Planning Weekly to Eat Well
Written by Sherrie Cook, Contributing Writer
I was recently looking at the Vision Forum for books and noticed their tag line. It reads, “Where there is no vision the people perish”. What a powerful statement. When I applied that to my family it had deep meaning as well.
What things does my family need in order not to perish? Food, shelter, love…and apparently a vision. Whose vision? God’s, of course, but also mine as their mother. Do I have a vision for my family or are we floating perilously headed straight for destruction? I seek God’s face to lead me in my work, but what things can I actively do to create vision for my family?
I decided to start my vision in combination with one of the other needs – food. I need not only a daily vision, but a weekly mission. I love the idea of cooking all in one day to last for the entire month, but the reality (for me) is that I get exhausted doing it all in that one day. So what if I broke it down into a weekly shopping/chopping and then one cooking day? (I decided to shop one day and do the night prep and then start the cooking day with a clean kitchen.) That’s much more doable. AND, I chose mostly recipes that could easily be doubled and frozen for later.
First Step: Verbalize My Vision
“To bless my family and help them to thrive by providing them with healthy meals through planning and organization.”
Second Step: Make My Menu
Third Step: Make My Shopping List
- freezer storage options (i.e. bags, freezer paper, containers, etc.)
- wooden skewers
- 6 oz. buttermilk
- 2 C whole milk
- cheddar cheese
- 10 eggs
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 2 lb. bacon
- 2 lb. frozen boneless chicken (thighs)
- 1 med onion
- 1 vidalia onion
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- mix of salad greens
- 2 avocados
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery ribs
- 1 med. zucchini
- 2 C chopped new potatoes
- 4 tomatoes
- 8 cloves of garlic
- 1 leek
- 2 C chopped fresh basil
- 1 C chopped fresh parsley
- 1 TBSP fresh thyme
- 2 apples
- 2 lemons
- raw pecans
- 15 oz. black beans
- 28 oz. tomato sauce
- 4 to 6 C chicken broth
- 2 C soft wheat berries
- baking powder
- baking soda
- sea salt
- chili pepper
- cayenne pepper
- olive oil
Fourth Step: Prep & Cooking
1. Soak black beans
2. Soak ingredients for waffles/pancakes.
3. Hard boil 6 eggs for salad. (May wish to chill and peel immediately) Refrigerate overnight.
4. Put together marinade for chicken to rest in as it thaws.
1. Chop veggies for soup, salad, chicken pepper poppers.
2. Drain black beans and rinse.
3. Fry 1 lb. bacon. Save some grease.
4. Peel eggs if not done yesterday & mix egg salad dressing.
5. Package salad ingredients in individual containers and place in fridge for tonight’s dinner.
6. Freeze chicken for 20 min. Meanwhile, fry beef and onion and garlic together for enchiladas.
7. Slice and skewer chicken, yellow bell pepper and raw bacon. Place a freezer bags with freezer paper if desired and gently put in freezer without puncturing bags. Tomorrow night’s dinner.
8. Put enchiladas together. Cover and place in the 9×13 pan in the freezer. Third night’s dinner.
9. Saute, simmer, then blend to finish the spring/summer soup. Place in freezer safe containers and freeze. Fourth night’s dinner.
10. Finally, add remaining ingredients to waffles/pancakes and fry. These can be frozen and stored with freezer paper between to keep them from sticking. Fifth night’s dinner.
Great post. We all need a vision for our selves and our families.
It’s so weird how God puts stuff in your path just when you need it. I was getting overwhelmed about what to do for dinner last night and we ended up getting Chili’s takeout and lamenting about our lack of planning for the week. You’ve just reminded me of why it’s important to plan and motivated me to get it together and do it next week! Thank you:)
@Melanie, so happy to know God worked through this post to speak to you! I think most of us struggle with exactly what you spoke of. If we’re not planning, we could be perishing.
Prayers for more successful eating/planning days ahead for your family! 🙂
I too love the idea of monthly prep, but can’t manage it in practice. We have a tiny kitchen which hinders large-scale preparation, and my kids still need a lot of supervision so I don’t have time to spare for a full day. I do what I can, buying bulk on offer and make double or more of a recipe so I can freeze some in portions, or cooking off a couple of kilo of meat together so that it is ready to add to meals later on in the month. My husband is away for a month and I love that I don’t have to spend a long time cooking each day and we are still enjoying homemade foods. I’ve found that making quadruple of a basic tomato sauce recipe takes barely any longer than making the normal amount, but it can be frozen in small quantities and lasts me a month, for the same money as 1 jar from the store.
@Rachel, Would love to have your tomato sauce recipe!
theprovwoman [at] gmail [dot] com
Perfect timing! This is just the inspiration I need – planning is one of those things that I just don’t do as well as I’d like, but it really pays off.
Vision Forum’s tagline is actually from Proverbs 29:18. Nice to get scripture where you can find it.
@Trezlen, Thank you so much for pointing that out! I do love “getting scripture” in daily places. Thanks again!
We purchase our food once a month (we use AngelFood Ministries). I’m lucky in that my hubby does all the day-to-day cooking for dinner (I just cook for holidays or if we have company). However, I have to find/plan meals around what we have in our fridge/pantry because it varies what we receive each month. It’s nice that we can work together that way…I do the meal planning, and he does the actual prep & cooking.
That is a good point that you made about, “Do I have a vision for my family or are we floating perilously headed straight for destruction? I seek God’s face to lead me in my work, but what things can I actively do to create vision for my family?” I need to make sure that my family and I are not “floating perilously headed straight for destruction!” Thanks for sharing!
I read your post yesterday and though to myself as I always do, “I really need to plan ahead like that. I’ll do it this weekend.” Then it started to feel like the movie Groundhog Day because I realized I have read posts like this before and have always said the same thing to myself, but the weekend comes and I never do it. So, I stopped what I was doing right then and did it. Well almost did it. I got dinner ideas, but breakfasts and lunch has me stumped… I work full time and my husband watches the kids during the day and is a full time student in the evenings. He isn’t into the real foods like I am. So, I need ideas of easy to prepare NOT strange lunch and breakfast foods that he can prepare for them. My kids have no allergies (knock on wood), which means no limitations so you think ideas would come flowing through… I am hoping that it’s because I’m just starting at the plan ahead thing. I have faith that it will get easier the more I do it.
I use to do the monthly cooking- actually 3 months at a time & freeze & then I switched to weekly, which is what I’ve done the past 2 years. Easy to get things fresh. But now that we’ve moved farther away from healthy options, I’m moving to shopping every 2 weeks & hoping to plan out the meals monthly- I need to think less. 😉
Currently, my husband and I both work full time, so it really limits me during the week when it comes to dinners. I always make dinners that the leftovers can be used for lunches, and other dinners. That has saved me a lot of time, and money. I also plan my meals ahead of time. Then I schedule what days I will make supper on. For example, I have bible study on Tuesdays, and Small Group on Thursdays, so I plan to make dinners on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday! And weekends tend to be open as well. Works for now. I hope to one day be home when we have kids, so I am sure things will adapt as life goes on! 🙂