Spring Meal Planning


Beginning this past autumn, I started creating a seasonal meal plan.  I’ve done variations of this in the past, but I never found a system that quite worked for me.  After 2+ seasons, I think it’s safe to say that I’ve finally found something that will work long-term and it is such a relief!

It’s just dinners for right now.  Our breakfasts went from having a specific menu for each day of the week to being in complete disarray now that we have, once again, been forced to eliminate certain staple breakfast foods.  Lunch is mostly leftovers or something relatively easy, so that we don’t interrupt the flow of our school day.

My plan for dinner is this; two weeks worth of seasonally appropriate, mostly healthy and fairly easy meals that I’ll just keep on making until summer.  It’s worked well so far.  One thing that I’ve really loved is that this plan has allowed me to make better use of our CSA share because I plan the meals around it (the currently season is the only one where that isn’t really an issue.  Our winter share of root cellar veggies just ended and the regular season doesn’t start until late in spring).  We do start getting a little tired of the same dinners towards the end, but usually when there is only a week or two left, so the timing is just about right.  And the new season’s meals, by default become that much more inviting!

I try to stick to a general rhythm for the week; Sunday is beef, Monday soup, Tuesday chicken, etc.

Knowing that I’ll be making the same meal two weeks later, I’ve started doubling some recipes and freezing half, which means I actually get nights off from making dinner, without wasting money or compromising nutrition.  And can’t even begin to tell you how much easier it is to make a shopping list or what a relief it is to *always*, *always* know just what’s for dinner.


turkey apple sausages, steamed kale and peach smoothie (so nice to still have peaches in the freezer!)

Spring 2011 Meal Plan

  • Sunday: beef- we get half a beefer from a local farm, so this could be any cut from the freezer really; a steak, stew, roast, and then vegetables to go with it of course.
  • Monday: asparagus or green bean soup (depending on what’s more readily available)
  • Tuesday: roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and greens- I might make gravy to do with this, open a jar of chutney or thaw one of the last jars of pesto to mix things up a bit
  • Wednesday: salad w/turkey and a homemade creamy dressing
  • Thursday: leftovers…it seems that after brainstorming 13 dinners, my creativity was stretched to it’s limit.  So, leftovers it is for now, but maybe one of you has a fresh and brilliant suggestion??
  • Friday: coconut curry chicken and veggies
  • Sunday: burger salads-so this is how I eat burgers- I fill my plate up with all sorts of lettuces, plop my burger on top and then pile on whatever toppings sound good.  Is it just me?  The kids like for theirs “salads” to be wrapped in rice tortillas.  This week’s “burger salad” had onions, avocado and radishes.  yum.
  • Monday: carrot soup
  • Wednesday: salad with fruit and nuts, roasted chickpeas on the side
  • Thursday: kale and potatoes, sweet Italian sausages
  • Saturday: mustard chicken-this is my very simple adaptation of a chicken dish my mother used to bake.  Basically you place your chicken breast in a baking dish spoon on a mixture of mustard and mayonnaise (we use grapeseed veganaise, due to egg allergies).  I then top it with a mix of salt, pepper, almond flour and sesame seeds.  I like to serve it with steamed and seasoned broccoli.

And that’s it.  Fourteen days worth of dinners to be repeated from now until summer.  And a much more relaxed mama.

Now if I could only get breakfast sorted out…


6 thoughts on “Spring Meal Planning

  1. Anne B.

    I love this idea! The two-week interval for repeating sounds just right to keep it interesting. I’m going to see if I can map out a similar plan.

  2. renee ~ heirloom seasons

    Oh my, you are seeming so brilliant to me at the moment…
    We had asparagus with dinner tonight, part of a little spring celebration meal…
    Thank goodness my girls are happy (mostly) with oatmeal for breakfast every day.
    You have me feeling very inspired to do better at meal planning. I always have general ideas in my mind, but have such a hard time committing!

  3. Amy F

    Thanks for this Melody! I love to see menu plans….they give me such great ideas to branch out. also, I love the 14 day idea (I had been working week to week – this is even better!)
    How about black beans with rice or salad for Thurs? Everyone can help soak the night before and eat with plain yogurt and salsa. I usually make brown or white rice with salsa verde, cilantro, and garlic, but sometimes I serve buttered basmati and everyone is pleased with the result.
    Also, we sometimes treat breakfast a little differently – I am from Texas where we eat A LOT of food from Mexico, so often breakfast includes tacos, burritos, rice, beans, leftovers, eggs with tomato and seasonings. I also have a friend from Japan who tells me of their fish and rice breakfasts… And I was delighted in Holland to have cheese and ham for breakfast. I guess the point I am trying to make is that breakfast can be more than I typically imagine!
    Now if I could get your way to prep Kale….so far only I will eat it (unless I hide it in a smoothie or make Kale chips) The others, no dice.

  4. melody

    Hi Amy,
    Thanks for the ideas! We don’t limit ourselves to “normal” breakfasts either. I kind of have conflicting needs at breakfast time. I feel like we all do much better, if we have a hearty, protein-packed breakfast, but not naturally being a morning person, and leading a fairly busy life, I also need breakfast prep to be relatively simple and quick. I can manage the bigger fuller meals in our rotation a couple of days a week, but for the other days, our stand-by of eggs (for those who can have them) and beans (for those who do well with them) was great. Now that we’ve had to drop eggs for everybody however… Once you take out gluten, pre-made foods, dairy and eggs. The concept of “quick and easy” becomes something that no longer resembles anything quick *or* easy.

    As for kale, my kids will really eat it any which way, so I may not be much help. If it’s to complement another part of the meal, I’ll often just steam it (lots of kale, with the thick parts of the stalks removed, steamed in a covered pot with just a bit of water at the bottom and tossed occasionally). I make kale salad with raw kale massaged with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, things like that. I make it a little different every time. Also sauteed in a bit of oil with tamari, sunflower seeds and garlic and/or fresh ginger. I do other things with it too. Green smoothies, crispies, etc. But these are pretty much my staples.

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