I’ve been focusing lately on a Rotating Menu Plan that would help us reach our food storage goals. Quite a few months ago, Joe and I began to talk about food storage. This is something that we had started developing before we made the switch to real food. But our real food journey stalled our food storage journey a bit. Now we are working on getting our food storage back on track. You can read more about some of my thoughts on real food and food storage in this post.
One thing that is helping me with my food storage is my meal planning. I am very comfortable with having a menu plan to follow each week. And my thinking is that a menu plan will help with my food storage because I’ll know what to buy and how much of it. I’ve been developing a 13 Week Rotating Menu Plan for our evening meal.
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. The Stretchy Beans give me a wonderful ‘jumping off’ point for each week. For the other four days, I have a pattern of sorts that I use for filling those in.
A typical week might look something like this:
Sunday: Leftovers or Pantry Meal
Monday: Stretchy Beans
Tuesday: Stretchy Beans
Wednesday: Stretchy Beans
Thursday: Family Favorite
Friday: Celebration Dinner
Saturday: Quick to Prepare/Cook Dinner
Using my ‘pattern’ I can easily fill in the non-Stretchy Bean nights using items from my pantry and my freezer.
I should mention, we are still in the ‘testing’ stage for this 13 Week Rotating Menu Plan. We’re trying out new recipes during this time. It is important that the meals are tasty and relatively easy to prepare. Also, even though this is a 13 week menu plan, there are some meals that repeat during the 13 weeks. You may notice that Pinto Beans are listed 3 times during the 13 weeks. I won’t be cooking them exactly the same way each time they are listed so click on each separate weeks link for that weeks recipes/ideas. The 13 week plan repeats 4 times in a year.
As we fill in our 13 weeks worth of dinner’s, I’ll add a link to the most recent weeks menu here. Please note, that since this is a work in progress, things might change on my plan.
Week 1: Garbanzo Beans (general cooking and favorite recipes)- First Rotation, Second Rotation
Week 2: Pinto Beans (general cooking and favorite recipes)- First Rotation, Second Rotation
Week 3: Lentils– First Rotation, Second Rotation
Week 4: Black Beans
Week 5: White Beans
Week 6: Mung Beans
Week 7: Red Beans (general cooking and favorite recipes), Red Beans menu plan
Week 8: Pinto Beans
Week 9: Black Beans
Week 10: Lentils
Week 11: Red Beans
Week 12: Pinto Beans
Week 13: Black Beans
What about Breakfast? I have a list of foods that are common for us to have. Read this post for more info.
What about Lunch? Here is a post with my usual lunch items.
Looking for ideas to create your dishes with ingredients that are abundant to you? Check out my eBook, Design a Dish