Meal Plan Week 4 & Why My Meal Plan Begins on Friday

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I struggled for quite a number of months to get into the flow of meal planning. I found that whichever website I was turning to for tips and inspiration, I wasn’t happy with the printables, although I couldn’t put my finger on exactly why.

Some ways in, it hit me – my week starts on Friday, not Sunday as for so many within the world of meal planning. I generally do a once per week grocery shopping trip on Thursday. Before I can sit down and plan meals for the week, I need to know whether we’re home alone for Shabbos, having ten people over for the meal, or we’re invited out. Since the bulk of my week’s cooking is done for Shabbos, with the most effort being put into making these meals special, I need to set out their structure before I can plan forward into the rest of the week.

Once I started beginning my week on Friday, things began to flow for me. I sit down on Wednesday evening or Thursday morning to plan my Shabbos meals, and then have some idea of whether there will be leftovers stretching into the week or not. I know how many meat or dairy meals I was to serve during the remainder of the week, and most important to me, I have the closure of Shabbos not just hanging as an unknown, but rather as an intentional, integral part of my meal planning.

Meal Plan Week 4

Friday Night: Challah, chicken soup, gefilte fish, green beans, beets, couscous, oatmeal craisin cookies

Shabbos Lunch: Challah, gefilte fish, cholent, green beans, roasted potatoes, cauliflower popcorn, oatmeal craisin cookies, cantaloupe

Sunday: Shabbos leftovers

Monday: Mexican black bean soup, french toast

Tuesday: Tomato feta pasta and sliced veggies

Wednesday: Mexican black bean soup

Thursday: Tomato feta pasta and sliced veggies

What day does your meal planning week begin on, and why have you chosen such a structure? Please share in the comments below!

Our Unplanned, Unexpected Vacation

Florida Palms

So, remember the post two weeks ago when I reconciled myself to remaining local for my little one’s winter vacation? After spending hours surfing the web I’d decided we weren’t going anywhere?

Well, there was a greater plan in store for me.

Have you ever had an “If I only had a million dollars” moment? Well, within not more than a day of having said that I’d stay home rather than travelling for vacation, I suddenly – and I mean our of the big blue sky – found myself having come into a sum of money I hadn’t owned hours before. And that washashgacha pratis if I’ve ever seen it. I hadn’t expected it and could only sit stunned thinking Baruch HaShem! Annnnd now what am I supposed to do with this money? Why was I given it?

Well, it took not too long for a family member to convince me that now was the time to turn around and book that vacation I’d been yearning for. And so three days and a whole lot of rushed planning later, we found ourselves in sunny, warm Florida. I was still living as my frugal self, having brought food from home in our luggage – jug of frozen milk and loaf of bread anyone? I kid you not! I made sure that we’d have healthy food, save money, and not waste time on vacation searching for grocery stores. (Which worked out extremely well, because truth be told I didn’t see a fresh veggie in any store throughout our trip!)

We had a great time, while spending every moment feeling eternally grateful for the opportunity. We bonded, relaxed, experienced, and just had a great time. Baruch HaShem!

Have you got any similar hashgacha pratis stories you’d like to share? Please comment in the space below. I’d love to hear from you!

Meal Plan Week 3

As a mom who’s only recently begun meal planning, I know that consistency is my biggest challenge. Building meal planning into a habit is one of my curent goals and I’m doing my beset to stick with it. While last week I was away and thus didn’t have the opportunity or perhaps the need to plan, I did come back thinking a great way to work on continuation would be to build accountability for myself. So here it is. The (hopeful) plan is that I’ll be posting my meal plans on a weekly basis. Feel free to grab ideas, comment, or ask for recipes. We all seek inspiration in the kitchen, and I hope this offers you some. Enjoy!

A note on leftovers. Cooking for a relatively small family, and being someone who tends to overshoot quantity (better have too much rather than too little!) we eat plenty of leftovers. To keep monotony at bay, I do try to change things up from meal to meal, or I’ll serve dairy one night and meat the next. So long as the food is good, we’re good with it!

Eggplant parm

Shabbos – out both meals! :)

Sunday – Homemade mac & cheese + veggie julienne salad

Monday – Homemade mac & cheese + eggplant parmesan + veggie julienne salad

Tuesday – Tomato soup + whole wheat biscuits

Wednesday – Homemade mushroom stuffed hamburgers on whole wheat bread + toppings

Thursday – Pancakes + cottage cheese + fresh cut veggies

What are you making for dinner this week? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.