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Meal planning…

Cooking…

Working in the kitchen…

Some day I will have a nice binder with weekly meal plans all laid out

These items are not on my list of favorites. I would rather clean toilets, do laundry, and clean up after my dog outside than do these three things. That’s a pretty bold statement but it’s true. But, despite my lack of desire (or energy) these are obviously very regular duties in my life. Chris works full-time outside of the home and I am blessed to be able to stay at home full-time with our daughter. Thus, the cooking falls on me (Though, I must admit, Chris does make breakfast and often fills in on Saturdays and Sundays. I have a wonderful husband!).

And unfortunately, I did not get the “throw something together in 20 minutes” gene. My mother-in-law is extremely gifted in this. She can have 5 ingredients that I would never consider to put together and make into a delicious and healthy meal. Or she’ll have 3 different leftovers that she pulls into a completely new meal…and it’s good! I wish they taught this in school. Fortunately though, I have had many great bloggers to learn from and I will be linking many of the recipes that I use back to their blogs. They literally have taught me how to cook. I still cannot throw together a meal but now I CAN make great tasting food that is healthy and inexpensive.

My meal planning has developed more since Isa was born 10 months ago. Before that, I often meant to have meal plans but rarely would this happen. I had all day to figure out what I was going to make and could run to the grocery store if I needed something at a moment’s notice. Now though, I am much more intentional about meal planning. I don’t have the time (or the energy!) to run to the grocery store whenever I need something.

There are many ways to do a meal plan. Some people do it week by week. Others, month by month. I would love to eventually work up to a monthly meal plan but at this point in my kitchen adventures it seems too overwhelming to me. Some use the same recipes once a month or once every two weeks. **I’m sure you all have way better and smoothly run meal plans than I do. But it’s nice to be able to share my blunderings in this area!**

Here is what works for me:

I use categories…

Monday ~ Soup

Tuesday ~ Mexican

Wednesday ~ Vegetarian (usually some form of beans or lentils)

Thursday ~ Meat

Friday ~ Pizza Night

Saturday ~ Other/New Recipe

Sunday ~ Popcorn and Smoothies

Of course I’m known to not follow this schedule exactly but it gives me something to work with.

As of now, I only do meal planning for supper. Chris is our breakfast man (some form of eggs and usually either oatmeal or farina). Lunch is always leftovers from the day before.

I’ll spare you any more of my beginner-level cooking talk. Please feel free to email me with any great dairy-free recipes (though I can convert most of them anyways). I’ll gladly review them and post on the blog!

My meal plan for the coming week:

Monday ~ Gingered Carrot Soup

Tuesday ~ Taco Salad

Wednesday ~ Dahl

Thursday ~ Meatloaf

Friday ~ Pizza (sans cheese)

Homemade Pizza Sauce

Saturday ~ Stuffed Acorn Squash

Sunday ~ Popcorn & Smoothies

Click on Friday menus to grab my recipes, and keep checking back as I will be sharing all of these recipes with you in the coming weeks (plus the Deep Dish Cookie Pie that Rusty alluded to in his post!). So, come back for a visit as we build our recipe database with REAL FOOD – get these great recipes that others have shared with me!

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