Dinner,  Meal Planning

I’m in a dinner rut… And I’m okay with it!

Y’all, I  never thought I’d say this. I keep making the same meals over and over again… and I’m actually okay with it. It’s kind of saving my sanity.

If you read this blog back when I posted a sparkly new recipe once a week, you may know that I rarely cooked the same dinner twice. If I made something more than once a month, it had to be pretty special. (I’m looking at you, Red Thai Curry.) I loved to experiment and try new things, and don’t get me wrong–I still do on occasion, but at the end of most days now, I don’t want to think about dinner a whole lot. I just want to eat dinner.

I’ve fallen back on rotating through the same recipes over and over again, and that’s helped me tremendously with not stressing over what to make each night. I was dealing with such mental exhaustion each week when it came time to meal plan and put together a grocery list. (And yes, I know I tried to solve this with my meal plan e-book a couple years ago. I still love the recipes I developed for that meal plan, but I’ve mostly been ordering my groceries from Aldi lately, and Aldi doesn’t carry some of the ingredients I’d need for those meals.)

I decided to rotate through meals we really love, and it’s helped a lot with the decision making process. I’ll clarify that we’re not just eating the same things over and over and over… I’ve just given myself permission to repeat the same meal I might have cooked two or three weeks ago without feeling bad about it. Pre-mom Savannah would not have been okay with this. Mom Savannah just wants to EAT and make sure husband and baby are fed and happy too.

I have around 20 to 25 meals on my rotation list for now, and when I start to get tired of some, I’ll swap them out. My guess is that around the time the weather cools down, I’ll want to add several of these recipes to the queue.

Here are a few of the meals we’ve been loving lately:

  • Slow-Roasted Salmon from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat: I love this book, and this is my favorite recipe to cook from it. I’ve never loved seafood, but this salmon is delicious and never too dry.
  • Cast Iron Skillet Burgers
  • Change Your Life Chicken from The Lazy Genius: I’m a such a Lazy Genius fangirl. P.S. She just released a book and it’s seriously so good. I was on the launch team, and I’m wearing that fact as a badge of honor.
  • French Toast: Breakfast for dinner is totally okay. And if you’re going to do breakfast for dinner, you might as well have French toast. My recipe suggests honey oat bread, but lately I’ve been making it with homemade sourdough. That’s right–I jumped on the 2020 sourdough revival train.
  • A balsamic parmesan penne recipe that I have yet to write down–if I do, I’ll share!
  • Quiche/Egg Casserole: I know… more breakfast. But is that a bad thing??
  • The aforementioned Red Thai Curry
  • Stir fry
  • Chicken sausage with bell peppers, zucchini, and rice
  • Mexican food
  • Pizza: We decided maybe a year and a half ago that we wanted to up our homemade pizza game, so I said I’d start making a pizza each weekend. We’re not tired of pizza yet, and I’ve been able to experiment with several doughs, toppings, and techniques to find what we love. I always cook it on my cast iron pizza pan!
  • Sourdough Skillet: I just tried this recipe from Farmhouse on Boone last week when I needed to use up some pinto beans, sweet potatoes, and bell peppers. You can use whatever you have on hand for the filling, and I think I’m going to try it with ground beef, mushrooms, and zucchini next week.

As you can see, most of this is pretty basic. This list doesn’t cover every single meal I’m making right now, but you get the idea. For a lot of these recipes, I can swap out the vegetables based on what I find a deal on or what sounds good to me.

I really thought I’d get bored eating the same things so often, but good food is good food. And if I do get bored, I haven’t lost anything by having enjoyed these meals on repeat for a season. I’ll just swap out the meals when I’m ready for a change. I’ve also been meeting my need for a little variety by baking a new sourdough recipe nearly every weekend.

What’s your approach to planning dinner? Do you try new things every week or do you like to stick with your favorites?


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