November Meal Planning

As you all know by now, my friend Jessica has a new cookbook out.

 

What you may NOT know is that I never use cookbooks.

 

Ever.

 

Really.

 

I mean, I have some. I just never use them. I find them cumbersome and limiting and just not helpful, for the most part. Is that crazy? I don’t know. It’s true, though.

 

Nonetheless, I was super excited to receive Jessica’s book. And guess what? I’m actually using it.    (*falls off chair*)

 

For the month of November, I chose two cooking plans from the front of her book– one “meat and poultry plan” and one “breakfast plan.” I listed, I shopped, I cooked.

 

And that’s what we plan to eat for the month.

 

Now, I’ve been watching Jessica from the sidelines long enough to tell you that I’m quite certain that’s not exactly how she meant for the plan to be used– it’s to help stock your freezer and provide variety over the coming weeks and months, not to just fill a month and call it good. But I also feel like I know her well enough to be certain that she’d be of the opinion, “if it works, go for it.” And, in this busy season? It’s working.

 

So… here’s what we’re eating for the rest of the month. (Just breakfast and dinner are listed. Leftovers and random bits will fill in the lunches.)

 

5: Oatmeal, Spaghetti & Meatballs

6: Cinnamon Rolls & Fruit, Burritos

7: Oatmeal Cranberry Muffins (these are my own recipe, actually) & Yogurt, Outside-in Cheeseburgers

8: Oatmeal, Southwest Pork Chops

9: Cranberry Orange Granola, Pizza

10: Lemon & Honey Flax Waffles, Tacos

11: French Toast Casserole, Sunday Supper

12: Lemon & Honey Flax Waffles, Meatball Sandwiches

13: Oatmeal, Spicy Taco Lasagna

14: Cranberry Orange Granola, Burritos

15: Oatmeal, Burgers in Lettuce Wraps

16: Oatmeal, Pizza

17: Lemon Blueberry Scones & Eggs, Ham & Swiss Claffouti

18: Eggs Florentine Casserole, Sunday Supper

19: Oatmeal, Taco Salads

20: Lemon Blueberry Scones & Yogurt, Barbecued Meatballs

21: Lemon Blueberry Scones & Fruit, Burritos

22: Cinnamon Rolls & Scrambled Eggs w/ Cheese, Thanksgiving Dinner

23: Cinnamon Rolls & Fruit, Pizza

24: Ham & Swiss Claffouti, Eggs Florentine Casserole

25: French Toast Casserole, Sunday Supper

26: Oatmeal, Spicy Taco Lasagna

27: Oatmeal Cranberry Muffins, Burritos

28: Oatmeal, Spaghetti & Meatballs

29: Oatmeal, Southwest Pork Chops

30: Pizza

 

So there you go. I, for one, am pretty much done cooking for the month. And that frees up some time for holiday/birthday planning.

 

linked to Menu Plan Monday 

 

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14 comments to November Meal Planning

  • earleyml

    Can you give me an idea of how her cookbook is set up? Do you use a lot of the same ingredients for multiple recipes? How large are the meals? Even a “normal” size meal in most cookbooks is two meals for our small family, so if these are very large meals would it be possible to freeze say 3 meals out of them or cut the recipe in half? Both my husband and I work full time so making healthy meals is often hard during the crazy week. However, our freezer isn’t too big either (we have the side by side). Any info you could give me would be appreciated!

    • Hey Michelle! Well, the cookbook is, primarily, organized by category (much like most cookbooks)– breakfast, desserts, etc. Each recipe lists a serving size, so you should have a pretty good idea how many meals it will provide for your family. The serving sizes (in my opinion) refer to full-size portions– the amount you would expect either an adult or older child to eat. (The only exception to that that I found were the oatmeal packets– my kids each eat way more than 1/4 cup of oats for each meal, but they may just be oatmeal piggies! ;)) Anyway, you could absolutely divide the recipes into smaller pans/portions and freeze accordingly.

      There are lots of resources included in the cookbook, including “cooking plans”. For those, Jessica provides you with a list of, I don’t know, 8 to 12 or so different recipes (producing up to 28 or so actual meals!) and the amount of time it should to complete the plan. The page numbers of the recipes and a shopping list are also provided– that’s what I used to knock out a month’s worth of suppers and breakfasts. Does that make sense? Let me know if I didn’t answer something! :)

  • Susan

    I’m fascinated by your month of meal planning. Do you buy the groceries a week a head of time? When do you decide what vegetables and fruits to add? How do you account for cooking dinner when your kids have after school activities? We usually don’t get home until almost 7PM so dinner is something I have to make in 15 minutes or less.

    • I buy the vast majority of my groceries in one big monthly trip, Susan. I fill in with dairy and fresh produce as needed. I often determine which fruits/veggies we eat based on what I find on the reduced produce rack. (Just keepin’ it real.) With a plan like this one, I’m all set for those busy nights. Almost all the work is totally done for me at this point, so it’s really just a matter of cooking up burgers (10 min), heating meatballs and sauce (again, less than 15 min), etc. Hope that answers your questions a little bit!

  • I’m going to check out that cookbook! The site/link won’t load for me at the moment, for some reason.
    Impressive! Have fun with all of that free time!

  • So yes I have to say your kids are oatmeal piggies! ha ha! My kids can actually share a quaker oats instant packet. and that was when they liked oatmeal, now they are just opposed altogether…turds.

  • Deborah Jennings

    Where was the Thanksgiving meal? LOL Just kidding. We don’t always have the traditional Thanksgiving Turkey and dressing either. Not sure what will be on the menu this year, but will find out after the 15th when we get back home from our mini-vacation.

  • Deborah Jennings

    Yum! I can’t wait to get back on our trip and make some. After all, Thanksgiving is coming up fast! Thank you so much for the recipe and the directions on the knotting! Can’t wait to make them!

  • [...] menu planning and following but I haven’t, really. I told you all a few weeks ago now about my big freezer cooking session following Jessica’s plan. All that preparation has made my life rather simple so far. But, as you may have suspected, [...]

  • [...] month, I attempted to cook for an entire month all at once. We ate well and my life was EASY. (Well, except for the wild shop/cook/bake craziness at the front [...]

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