Tag Archives: meal planning

167 – Soup and Menu Stuff

One of my New Year goals for 2016 was to improve my meal planning, and I have to say it really worked out quite well. There were a few set backs of course – being stuck on a couch all summer doesn’t help – but all in all it was a success. This year, I am continuing the trend and though we’re only 2 weeks into the year, it’s going AMAZINGLY well. Like…better than ever.

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OneĀ of the biggest factors in making my menu easier to stick to and in getting us to eat healthier is scheduling junk food. Once a week – usually a Friday when Ginny sleeps at her grandparents’ – I pencil in a night to pick up or eat out for dinner. With it already on the menu, it’s something to look forward to! Also, if we have a really rough day and feel like we need to pick up RIGHT THIS MINUTE, then it’s super easy to just swap days. I also make sure to purchase some snacks (usually chips) while we’re grocery shopping, so that I don’t go nuts mid-week and hit up 7/11 and over indulge. Having junk already in the cupboard is a lot less tempting for me, but a great treat to have on those days when I just need to cram my face with chips. The past 2 weeks have been amazing for us. We’ve picked up fast food SO much less than we normally would at this time of year, and we’re all feeling really good about it. Next step is to start planning lunches as well as dinners, which I’m feeling super confident about for the first time ever.

Last night I upgraded a basic Costco potato soup mix. Observe.

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This is a great soup to add to, and I didn’t realize this until after I purchased it, but it’s gluten free which is a definite bonus as I know several people who are allergic. I really REALLY love being able to have options for feeding my friends, and this is a yummy one.

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Before starting the soup (which only needs water), I roughly chopped up some cauliflower and broccoli. I drizzled some olive oil and just a bit of seasoning on top, and then put the pan in the oven at 375 until they started to brown. They smelled soooo good.

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I then started the soup itself. After the mix was all…mixed…I tossed in two cubes of frozen chicken stock to add a bit more hearty flavour. Next time I will probably add one more cube. The stock is store bought, in case you were wondering. Also, I don’t normally use a giant freaking spatula to make soup. I just wanted to show you the stock cube and it was closest to use for that purpose.

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I tossed the veggies in, added a bit more of the same seasoning I used for the roasting, popped a lid on, and then turned the stove down to low so that everything could just simmer and get super scrumptious in time for Bryan to get home from work.

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When we were ready, we filled out bowls, topped things off with some cheese and pepper, and dug in. During this stupidly cold weather, it was a very comforting meal to partake of and was by far the best iteration of this that I’ve made so far. I love that this base is so easy to play around with.

What soups do you like? What do you recommend?

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130 – Meal Time

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This is my dayplanner. I bought it back in September and have been maintaining it ever since. The pages are full of appointments, social outings, birthdays, movie release dates, and meals. In my adult life, I have owned many planners, but this has by far been the best one. It’s cute, the layout is fantastic, and there’s so much space to write in. I also purchased a matching wall calendar in January, which has also been great.

Today I want to share my meal plan for the next two weeks. I do a plan usually every other Friday, and then we’ll shop over the weekend and be set for 2 weeks until it’s time to start over, only having to head back to the store for milk, or to restock on veggies.

March 28- April 9

Monday: Pork chops, eggplant, naan bread, spinach dip
Tuesday: Spaghetti squash, alfredo (jar), parmigiano reggiano, asiago, broccoli
Wednesday: Pizza with a visitor
Thursday: Buffalo ranch chicken, potatoes, broccoli
Friday: Pick-up
Saturday: Tortellini, alfredo, cauliflower
Sunday: Roast beef, mashed potatoes, corn, gravy, yorkshires
Monday: Turkey pies, mashed potatoes (possibly leftover), salad
Tuesday: Macaroni and cheese, cauliflower, spinach
Wednesday: Stir fry – chicken, asian vermicelli, alfalfa sprouts, shaved carrots, cauliflower, snap peas
Thursday: Frozen pizza
Friday: Pick-up
Saturday (Bryan’s 27th!): Roast chicken, potatoes, corn, Swiss Chalet sauce, squash, sweet potato, carrots (and the Reilly fam is invited for this one)

This plan is such a great help for me. It keeps me motivated to cook, and on nights when I’m not feeling something, I can easily switch it around without screwing myself over later on. As you can see, we eat a lot of basic veg with a few more interesting items thrown in here and there. We like to try new things as often as we can, and in this particular menu, I’m looking forward to trying out the eggplant and alfalfa sprouts. We also are not the type of people who eat meat every night. Part of this is I don’t want to put in that effort, part is the expense – we don’t like to buy meat in bulk, opting instead to purchase higher quality even if that means less of it. You will also notice that we don’t have any nights reserved for leftovers – I hate leftovers, and so I make the effort to cook in such a way that we don’t have any. Once in a while we’ll end up with a container in the fridge, but we really try to avoid that unless we’re 1455% positive that we will actually eat it.

Most of these meals Ginny will eat, but with supper usually being quite late due to Bryan’s schedule, I often make her something different earlier, or I will modify our meal to be more toddler friendly. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know we’ve been having trouble getting her to eat, so I do everything I can to make meals that she will be excited about. I try to have her eat what we eat as much as possible, but with a toddler it’s really hard to always stick to the plan.

So anyways! That’s what the Reillys are eating over the next couple weeks. If I think of it, I’ll share some of the meals and how I prepared them, and some photos.

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I hope that you, whoever you are, had a wonderful Easter this weekend! Here are some snaps of us yesterday morning before church.

faaamginnsass

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