Meal Planning Monday is actually becoming a habit that I am enjoying. I started this series because I was not a meal planner. I had not developed the habit of writing down what we would be eating for dinner during the work week. This series is for you if you could use some simple meal planning ideas to help ease into weekly meal planning.
The previous Meal Planning for Beginners posts can be found here:
- Meal Planning for Beginners Part 1
- Meal Planning for Beginners Part 2
- Meal Planning for Beginners Part 3
The Benefits of Meal Planning
We are indeed reaping the benefits of meal planning: saving money, saving time, less stress, and more variety in our meals. My sons start thinking about dinner right after school. They were always asking, “Mom, what’s for dinner?” Now I actually know! The ironic thing is that now that I’ve started meal planning, they’ve stopped asking. They actually look at the weekly meal plan and that stops them from
harassing asking me daily. Want the kids to stop asking What's for dinner? Start #meal planning! Click To Tweet
Weeknight Roast Chicken
I know people generally think roasting a chicken is wonderful and simple. I have always been intimidated by it. It may be because I associate it with the monumental and delicious task of roasting a turkey for Thanksgiving…but on a smaller scale.
I have finally overcome my fear. My sister served a delicious and moist roast chicken when we visited her and she said it was simple. I like chicken and I like simple. The roast chicken recipe comes from America’s Test Kitchen. Essentially, you heat your oven proof skillet while the oven is preheating; stick the chicken in the skillet for roughly 30 minutes at 450 degrees; then turn the oven off and let the chicken finish cooking for another approximate 30 minutes.
Trussing A Chicken
Another reason I haven’t added roast chicken to our regular dinner rotation is that it frequently calls for trussing a chicken using kitchen twine. I have never had kitchen twine in my kitchen. I didn’t have kitchen twine this time either. A quick search on the internet, however, showed me how to truss the chicken without twine. You can read about the ingenious method here.
Meal Planning ideas: Three Meals from One Chicken
Meal 1: We enjoyed roast chicken with rice pilaf and green beans for dinner early in the week.
Meal 2: I pulled all the leftover chicken off the bones to use for chicken enchiladas later in the week
The hardest part of chicken enchiladas is cooking and shredding the chicken, so the little bits of chicken I gathered were perfect to make a stress free chicken enchiladas dish later in the week.
Meal 3: I put the chicken bones in the crockpot to make Overnight Chicken Stock in the Crockpot for soup sometime in the future.
I didn’t have all the ingredients that were called for in the chicken stock recipe, but I used what I had. The leafy end parts of the celery saved in the freezer were put to use in this easy recipe. I set it on low, and the next morning we had 10 cups of chicken stock to freeze for soup in the future.
The extra work I did that night might have added up to 15 additional minutes. 15 minutes gave me the foundation for two more future meals. Meal planning definitely takes a little time and thought, but it’s paying off!
You Might Also Like:
Do you make roast chicken? What other meals do you make from it? I’d love to know!
Meal Planning Printables
To help you get started meal planning, sign up for these FREE printables!