- Dani Fontanesi
Weekly Meal Planning
The title of this post is a bit misleading, because it suggests that "weekly meal planning" is something we do on the regular -- which it's not. Mainly, I just go through phases where I look in the fridge/cabinets and think, "Why is there never anything to eat in the house?" (despite a fridge and cabinets full of food). When I reach this phase, it generally means that I'm eating like crap (coffee for breakfast, chips and salsa for lunch, cookies throughout the day), feeling like crap, and looking like I feel (tired, hungry, and annoyed that there's "no food in the house").
That's when I decide it's time to 'Get your sh*t together, Carol!" (My fave Bridesmaids quote.)
This happened a couple weekends ago. I was having major stomach/digestive issues (which I won't go into here) and generally feeling terrible, which happens when I've been on a streak of eating like crap. So I put Granite down for his morning nap, went to the cabinet, pulled out a few of my favorite cookbooks, plopped myself down on the couch, and went to work meal planning. It was time to get my shi*t together!
I decided to plan both lunches and dinners for the week, and to pre-make some of them (to the extent that I could) so I was more likely to grab a healthy meal out of the fridge for lunch, rather than rummaging through the cabinets and settling on pita chips.
With a 16-month-old, time is not a luxury I have much of anymore, so I have to be efficient. I tried to find a good meal planning app, but I didn't find any that quite fit what I was looking for, so instead, I did things the old fashioned way -- thumbing through cookbooks, and jotting down recipes on a spiral notepad.
I'd add the ingredients to a grocery list app I use called "OurGroceries." It's a pretty basic app (not a lot of fancy features), but I like it for two reasons: (1) It can be shared between family members (no more texting Matt a grocery list); and (2) You can create categories for everything on your shopping list and it will automatically organize it for you.
The "categories" function is key for me because it saves sooooo much time (and energy) being able to see at a glance everything I need from the "Produce" section, or the "Dairy" section, or the "Dried Goods" section. (No more zig-zagging back and forth across the grocery store as I realize I forgot something from the Produce section or the Frozen Foods section or the Baking aisle.)
You can also create grocery lists for individual recipes, which is super convenient for the next time you plan to make the same recipe. With a few taps, you can automatically add all the ingredients to your grocery list (and easily delete any that you don't need).
As I was going through this meal planning process, I thought, "Wouldn't it be great if someone could just do this for me?" So if you're looking for healthy, easy, meal plans this week, here's what I came up with. Enjoy!
Monday: Black Bean Salad with (store bought) Rotisserie Chicken
Tuesday: Greek Salad with Rotisserie Chicken
Wednesday: Salmon with Roasted Potatoes, Carrots, and Beets
Thursday: Caprese Salad and Pasta Primavera
Friday: White Fish with Pesto, Pasta, and Arugula Salad
Monday/Tuesday: Tuna & Artichoke Salad
Wednesday: Quinoa Tabouli
Thursday: Nicoise Salad with leftover Salmon
Friday: Leftover Quinoa Tabouli