovers or go out (sometimes date night) on Saturday, and Sunday is usually some kind of social occasion. This used to mean takeout, but as C has gotten a bit older I’d like to do more cooking some weeks (although . . . takeout can be pretty great, too).
I get many of our recipes from magazines – Cooking Light, Real Simple, etc. Or online, like the butternut mac ‘n’ cheese recipe from this week. I have a few favorite cookbooks, but my collection is super small, particularly since I gave away several books in a fit of paleo pride last year (and also: Kon-Mari).
Do you have a similar method? Do you shop once per week, or more? What is your favorite go-to meal, if you have one? I feel like I can never have enough ideas in this realm . . .