Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Avoiding Dinnertime Frazzle

Lately, my most stressful time has been dinner. I get home from work slightly sluggish and tired. I am in mood to think about cooking dinner. My husband gets home even later on most nights. However, after we rest up and begin to think about cooking we're starving. And pregnant women (and their husbands) can get pretty cranky when they are starving.

This usually results in us eating expenssive processed food. To make matters worse this sort of food does not result in leftovers for lunch the next day. This ensures that either we spend a fortune buying lunch or we arrive home even more starving feeding the next night into the vicious cycle. To avoid this I used to create a menu plan at the beginning of the week so that dinner could be made by either of us on autopilot. With all the travelling back and forth to family we have been doing for events and holidays we sort of fell of the wagon in terms of house maintenance and meal planning. Our schedules were always up int he air and we barely felt like we lived in our own home. Things are still going full swing in terms of family events but now that the holdays are over we can at last begin to get back to some semblence of a normal schedule. So this week I happily usherred in a meal plan. And I prepped much of the dinners last night so that they are ready to go.

Here's what we are having:
Monday: mushroom barley soup and greek salad
Tuesday: Baked ziti and cut vegetables
Wednesday: Baked potatoes stuffed with spinach and cheese
Thursday: Chicken stir fry

Last night the soup and salad were made. This ensures there is leftover soup for supplementing other meals and snacking. I also made the baked ziti in advance while I was making the soup (those downtimes when you are simmering or sauteing really are enough time to make another dish) so that's ready to pop into the oven tonight. I also baked the potatoes. All I need to do is sautee the spinach and potato toppings and heat. The chicken and vegetables for stir fry are prepped in individual packets in my freezer and just need a defrost before they head into the pan for seasoning. That never takes more than half an hour. Firday night and Saturady cooking I generally like to plan and cook and on Thursday since various parameters change - guests, other events - over the course of the week.

Tonight we will likely whip up a batch of yogurt for lunch purposes. 

I feel accomplished, full and much healthier than I did last week. Plus I have lunch today. Now that's progress.


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