Saturday, September 28, 2013

Adjusting Meal Plans for Reality

I'll be the first to admit that things do not always go as planned. (Despite my love of planning!) This past week I kept track of what we actually ate and compared it to the meal plan I'd put together in advance. The large strokes are the same, but the details vary quite a bit. Apparently I can't predict the future! However, very little went to waste, and we ate at every meal even though it wasn't exactly what the menu said.

So if sudden schedule changes are afoot, not to worry! It comes right in the end.

Planned Lunch: Mexican leftovers; hamburger patties, spinach, pears
Actual Lunch: chicken wraps w/ veggies from work lunch, brownies / fried eggs, coffee

Planned Dinner: hamburger patties, spinach, pears
Actual Dinner: hamburger patties, spinach/kale, pears

What happened?
We ended up splitting an entree at the Mexican restaurant, so there were no leftovers. However, there was shredded chicken breast in the freezer and some julienned veggies in the office fridge, and we'd baked brownies on Date Night. Also, it turns out that I HATE sauteed kale (I'd only ever had it in soup before), so my wife took that one for the team. (She had the day off, so made brunch instead.)

Planned Lunch: easy snacky (fruit, wheat thins, etc.)
Actual Lunch: crackers, plum, carrots, brownie / chicken soup

Planned Dinner: lamb, noodles, peas
Actual Dinner: chicken soup & bread / lamb & noodles

What happened?
I ate lunch on the train to a visit, and was invited to stay for dinner. Having packed up most of the snacky things to send with me, my wife was left with canned chicken noodle. She started the slow cooker and had lamb ready for her dinner just before I got home.

Planned Lunch: leftovers
Actual Lunch: hamburger patties, oven fries, carrots w/ ranch, apple

Planned Dinner: game hen, carrots, kale, rice
Actual Dinner: game hen, rice, (no kale), peas, applesauce

What happened?
Lacking leftovers (I may have insisted on lamb as second dinner), I turned to the freezer and pantry. The carrots with ranch dressing were for my wife, and I thought about an apple with peanut butter but ended up eating it plain while I made applesauce in the slow cooker. I forgot to roast the remaining carrots with the game hen, and we were out of kale, so I subbed frozen peas. Applesauce was done in time for dessert -- and the whole house smelled like pie!

Planned Lunch: rice & bean burritos, fruit
Actual Lunch: rice & black beans w/ corn tortillas, string cheese & apple from work

Planned Dinner: mac & cheese, broccoli, applesauce
Actual Dinner: mac & cheese, broccoli, applesauce, cocoa

What happened?
Oops, all the flour tortillas are in the freezer. I snagged a packet of small corn tortillas from the fridge instead. Office snacks rounded out the meal. Dinner was comfort food (on plan!), and we split some cocoa now that we have (lactose-free) milk in the house.

Planned Lunch: chicken wraps w/ avocado, tomatoes, last of cheese
Actual Lunch: chicken tacos w/ avocado, tomatoes, leftover rice & beans

Planned Dinner: leftover rice & beans, veggies, dessert?
Actual Dinner: applesauce, buttered toast, and a couple spoonfuls of frosting from a can

What happened?
Used the same tortillas (already at work) and pulled two small tomatoes from the window planter on my way out the door. Left the cheese (either for my wife's lunch or for later). Decided I couldn't stand any more leftovers, but waited to have dinner until like 9:30 and ate a bunch of sugar instead of real food. Don't judge.

Planned Lunch: [WORK PROVIDES LUNCH] / leftovers
Actual Lunch: tamales, rice, beans, chips / leftover rice & beans, corn tortillas

Planned Dinner: salmon, plain pasta
Actual Dinner: salmon, pasta shells w/ cheese

What happened?
Yum! Sometimes the catering choices are not to my taste, but other times I get to try something I wouldn't necessarily seek out on my own. I had a pork tamale, which was pretty good. Very filling. We had our Family Meeting after dinner.

Planned Lunch: leftover work lunch or oatmeal & fruit
Actual Lunch: leftover chicken tamale, black beans, pear / leftover pasta shells w/ cheese

Planned Dinner: hot dogs, mac & cheese, peas & carrots
Actual Dinner: hot dogs, mac & cheese, peas

What happened?
I scored the very last tamale in the office fridge. At home I made dinner while my wife packed for her weekend away. I sent her off with the baby carrots.

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