… little bit of this, little bit of that, a whole lotta about the kids

Category Archives: Menu Plan Monday

Last week I did very well.  I stuck to my list and came in under budget.  Thanks for hosting MPM Organizing Junkie; joining the planners there was the kick in the pants I needed to start getting my budget under control!

 

 

Monday: Cube Steak with Balsamic Glazed Onions (method below), Corn, Garlic Toast (whole wheat bread)

Tuesday:  Shrimp & Grits, Whatever dark leafy green looks the best when I’m shopping cooked via Alton Browns Recipe for the Food Network Chef Cooking Challenge.

Wednesday: Crockpot Roast Chicken, Onions and Fennel, Pea Salad (Sydney at Food for Foodies reminded me how much I love it!), Mashed Potato

Thursday: Shredded Chicken Paprikash, Noodles, Broccoli

Friday: Steak Tacos

Saturday: Honey-Jalapeno Chicken and Sesame Soba Noodles, Snowpeas and Mushrooms

Sunday: 5 Spice Roast Salmon, Wild Rice Blend, Green Beans

 

For the balsamic glazed onions, I cook up the beef in a large saute pan, then remove it from the pan and cover with foil to keep warm.  I dump diced onions in the pan, adding a little evoo if necessary, and saute them until they are a little soft.  Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup stock (beef for this, but I do these onions on chicken cutlets too, and I’d use chicken stock then), and bring to a boil  Add maybe a quarter cup of balsamic vinegar (not the aged thick expensive stuff, just a decent grocery quality is fine) and a good dollop of honey.  The vinegar fumes up really bad, but it tastes so good in the end, you won’t mind.  Stirring occasionally, adjusting heat to keep it at a low boil, cook until liquids reduce by half.  Return meat to pan, turn to coat, sprinkle with fresh chopped herb if you have some on hand, and serve.

For breakfasts we always have oatmeal, cold cereal, scrambled eggs, toast, freezer muffins, yogurt, cottage cheese and fruits to choose from.   This week we also have waffles from the freezer and apple topping.  I also keep us stocked with lunch meats, cheeses, etc for bentos.  My lunches this week are clam soup (4x), shredded chicken wraps with cilantro mayo and veggies (2x) and leftover shrimp and grits (1x), Even when not specifically listed, I usually have a mixed greens salad and fruit available for dinner.

 Find more menus from other MPM participants


I haven’t planned out my meals in a long time, which is why my food spending is about 3 times what I’d like my food budget to be.  I also end up throwing away a lot of food –  sinful amounts of produce, freezer burnt foods, even occasionally meat in the fridge I’ve bought and then don’t end up cooking for too long so it’s trash.  Menu planning also helps me eat much healthier, so it’s back to meal planning for me.  If I get stuck, I’ll take inspiration from one of the many posters over at Organizing Junkie, who hosts Menu Plan Monday.  For the next month it’s my goal to use up as much pantry and freezer items as possible.  We’ve got basically a quarter beef in the deep freeze and some wild salmon fished up by a friend, so I’m not spending as much as it seems 😉

For breakfasts we always have oatmeal, cold cereal, scrambled eggs, toast, freezer muffins, yogurt, cottage cheese and fruits to choose from.  This week we also have a mexican zucchini frittata, and some raisin bread.  Any dinner lefovers become lunch, but I’m trying very hard to NOT overcook and have leftovers unless I have specifically planned leftovers.  I also have a small budget specifically for lunches, taken from what hubby was spending eating out every day, to keep us stocked with lunch meats, cheeses, etc for bentos.  My lunches this week are taco soup (4x), chicken salad on greens (2x), and veggie ramen stir fry (1x).  Even when not specifically listed, I usually have a mixed greens salad and fruit available for dinner.

Monday: Mini Calzones, Green Salad with yellow Grape Tomatoes, Pineapple Oops, I forgot that today is the back to school PTA picnic and meeting.  We’ll be having pizza there

Tuesday: Roast Lemon Chicken and Roasted Root Vegetables (Sweet Potato, Carrot, Onion, Turnip), Cauliflower (planned leftovers for Thursday and Friday meals)

Wednesday: Salmon Cakes and Lemon-Garlic Aoili, Lentils, Asparagus

Thursday: Chicken Curry (I’m using shredded leftover chicken, not cubed breasts), Brown Rice, Zucchini & Summer Squash

Friday: Chicken and Corn Chowder, Whole Wheat Rolls, Tri-Melon Salad

Saturday: Sorta Salisbury Steak (I’m adding mushrooms to the gravy), Mashed Potato, Broccoli & Cauliflower

Sunday: Roasted Salmon with Chili-Lime Sauce, Barley, Green Beans

 

Update: Thursday and I am doing well and on track.  I’m under budget for the week (which is easily the first time in months).  I’ve made some adjustments (like when DH wasn’t going to be home for dinner, which I didn’t know until the day of – I wasn’t going to cook a whole meal for kidlet and myself) but I have adjusted only using things in the house already.  The chicken curry recipe will NOT be in regular rotation.  BLAND and tomato-y.  I picked an easy low ingredient recipe for convenience, and it shows in the flavor.  Ick.