Meal planning by stacking

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As you know, I have four children, two sets of twins. The girls are almost 2 1/2 and the boys are 6 1/2. The boys can disassemble a room faster than I can clean it up. It is amazing that immediately after I clean the bathroom, they have an “accident” and completely miss the toilet or even more rewarding, forget to lift the lid. I have cleaned up more pee than I care to remember. I am not complaining here…just stating facts. The emergency situations that arise on a regular basis are amazing. It is remarkable how big emotions  are in such little bodies. I am learning every day better ways to handle these “emergencies”. Yet, somehow at the end of the day, I seem to get it all done. Just like all of the other amazing Moms out there.

I know for sure that the only way I can get all done is because I take care of myself. Movement, everyday is essential. Even when on vacation! Above the boys and I enjoyed a beautiful walk/jog on the beach followed by some ViPR play in the surf. There is nothing more important for your body, Moms than to move well everyday. I could go on here, but I will save it for another blog. 🙂

I am responsible for feeding four busy kids and a husband. 🙂 Note the fact that he would be perfectly happy eating ham and cheese sandwich or peanut butter and jelly every day. Unacceptable! I need him functioning at full effort everyday. He will never admit it but when he eats out, his function is less than ideal. (Don’t tell him I said that :). That is where I come in.

So…on to my point with this blog! I have a 2 hour nap window within which I must get all cooking done. I also fit in all other jobs I cannot get done during the time that the girls are awake.  I have two chalkboards, as I described here, one for lunch and one for dinner. I use my calendar to write out my prep work for each meal so I have everything ready for the meal. It saves on ingredients and time. Efficiency is the key!

Here is an example: I roasted two whole organic chickens on Monday afternoon before picking up the boys for school. I let the chickens cool and then refrigerated them overnight. I pulled the cool chicken on Tuesday afternoon for dinner Tuesday night while I baked the potatoes in the oven for dinner and steamed the veggies that I had cut Monday while the chicken was roasting. I put the meat in one storage container for Tuesday-Wednesday dinners and the bones/skin in the soup pot to start the broth. The broth simmered on low Tuesday night until Thursday midday. When I returned from work Thursday, I strained the broth and prepared the veggies for soup.

I had added two marrow bones and four chicken feet to the broth on Tuesday. I also used the celery tops from the veggie pasta salad from Wednesday lunch prep. I dug the marrow out of the bones from the broth and used it to sautéed the veggies for the soup.

I roughly chopped the veggies and sautéed them in batches until soft.

I added each batch to a large mixing bowl and then finished with herbs. I stirred the veggies together to evenly distribute all. Then puree in the Vitamix in along with the nutrient dense broth.

The soup came out amazing and we were ready for dinner for two more nights.

I served the soup with a raw milk grilled cheese sandwich using Danielle Walker’s grain free bread  recipe. I use coconut milk instead of almond milk and don’t add honey. I made two loaves the week before in preparation for the sandwiches and the upcoming zoo field trip. This is always a big hit! I also used my homemade fermented ketchup as a dip.

I’m sure we are all doing some version of stacking in our lives. It makes all the difference in the world when it comes to efficiency. One more tip…do the dishes once you got everything cooking…when you don’t have any other chopping or mixing.

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What are you doing to stack your life?

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