Monday, April 26, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Sometimes when you have a really busy weekend or don't get to sleep in, Monday feels like Sunday. With the exception of having to wake up and take children to school. I have struggled all day to get motivated with my week. Does that even make any sense? I guess what I mean is without downtime on the weekend, a Monday home alone makes it hard to work because I seem to need a lazy Sunday to lay around and watch TV. But duty calls! I have made some edits and additions to the website, I have begun my grocery shopping list for the upcoming new month and that means I have been researching recipes and thinking about my meal plans for the this week and beyond.

Monday- Chicken Tacos, which may also include making a chicken taco salad from the various taco fixings. It's a busy night for us, but I'm making the chicken in advance, so we just have to fix tacos and/or salad to eat when we get home.

Tuesday- Crispy Baked Cod, Smashed Potatoes, Salad with Beets and Yogurt Dressing

Wednesday- Turkey Stir Fry, Rice

Thursday- Skillet Chili Macaroni, I'm making a variation of this using leftover chili I already have. Plus salad.

Friday- I'm not making dinner! I'm out with some friends for book club meeting.

Saturday- Coconut Chicken Tenders, vegetable stir fry

Sunday- Beef roast, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

This week I will begin to cook from the pantry/freezer with very little extra purchases. This includes not buying any snacks to pack in my kids' lunches. The oldest is going to complain, complain, complain. But I want to decrease the dependency on crackers and chips and up the intake of fruit and homemade snacks. Like these great granola bars from the Meal Makeover Moms. Several weeks ago I picked up in the bulk section at Whole Foods a little mixture of the sort of dried fruit I think they'd like in a granola bar- pineapple, papaya and unsweetened coconut. I just haven't taken the time to make the bars, but tonight is the time. I also plan to make banana muffins from my friend Allison at Get Natured. They are vegan, but kid-tested and I think mine will like them. (At least I hope they will!) In addition I've got fruit both fresh and canned, yogurt, string cheese and those little Laughing Cow red wheels of cheese. Those things combined with leftovers from dinners should be fine for lunches this week.

Speaking of dinner...

Monday- Easy Slow Cooker Chili. This recipe is different than what I would use for making my usual stove top chili, and working at home makes it easy for me to occasionally make my chili, but Monday will be the sort of day where I don't want to tend to something on the stove. This recipe is really easy and tastes great.

Tuesday- Cashew Chicken, sauteed broccoli and green beans, rice. Awhile ago I bought a various nuts in the bulk section of my supermarket, some for snacking, but some for the purpose of using in cooking Thai and Chinese food, and I keep meaning to make this chicken and putting it off, so this week I'm really going to do it.

Wednesday- I'm leaving it a bit open to improvise. I have leftover cooked capellini pasta (thin like angel hair) and I will either make my favorite Spaghetti with Artichoke Hearts and Tomatoes or defrost some bolangese sauce from last week. Or make some kind of casserole with them. We'll see...

Thursday- Homemade manicotti. Both homemade pasta for the manicotti and the ricotta filling. SO GOOD! And it's also surprisingly easy.I'll probably fix a salad to use up the lettuce and cucumber I have.

Friday- Sweet & Spicy Salmon, green beans, quinoa with feta cheese

Saturday- Whole Roasted Chicken with roasted vegetables and sweet potatoes. I will probably have to purchase some more veggies, but I have the sweet potatoes already.

Sunday- I'm hoping the weather will be ok for grilling rib eye steaks using a coffee rub we recently purchased at the SF Ferry Building Market. Plus a salad with roasted beets and a steamed artichoke. If I can't grill outdoors, I'll probably just use my cast iron skillet.

I may or may not make lemon bars this week. Or cookies of some sort. Or homemade ice cream. If the mood strikes.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Menu Plan Monday (and thoughts on eating locally)

Monday already? Spring Break is over? I feel tired from the break that I need a break. We've been working on some household projects that are great, but it's such a pain how one project sort of spurs another. The house is cleaned, but still cluttered and it's going to get worse before it gets better. I've got to find new homes for a lot of stuff that's been hidden in closets and boxes. UGH.
I've also been thinking a lot about the debate between bargain shopping or eating better. In our society you can't easily do both. It's hard to argue when boxes of processed foods are often found 5 for $1 and fresh food is much more costly. Buying in bulk can save money, but how far did that food travel to get to you? Do you care more about how much you spend than the environmental impact your decision makes? Do you eat processed or convenience foods because it's what you can afford and you're just trying to get some food on the table? There is produce to be found that is inexpensive, but you've got to commit to cooking it or it goes to waste. I've been feeling inspired with watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. As someone who enjoys cooking from scratch, I have somehow cultivated my kids' palate for processed junk food. They don't always like what I make (although they generally do) but I know there's room for improvement. I'm someone who is not going to outlaw fast food or junk food in our house (I need McDonald's fries now and then!) but I'm seriously considering challenging myself to first use up a lot of what we have stored up in the freezer and pantry and then primarily shopping at Whole Foods, farmer's markets and my usual CSA produce delivery. Except there's Costco, which I love and will have to be more thoughtful about what we purchase there in terms of food. We'll see...I don't see this as something you jump right into. You transition yourself into these changes; a few at a time.

Onto the meal plan for the week!

Monday- Bolagnese sauce with parpadelle pasta, spinach salad
Tuesday- Glazed pork chops, steamed artichoke, quinoa with feta cheese
Wednesday- Chicken with green curry sauce, rice, vegetable stir fry
Thursday- Shrimp scampi, sauteed spinach
Friday- whole roasted chicken with potatoes and vegetables
Saturday- turkey burgers, sweet potato fries, steamed artichoke
Sunday- Tacos

Monday, April 5, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

ACK! It's already Monday and I didn't do this in advance like I should have.
I blame hosting company and having a holiday.

Short week for us as we've got Spring Break and some evening plans.

Monday- Sweet and Spicy Grilled Salmon, Vegetable Stir Fry
Tuesday- Ribeye Steaks, Roasted Potatoes, Steamed Artichokes, strawberry shortcake for dessert
Wednesday- Grilled Chicken, Sauteed Spinach
Saturday- Broiled Cod, Double Broccoli Quinoa
Sunday- Whole Roasted Chicken with vegetables and sweet potatoes

It's possible I will change my mind on Wednesday and take leftover pasta, meat and sauce I froze and create a baked spaghetti casserole instead. I'd rather save that for some other busier night. It's nice to keep things like that on hand so you can throw a meal together when you are pressed for time.