Friday, October 04, 2013

This is how I cook.

Something I have come to realize lately is that I don't know how to cook.
Well, I sort of do. I'm a master at grilled cheese and ground taco beef.

What I definitely don't know how to do is meal plan.  And then get groceries and cook healthy meals.

You whole life I've either been depending upon someone else to feed me (Mom & Dad, then college cafeteria) or I've been dieting.  Or eating lots of junk food.

But I've never just planned out, this is what I'm eating.  And if I did, it didn't last for very long, or it was just for myself...not for a family of four.

Now that I am having a second child, I realized I can't just wing it every night for dinner anymore.  I need a plan.  And leftovers.  And packed lunches.  And a way to save money while doing this.

So in my head I have been putting together some ideas for meal planning.  The first idea I came up with was that I was going to have set meals for dinner on certain nights. For example Mondays would be Mexican food. (probably tacos).  Tuesdays would be soup and sandwich.  (maybe in the summer we could switch that soup to salad.)

Fridays might have to be pizza.

So I mentioned this plan to my hubby and the first question he came up with was this:

Hubby: "So how are you making the soup?"
Me: "I'm going to open the can, pour it in a pot and heat it up."
Hubby: "Ummm..."

And this is where I got upset.  I said that's why I didn't cook. 

I'm lucky, my hubby is an excellent cook and most of the time he does it from scratch.  Using ingredients from our garden (if we have one) or farmer's markets.  It intimidates me.  I feel like whatever I make won't be good enough. So I stopped trying.  (he used to work from home and was able to make our dinner every night, but now his job keeps him out until past when Zoe is hungry.)

I decided that in order to feed two kids, he was just going to have to deal with my methods.  Because I'm home with them at 5:30 when they are hungry.  And he doesn't get home until later.  SO that is just the way it goes. :)  After working all day, I need something quick and easy and nutritious.

Anyone have any good meal planning ideas?  Please don't suggest I do a whole lot of cooking on Sundays. Ain't nobody got time for that.  That's laundry, football and the only time we get to spend together as a family if we aren't already doing something else.  :)


LisaJo Grummell said...

I like to find things I can cook like twice a week and do left overs, meal you can make that are big like lasagna (which if you can do taco's you can do lasagna) and casseroles, these are not hard to make but they make a lot and can be saved easily. I do all my left overs in individual containers so they are easy to heat up and to keep track of how many portions I have (also good for dieters because I won't grab a bigger potion just because I'm hungry)

Anonymous said...

I am going to email you a meal plan that James and I use. I started list last November and at first my husband looked at me like I was crazy, but after a month he decided he liked it. Mostly because we weren't having spaghetti every Wednesday or Pizza every Friday. We rotate our meals each month depending on what plans/activities we have going on, we have leftover night at least once a week, and we only order out every other weekend. Plus, I only buy what ingredients or fresh fruits and veggies I need for the week so nothing goes bad (This only works if you go to the grocery store every week).

For us the meal plan is a guideline, we don't always follow it. Things come up and sometimes it changes. But at least he has an idea of what is coming up for the week and I can look at the meal plan (posted on the fridge) and remember to take the chicken/steak/hamburg out of the freezer each morning.


Morrigan said...

Some things I do. I have a chalkboard wall at home and I put everything I plan on making that week on the board. I don't have a set This is This day, I just kind of wing it with what I have. I do have things that take more time to make and things that are easy (baked potato, BLTs, soup and sandwich (grilled cheese with meat and can of soup) ). Sometimes if I make something big on the weekends, I like to make a double batch to freeze or keep for the week.

Also kid food is sometimes different than adult food. Evie goes to bed at 7, so she eats around 5:30 or 6. Too early to get a full meal together. Either she has leftovers, a quesadilla, eggs, and yes sometimes cereal.

Josie said...

I understand and still struggle.

Things that helped me:
Two weeks of meals with the shopping list for each week. Seeing it done helps solidify it in your brain.

The other may not be an option where you are, but it expanding -
They give you a set of meal options, you select the ones you want each week and they deliver it to you. Barely more than going to the store yourself and are easy and tasty options.

Again the mindset:
Pick from a set of predefined meals - not mains and sides - MEALS. "Spaghetti and meatballs and salad and garlic bread" is a meal. "Chicken" is not.
Have day when you do all the planning and shopping. Some people also do some prep on Sunday when they have more time.
Only plan 5 dinners so you have wiggle room for pizza or out or more leftovers than planned.

I also love plannedovers as lunches whenever possible. Make 6 servings, not just 4.

CollyWolly said...

Do you have a slow cooker. I love mine. I make soup in it all winter long and during the summer it does not heat up the kitchen. I can send some of my favorite recipes to you if you would like them. They are also good for things loke pot rost. Just Just throw everything in in the morning and you have a hot meal at night. I also know some simple 30 minet recipes too. Just email me if you would like them.


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