Weekly Meal Plan Plan

The word on the street is that I’m not the only one who struggles to plan my meal scene. After a few weeks of experimenting with a more regimented approach, I have to admit that the results I expected have once again proven true. Planning my meals ahead of time made my life easier in a variety of ways: 1) no last minute scramble, 2) a sensible, shorter, and more complete  grocery shop, and 3) less money spent at the store. What’s not to love about that? With all those pros, it seems like I could hardly fail to plan my meals…. except that I do fail to plan my meals and after a couple of weeks doing just great I stumbled and we had a chaotic week with weird food and greater expenditures at the store.

So, here I am, putting all my meal planning cards on the table. I am going to attempt to post my meal plans here. I’d like to say that I’ll do it every week, and I plan to. I know you’ll understand if life gets the better of me from time to time. Just in case you’ve always wondered how Little Sis’ family eats all week, here you go.

Monday: White Bean and Kale Stew (Kathy Hester’s The Vegan Slow Cooker)

Tuesday: Crock Pot Burritos

Wednesday Potato Pancakes with Cashew Cream & Apple Sauce

Thursday: Asian Varia-Bowls

Friday: Homemade Pizza (Mr. Little Sis is awesome)

Saturday: Dinner at a Friend’s (Yay!)

Sunday: Homemade Pasta (Again, Mr. Little Sis provides)

Yes, that’s a lot of slow cooker going on. We have fall sports going on and I’ve found the Crock Pot to be a great help on these evenings. Nothing better than coming home from the gym or field to great smells and hearty dinners. As for the planning, I know there are a lot of systems out there. I am a luddite. Here’s my meal planning system.

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Not terribly high tech, but totally user friendly and CHEAP. So I make a plan and then make a grocery list from the list. Has taken less than 40 minutes every time.

So there you have it. All planned up and grocery store bound at some point.Here’s to better grocery trips and home cooked meals! Ta Da!

Slow and Simple Tortillas, Beans, and Rice

There are times when we all need a fast meal.  We are overbooked. We are overtired. We are overworked. There are also times we need a slow meal. We are overworked. We are overtired. We are overbooked. So we stop and go to the kitchen and pull out ingredients to make a meal that is comforting, that is universally accepted in the home, that everyone can help make. We bring our consciousness back to the basic reality of finding nourishment and achieving flavor. We bring our attention back to the domestic, in the very best sense of the word, the hearth, the heart of our existence on this earth. We use our hands to turn ingredients into a basic meal. We are still likely overbooked, but less tired, and the work is restorative, the motion therapeutic, the company a balm. Slow food. Breathing. We CAN wait a few more minutes. Especially if it means we get homemade tortillas. Continue reading

Caribbean Flair – Cheap, Easy, Delicious

I can’t count the number of posts that I’ve started by way of saying that I was running late and hadn’t planned dinner well…  Well, I guess I could, but honestly I don’t really want to.  The simple fact is that planning is not my strong suit.  So how do I eat healthy food without breaking the bank? I keep a healthy pantry and that pantry allows me to start with the ingredients that I have and cobble together something that works for most of us most of the time.  (Learn more about our real food pantries here.)  So last night, running on about 3 hours of sleep and a miserable day of contract work I stood in front of my magic pantry and waited for inspiration.

And then it happened.  Oooh, sweet potatoes.  Oh right, I just got some quinoa!  Black beans, hot dog!  Chipotle, garlic, cumin, salt, coconut oil… oh and cilantro!  Oh yes, life is good.  Dinner for four in about 35 minutes featuring: Continue reading

Sometimes It’s Not That Complicated

I am a member of an online Mom’s group.  I don’t necessarily participate all that much, but when the twins were infants and we had just moved here, it was a lifesaver.  There was always someone around to “talk” to.  I still check in from time to time, to chat with my book club friends, get advice on a restaurant, or help a new Mom know it’s going to be okay.  While I was visiting with my online ladies yesterday, an interesting question caught my eye. Continue reading