Meal Planning

Meal Planning

I used to make weekly and monthly  menus so that I could cook ahead as much as possible.  I made a lot of casseroles that would freeze easily.  Now, with more of an emphasis on fresh foods, I haven’t been planning ahead very much and I’m noting more mealtime stress.   It is hard to cook ahead and still make everything from scratch and use fresh ingredients.

I decided to do a modified version of plan ahead cooking.  Today, I pulled two cookbooks and planned a week’s worth of meals noting where I could cook ahead and simply laying out plans for the rest of it.  I won’t be able to cook ahead very much but I will be prepared for the meal when it comes.

I used the new Southern Living The Slim Down South Cookbook by Carolyn O’Neil and the Williams-Sonoma Healthy in a Hurry cookbook by Karen Ansel and Charity Ferreira.  Both are currently available.  I purchased the Southern Living cookbook in my local grocery store book/magazine section  and the Williams-Sonoma book in a Williams-Sonoma store (imagine that).


Here is what my menu planning looks like.  I make a chart of the meals I want to prepare and give the page numbers of the cookbooks.  I make a column of any preparations I can do ahead and then a make a column for any needed groceries.  This is not an inclusive shopping list for the recipe. I am simply putting what groceries I don’t already have on the list.  There are a lot of great websites that do once a month meal planning that will provide inclusive shopping lists.  I like looking at the sites but I always end up planning my own menus.  I am not a fan of green peppers or Parmesan cheese and both seem to end up in many recipes for some reason.

Meal Meal PrePreparation Grocery List
Sunday Roast BeefMashed PotatoesCauliflower


Peel, cut carrots and cut cauliflower and put in water
Monday Walnut Chicken on Rice p. 137 HHRoasted Broccoli Walnuts
Tuesday Pizza Cones with Turkey Sausage p. 150 HHSalad  Make Ranch and Ohio Dressing Turkey SausageLettuce Mix


Wednesday Cornbread Crab Cakes p. 159 SDSCarrot Slaw p. 164 HH Cornbread MixCrab Meat/CakeRaisins
Thursday Tabbouleh Salad with Cucumber p. 77 SDSFried Fish Fillets Bulgar wheatEnglish/Reg CucumberTomatoes
Friday Enchiladas  **Find RecipeMexican Rice **Find RecipeCreamy Black Beans p.177 HH Enchilada sauceGreen chilesCheddar cheese
Saturday Glazed Salmon p. 164 SDSEdamame Hash p. 40 SDS Frozen edamameFrozen cornSalmon



Apple Jelly



As we make these recipes during the week, I will include the recipes in the blog or the modified recipes as we make them.  For now, I’m just including my good intentions!

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