October 26, 2010

More Meal Planning Tips- Theme Nights

If you missed the basics of meal planning on the prairie, click here.

    This summer I made a few goals for my family that involved meal planning.  First, I wanted to incorporate a little more structure into our week.  When you live out here, the days kind of run together, and many a time I've said, "It's Wednesday?  I thought it was Tuesday!"  I was hoping that by setting specific days for eating specific foods, we would have less of that confusion.  Second, I wanted our family to start eating more bone broth, since it is so healthy.  Finally, I wanted to include more fish in our diet.  

enchiladas ready to bake

    To accomplish these goals, I decided to try a little trick I'd read about: Theme Nights.  You pick a theme, such as, "Mexican", "Soups", or "Casseroles", and assign that theme to a particular night of the week.  Then, when you're making your meal plan, you pick something that goes with that night's theme.  So, if Monday is Mexican night, you might make tacos. 

Here are some examples of themes I've seen around the blogosphere:

Soup, Stew, or Chili
Ground Beef
Slow Cooker
On the Grill

    Some people use a theme night every night of the week, but I have found that doesn't work well for our family.  Also, I really don't need to have a theme every night to meet the goals I set.  Instead, I have 3 theme nights.  Mondays are Soup, Stew, or Chili, Wednesdays are Casseroles, and Fridays are Fish.

    So how are we doing with these goals?  Well, we have been eating more fish and soups, but not necessarily on the designated day.  And I'm okay with that.  Having these three theme nights does make it easier to plan the week's meals, since I have some guidelines on those nights.  I try to stick with the plan as much as possible, but some Sundays are Soup days, and some Mondays are steak days!  As with everything in life, there are times when you have to flex a little.

Do you plan your meals

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ginger-n-wyo said...

I love the idea of theme nights. We did "meatless Monday" for much of the summer and "fresh fish Friday" for a long time. The kids love "taco Tuesday." It is a challenge to plan specific meals for those days, but lots of fun, too. Since I've gone back to school I've had to be more flexible with myh meaql planning.
Bone broths are great. Not only are they healthy and tasty, but they're handy to have for quick soups or add-ins for rice dishes, etc. Since I have a surplus of chicken, I'm going to try pressure canning chicken broth.

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