I used to filter through recipes and weekly ads trying to come up with new and inventive meals for dinner, while simultaneously staying within a reasonable grocery budget. This might’ve taken anywhere between a half an hour or several. As much as I love to cook I have to admit that the whole meal planning process can be overwhelming and time consuming. Dinner during the workweek is more about quick and easy nutritious meals and less about elaborate entrees. I fully relate to Lauren Kodiak’s description in her article for The Kitchn:
“…often I find the process of going to the store, spending money on (sometimes) unfamiliar ingredients, and taking time to try out the new recipe leads to a lot of pressure and expectation: Will this be worth it? Will it be as delicious as my other go-to recipes? I decided that’s not a risk I’m willing to take on a weeknight, when my focus is more about getting a wholesome, delicious dinner on the table quickly” (read the full article here)
Clay admits he would eat ham sandwiches for every meal if I weren’t around, so the repetition doesn’t bother him. I know it sounds boring (I promise, it’s not) but I would argue that most people eat the same things within a two week rotation whether they realize it or not anyways. So here’s the breakdown of our weekly meal plan.
MON: Veggie frittata with salad.
TUE: Whole roast chicken, baked potatoes, and broccoli.
WED: Caesar salads with avocado and leftover roast chicken and homemade greek yogurt dressing. Occasionally we’ll add bacon, but usually we leave it out. (full recipe here, …yes we use anchovies!)
THU: Tacos! Corn tortilla with brown rice, avocado, greens, sauteed veggies and leftover roast chicken.
SAT: (lunch) Ham/turkey muffaletta
We save new recipes and experimentation for the weekend when we have the time and headspace to really commit to the recipe. (Lunch on saturday is usually part of the routine because we are both usually working.)
I love it because it hits my compulsory “is this going to make my life more efficient?” prerequisite. Our weekly schedule is pretty much the same each week so I plan the meals I actually have to cook when I’m home, and when we’re not (wednesday/thursday nights) it’s a quickly assembled meal so we can eat on the go.
Additionally, we’re saving money, our food waste is nearly non-existent, grocery shopping is fast and painless, we don’t turn to take-out nearly as often, and of course with the extra time I saved I started redirecting it towards more important things like squeezing in a quick run, walking the dog, or reading.
Win. Win. Win.
UPDATE: We went “paleo…ish”. New format. New rhythm.