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I am/was behind in menu planning this month.  I am sitting here coming to the realization the month has already started and I haven't planned the menu!  I've enjoyed the last two months as I prepared the following month's menu at least a week before the month started.  It has really made life easier to plan in advance like that rather than waiting until the evening before I do my weekly grocery store trip to plan the menu and the list.  It takes a little longer to plan for the month but not as long as it used to do the weekly plan since I made up a bit of a draft to always follow.

First I print out a Monthly Menu Planner....  I had one saved to my computer but couldn't find the link.  Here's another that I like:

weekly menu planner pict 300x231 Meal Planning Resources

So now I take a look at the menu and fill in the dates....  Then I look at my regular planning calendar and mark off any days we might not be home for dinner due to previous plans or make note of days we will be out of town for dinner and may need to plan on food to take with us!  Then I mark of Wednesdays and Fridays.  These are days we follow the fasting rules of the Orthodox Church.  The rule permits fish without backbones on these days but does not allow any other animal meat.  We are a little more lenient in our home and allow any type of fish, but try to stick to the backbone rule on at least one of these days.  So Wednesday and Fridays are automatically seafood days and I try, if we have it on hand, to do wild caught salmon once a week.  I am out right now and need to get myself to our best source soon! 

Next is my list of our current favorite Paleo meals:

  • Bacon Spinach Casserole
  • Paleo Chili
  • Mushroom Meatloaf
  • Chicken With Mushroom Sauce
  • Spaghetti Squash with Homemade sauce

And a couple "ALMOST" Paleo Meals:

  • Turkey Reuben Salad
  • General Tso's  Chicken served over cauliflower rice

And, usually - because my family LOVES them and my husband and son volunteer every month to help our church make them...AND because we don't, at this time, want to be 100% Paleo.....  one NOT paleo meal...but used more as a side dish now beside a very large salad...

  • Perogies.   Yep---- wheat AND white potatoes in the same meal...I'm sure the paleo police will come after us for sure but so far we do fine with this ... and I personally think making them a side dish now instead of a main meal is just a nice guilty pleasure that is at still better than what we used to do!  🙂

So with the seafood meals, which I also have a list of convenient easy meal combinations pre-made, that automatically gives me 16 meals already planned!  Throw in about 6 Hot Plates (Stir Frys) that are super easy and Thursday Leftover Days  and that leaves me with only about 4 meals to plan!  These will be my experimental days to try new Paleo Recipes!

Recipe Bonus:

I decided to add this here as some of you may be wondering just what Turkey Reuben Salad is...  It may sound a bit strange... making a reuben into a salad rather than a sandwich but my husband suggested it and I figured if he was willing to give up the sandwiches, I should be supportive and attempt the salad.  Even my 15-year-old likes it 🙂

Turkey Reuben Salad

3/4  -  1 lb. organic deli turkey, thinly sliced

1 jar sauerkraut (raw sauerkraut is the healthiest choice)

1/4 - 1/2 red onion, sliced or diced

organic cherry tomatoes - 1 container

1/4 lb. swiss cheese - cubed or you may use sliced cheese and cut it into nice long strips

Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

Organic Baby Spinach - Extra Large Package...about 12 oz.  [or green of your choice]

I make this salad up "buffet style".  My husband and I like the spinach but my son prefers a nice romaine lettuce and opts to leave the onions off.   I also like to mix baby romaine or baby lettuces with mine.  Try it and let me know what you think!  Meanwhile, I need to fill out that menu planner!!

As I start this post, I am sitting here enjoying my lunch of salmon salad over a bed of baby romaine alongside my tomato cucumber salad and a few candied pecans from the batch I made up this morning.  Mixed all together it is delicious.  My little man, however, does not seem to appreciate it nor his pear today.  I think rest time may occur without his fill of lunch today.  Oh well... he had some healthy snacks earlier and sometimes he just doesn't eat as much as other days.  Most days he is telling me he is 'hungry like a caterpillar' ever since enjoying that wonderful picture book by Eric Carle.

I am really feeling the writing bug.  I'm really working on figuring out how to make it work.  I've been exploring the SCBWI site... trying to determine if the cost is justifiable, as well as exploring other blogs by writers and considering dusting off my old materials.  I did open that cupboard the other day and dig out an unused journal to begin writing down ideas again.  That's a big start for me.  And trying to keep up on here.  I know I haven't written much that is edifying but it's a start... and my mind is turning with ideas and concepts.

I read yesterday that one published author of picture books has two young children and she literally often only spends 5-15 miutes a day in actual writing.  Well.... if she can do it in that amount of limited time, then maybe I can figure it out too.  We shall see!