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Our new family meal plan was supposed to debut today. Oh, it’s been on my ever-growing to-do list and obviously keeps being pushed farther and farther down. With the advent of summer (I mean spring! Are you experiencing the same unseasonably warm weather that we are here in northern Indiana?) my hours are now heavily spent in my flower beds and garden. Isa is thoroughly enjoying it. There seems to be nothing better for little ones than digging in dirt, eating it, and digging some more. I’m prepping my garden with our compost and slowly, so slowly planting things. I wanted to have all of my spring crops planted last week but just tonight planted my first crop of lettuce. After looking back to last year in my gardening notebook I felt much better when I realized I didn’t plant anything until May 1. I’m ahead of the game already!

With soil now constantly beneath my fingernails and having already experienced air conditioned air, I’m starting to rethink our two week meal. It seemed like a great idea to me when the weather was chilly and I’m craving heartier foods (chili & cornbread, casseroles, beef bourguignon…oh yes, that’s one of my favorites!) that take more preparation and preparation that seems to need to be done later in the day. This is what I hate. I’m tired, Isa’s cranky after waking from her afternoon nap, and we’re both just plain hungry. Cooking at 4 p.m. just doesn’t work for this mama. But along came “summer” a couple of weeks ago and meals have seemed to get easier. My pantry is bare of all of the essentials that I normally have on hand yet I’m able to whip something up. And the “whipping” is able to happen early in the day. Often times in the morning or right after lunch. With summer actually approaching in the next couple of months, fresh produce will be abundant…or at least I’m hoping my garden produces as well as it did last year…and my meal plan seems to be determined by how many tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, or whatever massively producing crop I am overloaded with that day.

I must also keep reminding myself that I’m pregnant and yes, Baby K will arrive right in the heat of summer when my garden is overflowing and there is so much to do. I’m trying not to get stressed about this now. I know that I need a freezer full of premade meals. I did a great job of preparing in this way for my first child and I know I need to do this (if not more so) for this child. So, though summer salads are easy to make I want to know that I can just go to the freezer and pull something out on a moment’s notice.

So…

my meal plan has changed to this:

-An index of our 20 favorite summer recipes

-Freezer meals of 10 different foods

-As well as an index of our 10 favorite summer snacks & desserts

I want to continue to downsize my decisions but still give myself plenty of options. We have already enjoyed many of our favorite summer meals these past couple of weeks but they will only get better when the produce is truly in season. And if you have any great freezer meal suggestions, please send them my way. J I can only eat so much chili and spaghetti.

How does your meal planning change in the summer months?

This week’s meal plan:

Monday – Nutritious Lentil Salad (we love anything with olives in it)

Tuesday – Roasted Chicken & Asparagus

Wednesday – Cold Chicken & Apple Curry Salad (use leftover chicken from the night before) with a side salad

Thursday – Baked Falafel & Garlic Naan

Friday – Spicy Black Bean Burgers & Sweet Potato Fries

Saturday – Grilled Steaks with veggies & hummus and Waldorf salad

Sunday – Popcorn & smoothies

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This post was linked to Women Living Well Wednesdays at Women Living Well, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable, Real Food Wednesdays at Kelly the Kitchen Kop,  Your Green Resource at Sorta Crunchy, Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFGLINS, Recipe and Project Swap at Everyday Tastes, Freaky Fridays at Real Food Freaks,  Fresh Bites Friday at Real Food Whole Health, Monday Mania at the Healthy Home Economist, Homestead Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead, Mentoring Mama’s Monday Link Up at Simply Living For Him, Better Mom’s Monday Link Up at The Better Mom, Sunday School Blog Carnival at The Butter Believer, Seasonal Celebrations at The Natural Mother’s Network,  Welcome Home Link Up at Raising Arrows, Traditional Tuesdays at Cooking Traditional Food, Fat Tuesdays at Real Food Forager

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