We may live in two homes and have two very different lives, but we’re a family by choice.
Each week we will be updating this post with our weekly menu plans.
You can learn a little more about our lives below the weekly plans by clicking the Continue Reading button just below the three menus. Remember, these are plans, and plans change. Sometimes life alters those plans. Would you like a printable to help with your menu planning?
Weekly Menu for Heather and Lisa:
We have been eating, I promise.
Life has been in a busy season, and I’ve been barely treading water. Updating the weekly menu plan hasn’t been the highest priority, but we have been getting by. Life is on a slightly more even keel at the moment.
Here’s to hopefully staying on plan and on budget.
Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken and Rice with Broccoli
The youngest two love this. It's quick and easy. I'll try to get it written up and photographed soon. It's a quick meal that involves boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cream of mushroom soup, rice, cheese, and frozen broccoli. We have it on busy nights as it comes together quickly, and it's simple comfort food that isn't a fight
My son is home for the summer, interning full-time and learning all the things future lawyers need to know. I’m starting to see the light more often than the dark, but still have days where grief swamps me.
I’m cooking and enjoying my time in the kitchen again. We are entering in the hot and humid season here in North Carolina, so there will be a lot more stylings on sandwiches and salads the further we get into the summer.
- Jambalaya made with pork and smoked alligator sausage
- Steamed shrimp with corn and potatoes
- Salad with feta and grilled chicken
- Banh Mi
- Sea island peas with rice and collard greens
What do our households look like?
Heather is married with six children, two are preschoolers, and four are teenagers. Three teenagers are there full-time; one is there mainly on weekends during school, but more whenever school is not in session. Family nights out are generally cost-prohibitive and saved for special occasions. We are working hard to eliminate takeout, a habit that developed when Heather’s depression flared badly for most of ’21.
Lisa is a new widow with a child in their first year of law school. After her husband’s catastrophic diagnosis in 2020, she cooked daily, but the burnout from being in heavy lockdown during the past three years means there are days when she doesn’t want to cook at all and has leaned on takeout a little too much. She’s working on changing her cooking habits and adapting to this new journey with easy-to-prep skillet meals and foods that test her skills in the kitchen once again.
What are our current menu plan challenges?
- Multiple schedules
- Business travel
- Empty nest
- Large family
- Changing tastes due to medication
- Food intolerances
All these things affect not only what we choose to cook but whether or not we have the energy or wherewithal (executive function) to make what we choose. We are no longer young adults, but we remember those years well. Home-Ec 101 was started, in part, by that overwhelming 4:00 pm dread of not knowing what to make that was a result of not having learned the life skills as kids.
We’re here to help.
We’ve got an entire series on menu planning. A free printable to plan your menu and shopping list and plenty of beginner to intermediate-friendly recipes to get you going. Also, Heather is fantastic at Iron Chef, Pantry Clean-Out Edition.