Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tired of Meal Planning: Maybe This Will Help

In the last couple of weeks I haven’t always posted my meal plans on the blog, but I’ve always planned our meals on my dry-erase board. However, to be honest, I’m getting a bit tired of planning meals. Yet, I know that I have to plan, or I get stressed…

I have been thinking about what to do and came up with the idea of making a few salads that keep for a few days in the fridge early in the week. That way, I feel less like I “have to cook and plan” every night… I also made some protein options, and we can all choose what we like.  We’ll see how it goes…


 Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables Summer Salad
  • Summer Salad (tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, black beans, edamame, salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar)
  • Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables in a sesame oil/soy sauce/rice vinegar vinaigrette
  • Arugula, spinach, and red leaf lettuce ready to be dressed
  • Add-ons: Tomatoes, slices mushrooms, shredded carrots, avocado
Protein Options
  • Hard-boiled eggs (I’ll stick to the whites because of my gallstones)
  • Grilled chicken breasts
  • Grilled portobello mushrooms
  • Cooked shrimp
Plenty of Ready-to-Eat Fruit
  • Watermelon
  • Cherries
  • Apples – the toddler just recently started eating whole apples and is obsessed with them right now. So I CANNOT run out… :-)
Questions: What are you eating this week? Do you ever pre-cook weekday meals? Do you cook items to assemble throughout the week, depending on how you feel? What are some of the foods you pre-cook? 

Be well,


  1. This is a very helpful guide Andrea, specially as the days start to warm up

  2. i think this is a great idea.. it is planned, but not. ya know? i am not a big planner, but i wish i was, because i always end up not knowing what to eat!

  3. Anonymous5/25/2010

    Great tips! With my husband away, salads like this is what my daughter and I are eating this week :)

  4. Anonymous5/25/2010

    Great idea- I keep toying with the idea of making a bunch of salads (my own Whole Foods salad bar!) If I didn't live alone, it would be worth it, but I think that things would end up wasted before I eat them.

    I plan, but I don't mind eating leftovers so often eat the same things a couple of days in a row, and definitely have easy throw-together meals. I keep pre-cooked chicken in the freezer, straight-to-wok noodles and frozen stir-fry veg for when I am in a pinch. I also usually have a few portions of homemade ratatouille in the freezer so I can add canned kidney beans or eggs to make it more of a meal. Sandwiches are my biggest go-to!

  5. Anonymous5/25/2010

    I've recently started planning all my meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner. This week I chopped about 7 lbs of produce!

  6. We just got our first watermelon of the season...mmm! I precook a lot of rice and grains to use throughout the week and in my lunches.

  7. Oh my gosh, those salads look amazing!

    I noticed you stayed with blogger but went to your own domain. Was this pretty easy? Were you able to keep all your followers and content? I'm looking into it but don't really know enough info so ANYTHING would help! Thanks! :)

  8. What a great idea! I usually make something and get tired of it quickly so it doesn't make it to lunch more than once. Having a few salad options is genius!

  9. I like this salad idea! Especially the 'protein mix-ins' - very smart!

    I personally have a hard time cooking every night - it wears me out. i prefer to do all cooking Sunday and Thursday and have little tubs ready to go!

  10. Everything sounds DEEEELICIOUS!! I see you are doing some egg whites/eggs, and quinoa, both foods that have been recent staples in our household. I love quinoa, and Nick has become obsessed with eggs lately (me too, but like you I eat the egg whites only, and from a carton actually because they don't give me gas!). I've also been doing a lot of grilled chicken on beds of lettuce, with quinoa. Very tasty.

  11. i like having roasted veggies on hand - they can be added to anything. and i'm with you about the hard boiled eggs - instant protein.

  12. It all looks wonderful, Andrea! I should do something like this...I really want to lightened up our meals for summer.

    We aren't eating much...we're heading out of town this weekend so we're eating what must go!

  13. Your well thought out meal plan looks wonderful.

    We've been extremely bad, eating out 90% of dinners in the last two weeks because of late nights in the office.

    I've never been successful at pre-cooking most meat. The chicken always seem to be too dried for round too.

    Can you feed me??! : )

  14. always have tons of produce washed, peeled, sliced and ready to go in baggies or tupperwares in the fridge and use that to assemble the meals we eat. and add in precooked grains or starches as needed for family and of course not too proud to admit to frozen this or that from TJ's. :)

  15. I really don't precook, and if I plan ahead, it's 2 days in advance, that's it.
    Tonight we're having a fish fry with the fish my hubs caught this weekend. The rest of the week? Who knows!

  16. I think having a salad base to keep in the fridge is a brilliant idea. I tend to do more pre cooking in the colder months so there's always something in the freezer to thaw out. In the summer I eat mostly fruit, veg and some sort of meat/protein on the BBQ. SImple, easy to prepare food.

  17. The summer salad sounds delicious!
    I know what you mean about meal planning. It gets old really quick!
    Last night I made a big Italian "stir fry" for today and tomorrow's lunch: zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, onions, garlic, and a chicken sausage link for each day. It feels good to be prepared and know that I have something yummy to look forward to eating!

  18. Wow, that's a really good idea, Andrea. It leaves room for improvisation and fun creations, too. You can always make bibimbap, too!

  19. Those salads are beautiful. I think making things in advance that will keep for a few days is a great idea. Another idea is making your own frozen meals so that if you are in a hurry there is a healthy meal waiting for a quick reheat. The other thing that works nice for protein and a fews day, is tuna salad if you like tuna. I hate mayo so I use fat free salad dressings.

  20. I love this idea! Sometimes I get so sick of planning meals also.
    This seems like such an easy option, especially for lunches.
    I am going to have to make one of these. Thanks!

  21. Anonymous5/26/2010

    Andrea - love this idea! Especially in the summer when its too hot to grill out and too hot to cook indoors.

    Sadly, my husband requires red meat most meals! I made the mistake of making soup and homemade bread for one of our first meals together.

    He sang my praises - loved it! I cleaned up and turned on the t.v. to find a movie for us to watch and he was like "what's for dinner!" I quickly learned the soup does not = dinner!

  22. We freeze a lot. Sometimes we'll grill a lot of chicken thighs on the weekend, then freeze a bunch for a later date. Or if I make a recipe that has like six or eight servings, I might pack two away to stash in the freezer for another time. That way, you don't get sick of eating it all at once, and you have another opportunity down the road to enjoy it anew all over again.

  23. I love your salad combos! they sound so filing and delish!

    I like to roast my veggies a couple times a week..once on say Sunday and perhpas Wednesday (like I did last night)

    that helps me have lunches for the next few days. I also just make sure I have pre washed salad greens and that is my other go to lunch. LUNCH is my struggle to be prepared and healthy. Dinner I don't feel as pressured.

  24. The salads look great!

    I never precook meals, never tried it, might be a good idea.

    I do however plan meals every weekend and sometimes am tired of it too. Those times it is so difficult to decide what we're going to eat that I get back to old recipes or simple food and don't try new things.

    I really want to use my cookbooks more and try new stuff but lately I just don't feel like it.