Archive for February, 2012

Meal Plan for February 26 – March 3

As I wrote in this post, last week we didn’t do a menu plan, which was a rough experiment.  We’re back on the game this week. A few highlights worth noting from this week:

  • We’re short on real intense and creative options this week. It’s the end of the month and the ‘food envelope’ is short on cash.  We need to do a better job spreading out our budget week-over-week, so this week we did a small shopping trip for some staples and are making do with what we have.
  • Tuesday night’s chicken strips will be homemade boneless, skinless chicken breasts with panko crumb breading. Homemade and fairly healthy.
  • Wednesday we’re having Eggos for breakfast. While we need to “leggo the eggos” for health purposes, we have them in the freezer and need to work their way out of the house.
  • Thursday’s lunch has “squid dogs”.  This is a recipe Robyn found in a magazine where you push whole pieces of spaghetti through an inch-long section of hot dog.  Boil them until done. Fun!
  • Our local Jewel had some varieties of Progresso soup on sale this week, so we picked up a can for lunch on Friday. I’ll be traveling for work which increases the amount of work for one person to do around here, so something quick-and-easy like this is a good plug-in. (Of course, homemade soup would be a better option, but this isn’t an awful move either.)
  • Last point — there are quite a few gaps in here where we’ll be away from home for lunch or on the go. We’ve found with our planning that we typically end up with leftovers, which can easily plug into these gaps.  (For some families with more people, leftovers might not exist!)

B- Egg white omelette w/ veggies; toast
L- Pierogies, veggie straws
D- Tacos, rice

B- Toast w/ apple butter
L- [out]
D- Oven-baked chicken strips; mashed potatoes, corn

B- Eggo Waffle w/ pure syrup, strawberries
L- Egg sandwich, fruit
D- Chili, baked potato

B- Banana slices with peanut butter & craisins
L- Squid dogs, applesauce
D- Pot roast w/ veggies, potatoes

B- Cheerios & Raisins
L- Progresso soup, cheese & crackers, carrot sticks
D- Leftovers

B- [out]
L- [out]
D- Buttered noodles; bread



The “No Menu” Experiment

Last week we tried to roll through the week without having our weekly menu planned out. There were two primary reasons for this:

  1. The weekend got busy and we didn’t have time to make it up on Sunday like usual.  We could have taken the time on Monday to plan, but:
  2. We intentionally decided to try to go for the week without a plan. The goal was to see if we could make do with what we had on hand in the house (financial impact) and see if we could make wise, healthy decisions accordingly (health impact).

After a week, I think we give ourselves a “C”.  It was an average week. We didn’t jump into the deep end with poor choices, but the week ended up being far more stressful than it needed to be. Come lunch time, rather than look at the menu and start preparing, you find yourself starting at the fridge or pantry for an extra ten minutes figuring out what to do (not easy when you’re on a schedule with kids). When time is a little frantic and stressed, you’re tempted to go out to eat rather than stick to the plan (we didn’t cave). And even in decision-making, you can make decent choices which are not necessarily the most healthy.

What did we learn from this experiment?

It’s worth the time to plan the menu for the week.  You ensure you’re getting the appropriate daily intake of all the good stuff. You cut down on stress. And you eliminate temptations.

We’re back on with a plan for this week.

Meal Plan for February 13-19

The last couple weeks have been a bit light on new recipes, so we’ve added a few more in for this week. Nothing that out of the ordinary this week. A few fun features include a few recipes using some homemade wheat bread that I (Kevin) made this morning on a whim. Recipe for that bread can be found here.

A couple things on the list this week that I’m not linking recipes to…because they don’t exist (kabobs on Monday, Quiches on Tuesday). I’ll try to take some pics and jot some notes about how they go for future reference.


B- Blueberry muffin
L- [Subway]
D- Salad; Steak kabobs w/ brown rice

Make scones

B- Heart-shaped Craisin Scones; strawberry milk (pink!)
L- Heart-Shaped PB&J sandwiches; sweet potato straws
D- Heart-shaped Crustless Bacon & cheese quiche; breakfast potatoes with pepper & onion

B- English Muffin w/ apple butter
L- Grilled cheese & pickle panini; veggie straws
D- Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore with brown rice

B- Eggwhite omelette w/ cheddar cheese
L- BLT Sandwich; crackers; fruit
D- Chicken & cheese quesadillas; corn; tortilla chips

B- Homemade wheat bread toast with apple butter or local honey
L- Leftover Pizza
D- Pancakes

 Make apple chips

B- Banana Dog Bites
L- Sloppy Joe; fruit; apple chips

Whole day TBD.

Meal Plan for February 6-12

Last week 3/4 of our family was knocked down with a nasty sick bug and the other 1/4 was out of town for work. 😦  Time for prep of meals was simply not there and we were blessed by the help of some friends. This week you’ll see some duplicates of last week because they weren’t made.

Another note for this week is lunch on Wednesday. Indeed, chicken nuggets and pudding aren’t the healthiest things on the planet. But we have a bunch from before we made this shift. Back to the stewardship equation – we’re going to work through what we have and then cycle them out with some healthier stuff in the months to come.

B- Chocolate chip banana bread muffin (made end of last week)
L- Fish sticks, potato & onion pierogies, fruit
D- Leftover chicken pot pie soup or leftover baked mostaccoli

B- Bagel Thin w/ apple butter
L- [out with friends]
D- Rigatoni with sausage & Kale

B- English Muffin w/ butter
L- Chicken Nuggets, pudding
D- [Out: Pizza Night at Awana]

B- Smoothie/fresh fruit
L- PB&J; veggie straws, fresh fruit
D- Cheese & Chicken Quesadillas

Make Blueberry Muffins/Bread

B- Blueberry muffin
L- Tuna melt; corn
D- Oven baked chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans

B- Bagel or English Muffin w/ butter, fruit
L- 15-minute chicken gumbo, rice
D- Dinner out after church

Brunch- Breakfast Potatoes, Quiche, Fresh Fruit
D- Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore with brown rice