Menu Planning and Flexibility

4 May

So despite my best efforts, things definitely do not always go as planned when it comes to dinners.  Sometimes it’s for a fun reason, like an impromptu pizza party at a friend’s house, other times it’s more annoying, like an unforeseen stomach bug hitting the household.  Whatever the reason, we definitely don’t always manage to make all the meals I plan for.  Sometimes we end up eating out, and other times Spaghetti with muffin tin meatballs turns into just plain old spaghetti with a jar of store bought sauce because that is all I could muster the energy for.  These last two weeks seem to have had a lot of such unexpected events so there are a couple of meals from then back in this rotation.  But that’s okay – so long as you have a method to the madness, you can be pretty flexible with menu planning.  For example, if you suddenly find yourself going out and skipping a dinner, rotate meals around so you’re skipping something that doesn’t have fresh ingredients that will go bad.  That’s why we skipped chicken enchilada pasta last week and are going to try it next week instead.  And if you just can’t find it in you to put together a full meal you planned, don’t just reach for the phone and call for carry out.  Simplify it – spaghetti without the meatballs was just as satisfying and still healthier and cheaper than fast food.  So if you planned on making Mexican lasagna, for example, just turn it into tacos and be done with it!  As type A as I am, there are always more important things to stress over.  Meal planning is supposed to make life easier, so if it’s being more stressful than helpful, let it go.  And then jump back in the next week!

1. Slow Cooker Jambalaya over rice

2. Parmesan Orzo with Smoked Salmon and Asparagus

3. Chicken Enchilada Pasta

4. Spaghetti with Muffin Tin Meatballs and Spinach/Parmesan Balls

5. 20 Minute Skinny Sesame Chicken with rice

6. Baked Pork Tenderloin with Apples with mashed potatoes

7. Chicken Sausage with Farro Risotto and spinach

8. Slow Cooker Chicken Makhani (Light Butter Chicken)

9. Turkey Stroganoff over Rice

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