You Look Like a Meal with a Plan

by Heligirl on January 14, 2010

in Daily Ramblings,Parenting Tidbits

When I headed back to work a couple of months ago after my second and last maternity leave, I was really overwhelmed. I’m talking about coming home beat from work only to get beaten up by two little creatures that changed their minds about what they wanted faster than I could deliver.You’ve never felt fully unappreciated until you’ve tried to cook for a toddler. That’s when meal planning became my friend.

Now, when I say friend, I mean more like a casual acquaintance because these blasted meals just plain refuse to plan themselves. I’d get this sudden burst of energy and think “I’m going to be a wonderful mom and wife and plan some delicious, nutritious meals for my wonderful little family.” I’d pour over my cookbooks and pull together recipes that sounded so great, make a shopping list and put a list of meals on the fridge. Then I’d dutifully consult the list each day after work and choose one meal and get to work on it.

This was great, and worked really well. For about three weeks. Then I got lazy, too tired to sit down and plan after a long week. What I needed to do was put all the family’s favorite recipes in one place to make this easier. I’d not had the time to do that. I did tab the cookbooks if that’s any consolation.

I’ve yet to get better at this, but I did find one thing that really helped: allrecipies.com. This site is totally free, has tons of great recipes, and a lot of them take little time to make. I especially like that I can change portions, search by ingredients I have and know Sweetness will eat – chicken, rice, noodles, cheese and/or mushrooms – as well as those I refuse to have touch my various cooking implements – red peppers, lima beans and squash). I can then save my favorite recipes in my own “recipe box” for easy access later. I really like that I can read comments where people have made suggestions for substitutions or slight changes to the recipes. It’s all the next best thing to sitting my tired ass down and planning a week of meals again. But who’s to say if I did start doing that again my lovely daughter wouldn’t start tossing the food at me anyway. At least that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

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