In January, I started meal planning to alleviate the pressure of meal time. Alright, it's not like throwing two pieces of bread together and calling it lunch is super stressful, but that's just the thing. I've found if I wait to the last minute to cook something, it's often food that's fast and unhealthy. My go-to clutch for Tory is Easy Mac or frozen waffles and while I'm a believer in everything's okay in moderation, I'd like her to have a little more balance in her diet. On top of it all, Tory is such a picky eater so I quickly run out of ideas for things to feed her. She likes carbs (bread, pasta), cheese (yogurt, string cheese, cottage cheese) and some fruit (bananas, applesauce). If I don't plan ahead and come up with meals that sneak in some protein or veggies, I resort to feeding her exactly the things she likes because I know she's eat them.
Now that I'm home everyday, I've got 21 different meals to prepare in a week (not including Tory's snacks) and I found myself really dreading meal times because I was at a complete loss of what to serve. Enter weekly meal planning. In January, I started scouring my Pinterest boards, writing out meal plans for breakfast, lunch and dinner, making a grocery list for any items I didn't have in the house and sticking to it. Sure, there are some days Andi works later than usual and I don't end up making the meal I'd intended because life happens. Specifically for breakfasts and lunches though, I've really fallen in love with my new system. There's nothing worse than scrambling around the kitchen in the morning, trying to whip up breakfast for Tory while I guzzle coffee down my throat and I'm still half-asleep. Referring to a meal plan takes all the angst out of meal time for me. I also feel like I have some structure in my new role as a stay-at-home-mom. Meal planning allows me to forecast what's next.
I mentioned using recipes I've found on Pinterest as my primary source for meal ideas and recipes. Mostly, everything I've seen and made was very good and I'd make again. Here's some of my favorites from the last two weeks:
Peanut Butter and Banana Oatmeal
Oatmeal, mixed with a tbsp of peanut butter and sliced banana
I really like oatmeal, and I've discovered Tory does too. I mix a scoop of peanut butter and banana slices into the oatmeal for more of a satisfying breakfast.
These were a pretty tasty and easy lunch meal. Tory ate the pieces of the wrap, cucumber slices and turkey separately and I ate it rolled together. I think you could make a few of these ahead of time and save in the refrigerator for the next day, too.
Crock-Pot Enchilada Soup
I really enjoyed this meal, and ate it as leftovers for several meals afterwards. Andi wasn't a big fan, I don't think, as he barely ate any. It was too spicy for Tory so I didn't give her any to try.