Sunday, June 2, 2013

Meal Planning Part Deux

A few weeks ago I wrote THIS post about how Craig and I have rehabilitated the way we eat due to his diagnosis of Diabetes II back in January.  Here's a little two part follow-up with pictures to help you get an idea of how I plan and execute meals for my family.

This is my menu board that hangs next to the pantry and across from the laundry room.  There are multiple ideas for this kind of board floating all over Pinterest - I just bought a see-through frame at Target and a few pieces of scrapbook paper at Hobby Lobby.  

This is the family calendar that hangs next to the menu board so that I can keep track of what we are doing and when we are supposed to be doing it.  That way I can check our plans for the week and see exactly what nights we will be home for dinner.

And as far as the super cute calendar?  It's Craig's yearly Christmas gift to me - he pulls pictures from the year and creates it for me.

As you can see...the schedule for this week goes something like this:

Sunday: BBQ Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Monday: Skinny Chicken Pesto and red potatoes
Tuesday: Craig has basketball practice so Natalie and I will eat leftovers
Wednesday: Fish tacos
Thursday: Last day of school so we will be hitting up the parties!

On an average week, I'm cooking about three of the nights and the rest are leftovers or restaurants (mainly on the weekend).  I also pack my lunch with leftovers or a small salad to take to school with me.

This morning, after I quickly planned out the meals for this week I headed out to Tom Thumb (by myself!) to grab what we needed for these meals as well as anything that needed to be refilled (snack bags, dish detergent, Sprite, goldfish, etc).  There is that saying that it takes 21 days for a repeated action to become a habit....and after nine months of meal planning like this, I have some sort of Pavlovian response to Sunday mornings and I MUST plan meals and go grocery shopping or I get all itchy inside.

So that's the first part of this post and the second part has to do with this container.

Since Craig and I started eating healthier I haven't bought or cooked with butter, mayonaise or sour cream....AT ALL.  

And to be honest - part of me is incredibly proud....and the other part is so, so wistful.  

But seriously, there are a ton of recipes out there that substitute Greek yogurt but taste remarkably like the original dish.  One of my favorites was a creamy avocado dip that tasted like guacamole but without the extra calories from sour cream.

The big recipe I needed the yogurt for today was BBQ Chicken Salad which I found HERE but unfortunately at my Tom Thumb the only sizes I could find the yogurt in was either individual (and flavored) servings or a full 32 ounce container.  I went ahead and bought the big 32oz. container even though the recipe called for about five ounces of yogurt.

So I made the chicken salad (and it smells delicious) and popped it into the fridge but the yogurt was calling my name.  I knew that if I didn't do something else with it then it would sit in my fridge and go bad and I would be mad at myself for wasting both food and money.  

To Google I went, which is where I found THIS little gem.

Perfect!  A cup of yogurt combined with ingredients I already had in the kitchen and now I have something sweet (and relatively healthy) to serve Craig and Natalie after dinner is over.  Natalie is super big into bananas right now but I think it would also taste great with graham crackers or strawberries!  

And the best part?  Both of these recipes were easy and quick enough for me to complete during Natalie's naptime.

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