Meal Plan Monday (on a Friday!)

In the midst of vying for a valuable spot in the online ordering queue for our local grocery store and a few tears cried because my husband doesn’t quite know how to do buy groceries to my liking, meal planning has taken an adventurous turn. I’d usually post on a Monday, but lately my meal plan is constantly evolving and who even knows what day it is, anyhow? I’m still attempting to create a menu, but it’s hard to plan a week’s worth of meals when you have a 12 year old and 14 year old constantly grazing and grocery store roulette leaves you with some glaring holes on your grocery list.

I am limiting my time out in public significantly and that’s leaving Kevin to fetch and pick up for us. He’s amazing and doesn’t complain until I complain about the wrong deli meat he’s picked up. (I’ve been craving a good corned beef or smoked meat on rye for weeks… No, ham isn’t going to cut it!) We get our grocery spot and he’ll pop out once in awhile to fill in the gaps.

I’ve been getting online slots about two weeks out, but it’s always a surprise to see what doesn’t make the final cut. Some weeks it’s been meat, other times veggies, and never ever junk food. This past shop we didn’t get certain dairy, meat, pantry, or produce I had hoped for. This means meal times are reinvented or we look at alternate sources. The farm store near us still had flour and they had great (more expensive) cuts of meat from their farm to table butcher.

Tonight I finally had my Caesar salad with thanks to a local restauranteur who provided me with a bottle of dressing when she read I didn’t successfully get one in my last shop. She also kept us well-stocked for whipped cream. It’s the little things, people!

Over the last few weeks we’ve made substitutions and taken shortcuts, believing that “fed” is often more important than stressing over the “what.” We’re still looking at balance, but not sweating the fact that the pulled pork came prepared in a frozen box. (Hint: M&M Food Markets have great selections of prepared foods… including desserts!)

Some of our meals have included:

  • Chicken strips (frozen), caesar salad, cucumbers, and potato wedges (fresh)
  • Take out (when I’ve had just about enough!)
  • Breakfast for dinner (always a hit!)
  • Beef chili (made with stewing beef)
  • Beef chili “enchiladas”
  • Pulled pork tacos
  • Soup of different varieties (with bread and cheese)
  • A pot roast that no one liked
  • Spaghetti (which everyone liked but me)
  • Burgers

I’ve been flexible with the grazing and I’ve been flexible with the dinner time complaints. (Someone didn’t eat his wedges tonight and you know what, that’s fine! I didn’t eat my cucumber.)

Overall, I don’t even think I’ve had to be too creative either. If you look at older meal plans, there’s nothing too different on the list. I’m sticking to things I know for the most part and finding some comfort in that. Switching out the odd meat or vegetable o make things work isnt huge sacrifice. There’s a bit of control in the kitchen with the ingredients I do have and in a world that I have very little control over right now, that works for me!

What’s cooking in your kitchen these days? Are you baking up a storm? Taking out your frustrations on your bread dough? Sticking to the classics or trying to keep things fresh and creative? Whatever you’re doing… stay healthy and have fun!

Meal Plan Monday: December 2 Edition

I haven’t been very diligent in the meal plan department lately. My grocery shops have been few and far between as I try to use up the contents of our cupboards, fridge, and freezer. I meal plan on the weekends usually – even if it’s just a loose idea of what I can come up with and often the complexity of the meals will vary with how I’m feeling. This Sunday when I sat down to meal plan I was “done” and it reflects – there’s a lot of quick meals or comfort food. Nothing wrong with that! Before I type up my grocery list, like most people, I try to shop the cupboards first. I’m also notorious for forgetting something on my list or the whole list entirely so I also approach my meal plan with a certain flexibility. It’s not always a happy flexibility, but we try to make it work (even if there’s a certain degree of cupboard banging and very loud sighs in the process.)

Today was the first snow day of the school year for the boys and bonus, I was given the work-from-home option – which sounds delightful, but in reality made me crave the office. My productivity levels were way off and throw in a borderline migraine for fun and well, let’s just say we’ll be making up some hours this week. We were *supposed* to have leftover butternut squash soup with biscuits, salad and fresh veg, and smokies for some protein for those who would say soup doesn’t fill them up. Unfortunately, my plan backfired as many of my plans do lately as the soup was still frozen solid by the time dinner rolled around. Plan B was to make a tortilla soup with smokies instead of chicken and that would have been delightful but between Friday’s “don’t eat the tortilla chips” and today, said bag of tortilla chips disappeared. Meh. To top it off, I *destroyed* my stock pot the other day and there was no salvaging it – I have a teeny tiny saucepan to cook in… and was clinging to that almost-migraine. Dinner prep felt like a disaster.

We salvaged it though. One child made himself a smoothie and frozen pizzas (and you know what, I wasn’t cooking twice or didn’t have energy to win this one so his tummy is full and that’s fine.) I still made a sauce-pan sized pot of soup with tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, corn, rice, and diced up smokies and it worked. Still made the biscuits. Still had salad for two of us and pulled out the Costco veggie tray we picked up and has been a hit at meal times as they graze the veggies they like. No one dared complain. (I may be extremely grumpy when I have an almost-migraine.) Here’s hoping the rest of the meal plan goes a bit smoother and our dinners this week are no fuss, no muss – while using up some of that frozen meat that was passed our way!

  • Sunday – leftover roast beef poutine, caesar salad, and fresh veggies featuring leftover
  • Monday – soup with biscuits, salad, fresh veggies
  • Tuesday – smokies, cornbread, fresh veggies, and that leftover butternut squash soup
  • Wednesday – veggie goat cheese flatbread (no kids!)
  • Thursday – chicken, broccoli, and rice
  • Friday – ribs, sweet potato fries, fresh veggies
  • Saturday – burgers and salad

How do you salvage meal time prep that’s gone awry? I’m sure we’d be using UberEats way more often if we didn’t live outside of town. (Probably a good thing that we don’t!) Also, if anyone is talking to Santa, could you mention I’m looking for a good pots & pan set and that I’ve been a VERY good girl this year!