Here’s the update: if you feel stressed out by daily dinner making during the week, I cannot endorse making a weekly routine strongly enough.
Making a plan, like I did, simplifies things magnificently. Plus it puts a structure in place for me on the weekends when it comes to cooking ahead.
The only thing I haven’t nailed down so far is the Saturday night pizza. I guess part of that is the fact that on Saturdays I have a lot of CSA vegetables that need to be used. (My pick up is on Thursday.) So Saturday is a bit of a crapshoot depending on how busy the day is, what’s in the freezer, and how much time I have. This Saturday, for example, I didn’t cook dinner at all; we went out because we needed to run errands in the evening. Having a night like this, on a weekend, doesn’t stress me out very much at all. It’s kind of nice to not be locked into something.
Sunday I cooked (for the most part), three meals: Sauce for Monday night (broccoli cream pesto that I can’t wait to try); a vegetarian Irish stew in the slow cooker for Tuesday; and Sunday dinner (which was raviolis, salad, and Quorn nuggets).
Monday morning, I made the pasta for Monday night.
I’ll make a loaf of Irish soda bread (from a prepared mix) either Monday night or Tuesday morning.
Wednesday morning, I’ll probably cook the mini corn dogs for that night.
It’s all very structured and comforting to me. I get the sense from the kids that they like it too. Part of it is probably the routine (kids like routine, trust me on that) and part of it is that stressed out Mommy’s not driving home saying, “So what should we have for dinner tonight??”
Anyway, if you find yourself at sea when dinner time rolls around, especially during the week, I would suggest putting together a plan like this. It really is awesome.
What works for you and your family when meal time hits?
4 thoughts on “Meatless Monday: Quick Update on the Schedule”
I’m not with it to do much cooking on the weekend to use throughout the week. Recently I’ve been relying a lot on Trader Joe’s prepared foods.
Even if I’m just heating things up each night I do find it useful to plan out what we will have each night. You are right that the “So what should we have for dinner tonight?” is a stressful way to spend the commute. We do sometimes change the plans (husband or I aren’t in the mood for the planned item, so we swap for a different night), but then we are choosing to deviate. It isn’t like that void of having no idea what to make.
I’ve found if I can get a solid two hours in the kitchen some afternoon while M is napping, I can get a lot of cooking done! If I had a Trader Joe’s that was more convenient to me (2 around this city, and neither terribly easy to pop into), I would probably use their stuff too!
I’ve come to love my slow cooker, after getting it as a wedding present and leaving it in the cabinet for the last decade. It saves me on busy days where I chauffeur everyone around this town. And I have an easy vegan pancake recipe (do you guys eat peanut butter?) that is my go-to recipe on stressed, time-crunch nights. The kids love it and it’s so easy.
We do eat peanut butter AND pancakes. Send that recipe! I also love my slow cooker. It is so awesome to put a meal in there on Saturday or Sunday, and be done!