Oops. I forgot to put my menu plan up for this week. And I’m sure you were all waiting with bated breath wondering what in the world we are eating in the middle of January here in Wyoming. (Photo Credit)
I’m still putting together my 13 Week Rotating Menu Plan that I told you about last week. I’m actually on week three of the plan. I am focusing only on dinners at this time since breakfast and lunches are pretty simple. We tend to have very little variety in our weekday breakfasts (usually eggs and toast, oatmeal or yogurt sometimes a different hot cereal) and weekday lunches are often leftovers. I have started cooking one lunch item to eat all week to supplement the leftovers if I suspect that we will have fewer leftovers that week than usual.
Putting together a menu plan for 13 weeks seemed very daunting when I first started considering it. So like the good procrastinator I am, I put it off for quite some time. When I went back to it, I really thought about how we eat. Looking back over the menus I put on here I saw that we do have a basic pattern already.
We eat alot of beans. They work for us being that they are a whole food, relatively inexpensive and taste good. A few years ago I employed a method for beans that I learned about on a blog called Lentils and Rice (no longer available) in which the author made ‘Stretchy Beans’. She made a big pot of whatever kind of bean and stretched them out to three or even four meals. Stretchy Beans have been wonderful for my meal planning and budget.
My 13 Week Rotating Menu Plan has a pot of Stretchy Beans featured each week. Beans are readily available and a typical item for food storage. Knowing how to cook beans in ways that my family enjoys has been the goal. I fill in three days of the week with the Stretchy Bean of the Week (usually Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday) that leaves me with only four days left for each week. I have a pattern that I fill in for that too which I’ll share in future weeks, I do have to admit that Saturday Dinners seem challenging for me. Those continue to be a work in progress.
This week our Stretchy bean is lentil. I have to admit that of all the beans we eat, lentils were the ones the family warmed up to the slowest. Personally, I love them. The flavor is good and they are a great quick cooking item.
I do Lentil Week a bit different than I used to (and different than most other beans). I used to just cook up a big pot of lentils and use it in different meals for the week (really only 3 days or so). Now I soak the lentils (adding a little cider vinegar) and take out enough for the first meal and cook that according to directions. I rinse the remaining lentils and let them sprout. Meal two I make my chosen recipe using the soaked and beginning to sprout lentils. For meal three (and sometimes four) I use the lentils as a fully sprouted lentil. I find this works better and we enjoy the lentils being a little firmer than the previous way- which resulted in a rather soggy/mushy lentil by day three. This week I started with a few too many lentils (the end of a 5 pound bag) so we will enjoy lentils 4 nights.
This week is another full week (aren’t they all lately?) with my bookkeeping job keeping me busy with tax prep stuff and a special project that I’ve been working on. I’m also still training for the contract that is part of my own business I mentioned previously. Right now I’m training Friday-Sunday at the home of the lady who currently has the contract. No temporary work for me at this time so I am enjoying that. We did get my Explorer fixed that I broke after getting stuck in a snow bank a few weeks ago. Actually the mechanic said I probably didn’t break it, it was only a matter of time. We debated over whether to fix it or not since it was a hefty price tag but the Explorer is in such good shape and we bought it specifically for me to be able to get around (work) in the winter that we went ahead and did it. I’m glad we have plenty of these beans in the house since it cost quite a chunk of change to fix it! Our budget will need some massaging over the next few weeks to get our savings account replenished.
D- Lamb Chops (made by Joe) with spicy fermented lemons, mashed potatoes, carrots and celery sticks, pan bread, kraut
To do: Soak lentils
D- Majadareh (I substitute broth for the water), lettuce, yogurt, red kraut, sourdough bread
To do: make bread
D- Garam Masala Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk, Round Steak Strips, Carrots, sourdough bread
D- Spicy Sprouted Lentils, Potato Patties (made from leftover mashed potatoes), sauteed cabbage, sourdough bread
To Do: AM start tortillas
D- Antelope Roast (crock pot), baked potatoes, green salad, Challah
To Do: make bread, prepare meals for Saturday
B- Breakfast Casserole
L- Oxtail Soup (crock pot)
D- Salmon and Egg Kimbop