Last week’s menu plan turned out great. Planning for breakfast, lunch and dinner really helped me with my organization– something that had been lacking quite a bit lately! We didn’t 100% stick to our breakfast and lunch plan but having it was a great reminder to staying on track. We did stick with our dinner plan with some minor adjustments such as Wednesday night’s dinner being made without homemade pasta since I didn’t get it started on time. We used brown rice fusili instead. The dish was absolutely wonderful.
You may notice that this weeks menu plan (like last week’s and pretty much every menu plan I’ve ever shared) has many Stretchy Meals. Stretchy Meals or Planned-Overs work very well for us. I love cooking up a ‘big hunk of meat’ or ‘giant pot of beans’ and turning that one item into several dishes. This concept is helpful in several ways. Having the basis for a meal already cooked is very helpful and saves me time. It also helps me during the meal planning process. If I know that I’m going to be cooking a pot of black beans then I go to my black bean recipes and can quickly pick out 3 dishes using black beans. Viola! 3 meals are taken care of! If you are interested in learning more about Stretchy Beans take a look at my 13 week menu plan.
We follow food rules of sorts. Our goal is to have 85% of the food we consume fall under the category of real, whole or traditional foods. For us this means our food starts out as whole as possible. Our bread is homemade starting with wheat berries that we grind. Our meats are either grass-fed, free-range or wild. Beans start out as dry and are then soaked (or sprouted) and cooked at home. We try to limit sweets and the sweets we do enjoy are usually made with an unrefined sweetener such as Sucanat or honey. We buy ‘organic’ or items grown with organic practices as much as possible. Striving for 85% of our foods to fall into these categories works very well for us. The 15% captures the times we dine-out or make a meal that is less than ideal. Most of the food we keep on hand falls under the 85% group. We do have a few things that are more processed and used strictly for ’emergency meals’.
To Do List
I keep a daily ‘to do’ list so I can (hopefully) remember what needs to be done to get our meals on the table. Do I need to put oatmeal to soak? Do I need to take something out of the freezer? That combines with taking a chunk of time early in the week (usually on Monday) to prepare some of the items we’ll need for the week (of course, right now I’m still preserving quite a bit of seasonal produce which is adding to my kitchen time and not included in this expanation). Depending on the menu plan for the week I’ll make our bread items during that time. I’ve started making 4 loaves of bread every other week (2 for that week and 2 in the freezer for the following week) which has helped my time considerably. I may also make muffins, sweet bread, tortillas or crackers just depending on what we need. On Friday I do a second cooking/baking time to give us a few things for the weekend.
Brunch- Egg and greens scramble, corn bread muffins
Supper- leftover chili (Friday night) and cholent (Saturday), carrot sticks
Breakfast- Yogurt parfait
Lunch- finish up the cholent from Saturday
Dinner- Crock pot chicken with carrots and potatoes
Breakfast- Oatmeal with butter and homemade applesauce (soak extra oats for tomorrow)
Lunch- meatball soup
Dinner- Fasooli over brown rice (make double batch for tomorrow night)
Lunch- leftover fasooli
Dinner- Chicken stir fry over brown rice
Lunch- meatball soup
Dinner- Chicken, bean and cabbage skillet dish, quinoa
Breakfast-Eggs and toast
Dinner- White bean soup
Breakfast- Baked oatmeal
Lunch- Split pea soup (crock pot)
What’s on your menu this week?