Monday, November 8, 2010

What's for dinner?

Each week we plan our meals and make a shopping list. I try to mix some family favorites with a new dish or two, keeping in mind the time we have available for food prep. and cooking. Thinking of healthy, enjoyable meals can get frustrating when you have two kids who can be particular. (Hamburger on a bun, mashed potatoes - yum!, hamburger and potatoes baked in pie crust - how could I suggest such a thing?!)

We are taking a break from meal planning around here and trying Real Simple's Four-Week Dinner Plan.

The magazine gives recipes and shopping lists for 5 meals a week. I've seen similar plans before and either the meals don't seem like they'd fly around here or bizarre ingredients and preparation techniques make me roll my eyes.

But, the majority of the meals in this plan look delicious and like something we can adapt for our kids. The prep and cooking times are reasonable.

I'm looking forward to trying some new things and having it all preselected adds some fun to a tricky time of day. If the kids grumble it isn't my fault, I'm just cooking the meal of the day. We do plan to serve bread and a kid friendly veggie most nights and will make modifications here and there as it suits us. (Romain salad on the side instead of the Romain slaw on the turkey burgers, skip the dijon sauce on the steak...)

The preplanned meals give the week an element of adventure. Last night we had Tilapia baked with roasted potatoes, lemon, and olives. (bread and broccoli on the side) The kids both tried each element of the meal, were excited about it, and seemed to have an open mind.

I think we'll spend a little more on groceries, but hopefully we'll find a few new family favorites and have a vacation from meal planning for a few weeks.

- photos from

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