March 17, 2010

Menu planning

Something that I didn't understand before I had a family was the difficulty of menu planning. I'm sure it comes naturally for some people, but I am not one of those people. Honestly, I'd be happy with a bowl of cereal or oatmeal for dinner every night. In fact, for most of college and my two years on my own out of college, I consumed more cereal than I did anything else.

When we were first married, I'd cook these elaborate meals that we both loved. The challenges now are a) we don't have the kind of time we used to, b) dinner is usually at 5 to give us enough time for playtime and bedtime routines afterward and c) we have a toddler who doesn't like all of the things we do.

Remember the recipe for "Yummy Chicken" I posted last week? Well, I figured out where it came from: Dine without Whine. They have a sample menu/shopping list posted on their site and I had bookmarked it a while back. I liked a few of the recipes so last week, I decided to try it out for a month. It's $6.95 a month and so far, I've been pleased with the recipes. In fact, I'm eating the last of a fantastic Peanut-Beef Dinner that I made on Monday and I realized that we've actually consumed ALL of the leftovers. This never happens.

The recipes are WAY simple and the ingredients are easy to find. I wouldn't say that the recipes are super healthy, but they are well balanced. I won't try all of the recipes they send, because some of them just aren't "us." But I have tried a few that I was skeptical about (i.e. Peanut-Beef Dinner) and we've loved them!

I think my favorite part of the program is that the shopping lists are letter coded. So, if you know you want to make recipes A, C and F, you just purchase the items on the shopping list with an A, C or F next to them. Most other menu planning sites give you one list and you have to sort through if you aren't going to make some of the things on the list.

So, there's my plug for Dine Without Whine. Check it out.

1 comment:

Emily said...

I'm going to check that out!! sounds perfect for me. Thanks for the recommendation!