Archive for the ‘Menu planning’ Category

Menu planning Monday

This week is a great example of how circumstances affect your meal plan!

Over the weekend, we had what was supposed to be a hurricane with several days of power outages, etc. Thankfully, it was more like a rainstorm in this area, so we didn’t have any damage to deal with and our power is still on. We did stock up on things that didn’t require refrigeration for feeding people while we had no electricity, which will be folded into our menu plan this week. I’m still working on clearing out the extras from the fridge, freezer, and pantry challenge. We also have Rosh Chodesh Elul, the new month of Elul, to celebrate with an extra dish or dessert this week Monday night, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We have guests coming for Shabbat lunch. And last, we are making a chesed meal (a gifted meal for a family with a new baby), and I usually make doubles to keep for our own dinner. All that goes into this week’s meal plan.

Breakfasts: Yogurt, cereal, and homemade (frozen) waffles

Lunches: Peanut butter sandwiches, cheese sandwiches, grilled cheese, quesadillas, hard boiled eggs (also gazpacho and my meat-loving dh has moroccan beef turnovers to take)

Monday: CORN (Clean Out the Refrigerator Night), ice cream/sorbet for dessert (Rosh Chodesh!)

Tuesday: (Breakfast for dinner night usually) Taco night (frozen ground beef, special for Rosh Chodesh!)

Wednesday: Chicken nuggets for kids, spicy chicken wings (from the freezer)

Thursday: Mexican night this week: tortillas, homemade refried beans, rice, cheese, salsa, etc.

Friday: Challah, salads (roasted eggplant, hummus, zhug, olive relish, pepper salad), moroccan cigars, pumpkin spice cake

Saturday (with guests): Challah, salads, plated oriental chicken salad, spice rubbed chicken, meatballs, rice pilaf, spinach kugel, pumpkin spice cake.

Sunday: Pancakes (plus extra for the freezer).

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Monday: Menu plan for the week

I’m working on a pantry/fridge/freezer challenge. So here we go!

Monday: CORN (AKA Clean Out the Refrigerator Night): We have leftover sweet and sour meatball sandwiches (on challah rolls), some sides, and other odds and ends.

Tuesday: been, cheese, and rice enchiladas (several cans of enchilada sauce in my pantry and bags of beans and rice in my freezer)

Wednesday: beef kabobs (from frozen ground beef)

Thursday: Pasta and breadsticks (extra canned tomatoes and my kids’ favorite dinner night)

Friday: Challah, salads (roasted eggplant, hummus, zhug, olive tapenade (fish)), kung pao chicken (frozen) and rice, lemon cream cake

Shabbat lunch: Challah, salads, gazpacho, sweet and sour chicken (frozen raw in sauce), spinach kugel (frozen from…ahem…Pesach) , lemon cream cake

Sunday: Bagels (frozen) with cream cheese or peanut butter / Salmon (Frozen)

Breakfasts here in our blessed house are usually yogurt with toppings, cereal with milk, and sometimes thawed muffins like my spiced pumpkin cream cheese muffins. Lunches this week will be some of my frozen tv dinners, sandwiches, and gazpacho from last Shabbat.

Food challenge!

We have been blessed with food. Lots of food! Add that to the fact that I tend to stock stuff away and then have a harder time using it, and you’ll see why I need to challenge myself several times a year to use what we have.

OK, not only what we have. We still need fresh produce and dairy. But otherwise, I’m trying to turn to my pantry, refrigerator, and freezer for the rest of August to get through some of what we have. I want to avoid waste and make room for more.

Here’s a partial list of my extra freezer alone: 10 lbs ground beef, a meal of kung pao chicken in marinade, 3 pans of raw chicken in sauce, 2 gallon baggies of cookie dough balls, 4 lbs of meatballs, 3 noodle kugels, 2 boxes of veggie “hamburgers,” and more.

I’m starting by making a list and working things into the rotation. I’m also trying to use up the partial bottles of sauce that take up lots of room in the fridge as well as other lurking leftovers there. Plus my pantry and the stockpile of good deals that aren’t good deals if they are wasted. Menus to come!

