Recently I’ve been battling a fair degree of anxiety. Hormones, tight finances, a cross-country move, and managing a large family have all dealt a few blows to my nerves. One thing that helped this last week was cooking – for the fun of it.
In recent months, I’ve looked at meal preparation as a means to an end: feeding my family. And since we’ve tried to be extra frugal, there hasn’t been ton of “fun food” in my pantry. Our trip to Costco last week brought some great deals that also double as “food snob food.” So, cooking is going to be a little more fun around here.
This past week I baked a towering apple pie for my brother’s birthday (complete with mountain climbers), concocted a yummy pasta dish with grilled chicken and peppers, and made these tacos. Not only has it been fun to cook, it has also been fun to eat. And that has helped my nerves immensely!
Since I enjoy cooking, preparing a month’s meal plan also served as “entertainment” for me this week. (Talk about your cheap thrills!) Inspired by this post, I decided to do a lot of planning all at one time. I thought up 30 meals that I know my family enjoys – okay, there’s a few veg recipes in there that they will merely tolerate — and brainstormed fun side dishes to go along with them. I’m going to draw from my stockpile and then supplement with whatever else we need in order to create these menus this month. You can see what’s cookin’ at my house in November right here.
As for this week we’ll be enjoying:
Lunches (with fruit and veggies and dip as sides)
Beans and rice and chips
Corndogs and fries
Baked Chicken, Roast Potatoes, Veg, Biscuits
Chicken Pot Pie, Green Salad, Fruit (use leftover chicken, potatoes and veg from #1; make pie dough the same time as the biscuits)
Pot Stickers, Rice, Steamed Veggies
Taco Bowl w/ Beans, Rice, Chips, and Toppings
Brie-Tomato Pasta, Green Salad, Foccacia
Spaghetti w/ Meatballs, Veg, Rolls
Grilled Marinated Flank Steak with BLT Smashed Potatoes, Green Salad, Pumpkin Rolls
For more meal-planning inspiration, visit I’m an Organizing Junkie every Monday.