For those getting into a whole foods, traditional diet; the preparations for meals can seem overwhelming. I have found that planning out a week at a time really does help me stay sane and spend less time in the kitchen. I make double or triple batches of things I can freeze and pull out for quick dinners, e.g. beans, brown rice, chicken stock. Having a day where I know I will be baking is helpful as well, since it requires a larger chunk of time and I want to be sure I have that afternoon “free” (whatever that means when you have 7 kids). I use google docs to keep my menu updated, and I link up any recipes I find online to that meal.
Mind you, this is a plan and does not mean it is set in stone. I change meals around all the time, swap things in or out, or change our plans altogether. All the same, I like to plan for the everyday, not leave it up for the exceptions to govern.
About the Menu: The “Prep” section is for the night prior for any soaking or sprouting that must be done for the next day. I do soak, sprout, dry and mill my own grain for bread; so I like to schedule it in so I make sure it’s ready for a day of baking. The “To Do” section is for out of the ordinary routine type things I want to accomplish that particular day. Giving each day of the week a title like “Laundry Day” is something I picked up from Large Family Logistics; she had some great ideas and helps.
Breakfasts are just a rotation of smoothies, probiotic chocolate milk, sprouted grain toast, eggs, soaked oatmeal, and sometimes the occasional oatmeal breakfast cake. The older children mostly get their own breakfasts and lunches as they do their schooling. I prepare for the smaller ones. Lunches are usually veggie sandwiches, leftovers, salads, or whatever the older children want to prepare. Those two meals are very low key with lots of small snacking here and there, since that is the hub of our school time. It’s almost like we have several courses instead of two meals.
Here is what we have for this week:
TO DO: Bake cookies, soak spelt berries
Dinner: Tuna and Potato Bake
Prep: Drain and rinse spelt berries to sprout
To Do: Have kids pack lunch and books for park and library, rinse berries
Dinner: Salmon, Quinoa Pilaf, Broccoli
TO DO: Simmer beans in chicken stock in crockpot, cook tortillas, dry spelt sprouts in oven on lowest temperature
Dinner: Bean and Venison Tortillas, Fresh Quac, Raw Cheese, Raw Soured Cream, Salad
TO DO: continue drying spelt, drain and rinse berries, put chicken in oven in the morning, cook oatmeal for breakfast, bake gluten and “sugar” free brownies
Dinner: Baked Chicken, Garlic/Heb Roasted Potatoes, Green Beans, Salad
Prep: rinse berries, continue drying spelt, put chicken bones in dutch oven, add water and apple cider vinegar – bake in oven at 250 overnight for chicken stock
TO DO: transfer wet wheat berries to fridge, put spelt berries in sealed container, start chili, have children tidy up house for play date, take stock out of oven and let cool
Dinner: Chili, Raw Soured Cream, Raw Smoked Cheddar Cheese, Salad
Prep: debone chicken and store chicken stock
TO DO: Mill berries, Bake Sprouted Grain Bread and pizza crusts, work on garden plans for spring, do any extra cleaning
Dinner: Homemade Chicken Pizza, Salad
TO DO: Menu plan for next week
Breakfast: Oatmeal Breakfast Cake (using leftover oatmeal), Smoothies
Lunch/Dinner: Brown Rice Pasta with Marinara, Peas and Carrots, salad
Prep: soak spelt berries