Meal Plans, Recipes, and Dinner Ideas for Every Night of the Week.
This blog is about making it easier to cook real food at home more often.
Every recipe is a part of a weekly meal plan that relies on the idea that a little work every day is the key to getting delicious, wholesome, good for you, home cooked meals on the table several nights of the week. A little = a lot.
Each weekly meal plan contains recipes, prep instructions, and a shopping list that will take you through 5 nights of dinners for a family of 4. Scale up or down based on the size of your family, but I’ve done all the planning for you. Why is this important?
A while back, my husband and I watched a documentary series based on Michael Pollen’s book Cooked. One of the episodes featured a statistician who said that over the past few decades, American’s have shown a growing interest in food and cooking, but are actually not cooking more. We might watch food videos or collect recipes on Pinterest, but we aren’t doing much real cooking.
A recent conversation with a young married father of two might partially explain why. He said, “My wife and I want to cook more at home. We think it’s better for our health and better for our family. But, more often than not, at the end of the day, we find ourselves staring at each other asking,
‘What do you want to cook?’
‘I don’t know, what do you want to cook?’
‘What do we even have to cook?’
‘I don’t know. Let’s go out.’
As a busy, working wife and mother of 3, I get it.
Food preparation takes time and energy. But, often what takes even more time and energy is all the planning that happens before food preparation even begins. Feeding a family of 12 or 2 home cooked, healthy, balanced, wholesome meals all week, takes some planning.
Without a meal plan, you’re likely to either make too many trips to the grocery store, eat the same things over and over again, waste a lot of food, or rely heavily on processed, restaurant, or fast food.
The Continuous Kitchen.
The meal plans on this blog are based on the concept of the continuous kitchen. They are NOT about continuously spending time in the kitchen. Rather, they are about the idea that time spent in the kitchen should be maximized.
It IS possible to get healthy, delicious food on the table at least 5 nights a week without spending your life in the kitchen. Here’s the trick: Instead of thinking about each night’s meal as an event unto itself, it’s also the foundation for tomorrow night’s dinner.
Tonight’s leftover veggies are added to tomorrow night’s soup. Monday’s roast chicken becomes Wednesday’s chicken tacos. Yesterday’s crock pot roast becomes today’s hot roast beef sandwiches.
The continuous kitchen is about leveraging your time and your budget to continuously put the best tasting, highest quality food on your table night after night.
Ready to get started?
Click over to the Weekly Meal Plans page, select a plan, and dive in. This blog was launched in February of 2018, so if you only see a handful of meal plans, you’re here in the early days. Rest assured, many more are to come.
If you want to be alerted to the publication of a new Weekly Meal Plan, please subscribe to the A Little and A Lot email newsletter. You can expect an email every other week with a new Weekly Meal Plan, hot from the presses.
This is my second food blog. My first food blog, launched in November of 2013, is focused entirely on baking. You’ll find it at ofbatteranddough.com.
I am a self taught baker and cook, having fallen in love with cooking and baking as a young wife and mother. At that time, from-scratch cooking was a necessity. We were young and broke, and our grocery budget showed it.
I learned how to make at least two meals for our young family of 5 from just one roast chicken. I learned how to bake bread. I learned how to grow a garden.
I also came to value real food.
The fact that you’ll rarely find processed food in our house began from necessity, but has continued because I believe that eating real food makes our life better. The last few summers, my husband and I have taken off on a long motorcycle trip. While we’re away, our kids have the freedom to eat what they want and it’s usually all the processed junk that I never buy for them.
And you know what? The first meal I cook when we get back home is met with the enthusiasm of someone in the desert who’s been deprived of water. They are hungry for real food.
I think this contrast has been good for them. A few nights ago, my 17 year old told me that she’s going to cook real food for herself during this year’s trip instead of buying all the junk she has in the past. After moving into his own place, my son requested a standing mixer for his birthday so that he could make his own bread.
My hope has always been that as adults, they’ll want to cook real food. It’s encouraging to see that happening.
Whether you currently cook a little or a lot, I hope this blog is useful to you.
Yes, it contains delicious recipes. But, ultimately, it’s utilitarian in nature – the goal being to make cooking real food most nights of the week easier for more people. If you have thoughts or suggestions about how to do that better, please drop me a line.
Me, in a nutshell.
Still in love with my high school sweetheart. Mother of 3. Baker. Blogger. Questioner. Freedom seeker. Bookworm. Audiobook addict. Advocate of a simple moral code: Don’t be a dick. Wine lover. Easily bored and frequently restless. Bullshit resistant. Most often found in the kitchen or on the back of a motorcycle.
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“I made this cake for my Mom’s birthday a few weeks ago and it was a masterpiece! Everyone loved it! Take the time to make this right, especially the caramel sauce. I could drink that stuff right out of the bowl! I will make this again! Thank you for sharing!!!”
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