January meal planning

Why am I attempting meal planning? To be honest, I am usually the type that makes whatever is the fridge or do those ready-to-make meals from Trader Joe’s.

Well…one of the main reasons is that my husband needs to reach for a goal BMI for the army. I usually make lighter meals — more vegetables, beans, tofu, and chicken…I follow the seasons. But when it came to the later stages of pregnancy, I was tired all the time. My brother-in-law who lives with us would help by making dinner almost everyday…but it’s less healthier and he takes a longer time to cook for some reason. Dinner will be ready past 8 pm, but we’ve been home for hours. At that point, we are already snacking on other food. To be polite, we eat his food too even though it is very late.

Also, I am going to back to work in a couple of weeks. I feel re-energized to finally get myself back into the swing of things. Naturally a meal plan was best to strategize what meals I can quickly make as soon as I get home work. I do enjoy making meals that that take a long time — I can be creative by making parts of the recipe ahead of schedule, use a slow cooker or sous vide throughout the day, or use a pressure cooker.

I just started making a meal plan for the week and I am working to plan for the rest of the month. To be honest, I don’t think I’ll be able to follow my meal plan to a “T.” My brother-in-law lives with us for a good part of the week and spends the rest of the week away to see his son. He keeps a lot of food — A LOT of perishable food — in the fridge like guacamole and a gallon of cow milk. We don’t drink cow milk because we are lactose intolerant and he hardly drinks it himself. When he leaves for the weekend, we are left with his leftovers — it is A LOT of leftovers. He takes up a lot of space in the fridge and pantry for one person where my husband and I find it overwhelming. We even told him so too.

I anticipate to make changes to the meal plan at anytime if say, I have to make something with cow’s milk because it will expire by the end of the week. I guess with cow milk I can make alfredo sauce, quiche, fried chicken, waffles, milk bread, ice cream, etc. For dry chicken leftovers, I can revitalize it into teriyaki chicken. I absolutely hate food waste. That is why I won’t buy a larger fridge.

Anyways, for the meal planning, I only wrote what to make for dinner during the week. Each day I alternate between dinner and side dish

I did not write in a meal plan for breakfast because I usually cycle between oatmeal, yogurt with fruit, or protein shake– depending what is there. For lunch, I’ll start that during the third week of January when I return to work. Chances are it will be leftovers from the night before or something light like a sandwich, a wrap, or a salad. My work snacks are usually trail mix and ruit.

I listed Friday as “wild card” because we usually go out (or in this case “take out”) for dinner. I have to say, lately, we have spent our Fridays dining in — it could be eating leftovers or making whatever from the fridge. I have no meal plan for Saturday and Sunday — again that is all “wild card” too. I like to use the weekend to experiment. Maybe I’ll make some breakfast muffins and that would be breakfast for the week. I could use that time to make something that takes a lot of time…like croissants.