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Getting Stuff Done: Meal Planning

Recipes and CookingAnaleisa LathamComment

I've been planning meals for the month today and thought I'd share my process and what recipes I'm planning to make.

Through trial and error I've learned that the best way for me to plan meals is by using color coded calendars (on my Apple iCloud Calendar) and creating an "All Day" entry for Lunch and Dinner. I only list the main dish on the calendar itself but as I'm making a grocery list I note various sides and vegetables (easy things) to go along. Here's a visual using January 2014. (Clicking on the image will enlarge it.)

I try to plan ahead and make double of certain dishes to put in the freezer. Then I have those "extras" for later in the month or the next month. It doesn't make for awesome variety throughout the month, but at this point in my life that's a luxury I cannot afford - and that is OK.

Almost every lunch meal listed is leftovers from the night before (or a previous night during the week). I am very blessed that my husband doesn't mind leftovers. And if we still have leftovers after that (which is almost always the case) I stick the rest in the freezer usually in a one serving size container for random times when one of us is home without the other, etc.

I recognize that there are about a million ways to do this. I recognize my way probably isn't the best way. But it works for me and that's really what I'm after.

*Psst! An edit: I didn't explain that the reason there aren't many things planned for the end of the month. Without a doubt plans change or life happens and I don't make one or two meals that I planned. That's what I'll fill in the last week of the month with. And also sometimes we have leftovers that need to be eaten.

Here are links to a few of recipes for anyone who might be interested:
Cheesy Spinach and Chicken Bake (from Remodelaholic)
Light and Fluffy Spinach Quiche
Roasted Potato and Sausage Dinner
Sour Cream Noodle Bake (from The Pioneer Woman)
Macaroni and Cheese (I usually make a healthier recipe, but this time I wanted to try Kate's from The Small Things Blog. After all, if a woman does hair and makeup as well as she does she's got to be good at Mac and Cheese, right?!)
Chicken Pot Pie

I'm always looking for awesome new recipes that are also great from the freezer. Do you have any?

Orange-Roasted Carrots with Honey

LOVE Project, Recipes and CookingAnaleisa LathamComment

One part of my 2014 LOVE Project is to LOVE myself more by taking care of my body. Along those lines one thing I plan to do this year is focus more on preparing balanced meals. I'm pretty good at cooking a few nights a week (and I do enjoy it), but the meals rarely contain vegetables - and that's really what I'm after.

So, last night I attempted Orange-Roasted Carrots with Honey for dinner. I used this recipe from Bon Appétit. (You can view step-by-step instructions here.)

Basically you cut up the carrots, add some olive oil, salt, pepper, orange juice and grated orange peel, toss these things together, put them in a foil packet and bake them for 10 minutes or so. Here's what mine looked like before they went into the oven.  

Atelier_Honey Orange Glazed Carrots 1.JPG

After the initial baking you drizzle them with some honey and then, uncovered, bake them for 10 more minutes at a higher temperature. 

I mentioned earlier that I attempted this recipe. I use that word for two reasons: first, they didn't quite turn out as the recipe stated they should (reason: I hate to measure, so I didn't measure...anything), and secondly because Steven wasn't a fan. (Quick side note: husband not liking vegetables isn't surprising. He shrieks, screams and runs from anything that looks or smells healthy. BUT he's usually pretty gracious and generous and I didn't even get a "they're ok" from him. Tough crowd...)

However, I enjoyed them. Though next time I do think I will measure. 
I served the carrots with Skinnytaste's Easiest Pasta and Broccoli . (This is an all-time favorite of ours. You can view the recipe here.)

Atelier_Honey Orange Glazed Carrots 2.JPG

Do you have a favorite carrot recipe?