Woohoo, simultaneous nap. I admit it, I do a happy dance when both kids at least overlap a little on their nap time. It means I can shut everything off and just have five minutes of quiet. Don’t get me wrong, I know how lucky we are to have two healthy kids who are growing and developing right on target, but good grief does it get noisy. Normally, the kids go to Mother’s Day Out (MDO) on Tues/Thurs which gives me time to work and get a few other errands done without having to drag the kids along. But, with yesterday’s ice storm…no MDO and two kids with cabin fever means not a lot is getting accomplished today. Oh, well. We knew the storm was coming, so we took the kids out for lunch on Sunday. We went to a local pizza buffet that is family friendly and has an arcade where Macho could spend his commission (money he earns doing extra jobs) and burn some energy. Here is where I reiterate that we do not eat 100% clean! 😉 But, this special little jaunt threw off my normal Sunday routine a bit and so my typical weekly prep has been spread out more than normal.
Each week, I plan out our dinners, I go grocery shopping on Sunday before the church crowd gets out, and then I spend the afternoon prepping for the week. I found a ton of cute menu planning boards on Pinterest. Um…yeah, I use a whiteboard and a plain black marker. I usually check the freezer and pantry to see what I have on hand and then refer to my Pinterest recipes. I have a board of clean recipes to try and then I move them to a board of recipes we like or I delete them if we don’t like them. Here is my plan for the week (sorry, it keeps loading sideways) that was already thrown off by our Sunday pizza binge.
I bought two big packs of chicken last week and I had lentils, beans, and quinoa in the pantry. Plus, it’s supposed to be cold and icy most of the week, so there is a lot of soup and slow cooker items on the menu this week. I made the veggie bean soup on Sunday, which we were all too full to eat. But, it turned out so spicy that I ended up making chicken nuggets and Mac and cheese for the kids when we ate it on Monday. Be careful when using fresh cayenne from Grandma’s garden!
On that note, I do make my own chicken nuggets and mac n cheese. Chicken breast cubed up, coated with egg and shaken in a bag with some corn meal is really good! I make a bunch and freeze them for times like this one! I used whole wheat pasta, real cheese, and some almond milk for the mac and cheese. Both kids loved it.
I prepped the stuffed peppers yesterday so we can have them tonight. We also have a ton of soup left for either lunches or another dinner. Stuffed peppers take some time to prep, but I make double filling and freeze it for later. Or, the stuffed peppers already prepped freeze well too. I kept the filling separate because I’ve also started making stuffed pepper soup. It’s all the same ingredients except just chopped up and tossed in the slow cooker. It’s yummy and less work. But, I just didn’t want another soup. The kids won’t eat the pepper, but the filling goes over well and I’m happy to eat the pepper.
Last, but not least, I made some little oatmeal balls for snacks. They have oatmeal, unsweetened coconut, raw local honey, natural peanut butter, chia, vanilla, and dark chocolate chips. They are no bake and take about 5 minutes to mix and ball up. Oh, and they don’t suck! Mmmmm.
Ultimately, my weekly planning does a few things. First, I spend less money because I buy with a purpose and a specific list. It also helps me rotate food so items don’t spoil or expire. We eat healthier because we rarely get take-out. And lastly, it relieves a lot of stress. There is no worry about what I’m going to make for dinner each night. Since I’m not working full-time, that isn’t asking of a deal now. But, it was great when I was working, doing daycare drop off and pick up, and trying to fit it all in.