Menu plan Monday

After some debate, I have adjusted my weekly template. It’s so hard to get a new recipe in on Tuesday with summer, travel, kids, etc. that for now, I’m changing it to breakfast for dinner (BFD) night! I also have some frozen ground beef I need to start using, so there is more than normal in my plan. Here we go:

Breakfasts and lunches remain the same

Dinners:

Monday: CORN (Clean Out Refrigerator Night)

Tuesday: BFD: Omelettes

Wednesday: Taco soup and chips

Thursday: Pasta, sauces (including peanut sauce), and garlic cheese sticks

Friday: Challah, salads, Moroccan fish balls, sweet and sour meatballs, rice, cauliflower popcorn, and chocolate lasagna

Saturday: Challah, salads, chamin and jachnoon, cauliflower popcorn, spinach quiche, and chocolate lasagna

Sunday:

  • Brunch: French toast casserole
  • Dinner: Gazpacho, bean, rice, and cheese enchiladas

Weekly menu plan

Breakfasts (we don’t mind the same thing several days, so I just have a few things on hand):

  • Cereal with milk
  • yogurt with toppings (fruit, granola, and chocolate chips)
  • Toast with cream cheese and jam
  • French toast casserole (Sunday–leftover Shabbat challah)

Lunches:

  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Rice and veggies
  • Corn on the cob and quesadillas
  • Sandwiches (x2)
  • Pizza – Friday treat (if we get all schoolwork and chores done on time)

Dinner:

  • Monday: CORN (Clean Out the Refrigerator Night)
  • Tuesday: Freezer bean burritos
  • Wednesday: Chinese: Sesame beef, oriental veggies, and rice
  • Thursday: Pasta, breadsticks, and sauces
  • Friday: Challah, salads, kibbe, kung pao chicken, rice, veggie platter, chocolate lasagna
  • Saturday lunch (the big meal that day): Challah, salads, spice rubbed chicken, veggies, chocolate lasagna and licorice
  • Sunday: Waffles (make lots extra for the freezer!)

General weekly menu plan

Menu planning around here is casual but critical, and so different from how I started married life! I have a set group of things to keep in the house, and then I see what else we have and what’s on sale, and use that to base my menus on. Plus I have a backup list of quick no-fail meals with ingredients always on hand in case of need. 🙂

Mommy isn’t a morning person, so if we do cooked breakfast foods, it’s usually at dinner: pancakes, eggs, etc. But I have breakfast food on hand and we choose what we want: yogurt, cereal with milk, fruit, etc. Lunches get a general list to choose from and we go with what we can, depending on the mood and actual schedule. Dinners are planned based on a general theme:

Mondays: Leftovers (AKA CORN: Clean Out Refrigerator Night)

Tuesday: New recipe

Thursdays: Pasta and Breadsticks

Fridays: Fancy meat dinner (Shabbat/Sabbath meal)

Saturdays: Lunch is our big meal, usually meat, and depends on season

It doesn’t always happen like that, but that is the goal!

Pantry inventory, raid, and planning!

I find it amazing that with shelves of food, I still find that I need to shop to make meals! I do  tend to buy what is on sale, and buy in bulk if it’s a good sale, so that builds up my stores. But since sales are on a 12 week cycle, sometimes I get more than I need for that 12 weeks and then have more than I need…and then I get more on sale! It’s only saving money if you actually use what you have, right?

Now seems like a good time to inventory your pantry and cupboards and put what you have to good use. If you still have holidays coming up, I would imagine that you have a lot of food ready to celebrate–and your budget (and waistline?) could use the break around those holidays. If not, well…couldn’t we all use a break? And with all of the ingredient sales going on now, and healthier food sales to come (as whatever percentage of Americans decide they need to diet), shouldn’t we know what we have and what we will need?

I tend to store up lots of different things which then get pushed to the back. I like to buy new snacks and items that I think would be good to try, but some of the time, those get lost.

Right now, I’m motivated to do this because 1. I have a break from school (I teach college courses), so theoretically more time, and 2. My pantry is bulging with seemingly “nothing” to make, and my freezer has lots of odds and ends with “nothing” to eat, and 3. Passover (spring holiday requiring basically all new prepared foods) is coming!

Let’s start today with a list of what you have in the following places (not marked for use at a specific function):

  • Kitchen pantry/cupboards (dry goods, cans, cereals, grains, sauces)
  • Refrigerator (partially opened jars, sauces, anything else with an up and coming use-by date)
  • Freezer (list both complete meals and pieces)

My goal is to get this done by this Friday. That’s all that has to get done for right now–we’ll work with the lists next week.