Changing the meal plan: Yes we can!

One of my most popular blog posts from last year was Coco's Meal Plan: Kid Tested. But isn't it life that no sooner did I finish pressing "Publish" on that blog when everyone at my house started to feel bored and restless with the weekly meals.

I, on the other hand was enjoying how the plan gave a structure to dinner hour after my busy work day, and I also liked the ease with which I could get basic shopping lists done for the week. But the meals were losing their luster after three solid months of repetition.

It was time for change ... I agreed to do a re-design after the Inauguration of President Obama.
So, here I am, looking for inspiration.

One meal I would like to try is serving breakfast for dinner. I could create a basic meal around popovers or crepes with fillings, an omelet, or rich corn muffins. The problem is that the breakfast-for-dinner concept can carry sugar and fat in crazy proportions, so while my son would love that, I am not satisfied. Nevertheless, it will be on the menu so I'll just have to play with protein so that he isn't too carbed out.

The other must-have is baked potato night on Mondays. So, that leaves three more nights to plan. Got ideas? Take this into consideration:

Brooks loves all foods, but especially loves to have a steamy, rich, hot meal with meat or fish at least three times a week. I would like to integrate more whole grains into the plan; rich, nutty brown and wild rices, especially. My daughter is a broad eater and loves veggies. My son is a narrow eater and loves fruit.
Together we live a 3-d version of the food triangle, but getting us all on a single plan that makes everyone happy, avoids waste, and feels fun and efficient is a challenge.

What are your ideas? Do you ever just let the kids make their own stuff? What about take out? Do you have any favorites to share? I'd love to hear 'em.

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  1. I had greens and carrots for breakfast in the Congo. (then sneaked some cereal) ha ha. Love your ideas. My dog gets carrots mixed into the ground turkey I cook him. thanks for your words on my blog. Come by anytime! nice to know you.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Sherrlyn. And if you are into photojournalism, check out my better half's site: http:www.brookskraft.com. I think you'll enjoy :)

  3. Chicken Sausage Jambalaya

    saute 2 packs mild italian chicken sausage (sliced) until just brown. remove and set aside. saute 1 onion in olive oil until soft. add to onion: 28 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes, 4 cups broth, 6 oz. water, 2 1/4 cups brown rice, thyme and a bit of cayenne. bring to a boil and simmer until rice is nearly done (35 min or so). add 4 stalks cut celery and 1 bag frozen white corn. warm again. serve with grated cheddar cheese on top.
    this is popular, so far, with the whole family. it is a one-pot meal with rice and a bit of chicken (for the carnivores). raw veggies (cucumbers cool the spice) or salad on the side. makes enough for several thermos lunches.

  4. Quesadilla night—fill as you like? I get that idea from YOU!

    Crepe night—fill with savory and then sweet? Another idea from YOU!

    OK< so we have no original ideas around here. I do my menu based on:

    1 chicken night/recipe

    1 fish night/recipe

    1 egg/omelette/quiche night/recipe

    1 pasta night

    1 pizza night (Friday)

    2 leftovers (and one of those might be burgers or steak about once a month or we go out)

    I flip through recipes I save that look easy and appealing and I make a shopping list on Sunday. I try to have something in the non-vegetarian nights that Olivia can eat (veggie or brown rice) or she gets pasta or a soy veggie product from freezer. Every night the kids get a fruit and some kind of raw veggie with dip with their meal (as they often eat very little or no cooked veggie). I cut up and rinse the raw veggies en masse for week often.

    That is my 2 cents, sorry I am not so creative but steal ideas from creative friends and family! J

    Hope all is well—off to any inaugural balls?

  5. As you know I am a big fan of popovers. Each week I build a meal around them. They usually accompany a soup. Tonight it was popovers and lentil minestrone.

    I am also a big fan of savory crepes. But making crepes can require the chef to be at the pan while everyone else is eating.

    We have taken to homemade pizzas. The kids love them and you can really pack them with healthy items. Items that can be made in advance on the weekend. The pre-made dough at Trader Joes or Whole Foods makes it a reasonable weeknight meal with a salad. The kids can invent the toppings.

    I have a walnut chicken that is a also a big kit and loaded with omega-3s. I can pass it on if you want it.