Reflections on Meal Planning

Our first week following a meal plan described in our earlier post was quite successful.  Having a complete meal plan meant that our week was not characterized by the “what do you want for dinner? I don’t know, what about you? Let’s see what’s in the fridge/freezer.” conversation that has become typical in our house….and it meant for a pleasant week.  And it didn’t really influence our ability to be flexible and spotaneous.  We followed the script pretty closely until Wednesday night, when the man of the house had a late meeting, and the picky eater had dinner with friends followed by a soccer game at 7 pm.  The boys were left to fend for themselves  – and prepared ramen noodles with pulled pork – which they were quite pleased with.  Thursday we then had a choice – spaghetti and meatballs or lentil salad — and wouldn’t you know, we made neither!  Instead, I had come across an old favorite recipe as I was thinking about possible dishes for next week (an excellent outcome of meal planning), and we had what we needed to make it – so we made that instead.  In the theme of pasta, but a different, lighter sauce (ham, Kalmata olives, lemons, fresh thyme, olive oil) with linguine, accompanied by lightly steamed broccoli.  And then, as planned on Friday night, we visited The Butcher Shop at the Westover Market, and ended up ordering kielbasa sandwiches  – which were delicious!

The hope of less waste was realized – we ate nearly everything produce-related this week, and what remains is durable and can be incorporated into our food planning this week.  I only ended up needing milk yesterday, which is technically the new planning week.  And, I didn’t hear as much complaining about the lack of snacks.  So far, so good.

Our planning for this week is a bit off cycle – we raced in the Race for the Cure yesterday morning, and so didn’t make it to the farmer’s market.  And since our first CSA pickup of the season is Tuesday evening, I think our planning will be pantry focused for the first couple days of this week.  But we already know that tonight we are having the Salade du Lentilles du Puy originally planned for last Friday – accompanied by a vinegar-mustard-olive oil new potato salad.

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