Adding a Menu Plan to Google Calendar

menu

Sunday night I stayed up late trying to sync my iPhone. If you know how disobedient iTunes can be, and how long it takes you to back up purchases on your iPhone when you haven’t done it, (like, For.Ever.)… you’ll imagine the kind of time I had to kill while everyone else was asleep. I was in the kitchen, twiddling my fingers and sighing in disgust – staring at the status bar… 3 of 137… when I decided I might as well get a head start on the week by doing a quick refrigerator/pantry invantory. I like to start my menu by knowing what all I have to use up first, you know.

Yes, it might have been past midnight; I blame it on the Sunday afternoon nap.

I wrote out the items on the counter – jars of dried beans and lentils, corn for popping, organic purple potatoes, peanut-butter brownies (paleo-friendly, of course)… then the freezer, and the refrigerator inside and in the garage. After I was done, I put a star beside each item that was perishing soon and needed to be eaten this week. Leftover salad and fried chicken (oops) were top of the list.

Once I had my list marked for what was most important to eat this week, I began to jot down ideas for meals that incorporated those items. For example: stuffed peppers to use up the deer meat and bell peppers, fried rice to use up the brown rice and stir-fry veggies, Paleo sweet-potato thyme biscuits to use up the pureed sweet potato in the freezer. You get the idea. I looked through a few cook books for more ideas and tried to list even small snack items (like humus and veggie sticks, orange slices, and a dairy-free chocolate shake sweetened with honey). If I don’t write the details down, we tend to eat random things and use up ingredients for planned meals. That makes mama an unhappy chef.

Since I was at the computer anyway, and had extra time on my hands, I decided I would try something NEW this week and put my menu on the Google Calendar. I’m already using Google to keep up with birthdays, my blog calendar, appointments & events, and now FOOD! I’m leaning towards using it next year for school assignments, too – but that’s for another late-night experiment some time in the future. Maybe I’ll stay up and try to sync the iPad later this summer and end up putting my lesson plans on the Google calendar then? Who knows.

So here’s how it looks. Aren’t you excited for me? I’m learning new tricks!

What’s cool about this, is that I can share it with my teens and husband – you just click on the sharing feature for your calendar and invite people by adding their email addresses. That way everyone knows “What’s for dinner?” by glancing at their mobile devices.

adding a menu to your google calendar

My method is really simple. I created a NEW calendar just for my Menu and changed the color for all entries to orange so they would stand out. I have red for appointments and events, blue for birthdays, holidays and anniversaries, and green for my blog calendar. You can turn one calendar on and the others off by just clicking which one you want to view in the My Calendars drop box on the left sidebar while you are looking at your calendar page in Google.

I list my entries by B – breakfast, L – lunch, and S for supper (because if you list it with a D, it will alphabetize the entry and it will show up on your calendar prior to Lunch). I’m a little OCD, so this didn’t work for me. Supper it is!  { My father-in-law will be happy about that. He’s been telling me it was supper – not dinner – for ages. }

Here’s what’s on our menu this week:

Monday
B: Cereal (brown rice puff), coffee, leftover peanut-butter brownies (paleo-friendly)
L: Leftover salad, hummus and potato chips, pickles, cottage cheese and peaches, mini bell peppers, and for the kids – chef salad with Applegate deli turkey and cheddar blend, lactose free yogurt cheese sticks
S: Stuffed peppers (with quinoa – that’s pronounced ‘KEENWA’, beef & cheddar), Hail Merry chocolate tarts, coconut milk

Tuesday
B: Leftover peanut-butter brownies, yogurt & berries
L: Leftover fried chicken and fries, orange slices, sauteed cajun yellow
S: Pizza (cheated and used a whole grain wheat crust for this – oops) – Paleo Brownies for Homeschool Co-Op Meeting

Wednesday
B: Flax cereal, Coffee, heavy cream & vanilla stevia, Paleo Sugar Cookies
L: Little Smokies, Potatoes, Jalapeno Probiotic Sauerkraut, Kale, Cauliflower Bell Pepper, Stevia Almond 70% Dark Chocolate, Raw Milk
S: Fend for yourself (leftovers, snacky foods – daddy’s workin’ late)

Oh, how I can’t wait until tomorrow!

Thursday
B: Eggs (although mama can’t have them – :::pout:::), chocolate yogurt & flax shake, bacon
L: Roast chicken (which I will make new broth out of after we eat), sauteed red cabbage, sauteed carrots, baked cauliflower, sweet potato thyme paleo biscuits
S: Soup (haven’t figured out which kind yet, but I have a ton of home made broth to use up), roast sweet potato salad, orange no-sugar paleo-friendly sorbet

Oh, how I can’t wait until Friday night!

Friday
B: Steel Cut Oats (soaked overnight), raisins
L: Frozen enchiladas (I made these last week), canned black beans, mixed fruit
D: Paleo Chicken & Dumplings, sparkling cranberry juice (a treat – we don’t usually do fruit juices, especially if they are from concentrate or have any added sugars)

Saturday
B: Cereal, yogurt, juice & eggs
L: Leek Potato Bacon “Pizza”, Sauteed Mushrooms, Greek salad, olives
S: Chicken Enchiladas with Bacon Guac, Veggie Sticks, Black or Pinto Beans, Chocolate Shake

Oh, how I can’t wait until Sunday morning!

Sunday (Father’s Day)
B: Paleo pancakes with blueberries, banana and pecans, maple syrup, bacon
L: OUT
D: Brown rice stir fry, lemon grass coconut chicken soup, Thai tea

Next Monday
B: Paleo Blueberry Muffins, Milk
L: California Salad w/ Avocados, Roast Beets, Cantaloupe
S: Tuscan White Bean Stew, vanilla brownie cheesecake (paleo-friendly)

Next Tuesday
B: Potato Skins with Bacon & Cheddar
L: Freddy’s
S: Lettuce wrap deer meat tacos, (Brown) Spanish Rice, Charro Beans, some sort of paleo dessert

It has literally taken me three days to get this posted in here – so sorry (and as OCD as I am, I’ve updated the first 3 days of the week to what we ACTUALLY ATE, because I tweak as I go). Life is busy here at the bee hive.

I can also admit that schedule changes to our amazingly packed Google Calendar for this week may make cooking a few of these meals difficult. Like Friday for example… we’re going out to eat with friends instead of eating the frozen enchiladas for sure — and that’s OK. They’ll keep.

You have my permission to be as flexible as you want with your menus. Google is really easy on you, too. You can drag and drop your meals to another convenient location or even make them REPEAT each week!  { Heaven forbid; my picky eaters would never allow me to repeat a meal so often. }

As a side note: Did you notice that the blog design was not finished yet? Well, it’s in progress – kind of like me and my kids. Stick with me and eventually it will be reeeeally pretty in here. I water-colored for you. For reals.

Have a super rest of your week!

{ And if you don’t use Google, just jot your menu on some notebook paper. I promise, I won’t tell. }

In Him,

Heather

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