Monday, June 4, 2012

Meal Planning Monday.

Consistency has never been my strong point. However, in my efforts to become the champion of my home, meal planning is my thang. I don't know how to cook unless I have a meal plan. I don't know how to meal plan without good recipes. I don't know how to grocery shop without a list. I don't know what to put on the list without my meal plan. 

You see, it's all very connected. 

Here's how it works around here:

*Once a week, I spend about 30 minutes perusing for recipes and assembling my grocery list.  I search through the cooking magazines I subscribe to (Taste of Home, Cooking Light), I google recipe ideas based on ingredients I need to use up in the pantry, and flip through a few cook-books. It's good to do this part hungry or with a mug of steaming hot chocolate. 

*I bring the list to the grocery store and plan on not having to return again for at least a week...not for one single item. No sirreee. Not with four kids. I just don't have that luxury anymore.

*I also meal plan around the type of week we have. Our weeks always include one eat-out night (usually date night for Tyler and I, or a Papa Murphy's pizza, etc.), one left-over night, and one slow-cooker night. That way, I only really cook about 4 nights a week, and often times less than that as we'll spend time with family or eat leftovers twice during the week, etc. And I rarely select a recipe that takes more than 45 minutes from start to finish, unless it's a Sunday meal.

*I've learned to really only shop for four meals' worth at a time. Beyond that, I notice I end up throwing away too much produce that we didn't end up using on time. And I hate waste. I practically cry over spoiled broccoli. Really. 

But most important: our 
family's life is centered around meals together.
We eat together daily. 
This is so essential to me. No matter how old my children become or how stressed I may feel or how many activities we will be involved in, I plan on fighting for the family meal-time
Even if it's served on paper plates.

So, in a effort to begin bringing a little consistency to the old blogaroo, I am beginning Meal Planning Mondays. I'll share a few of the recipes and meal ideas we've incorporated around here. Some will be fast, some will be healthy, a lot will be vegetarian....all will be Haack family tested and approved. Here's to more good food served at home!

Here's what I've got this week:


Corn and Black Bean Tacos with Pineapple Salsa:

Can of black beans, drained
Bag of frozen corn, thawed under cold water
packet of Taco Seasoning
1/4 cup water

Combine beans, corn, seasoning and water in a saucepan and cook over medium until heated thoroughly. Spoon onto warm corn tortillas and top with pineapple salsa and any of your favorite taco toppings.

Pineapple salsa:

1 1/2 cups diced fresh pineapple
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
1 diced roma tomato or sliced grape tomatoes
1/4 cup diced red onion
fresh lime juice

{Count this toward your Vegan night!, unless you can't live without cheese...i get it.}



Greek Veggie Gyros with fresh Tzatziki sauce

Start with

Warm Pita Bread

Fill with your choice of

Kidney Beans
grape tomatoes

Dollop on a generous portion of fresh Tzatziki sauce:

1 cup Greek plain yogurt
1 cucumber
juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon fresh dill
three cloves garlic
tsp olive oil
salt pepper to taste

Throw the above ingredients in blender and blend to desired consistency.


 and so good I forgot to take the picture of the cooked was eaten too quickly
Sweet Potato Kale Pizza with caramelized red onion

Start with:

2  peeled and thinly sliced sweet potatoes
1 thinly sliced red onion

Toss both in a little

olive oil and salt

and roast in a pan at 400 degrees until tender and caramelized.

In the meantime, roll out your

whole wheat pizza dough

Spread on a little

olive oil

and plenty of

mozzerella cheese

When the potatoes and red onion are out of the oven and cooled, pile on top of the cheese, sprinkle some ground oregano, and top with the chopped kale.

Cook at 450 until crust is golden and kale has a nice crunch to it.


Recipe adapted from Two Pea's and Their Pod.


Joan said...

You. Are. Amazing.
Didn't you just have a baby? And not only are you planning and preparing these glorious meals you are closely documenting every detail AND then blogging about it?!
When I grow up I want to be just like Rachel Haack!!!

Sarah Gurries said...

I like this system. I think I will give it a try. Spaghetti is getting a little laaammeee

Emily said...

So over the past few weeks my house has been undergoing a little revolution (huge in my husbands eyes) to drastically decrease the amount of animal product, specifically meat, in our house. Your blog is seriously the only blog I can find stuff my husband will even THINK about eating!! Btw, have you read The China Study, I am going to read in soon!