I got out of the habit of sharing my dinner plans each week but I'm most certainly still creating a plan each week. It's been such a great habit for me over the past couple of years. The combination of switching to a vegetarian diet + planning meals for the week has seriously lessened my stress level at 5 pm each day. Having four people ask me on "what's for dinner" (sometimes before they've even finished breakfast...often multiple times a day) on a daily basis is stressful and annoying. Having an answer lessens that stress. A bit.
While I assign a meal to each day, usually each night I look at the meals I still have left for the week and based on time and energy, pick the one that works best. I also throw in one or two lunch items as well as a dessert. Most afternoons, I just grab leftovers or a sandwich at lunch but a couple of times a week, I like to sit down with an actual "meal."
I use pinterest, a couple of tried and true cookbooks and a handful of recipe-less favorites to come up with a plan but I find looking at past menus helps me thrown something together even faster; something that helps me mix old favorites with new recipes in a way that ensures everybody will be happy at least most of the week. I don't save past weeks' menus on my computer so having them easy to access here is a great way to speed up my planning time.
I've been working my way through some Cooking Light recipes I saved last month when I tried out Next Issue (tangent, I did a 30 trial and fell in love with this service! I'll definitely be subscribing when I find myself with a little extra fun money) so a good amount of these recipes are new to us and hopefully will be winners I can add to the regular rotation. I would love to get to the point where I'm planning a month at a time so I can develop weekly shopping lists ahead of time just adding the necessities as required. I'm realizing now that this whole week, with the exception of the stir fry (which is different every time I make it) and the pizza are new recipes.
SO. For this week:
MONDAY late summer minestrone with butternut squash and corn
TUESDAY broccoli cheddar pot pies + salad
WEDNESDAY tomato ravioli + garlic bread
THURSDAY wild rice and carrots + green beans with lemon mint dressing
FRIDAY veg stir fry w/ brown rice
SATURDAY ricotta spinach pasta + salad
LUNCH fattoush salad
BREAKFAST/SNACK chai banana bread // homemade fruit bars