Brrrrrrr. This week has been brutally cold so my meal planning over the weekend has been all about comfort food and keeping warm.
Sunday Food Party: I’m making two Shepherd’s Pies to freeze for a no-cook weeknight dinner this week, with one on reserve for another week. (My goal is to eventually fill the freezer with a bounty of frozen meals so I can spend less time cooking on the weekend, but for now I’m taking it one week at a time.) For dinner, we’re going to have a roasted whole chicken with stuffing and roasted carrots. This is like a knock-off mini turkey dinner – comfort food at its best – and we’ll be able to use the leftovers for dinner on Monday.
I’m also going to try this Lentil Potato Salad recipe as a lunchtime salad for the week (and potential side dish for our pseudo-turkey dinner). This recipe was actually at the bottom of my chalkboard last week but I never got around to making it so I bumped it up to be my star dish this week. While most of my new recipe ideas come from Pinterest, I found this one via BuzzFeed’s 31 Delicious Things To Cook In January.
Monday: Chicken Sandwiches (made from the leftover Sunday night chicken) on onion buns with a salad on the side.
Tuesday: Spaghetti Squash with Sausage-Tomato Sauce, also sourced from the BuzzFeed post about what to cook in January. (Thank goodness somebody’s on top of finding goodies for these dark winter times. I’ve talked about my love for BuzzFeed in the past, and the site continues to deliver.)
Wednesday: Homemade Macaroni and Cheese, with a side of steak for my man. I have no problem going meatless for dinner but my better half needs/wants tons of protein in his diet so we’ll take a couple steaks out of the freezer on Tuesday night so he can fry them up while I make my grandmother’s mac n’ cheese. This recipe is a classic staple and so good on so many levels – it takes about 15 minutes to put together, cooks in 30, tastes like my childhood, and duh, CHEESE.
Thursday: Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice. This is a standard go-to meal at our house – a serving of rice, some steamed broccoli seasoned with salt and pepper and a bit of butter, and chicken breasts pan fried with whatever random seasoning we decide to use on a whim. My man usually makes this meal and he’s great at crafting marinade out of nothing, so I tend to stay out of the way and let him do his thing.
Friday: Frozen Shepherd’s Pie. We’ll take it out of the freezer on Thursday night and keep it in the fridge until we’re ready to reheat/cook it in the oven on Friday evening.
To wrap things up, a bit of commentary on last week’s meal plan: I like to tentatively plan what we’ll eat each night of the week but find that I inevitably end up moving meals around. For example, last Tuesday was reserved for cooking but after a late day at work we decided to switch for our Friday take-out plans and ended up cooking later in the week. Likewise, I haven’t planned for take-out this week but we might find ourselves ordering delivery one night if we just don’t feel up for cooking. And that’s totally fine, because life is full of surprises and we should know better than to think that anything is set in stone. NoNeToFiGo, I can change my mind and shuffle things around. C’est la vie, bon appetit.