Menu Planning, Day 5 – You’re on your own!
Yikes..that’s kinda scary, huh? Now that you’ve ‘graduated’, you have your meal guides, your recipe cards, some sample calendars and meal planners and an idea of how you might like to go about this.
To be honest, one of the reasons I wrote this series is that I completely got out of the habit of meal planning. My family is very involved in Tae Kwon Do, which has us eating late in the evening 3 nights a week, and one other night is late because of church, or I’m trying to cram dinner in right when my husband gets home from work so we can get it done before church. Dinner times became more of what I can throw together that doesn’t require a lot of prep and cooking. So I really needed to kick start MY new year’s resolution of a healthier family by reviewing my way, seeing if it still works for me, and surprisingly, it didn’t take that long to get back into the swing of things. It’ll take me one more shopping session to really get back into the swing of it since I felt like I was starting from scratch (AND because my old menu plans aren’t in my binder…hmm..wonder where I stuck them to remember where they were?). So I found one of mine I’d saved a few years ago to show you what it would look like for a month of meals.
This was before I was planning breakfasts and lunches this way. Most of the meals here also included a salad or a fruit side which I never put on the menu. You might notice that on some of the nights, I’d do a double batch of the base meat, and use it again in another dish (think pizza muffins and lasagna rolls). It really helped save me some time later when it didn’t take anymore time to do the double batch.
Now, I’m going to give you a great tip. I’m an Organizing Junkie runs a fabulous blog carnival each week called Menu Plan Monday. In it, blogs from around blogosphere link up their blogs with their own menus for the week. It’s a great way to view what other folks are eating, seeing some ideas that you might like to add to your own menu system, and keeps it in small appetizing bites worth of information. (get it? LOL) Sure, you can get lost for days in those blogs. BUT..you can also just click through one or two, see what they’re eating, give yourself some inspiration, and move on! For me, it’s better to see it that way than to just sit and browse places like Tastespotting. While that kind of viewing is wonderful, I save it for my inspiration days when I want to try something new. If I need some everyday great ideas, I really like traveling through a few blogs to see what they are having this week. Kind of like a peeping tom, but without the stigma
So – here’s what we’re having next week.
Saturday: Lasagna Soup, garlic bread, salad
Sunday: On the Border (woohoo!)
Monday: Thai Style Chicken and rice with salad
Tuesday: Impossible Mushroom Cheeseburger pie, salad, carrots (we have some bisquick to use up after Christmas’ sausage cheese balls)
Wednesday: Taco-Mac, salad, fruit (it’s this basic recipe, but we mix in ground beef and leave out the peppers)
Thursday: Cheesy Mostacciola, gingered green beans
Saturday: Mushroom Swiss Mommy burgers (half beef, half pork)
Hope this gives you some inspiration! Happy Planning!