meal planning, well sort of…

If I had a nickel for every time someone said to me, “Do you cook? No! Didn’t you go to culinary school!” Well I would be a rich lady. LOL.

Yes, I went to culinary school, but solely for Baking & Pastry Arts. NOT for culinary arts. I can bake you in circles, but cook? No, I can heat things up. Bottom line is, I don’t like to cook.

NOPE.

I don’t like ANY OF IT.

I don’t like the planning, the shopping, the prepping, the cooking, the feeding it to the kids and arguing about how much they have to eat and finally, the dreaded clean up. Being the primary cook for my family right now is a necessary evil and a means to and end: healthy food in our belly. BLAH.

I always think “One day I will like this. Right?” Well, until that one day comes, what do I do? I try to meal plan. Try being the operative word.

Since I am slightly organized this week I thought I would share with you a good week of meal planning on my part.

On the menu this week:

  • Monday: Trader Joe’s Creamy Tomato Soup with grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. This was a big hit, sort of. At least the sandwiches were. The kids cringed when I handed them their tablespoon of tomato soup to try. This is my favorite winter time combo and thought it would be perfect before we bundled up and headed out to trick-or-treat. Well, at least half of the family enjoyed it.
  • Tuesday: Rigatoni with sausage, pesto and cherry tomato sauce. This is one of the kids favorite meals.  My dear friend Stacey, who is a phenomenal cook and entertainer, showed me this quick and easy sauce to make and surprisingly everyone likes it. Super easy to put together: box of cherry tomatoes, sliced and sautéed in olive oil. Add some pesto and chicken apple sausages and serve over big rigatoni noodles. Sprinkle on some fresh basil and parmesan and you are good to go. (I am by NO means a food blogger, so bare with me as I try to take photos. LOL.)

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  • Wednesday: Pizza. We have our basketball end of season party, so I get the night off from cooking! Yay pizza!
  • Thursday: Roasted Chicken with Carrots and Sweet Potatoes. This is Brett’s poker night so he usually skips dinner with us and heads straight to poker with his friends after work. I save this night for chicken if I can, because let’s just say, Brett is SICK of chicken. This is one of the kids favorite meals too. Super easy and one pot to make clean up easy. I chop a bunch of rainbow carrots and sweet potatoes, mix with olive oil, salt & pepper, then layer them on the bottom of my big roasting pan. I buy a whole chicken and plop that on top. Rub the chicken with olive oil, salt & pepper, then bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes, then 350 for about 45 minutes. Simple and delicious with plenty of leftovers for lunches then next day.
  • Friday: Flank Steak and Roasted Brussel Sprouts. This is more of a hit with Brett and I than the kids, but hey, too bad. Trader Joe’s sells some really nice, pre-marinated flank steaks that cook quick and easy. I am not great at grilling, so these are a nice alternative for me to bake in the oven like I usually do our chicken. Pop the steak in the oven, roast the brussel sprouts too and done! Easy and tasty, well at least the adults think so. My kids aren’t too keen on brussels sprouts, even though I keep shoving them down their throats once a week.
  • Saturday: Lemon Chicken and Green Beans. I sound like a walking Trader Joe’s commercial, but this is another big hit from Trader Joe’s. They sell a lemon garlic spatchcock chicken that is super yummy. Already marinated, so all you need to do it pop it in the oven and serve with whatever veggies you have on hand. I bought green beans to sauté with garlic because Bear can never eat enough green beans. LOL.
  • Sunday: Brett Cooks! Brett loves to cook and he has started to pick a meal himself and make is every Sunday night for us. So far with have had Steak and Veggies and Coconut Chicken. It’s a nice treat because the kids love seeing him in the kitchen and I get a break from the daily kitchen grind.

So there you have it. It’s not fancy, but it is semi-organized. It’s not like this every week, but this week I was feeling like I needed to get back on track and have plan for each night. We have been eating out WAY too much and it hasn’t been the healthiest choices, cough *In & Out* cough *Chipotle* cough.

How do you meal plan for your family? Are you adventurous? Like to eat out more? I am always curious about how other families do it.

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