When we hear about what others do in the kitchen, it can seem overwhelming. My friend makes apple pie from scratch (with her kids “helping”!) and I think she is a true hero. But when I praise her, she just points to me “well look who’s making jello from bovine gelatin!”
First of all, making homemade jello is ridiculously easy, much easier than a pie. But the point is, things that are foreign to us seem overwhelming, so I wanted to break things down a bit when it comes to my meal plans.
I still improvise. If the day is getting away from me and I don’t have time to roast broccoli, I’ll just put a salad on the table. If my son asks me to make jello for his lunch, I might save the pear berry crumble for the following week. Meal planning would lose it’s appeal pretty quickly if I felt enslaved to it.
My kids don’t eat everything. In fact, in many ways my children have totally opposite tastes. But I’ve found commonalities and I trust that as long as I keep putting healthy foods in front of them, their palates will continue to widen.
Here is how last week’s meal plan went, in reality.
Monday: Salade Nicoise and toast
This required some prep work during my daughter’s nap. Prepping at dinner time while everyone is hungry is a nightmare. I blanched green beans and boiled the potatoes, I also set the tuna in a bowl in the fridge and got the dressing ready.
We rode bikes on a trail in the afternoon so my kids were really hungry when we sat down to dinner. My son, the artist was oohing and aahing over the salad arrangement. He is a salad guy and ate a big portion, but only about half the toppings – lettuce, olives, green beans & tomatoes.
I was surprised at how much my daughter ate. She’s not as big a fan of vegetables as my son is. But she ate a healthy amount of tuna, potatoes, green beans and lettuce, dipping it all in the dressing.
Tuesday: Salmon topped with garlic butter and baked, quinoa, salad
Didn’t happen. I had forgotten about a birthday party so the kids had pizza/cake for dinner. I had a slice of pizza and then the rest of the salad when we got home. Thankfully I did remember to soak the beans for taco bowls the next day!
Wednesday: Vegetarian taco bowls (pinto beans, white/wild rice, lettuce, salsa, cheese, limes), pear & berry crumble
Taco bowls are easy to make. I just boiled the soaked beans during nap time (If I had to be out I would have done them in the crock pot). I have a rice cooker so that was “set it and forget it”. I washed the lettuce and sliced up the limes in advance. Since the pear berry crumble only takes 5 minutes to prep, I did that at dinner time and it was in the oven while we ate.
Lucas complained a lot. He didn’t want beans, yada, yada. But he ended up declaring it to be the best meal in the entire world once he tried it. Typical! Sofia ate some at the table and the rest in the bath. I know, weird, but it works for us.
Thursday: Beef taco bowls
I got to do Pilates Thursday night! I had to get dinner ready in a flash for my mom to serve the kids. The rice, lettuce, limes, salsa were ready to go from the night before. I just browned some beef & onions with chili powder and cumin and I was done. EASY.
Friday: Grassfed hotdogs over the fire pit, guacamole w/ veggies and chips
This is pretty self-explanatory. Hot dogs on a stick and 5-minute guacamole. I did grab a few minutes earlier in the day to slice up the peppers and carrots.
Here’s this week’s meal plan!
Monday: Chicken sausages, roasted cauliflower with tamari, leftover rice sauteed with scallions
Tuesday: Leftover sausages, polenta, sauteed spinach
Wednesday: Baked fish with chimichurri, roasted potatoes
Thursday: “BLT” salad bar (spinach, boiled egg, bacon, avocado, red onion, tomatoes, cheese)
Friday: Tortilla pizzas