Sunday, January 11, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: 2nd Entry!

Hot off the presses, my menu plan for the upcoming week!

It was challenging to put together the menu plan for this week since there are so many activities going on. The kids have an all day activity Monday, I have a Girl Scout Service Unit Team Meeting which will take up most of Monday evening, cookie training (also for Girl Scouts) Tuesday night, we're going on a field trip to pick strawberries on Wednesday, and we have a picnic with our homeschooling support group on Friday. ~:-P It's hard to have that many fully scheduled days with the fibromyalgia, but I'm diving in!

Monday Lunch: make your own sandwiches/breakfast sandwiches
Monday Dinner: Buttery herbed chicken from Cooking Light Superfast Suppers, p.64, rice, fruit
Tuesday Lunch: Chicken soup with Matzoh balls (doctored up Manishevitz Matzoh Ball and Soup Mix with sliced carrots, celery, onion, a little olive oil, a tablespoon or so of dill, some salt, a few chicken legs with skin, and some chicken tenderloins)
Tuesday Dinner: Saucy Italian Style Chicken Thighs (only I'll use breasts since we have some in the freezer) from Cooking Light Superfast Suppers, p. 159
Wednesday Lunch: Leftover chicken soup
Wednesday Dinner: Veggie meal based on what we purchase at the strawberry farm (they also sell baked goods and other produce)
Thursday Lunch: Spaghetti (it's a Thursday staple)
Thursday Dinner: Chicken Biryani (from my current Cooking Light magazine)
Friday Lunch: Meaty Calzones from Cooking Light Superfast Suppers, p. 66
Friday Dinner: Country Rice and Sausage from Cooking Light Superfast Suppers, p. 287
Saturday Lunch: Black Bean Cakes from Apocalypse Chow, Rice, Carrot Salad, Applesauce
Saturday Dinner: Sloppy Joes from Ellie Kreiger on the Food Network website
Sunday Lunch: Balsamic Chicken from a Publix Aprons recipe card; we leave off the Montreal steak seasoning and balsamic vinegar and use the Seven Seas Italian dressing instead (it's yummy)
Sunday Dinner: Order pizza for the kids and sitter; parents eat out!

How I Menu Plan:
When I do my menu planning, I use a Prints Charming Collection Meal Planner, which I think is now out of print since I can't find it on their website. (I've used one; I have two left!) I can use anything, but a weekly planner page with the days of the week on it is the easiest, and the meal planner is set up for weekly entries. Plus it's cute; I wish I'd bought more of them!! I check my family calendar and pencil in activities in the margin of the meal planner so I know what's going on each day and I know if I'll (theoretically) have the energy to cook at night or not. (I've got to find more crock pot meals!) When I have a "home day" I plan more elaborate meals, on activity days I look for quick and easy. I fill in the standards- spaghetti for lunch on Thursday, pizza delivery for "date night", etc. I have a print out I made up of our "old standbys" that includes a section where I can write in new recipes we try out and like. I refer to that if I'm not feeling the need to try anything new; I pull out my cookbooks if I'm looking to experiment. (I had my Cooking Light Superfast Suppers out tonight!) I try not to have the same protein for too many meals in a row, but that's a low priority. I do try to have meals that need fresh ingredients that will spoil quickly right after I'm able to shop, and pantry meals later in the week, although I usually wind up going to the store at least twice a week anyway. Sometimes I get input from DH or the kids; the youngest has definite ideas about what we should eat! Unfortunately the children seem to favor the recipes that take the most work, so sometimes I don't ask their opinion! ;) That's about it, but wow, what a difference it makes! DH has even gotten used to it; he really complains when I don't plan the menus for the week. Oh- one last step; I write everything on a white board to post in the kitchen for everyone to see.

Works for us; I've been doing this for, oh, maybe 2 years now, and it's really helped me with maintaining my weight loss. :) I'm just tickled that I can share this great tool with others, and get ideas from the other menu planners on the fantastic orgjunkie website.

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