Menu plan and adapting Real Simple's 4 weeks of dinners

Have you checked out Real Simple’s October 2011 issue, yet?

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It’s like a dream come true for a meal planner. Of course, anyone who follows it will have to adapt to fit her family schedule, their eating habits and patterns. Having menu planned for several years, I know our habits and know that I can stretch their plans out to five or six weeks. This week, I’ll start with a few of Real Simple’s first week.

If you’re just learning to meal plan, I highly recommend buying a copy of Real Simple at the store. They’ve put together a great variety in each week, and spread out the meals so that you make the most perishable first, helping you to only hit the grocery store once each week. Just remember, your family has schedules, habits and patterns. If you don’t adjust for those in your planning, you’ll likely find their program to be very frustrating.

Monday: salmon with gingery green beans and bok choy

Tuesday: tomato soup with roast beef, cheddar and horseradish panini

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: pork chops with roasted beets and oranges

Weekend: Break the Fast dinner (bagels, cream cheeses and other toppings); Creamy pumpkin soup, roasted chicken and fall vegetables with wild rice

Also, I’d really like to make this Pumpkin Monkey Bread this week, but Big is requesting apple pie, so I’m going to probably attempt Heather’s Favorite Apple Pie.

By-the-way, if you’re following Candice’s series, Healthy Family from Scratch, she’ll be back this Thursday. In the meantime, read the account of Andi Jordan in this issue of Real Simple, who’s taking a similar journey in their Take Back Dinner Time section. And share your own experiences with us over on the Ragu Mom’s the Word on Dinner page, where I’m an ambassador. This week’s topic is table manners. And I know you have a lot to say about that.

mom of 3 and wife living in the Philadelphia suburbs, Julie is a former elementary school teacher and a Public Relations manager. She is the owner/editor of Julieverse, a merchandiser with Chloe + Isabel (jewelryverse.com) and founder VlogMom and Splash Creative Media. A marketing strategist and freelance education and parenting writer by trade, Julie attempts to carve out time to enjoy playing with her kids, PTO, cooking and exercise.

© 2011, Julie Meyers Pron. All rights reserved.

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