Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Meal Planning

As is probably abundantly evidently at this point, I'm something of an organizer. I like my home neat, I don't like not knowing, and it's only through spending so much time with my ridiculously wonderfully social husband that I've grown to be remotely accepting of spontaneity.

Don't get me wrong--I love a good adventure. But it takes me a few minutes to adjust to sudden changes in plans.

There's a reason kiddos with autistic tendencies hold my heart. I get 'em.

Anyway, one of the small ways I exert control over my surroundings and keep from my evenings being totally stressful is to meal plan.

I'm a pretty flexible meal-planner. I make a list every week of 4-5 meals, and that's what I shop for. I always have some extra chicken, pasta, red sauce, etc for quick and easy dinners, but my Menu contains all my "goal" meals. I don't plan specific meals for specific nights, but I account for any evening plans and go from there.

This also helps me with my grocery shopping, since I know what meals to buy for. It keeps me on track, and ensures that I have everything on hand. Cuts down on those midweek trips to the store, which I hate not because I spend extra money (I'm actually pretty boss at getting in and out of the store without lots of extras) but because I hate running errands when I really want to be sitting on my couch watching 30 Rock.

Yeah, Tina Fey (My other girl crush).

For instance, this week we attended a fundraiser dinner at Chik-fil-A, and we have a neighborhood dinner on Wednesday, so I only planned three meals for this week: roast chicken with wild rice and spinach, pesto salmon with sweet potato and green beans, and spaghetti with meat sauce.

FYI, I try to keep salad and other veggies on hand to bulk up any meal that needs a boost.

Some of our other favorite meals include:
chicken parmesan
pad thai
roast chicken (whole chickens, or just thighs)
quesadillas with the chicken leftover from the roast
tacos (any kind--shrimp, chicken, beef)
grilled chicken with salad (oh so many variations on this one)
sweet potato soup (with sandwiches, of course)
confetti chicken
breakfast for dinner (brinner)
ritz chicken

What are your favorite (quick and easy or otherwise!) dinners to make? Do you plan ahead or wing it?