Today we start school back up! We homeschool year-round, so we start early in order to take extra weeks off during the year and be finished in May. It’s totally worth it. After all, it’s over 100-degrees here in the afternoon: might as well be doing school instead of playing Minecraft, I figure!
So for this month, I’m trying out a new menu planning idea: I have the same weekly rotation of breakfasts and lunches – and I’ve noted in my calendar when to do the prep. Then on busy days, I’ve prepped the food the day before. I’m looking forward to see if it works; that is, if I actually remember to do the prep ahead when I have it planned out! Of course I’ve already simplified dinner planning quite a bit, but with 4 kids needing lessons plus a toddler, I need food to take as little brain power as possible.
Recipes for dinners on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday are found in my ebook, Simplified Dinners. Streamline menu planning, grocery shopping, and dinner cooking with Simplified Dinners!
Simplified Pantry promotes homestyle cooking with basic ingredients. It is possible to cook good food without a pantry full of specialized products. Limits can actually be freeing and promote creativity. Limits make keeping what you need on hand simpler and easier to achieve. Simplified Dinners takes the thinking out of the whole dinner cycle of planning, shopping, and cooking, and makes it easy for you to customize the healthy, whole-food recipes provided according to your family’s tastes.
This is the last push to finish out our homeschool year. Next week is testing, then we get a 6 week break! I am really looking forward to that break, so I tried to keep this week’s menu plan extra simple and low-effort.
Also, we’re starting to harvest strawberries, raspberries, lettuce, and peas from our garden. I love the fresh produce, but it does take time to care for the plants, to harvest, and to wash everything adequately. So, it’ll be best if the other components of our meals are easier; that way we can enjoy the season of spring harvesting!
With loads of yard work looming and a school year to finish up, it’s time for me to keep the dinner plans simple. But, because everyone’s more active this time of year, dinner also has to be hearty and filling.
Keeping breakfasts and lunch on a simple rotating schedule is a lifesaver. It does mean I have to dedicate a couple hours on Saturday to preparing food for the coming week, but that saves not only time on weekdays, but also mental wear-and-tear: I have enough of that as it is.
It’s inevitable. It happens to all of us. We head into the afternoon not knowing what we’ll make for dinner. But we can’t avoid it. Our people need to eat.
That’s why I keep my few easy dinner methods up my sleeve and add variety and creativity based on what I have on hand.
The other day it was 4pm and I didn’t know what would be for dinner, but my husband was doing yard work so I knew he’d have a hearty appetite. There was no relying on sandwiches tonight. I had some ground sausage in the freezer and two or three yams. It occurred to me that the two might pair extremely well together.
They certainly did.
I’ve written before about potato hash. It’s one of my go-to flexible, filling meals (the instructions are found in my ebook Simplified Dinners). But I’d never tried it with yams before.
But I’ll definitely be trying it again with them!
Easy, Healthy Dinner Recipe: Yam Hash
Brown ground sausage in a large skillet with onions. If you have them, you can also add diced bell peppers, celery, or zucchini.