Monday, March 25, 2013

Delicious: Weekly Meal Plan (Mar 25-31)

Another week, another Meal Plan!  This week I decided to try "grouping" planning; instead of picking one meal per day, I chose enough meals to cover the entire menu (7 breakfasts, 9 main meals, 5 small meals, snacks, and desserts) listed by the appropriate group.

Pros of Grouping
-- I can easily plan for variety.  By listing my meals together, I was able to make sure we were eating more Fish and Lean Meat (White Meat) rather than Red Meat.  I also tried to include one vegetarian meal per week (but don't tell Doug!).

-- I'm not "locked-in" to a certain meal each day.  This has been my biggest problem while meal planning because Doug and I live very hectic lives, especially as students.  When projects or papers are taking more time than we thought (or we're more tired than we thought!), I can pick an "easier" option from the list rather than heading straight for the Take-Out Menus or Fast Food Coupons.

-- It helps to fill in nutritional gaps.  I often only thought about snacks for Doug to take to work, but now I have enough snacks and desserts listed for both of us for the week.  I only thought about my own breakfasts; now I have food planned for both of us each morning.  Likewise, it is easier to mix and match daily meals based on the food groups or nutrients missing for the day (example:  matching a protein-filled breakfast with a vegetarian lunch).

Cons of Grouping
-- It requires more day-to-day thought.  For someone who freezes most of her meat and veggies, this type of meal plan means I have to plan each day for the next day.  Being a little proactive can help; make sure there are at least two "quick" meals on the list that don't require a lot of forethought (like Tuna Melts).

-- At the end of the week, you're "stuck" with the meal that is left.  Once again, a little forethought can help with this problem.  Since I plan two weeks at a time, I have some extra meals I can swap during the first week, and most weeks we have leftovers or unused meals to provide more options.

Anyways!  Here are my "Main Meals" for this week:

Broiled Salmon w/ Creamy Broccoli Pasta
Broiled Catfish w/ Herbed Pasta and Steamed Veggies
Baked Pork Chops w/ White Cheddar Shells and Spinach
Chicken Enchiladas w/ Spanish Rice and Corn
Roast Turkey Breast w/ Stuffing and Roasted Squash (EASTER!)
Beef Rib Hoagies w/ Chips and Fruit
Veggie-Loaded Pasta

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