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"You got a real attitude problem, McFly, you’re a slacker."

January 29, 2011  —  Written by Chris 

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Yes, yes I am. On the blogging front, at least (notice this is Chris, not Jules- I quote Back to the Future, not Disney). I don’t really have a meal to blog about this week because we didn’t plan things out very well, Greta’s been sick, blah blah punch line is we ate horribly- and I’ve been feeling the effects. Ugh.

This week I realized how important planning is when you’re trying to eat healthy. If you don’t plan ahead, you’ll find yourself eating Chinese take out while watching the State of the Union address- two activities you end up regretting. My point is, without a game plan for the week, you’re left to figure it out as you go, and that often turns out bad.

Every Saturday morning (excluding last week), while Greta takes her nap, Jules and I have our weekly planning session. We go over our budget and set our menu for the week ahead. These things go hand in hand. You often hear people when they’re talking about eating healthy say that it’s expensive. This can be true, but planning ahead will really help save money. It’s important to know your budget before making your menu so you don’t get too extravagant on weeks when money is tight, and it’s important to make your menu before shopping so you only buy the things you need. If you only buy what you need for the week, that cuts down on the fresh produce you end up throwing away, making a healthy diet more attainable.

Another great thing about planning ahead is that Wal-Mart price matches on groceries. If you’re anti-Wal-Mart, that’s your prerogative. But price matching saves us about $20-$30 a week on groceries. That’s $80 a month, sometimes $100, and it only takes an extra 30 minutes or so. Basically we’re getting paid $20 for 30 minutes of research. It’s worth it, I’m telling you.

So, now that Jules and I have our menu for the week ahead, I want to know what you want to read about. For those of you wondering why I’m writing on the blog and why I’m not making a cute pillow or something, Jules asked me to blog once a week about a meal we had. I’m the cook in the family, not the decorator. So it’s up to you what I write about next week. Here’s our menu:

Saturday-
   Grilled Chicken &Vegetables
Sunday-
   Steak, Oven Fries and Grilled Asparagus- served with crumbled blue cheese and horseradish butter
Monday-
   Turkey Burgers and Salad
Tuesday-
   Lettuce Wraps (already blogged about this one)
Wednesday-
   Turkey Chili and Cornbread (I guarantee nobody will know it’s turkey)
Thursday-
   Whole Wheat BBQ Chicken Pizza and Salad
Friday-
   Pork Chops, Curried Apple Cous Cous and Cucumber Salad

Which would you like to cook? The lettuce wraps I’ve already done, and I think I’m going to take the turkey burgers out as well (pretty self-explanatory), but everything else is still in the running. I promise you, they’re all easy, as good as you’ll have at any restaurant, and a lot cheaper. So you tell me what you want to see (don’t be shy), and you can read all about it next week.

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What do you think?

  1. THose are Awesome meals!!! I wish we were that good at planning ahead. I think we “plan…” but we switch it up and sometimes end up with no plans for the weekend. Or, eating Panda Express while watching TV. Soooo ya. What do you usually do to season your chicken?? Do you guys have a grill or do you do it on the George?

  2. Um WOW you guys are AWESOME can you come be our personal meal planners/chefs?? I definitely agree that planning ahead = healthier eating. We have been trying to do this lately too, but OUR menus look more like THIS:

    Sun – Spaghetti. And salad if you’re lucky.

    Mon – Tacos. Just plain ol tacos.

    Tues – Some form of chicken

    Wed – Leftovers??

    Thurs – Haystacks. With limited toppings.

    Fri- I would like to put something healthy here but let’s just be honest: In-n-Out Burger.

    Sat – Something from the depths of the freezer.

    But trust me guys this is an IMPROVEMENT in the Nygren household. I’m workin on it ok?? In the words of Dave, “You’re a good cook….when you cook.”

    So THANKS for being an inspiration to us!

  3. Um WOW you guys are AWESOME can you come be our personal meal planners/chefs?? I definitely agree that planning ahead = healthier eating. We have been trying to do this lately too, but OUR menus look more like THIS:

    Sun – Spaghetti. And salad if you’re lucky.

    Mon – Tacos. Just plain ol tacos.

    Tues – Some form of chicken

    Wed – Leftovers??

    Thurs – Haystacks. With limited toppings.

    Fri- I would like to put something healthy here but let’s just be honest: In-n-Out Burger.

    Sat – Something from the depths of the freezer.

    But trust me guys this is an IMPROVEMENT in the Nygren household. I’m workin on it ok?? In the words of Dave, “You’re a good cook….when you cook.”

    So THANKS for being an inspiration to us!

  4. Um WOW you guys are AWESOME can you come be our personal meal planners/chefs?? I definitely agree that planning ahead = healthier eating. We have been trying to do this lately too, but OUR menus look more like THIS:

    Sun – Spaghetti. And salad if you’re lucky.

    Mon – Tacos. Just plain ol tacos.

    Tues – Some form of chicken

    Wed – Leftovers??

    Thurs – Haystacks. With limited toppings.

    Fri- I would like to put something healthy here but let’s just be honest: In-n-Out Burger.

    Sat – Something from the depths of the freezer.

    But trust me guys this is an IMPROVEMENT in the Nygren household. I’m workin on it ok?? In the words of Dave, “You’re a good cook….when you cook.”

    So THANKS for being an inspiration to us!

  5. Chris says:

    We always make the schedule, but it definitely changes often. Sometimes we’ll switch nights, sometimes we just don’t want to cook. But I guess the main thing is that at least we planned.

    As far as how we cook the chicken, I refuse to use the Foreman to cook meat (except bacon). It never turns out well for me. We bought a gas grill from Sam’s Club last year and it’s not amazing, but it gets the job done. But even if all I had was the Foreman, I’d forego grilling and just pan sear/finish in the oven. But tonight, we’re cooking outside. 40 degrees outside, so bust out the shorts.

    For seasoning, I typically only use kosher salt and fresh pepper (which I remember you saying is not your fave). When we want something more exciting I’ll use salt and curry powder (which isn’t great for curry, but is excellent for grilling chicken) or a variety of chili powders and cumin (my favorite blend so far, salt, pepper, cumin, ancho chili powder and chipotle chili powder).

  6. THose are Awesome meals!!! I wish we were that good at planning ahead. I think we “plan…” but we switch it up and sometimes end up with no plans for the weekend. Or, eating Panda Express while watching TV. Soooo ya. What do you usually do to season your chicken?? Do you guys have a grill or do you do it on the George?

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