Every year, the beginning of the school year hits like a tornado, and I find myself two weeks in with a messy house, piles of paper, piles of dirty laundry, and a long list of unfinished tasks, not to mention looking back at two weeks of the most chaotic dinners, from cereal nights to sandwiches to too much eating out. With the girl starting high school this year, things were even more chaotic than normal. She is a cheerleader too, which means adding freshman football games to an already full schedule. On top of that, I volunteered to do a lot with the high school parent club, so our evenings are full.
I am proud to say, though, that although my house did devolve into a piles of paper and laundry-filled mess, we did not eat out a lot this year. Our habits are in place to the point that I really prefer to eat at home, and going out seems like the bigger amount of trouble. This has been a big change in perspective for me–in the past, I always thought of eating out as the easy option, but now it just seems time-consuming and honestly a bit annoying. It costs so much money, and the food is often not as good as what I make at home (to me at least). It certainly is lacking in the veggie department most places.
Another reason we have eaten at home more is that I have gotten better at throwing together a good meal based on what we have in the house. The garden has helped me there, because I had to re-orient myself to use what is fresh while it is abundant, from my old ways of planning what I want then going to the store. Picking my own ingredients while I am making dinner is so cool, though, it is totally worth it!
Still, a plan does save time and energy during the week. This year I really want to figure out how to use the crockpot in ways that make sense for our family, if that makes sense. So many recipes are short times that just don’t cover the time I am gone when I go into the office. But the benefits of coming home to a mostly done meal are so large, I need to find recipes that work for us.
Monday: Rosemary Chicken and White Bean stew
This started out as a chicken and white bean skillet with only some diced tomatoes in the original recipe, but I have always started my recipe out with diced onions, garlic and sliced baby carrots, and last night we added a can of tomato sauce when my son brought the wrong can up from the stock up shelves. I just opened the can and then noticed it was the wrong thing! I added the diced tomatoes, too, and called it a stew. It was still delicious.
Tuesday: Rosti with Bacon and Scallions, fruit smoothies, possibly scrambled eggs with goat cheese
The girl is cheering at her first away game, and I am meeting with the freshmen parents’ activity club, so we need something easy and quick.
Wednesday: Sweet and Sour Kielbasa, brown rice/quinoa, salad
The kids will be at their dad’s for the night, so this is a good time to try something they may not like–and it is fast, too!
Thursday: Slow Cooker Healthy Mama BBQ Chicken, brown rice/quinoa
I have some chicken drumsticks in my freezer that need to be used up, but other than that, I won’t be putting this in the freezer. Also, I will use the veggies I have on hand.
I also want to make a gluten-free baked oatmeal casserole for quick and easy breakfasts either this weekend or one night this week. I will be going grocery shopping on Saturday, so I will start next week’s plan a day early.
As always, this post will be linked to Menu Plan Monday at orgjunkie.com–lots more ideas over there!