Friday, March 5, 2010

Weekly Menu - Week 1

As I warm up to the idea of having to go back to work, my eyes open up to the challenge of women (especially women) who try to balance professional life and family life. My sister who lives and works in Asia and has an 8-month-old is struggling with that fine équilibre and I can not really give her advice beyond the quality vs. quantity time because right now, I don't work. Well, I have my hands full but it does not bring any income to our family so as a result, I fall in the SAHMs category!  The minute I jump into the WAOM/WAHMs category, I know that I will go crazy we'll all manage eventually. Maybe some better than others, some with more compromises than others but eventually, some new balance will be found!
What I was thinking about is how you also find the time to keep balancing meals when you come home at the time the kids should be having dinner, if not be in bed already. How much processed or take-out food do you introduce in the family diet for the sake of zero time-to-table necessity? That got me thinking... and I came up with my Weekly Menu. You see, something I do well is organizing things (not my closets)... but life in general. It tends to drive my husband crazy but he also finds it really easy to rely on me, especially when it comes to planning meals.

So here is the deal : not only do I bring a weekly menu but I also give you a game plan to make it happen. It's not perfect.
It's a typical weekly menu that I would cook for my family. The only thing that changes with today (when I am still a SAHM) and tomorrow (when I become a WAOM) is the game plan. Today, I would not prepare as many as the meals the night before because I can make them while my younger one takes his nap or if we need an "activity" to fill a rainy day.
It does leave you some leaway for processed/take-out food.  Sure, you might miss a few episodes of your favorite TV shows (but who needs TV when you can watch them on the internet?)... And because you CAN NOT miss your Pilates/Yoga class, you will have to
delegate to your spouse (oh yeah, I am planning on doing that!!).  It will be OK because everything is so easy to make and already planned.  Planning is good! Let's face it, even though we all love spontaneity, when it comes to feeding a family, the more planning, the better. It's like bedtime routine. It might be boring; it takes effort but it works if you do it well and are consistent. Bonne chance!

 Weekly Menu - Week 1

Day Suggested Menu

Monday Shredded Carrots
Pork Roast with Prunes, Apples and Potatoes
Plain Yogurt with Honey
Fresh Fruits

Tuesday Lentils with Mixed Vegetables
Petits Pots de Creme

Wednesday Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp and Lima Beans
Plain Yogurt with Chestnut Spread
Fresh Fruits

Thursday Leeks and Potatoes Soup with Polenta Croutons
Banana Bread

Friday Quiche Lorraine with Green salad
Plain Yogurt with Raspberry Coulis
Fresh Fruits

Game Plan:
Sunday Evening:

  • You want to cook the pork roast on Sunday evening so that it's ready by Monday evening. It tastes great re-heated. It would make a great leftover meal for Tuesday lunch as well. So, make more that what you would normally do for just your family.
  • You could make the Petits Pots de Creme for Tuesday's dinner as well if you had the time. You can keep them in the fridge for 3 days.
  • You want to make sure that you bought ripe bananas over the week-end so that they are perfect to make the Banana Bread on Wednesday evening.
Monday Evening:
  • Shredding the carrots is a 10-mn effort. Nothing to be afraid of. Make them as you reheat the roast.
  • If you have not made the Petits Pots de Creme on Sunday, make them on Monday evening. It takes less than 40mn from start to finish and you can keep them in the fridge for 3 days. If you are reheating your roast in the oven, just put the Petits Pots de Creme at the proper temperature.
Tuesday Evening:
  • Make the lentils. It takes about 45 minutes from start to finish... but you really need to be working for 10 minutes (pealing the veggies). They make a great leftover as you could put them in your children' lunch box... or keep them in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Wednesday Evening:
  • This dinner takes less than 30mn to prep. 
  • After dinner, you want to make the Banana Bread so that you have the oven available for the Polenta Croutons on Thursday. 
Thursday Evening:
  • You have to make the Potatoes and Leeks Soup and the Polenta Croutons. Start with the Polenta croutons because they have to cool before you can bake them in the oven.
  • Once you have the Polenta cooling in the fridge, you can make the soup. It takes less than 30 mn.
  • If you feel zealous, you can make the dough for the Quiche Lorraine as the croutons finish browning in the oven.  The crust will taste even better if it has cooled in the fridge overnight.
Friday Evening:
  • Make the quiche and have a drink while it cooks in the oven! It's Friday, the pressure is off! If you are in a hurry, use a frozen crust.


  1. Making the transition back to work last year September was very dificult but having a game plan helps. Sure my husband frets but in the end having a routine helps preserve sanity all around. Every once in a while my husband complains that I am too rigid so then I agree and we freestyle it and do it his usually ends in cranky and unhappy family and before long he's back on board even helping out in planning the weekly menu. Best wishes for your return to work. Don't worry you are on the right path and will soon find your step.

  2. J'avais écrit un commentaire mais il y avait des fautes d'orthographe.... la fatigue après une journée de boulot ! Juste pour te dire que tu avais une bonne idée et te féliciter pour tes menus variés. De notre côté, on a dû essayer une ou deux fois dans les bonnes résolutions de rentrée... mais on a vite abandonné ! On perd sûrement du temps et on ne mange pas toujours très varié!!! Notre menu type du soir c'est soupe / salade / poisson avec légumes vapeur.
    Avant le régime c'était soupe / salade / céréales (La marque Tipiak a toutes sortes de mélanges!) avec légumes.
    Il y a bien sûr toujours un paquet de pâtes dans le placard au cas où! et bien souvent le vendredi soir un petit plat à emporter!

    Bises et bon courage pour la reprise !


  3. Gaelle, I love your menu plan and how you've coordinated prepping the night before to ensure a homemade meal is on the table. This is great info for WAOM's!! Would you consider a guest post on my blog to share this info? Wishing you the best Gaelle.

  4. I like this. My blog was created solely to keep me on track with what I'm making for the week and what I need from the grocery store. I am a twenty something with no kids and ample time to make dinner every night, but even going to the gym after work can throw me off! I often worry how kids and a more demanding job might effect my efforts of quality good home cookin'. I look forward to reading more!