Follow Up to Weekly Dinner Menu… WHAT?

Well it has been a few weeks since I wrote Weekly Dinner Menu… What? and needless to say it has not gone exactly as planned. I have all the excuses to prove why it hasn’t gone according to plan, but I won’t bore you with the excuses; I will just update you on my discoveries!

The weekly menu, although it sounds simple and straight forward, is so much more time consuming and takes so much more focus than I thought it would. I just seem to lose focus on Sundays when I should be preparing my list and shopping for the groceries needed. I also save the laundry, vacuuming, cleaning beds, etc.…until Sunday and I don’t believe it helps that I feel like my house is in constant disarray! Ahhh, there I go with my excuses!! Back to the reason I am here… Weekly Menu!

So one thing is for sure, preparing as much as possible before the week starts is the best way to make the weekly dinner menu a success. Prepare the veggies, the meat, and have everything ready to go, so the day of the meal or the day before it is much easier to throw together. Now I just have to figure out the best days to prepare this stuff, Sundays just aren’t cutting it for me.

An item I will be investing in is a chalkboard for in my kitchen… how handy this will be. My vision is to use it for the weekly menu so that everyone is aware of the meals planned. Another use will be for groceries. If we run out of an item, this will be a place to quickly jot down what the item is and then it can be added to the grocery list when it is being written up. Hmmm, am I making this too complicated? I feel like I need to organize it as best I can, but maybe it’s too much? Whether it is or not, I need to try. This has to work in order for us to get a full, happy meal on the table each night. What I am doing now, is just not working.

The most successful meal this week was the famous Pull A Part Chicken, made with Cauliflower Mashed and we snuck in some spinach, and it was amazing. Again my son gobbled it down. This meal is so quick and easy to make, and lasts a few meals for three people. Just one of those menu items that will stick with us for a long time.

Chicken Pull-A-Part

Chicken Pull-A-Part

Cauliflower Mashed

Cauliflower Mashed

The Final Product: Chicken, Cauliflower and Spinach

The Final Product: Chicken, Cauliflower and Spinach

So what do you do to make your weekly menu successful? Do you have any tips you can provide to help us all be successful in getting a healthy meal on the table?

Until next time,

Elisa

Weekly Dinner Menu… WHAT?

My newest challenge is trying to get a healthy, happy meal on the dinner table, preferably before 9:00 pm. Yes, I find it a lot easier to run to the local fast food restaurant, or grab a quick meal out of the cupboard, but is it really all that healthy? Now with a 1 1/2 year old, I find I want to put more focus around healthy eating so that I can teach my little guy how to eat right from the start and why eating healthy is important. My husband and I have never really put a lot of focus on this. Except for those special times each year, you know what I mean, just before summer when you want to loose some weight for bikini season, or just after Christmas when you managed to eat all of Grandma’s cookies! I feel I need to make this idea of healthy eating a priority in our home, so one day it will be the norm in our home. Now… wouldn’t that be nice.

So last week was my first, planned and successful Weekly Dinner Menu. The key to my success: making sure I gathered all the ingredients on the weekend so that I did not have to frantically run out the day of and grab what I was missing. This made for a successful meal plan. This week, to add to the success, I have implemented meal planners/cooks. I take on two dinners a week and my husband makes two dinners a week. I am also trying to make Pizza Fridays a staple in my home so that I know exactly what we’re having at the end of a busy week. I also have high hopes that my little boy, one day, will be one of the cooks!
This extra help takes the stress off of me to plan and make every meal. Its hard to be creative everyday, especially at the beginning when I am just trying to get a system in place.

Useful tools:

1. I love my slow cooker! I can make the majority of the meal the night before. The next day when I get home from work, the meal is ready and waiting.

2. I have also found prewashing the fruits and vegetables is very helpful. By that I mean, when I get home from the grocery store or market, I wash all perishable items (as required). That way when I need them I just grab and go. So much easier!

So to get started, make sure to have a weekly plan, listing the day, the item and the person in charge… This is my first weeks attempt, which is obviously a working progress but none the less a list. That’s gotta be better than nothing at all!

Screenshot_2013-09-23-11-40-02                        food
(My first attempt at a Weekly Menu)              (My son eating one of the homemade dishes)

With a list, me and my fellow cooks have something to follow. It also comes in handy if a dinner doesn’t work out on the day I had planned… I can swap it for a different day.
I am really looking forward to continuing this with my family, and being more descriptive in my menu planning. I’m working on including exactly what the item will be instead of just “pasta dish” and getting the whole family involved. It’s all part of learning and training myself to do things differently. But I know in the end it will be good for all of us.

Let’s see how the next few weeks go…!!

Any suggestions for me and my family on how to make the Weekly Dinner Menu more successful? How does your family get through the weekly dinners? Are you a ‘meal planner’ or ‘cook as you go’ type?

Until next time,

Elisa