There are few things in this life that I truly hate: TV at supper, generic Q-Tips, and meal planning. I’ll spare you my ramblings on comatose eating or soggy ears and skip straight to the food. Ironically, meal planning used to be something I quite enjoyed, as I love experimenting and trying new things. In a former life (read: pre-marriage), I regularly scoured the internet for new recipes and delivered a plate full of goodness and color at suppertime. Some flopped, some were amazing, but all gave me the excitement of creating a quality, well balanced meal.
Rewind 6 years, enter holy matrimony and the pickiest eater you’ve ever met, throw in a little bambino with her Daddy’s palette, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. With the evolution of Pinterest, I am constantly inundated with recipe after recipe of amazing food that, let’s face it, will never fly in this household. It’s a constant reminder of the food I’d love to both eat and serve for my family.
As a stay at home mom, I feel a great sense of responsibility to provide a delicious, well balanced meal when my hubs comes home from work. He’s worked all day, provided for us, and it’s my turn. So week after week, I bang my head against the wall, debating how I’ll add variety and a little nutrition to our table without breaking any of the umpteen food prep rules that exist in our kitchen. Hubs could eat the same thing every 2 weeks. I’d prefer to try something new each night. Hubs loves meat, taters, cheese, and pasta (literally, that’s it). I love all things food, especially fresh fruits and veggies. Oh! And did I mention that I’m dairy free right now thanks to a picky nursing baby?! Yes, even the tiny in our life has food restrictions. 😉 See the problem?
I believe every marriage has a hot button; that thing that couples go back to over and over again. For some it’s money, for others it’s childrearing, for others it’s faithfulness, and so on. In the grand scheme of things, food (as silly as it sounds) is our cross to bear. Though I constantly need reminding, I have come to the conclusion that this is okay and such a favorable conflict when stacked up against some of the other junk life throws at couples.
That being said, I’ve been dreading meal planning every week for years. I try to meal plan on Thursdays and start getting the dreads on Wednesdays. However, I’ve started dreading it sooner and sooner each week, leaving me with a constant meal planning gloom cloud over my head. Thus, time for a revamp! Maybe this will work, maybe it won’t, but I’m ready to try something new.
So here’s what I did. I started several hubs-approved lists: monthly favorites, bi-monthly favorites, tri-monthly favorites, on hold dairy-laden favorites, and no Trey night favorites. I’ll go back and add links to these lists at a later time if this works. My goal is to meal plan once a month, at the end of the previous month, using a combination of the recipes on these lists. I’ve also been granted a generous allowance of trying 3 new recipes per month (thank you hubs). My hopes are that I get the meal planning over for the month in one big planning session and don’t have to think about it for another 4 weeks! I should also be able to take advantage of buying in bulk at Sam’s and better plan my grocery trips since our entire month is laid out in advance. In theory, I love this idea! Will see if it sticks! So without further adieu, I give you July 2014.