Sitting at the pool, I was chatting with a friend the other day about what we were both going to feed our family. It was rapidly approaching the dinner hour, neither of us knew what we were having, so her daughter finally put me on the spot and asked her mom if she could cook what ever it was that we were having. "Pasta", I finally blurted out. Shoot, we don't have a red sauce, or the makings or time for a scratch red sauce, so it will be a quick homemade white sauce with Parmesan cheese. Done, I had planned our dinner. I knew we had enough frozen vegetables to add to the pasta to make it a meal.
One cold January day a few years ago when a friend and I were sitting around my kitchen, we decided it was time to make menu planning part of our new year's resolution. We took a calendar and mapped out what we would be cooking for an entire month. It made life so simple for that month. I knew what to buy at the grocery store- I hate to admit how many times I come home from the store and still don't have anything to cook for dinner. So here is my July dinner plan. Take it for what it is, just a guide to help plan my most dreaded question, "what's for dinner".
July 1st- Saturday- our block party so we will be grilling leftover extra firm tofu for sandwiches and meat burgers (my husband is rather carnivorousness)
July 2nd- Sunday- Frozen potato perogies with veggies on the side, and a salad. Leftover meat enchiladas for Michael.
July 3rd- Monday- A friend's 4th birthday party- veggie burgers- sorry Michael, you are on your own for meat.
July 4th-Pita bread pizza
July 5th- Wednesday -tacos- this may sound gross, but there is a box of "just add water" meat substitute found in the healthfood section of grocery stores. I use this for the girls and I, real meat for Michael.
July 6th-Thursday-Pad thai
July 7th- Friday-vegetable enchiladas, meat enchiladas (frozen leftovers)
July 8th- pasta with red sauce, garlic bread, fresh veggies and salad
July 9th- Indian curry- make double the rice to use for tomorrow night
July 10th-Vegetable fried rice (add frozen precooked chicken for Michael- I usually cook a few pounds at a time, chop it up and freeze it) I also add a few extra eggs for the girls
July 11th- black bean burritos- we need Lisa's recipe for her beans- we all loved them
July 12th- quesadillas with left over ingredients from last night
July 13- Pizza on pita bread
July 14- Tuna steaks on the grill served on a salad, white sauce pasta and vegetables
July 15th- Karen's black eyed pea and rice dish
July 16-salmon on the grill with homemade bread, veggies
July 17-veggie ribs, real animal ribs for Michael, cooked all day in a crockpot with BBQ sauce, veggies and baked potatoes
July 19- Stuntbec visits with her family. I will have to get back with you as we plan the menu together.
This is an impressive plan -- ambitious, yet not overly so. I like the vantage point you have given the reader, too... being able to peer into the dining room of your household for 19 days. I always wonder, what do other people eat on a regular basis? Personally, I don't think I would be able to plan for more than a week. Things never seem to work out quite as I anticipate, so if I plan for a week, I often have to make some adjustments as the week progresses. I think by the end of 19 days, I'd be so far off the mark that my plan would be meaningless. But, you say it worked for you once. I'll be interested to hear how it goes this time.
Even with such a plan, I have to remain flexible. Sunday night the inlaws invited us to dinner, so we have an extra meal for later in the month. Good thing it happened on a frozen dinner night.
i can only plan one week at a time too! and that is hard to do sometimes. i use the FeedME weekly meal planner & shopping list (www.lobotoME.com) which has helped...
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