Posted by: godandchocolate | March 1, 2010

Menu Plan Monday – 3.1.10

Everyone, it seems, suggests menu planning each week. It prevents wasting groceries, wasting time, ordering pizza, and that dreaded question that hits along with the hunger pangs at 4-5pm: “What’s for dinner?”

I’ve done different kinds of menu planning, and since it’s just the two of us and I like to be flexible, I typically have just made a list of dinners I feel like making that week, posted it on the fridge, and then shopped according to the list. This week I decided to do a little bit more extensive planning as I made my grocery list, so that I’d know exactly what I need. I like having fun new recipes to try on the agenda–AND the assurance that I have everything I’ll need to make them.

I’ve started shopping at two places for our food: the farmer’s market nearby (for milk/cream, eggs, fruits and veggies, cheese, and some other odds and ends that we can get locally grown, like brown rice; occasionally we’ll get meat there, but it’s just too pricey for us to use regularly) and the supermarket (I choose one of the three we have in our area based on which has the best sales on meat or other big-ticket ingredients). I’ll include recipes based on the best value items I am able to get. This week, pork tenderloin was on sale for a good price, and since two tenderloins come in one package, we’ll have it for two meals.

Basically I’ve broken it down so that I know exactly what I’m making for dinner each day, and have several options for breakfasts and lunches. I pack my husband’s lunch a few times a week, and usually only eat one other meal besides dinner myself each day, so what I have listed here is plenty for us.  And of course I have a short list of items I plan to bake–my stand mixer makes baking WAY too easy! Some days we might swap meals, just in case we’re feeling like something different. We’ll see how this goes.

Planning our meals should also be a good way to gradually make some nutritious dietary changes. Sometimes it’s too easy to just forget about veggies or a salad, but if it’s on the plan I’ll be more likely to make it! We’re far from perfect in our meals, but I’m trying to be more balanced and ‘colorful’ on the plate (i.e., we don’t often eat monster piles of spaghetti with bolognese sauce like you might think from the photo!), and just generally making small changes in the types of ingredients used.

Enough of an introduction…here’s what we’ll be eating this week. I’m linking to the recipes I use, if they are available online.

Dinners

Breakfasts & Lunches

  • breakfast sandwiches (fried egg, ham/bacon, white cheddar cheese on whole wheat toast)
  • scrambled or fried eggs
  • oatmeal
  • granola + frozen fruit + plain yogurt (new one!)
  • scones
  • PB&J
  • oranges, bananas

Baking

  • bread (I’m working my way through Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day; I’ll probably just make the plain boule dough. Not sure about subbing white whole wheat flour for the all-purpose or how that might affect my bread-baking experiments at this point!)
  • dark chocolate chip scones
  • granola (I’m excited to try making my own!)

That’s all for me. Do you menu plan? How do you do it? Any tips for making the planning-shopping process go smoothly?

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