Getting Back on Track

It’s almost Christmas and the fall semester has ended.  This is my favorite time of year because it means that I finally have the time to get organized and fulfill the nagging of my OCD that the flurry of the semester has caused me to ignore.  This means cleaning up and cleaning out all of the extra junk that has accumulated over the course of the last several months.

It also means getting my meal organization back on track.  I love meal planning.  Almost to an unhealthy level.  So many recipes to try.  So little time.

With meal planning, you have to find what works for you.  

For myself and my husband, we have differing schedules because he works night shift.  Therefore, I am usually on my own for breakfast and lunch, and we only really eat dinner together most of the time.  For my meal plan, I usually only plan dinners and expect to have leftovers for lunch the following day, or if there aren’t leftovers, I make sure to have some quick easy meals for myself.  That’s what works for us, but finding what works for you makes you more apt to stick to your plan.

Check out my homemade menu planner for some inspiration.

First off, meal planning makes life so much easier.

I just take about half an hour at the beginning of the week and make out my meal plan for the week.  Just half an hour to put together a week’s worth of meals.  It saves me time not having to think about what I want to make each night.  It saves me time at the grocery store because I don’t have to think about what food I want to buy, and I don’t have to make an emergency trip to the store to buy an ingredient I don’t have.  Sometimes, if I’m feeling really ambitious, I’ll even organize my grocery list by aisles.  Call me nerdy.

It also saves money.  

Going to the grocery store with no plan and an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster, not to mention an empty wallet.  When I walk into the grocery store with no plan and feeling hungry, I’m like a kid in a candy store.  I want to buy anything and everything, and I usually leave with more food than I will end up eating, not to mention some less than ideal choices.

So, being that I now have the time, and energy, to meal plan,

I’m making the commitment to get on track and stay on track.  Today is day 3 of this week’s meal plan, and I’m doing pretty well.  I did skip one dinner because we went out, but I made that meal the next day for lunch instead.

Here’s this week’s dinner menu:

Thursday: BBQ Pork Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries and Siracha Aioli
(I forgot to document with photographic evidence, but I shall not fail again.)

Friday:  Philly Cheesesteaks with Oven Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

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Buffalo Cauliflower Wings > Regular Chicken Wings (Bones are overrated)

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Saturday: We ate out because we went and saw Wizard of Oz (the Broadway production).  By the way, I highly recommend it.  Although, Wicked still remains my all time favorite.

Sunday:  Panko Shrimp Cakes with Siracha Dijonnaise, Rice Pilaf, and Roasted Carrots with Dill

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Monday:  Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken with Buttered and Herbed Spaghetti and Peas

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Tuesday:  This was my dad’s birthday, so we celebrated with a nice dinner out.  We tried a funky little burger place called Oddfellows in Ames.  It was delicious, especially the Spicy Macaroni Cakes.  Just bury me on a pillow of those and I’ll be happy.

Wednesday:  Slow Cooker Chili, which was some of the best chili I’ve ever made and it was husband-approved.
(So remember how I said I wouldn’t fail you photographically again?  Please forgive my transgressions.)

Thursday:  Was supposed to be Zin Zen Chicken Stir Fry (Rachael Ray) with Brown Rice, but after celebrating Christmas with my parents, we opted for the local Chinese buffet.

Saturday:  Zin Zen Chicken with Orange-Scented Brown Rice

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With all this meal planning, I should have more time to post here now, right?  Only time will tell. 🙂

That’s all for today, but until next time, keep your mind sharp and your knives sharper.

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