in the kitchen

Weekly Meal Plan

Weekly Meal Plan
Cinnamon rolls: made with whole wheat flour and walnuts – practically health food!

My plan to share my cinnamon roll recipe before the holidays didn’t quite work out. With recipe testing, not every version is a hit. Sometimes a recipe works – and I remember to write it down and get it photographed – and sometimes it doesn’t turn out quite right.

The cinnamon rolls we make every Christmas eve to bake on Christmas morning were on my editorial calendar but after making them several times (more whole wheat flour! less butter! lower temperature! toast the walnuts! burnt the walnuts! higher temperature!), I tossed in the towel. I decided baking them again was too much indulging around this time of year and we’d have to wait on doing one more recipe test.

Since I try to cook healthy foods year-round – and that includes holiday baking – it’s tricky to find the right balance of taste and health. Yes, cooking and baking can be done with more butter, overly processed-white flour, or by purchasing a mix, but that’s just not what I want to do.

Weekly Meal Plan

My routine is this: I begin the week before heading to the grocery store, with a meal plan. Weekly meal planning saves money, helps to reduce food waste, and keeps me suggesting dinner out. I’ve got even more reasons to meal plan every week – HERE. Both of my kids cook dinner once-a-week and using a meal plan sheet helps me keep track of that, too.

This meal plan is from Monday, December 24, 2012 to Sunday, December 30, 2012.

Monday: pan seared fish, paprika cheese roasted potatoes and green peas

Tuesday: Christmas morning strata – we ate this for brunch and snacked on it for dinner with a lot of chocolate eating in between.

Wednesday: spiced lentils with spinach (vegetarian version)

Thursday: fish and baby shrimp stew

Friday: pan seared scallops with bacon and arugula salad

Saturday: fish stew (leftovers) with green salad and bread

Sunday: “street tacos” – Mexican pork (in the slow-cooker) with pinto beans, guacamole and fresh salsa

Both kids made dinner together on Sunday. We enjoyed the “street tacos” as we call them with tortillas from our neighborhood Mexican market. They make corn tortillas fresh every day and are delicious.

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

Go Gingham related links:

National Match-Up Day: A step-by-step on how to clean and organize your food storage containers!
Grocery shopping from the bulk bins and food storage containers
Reusing glass jars and how to get them ready for re-use
Frugal grocery shopping – without coupons!

6 thoughts on “Weekly Meal Plan

  1. I hear you about all the testing and trying it takes to get a recipe just right. When you want the maximum health with the maximum flavor, it’s a challenge. But it’s a worthy quest! And when you finally get it just right, it’s sweet indeed! Looking forward to your happy result with the whole wheat cinnamon rolls!


    1. Thanks, Maggie!
      Yes, it is so worth getting it just right and especially when it comes to health. It’s easy to make food taste good but the challenge is in the being good for you, too.
      Happy New Year, Maggie.


  2. I am impressed that you take the time to make recipes healthier. Can’t wait to hear about this recipe when you get it to a place you like because cinnimon rolls are my kids’ fav! I would love to offer a healthy version. Or even teach them how to make them!


    1. Oh, Annie, these are practically health food and they’re fun for the kids to make, too. I like to add walnuts but pecans or none are fine, too.
      It really doesn’t take much extra time to make a recipe healthier – less butter, whole wheat flour and I usually toss in flax seeds for good measure!
      Happy new year, Annie!


  3. I try to meal plan but it’s always mixed with new recipes because I love to experiment and am a glutton for recipes. However, there are many days that when I get home from work all the planning goes out the window and I reach for the old staples. Some habits die hard, I guess. I love the lentil recipe and am going to add the vegetarian version to the grocery list this week (maybe Mary will come over and enjoy it with us!).

    Like you, I always try to make recipes healthier. I am quite surprised at what some folks call healthy (um, if it calls for a cup of sugar and a stick of butter, it’s not healthy!). Of course, that means the final product is always a mystery – but I think that’s part of the fun.


    1. Yes, Heather, it’s true that it’s easier to reach for the old stand-bys! That’s okay, too, if they get the thumbs up but sometimes a new recipe is just what it’s in order.
      My meal plan is always in a state of flux because of kid’s activities or a meeting or leftovers that need eating rather than fixing something new. The biggest thing with the meal plan is having a basis for what you need to grocery shop and not throwing out food – if you can eliminate those 2 by meal planning – hats off to you!
      Thanks for leaving a comment, Heather. And, yes, that is the fun of the cooking – the mystery of reinventing a recipe!


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