Monday, July 27, 2015

Meal Monday - Our "No Meal Plan" Summer

I am the worst at meal planning, but I'm even worse in the summer.  You'd think that someone like me -- a planner, Type A personality, the works -- would have it down to a science.  But no.  I definitely fall short in this area, and summer doesn't help because our schedule is all over the place.  In fact, I don't even think I should call it a schedule.  Our days are go-with-the-flow, and every day is different.

In terms of meals, we do a lot of grilling and "throw together at the last minute" stuff, like various types of salads.  It works for us, though.  I tried buying a week's worth of groceries to prepare nightly meals, but unfortunately we ended up not using all of the meat and I had to throw it away because it went bad.  I HATE wasting food, so since we're able to do quick grocery store runs, we just sort of decide the day of and go to the store to grab a few items.

We've also been grabbing food when we're out a lot, too.  I love eating out.  Eating out = no grocery shopping + no preparing + no cleaning up.  LOVE.  The only downside to this, obviously, is that it can get expensive -- fast.  I'm all about coupons and deals so we can enjoy meals out together without spending too much.

My son and I went to Wegmans the other night to grab a quick dinner and do some grocery shopping.  He loves sitting up above the store and people-watching with me.

He had pizza and I got a lemon-garlic marinated chicken sandwich.  I was too hungry to take a picture of mine, but it was GOOD.

My husband and I took D. to the movies earlier this week and we enjoyed some Mexican food afterwards at a place called "The Green Pepper."  It was right across from the movie theater and the food was really tasty.  Mexican food is some of my favorite!  We also sat outside because it (surprisingly) wasn't too hot.  I love eating outside!

My son had cheese quesadillas with chips and salsa.  He LOVES chips and salsa -- just like his mama.

My husband got a chicken burrito and it was HUGE!  His came with chips and salsa, too.
I opted for beef tacos because I've been in the mood for some tacos lately.  You just can't go wrong with a good taco, you know what I mean?
We had so many chips and so much salsa leftover that I put it all in a box and brought it home, and then I proceeded to finish it off myself.

We hit up Carrabba's a while ago (my son loves the bread and olive oil dip -- again, just like his mom) and I forgot to show you this.  THIS DESSERT IS LIKE HEAVEN ON A PLATE.  If you like chocolate, you should already be at Carrabba's eating this.  It's called the "Chocolate Dream," but I would have named it "The Best Dessert You'll Ever Eat in Your Entire Life."  It's that good.

The dessert is layered brownies, chocolate mousse (one of my weaknesses), whipped cream, and chocolate sauce.  The only bad part about ordering this is that my son and I eat it so fast because we fight over it, and then we don't get to fully enjoy it as it was meant to be enjoyed.

My in-laws have a little garden behind their house, and so far this year the cucumbers have been growing like crazy and are HUGE!  Have a look at the veggie drawer in my refrigerator:

So basically we'll be eating a lot of cucumbers this week.

Another thing I've been doing is making up little snack trays to pick on before or during dinner, like this one:

I just throw together whatever I have on hand.  This one has grapes, pumpernickel pretzel sticks, bread, Manchego cheese, salted almonds, and hummus.  I like to do this at night, too, when I'm hankering for a midnight snack.

Over the weekend, I made a big ol' salad with leftover grilled chicken.  I loaded that sucker up.

I started with spring mix and added peppers, hard boiled eggs, apples, sharp cheese and bleu cheese, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, and - of course - the grilled chicken.  We topped it all off with a yummy bleu cheese dressing and I sliced a loaf of fresh bread to go along with it.  Oh, and of course we had whipped butter with it because, let's face it: life just isn't as good without whipped butter.  (I probably could have just eaten the bread and whipped butter.  Okay, maybe just spoonfuls of the butter.)  I will say, though... the salad was a lot more filling than I expected it to be!

One of the things I always try to do is make sure I have leftovers and that I use them.  So, for instance, if I'm going to clean and trim chicken (a job I absolutely HATE), then I do it in bulk and have my husband grill it all at once.  Then I have the leftovers for sandwiches or salads.

I'm definitely going to need to step up my game in the meal plan department once we're all back in school towards the end of August, especially because we'll all need packed lunches and quick breakfasts.  Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated!

Are you a meal planner, or do you fly by the seat of your pants?  Just curious!

Okay - hope you have a great week!

PS - I'm hoping to do a giveaway at some point this week when I recap the last part of my BlogHer experience.  Stay tuned!


  1. Yum!!! Lots of delicious pics here!! You can never go wrong with Mexican food in my opinion ;) I have been bad about meal planning lately too, but I did manage to crock pot a big batch of taco soup yesterday to eat for the week...

    1. I wish someone could do the meal planning for me, you know?! ;-)

  2. Hi BB! Happy Monday - I love food. My meal planning is a wild balance of both planning and flying by my pants. IF I remember to thaw some meat out, I cook 3-4 times a week (the evenings I'm at home) and make extra food. I have evening workouts 3 times a week, so then it's "find something in the frig night". Weekends it's "clean up leftovers" and supplement with fresh. If all else fails there's cereal, oatmeal, PBJ, eggs - you get the picture. No one will go hungry - it's just non-traditional. Some of my best meals are "a bit of this, a bit of that". Serendipity in the kitchen... Have a great day!

    1. That's kind of what we do, too -- some nights we just end up having a mish mash of things I've thrown together from the fridge, you know? At least we keep it interesting! Oh, and I love food, too. Eating is definitely one of my favorite pastimes (along with sleeping, of course!).
      Have a good one!

  3. We always buy too much food and then we end up eating out or we forget we bought the stuff (or we don't check the expiration date and it's waaay too soon after we bought it) and it goes bad. I HATE it more than anything. Waste of food, waste of money...ugh. We've been prepping our lunches for work days ahead of time but it's so much work and it makes me dread Sundays. That dessert looks DELICIOUS! I love chocolate...especially brownies and mousse. :)

    1. I hear ya, Mattie. I'm really gonna have to prep our lunches come the end of August. You're right, though -- it IS so much work and Sundays always stink because it ends up being grocery shopping day, meal prep day, laundry day, day before going back to work, etc. I dread them, too!