Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Two for Tuesday: Weekly Menu

Once or twice, I've tried to plan out my dinners for an entire month and do a once a month approach to grocery shopping. It looks great on paper. At my house, it falls apart in practice.

For one thing, life happens. Things come up. There's a last minute schedule change. Etc. Etc. Then what I had planned for a Wednesday doesn't work, so I'll shift Friday's dinner to Wednesday. Then come Friday I don't feel like making Wednesday's lasagna from scratch, so I'll shift Sunday over....and the whole menu just becomes a mess of penciled in arrows.

For another thing, once a month grocery shopping doesn't work for us. There's always a few ingredients I forget. Or there's a few fresh ingredients that must be picked up a day or two before a meal is cooked. And anyway, we need milk, bread, and eggs each week. The once a month approach becomes one big headache of a grocery trip, followed by lots of little annoying trips.

 Don't get me wrong. I know many families use a monthly meal plan and a once a month grocery trip and it works great for them. I'm not knocking the system.

It just doesn't work for me.

But, planning a weeks worth of dinners, that does work. I sit through Toa of Boy's Tae Kwon Do class on Tuesday, plan my menu, pick out recipes, and make up a grocery list. (Mostly. Mostly I do.)

Wednesday morning is my grocery run. My grocery run used to be Thursday mornings. But there's often still trash cans at the end of the drive from the Thursday morning pick up, and I got tired of backing into them with the van, so I switched grocery shopping to Wednesday. It was a good decision.

Here's this week's menu. Two of the recipes are from a couple books I grabbed at the library. Sadly, over half the recipes in each book seem to call for cans of condensed soup. Since I went looking for new recipes which are lower in sodium, this was a disappointment. Still, I found a couple which I want to try, and internet links for them as well!

Wednesday: Chicken Pot Pie (this does have a can of soup. I haven't yet reworked it. Campbell's has a Healthy Request soup that's a tiny bit lower in sodium.)

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: (potluck) Pecan Chicken Casserole from Taste of Home Potluck

Saturday: Kielbasa Spaghetti (no recipe, just a picture for inspiration)
Sunday: Kid's Cook? I had this brilliant idea to have the kids cook dinner. But I haven't told my brilliant idea to my kids yet, so no recipe has been picked out for this day.

Monday: Pork Chops with Spiced Fruit Stuffing. This does call for chicken broth and stuffing mix, but I can purchase no-salt added chicken broth and low sodium stuffing.  Came from Pillsbury's Slowcooker Recipes

Lastly, I leave you with one other new recipe. I made this Almost Lasagna for dinner tonight, and it was quick and yummy. The recipe calls for cooked pasta, but doesn't include the cooking time in the instructions. However, if you get your water going first and then start browning your meat, you can toss the pasta in as soon as the water comes to a boil. The pasta should be ready by the time you've browned your meat and mixed your eggs and ricotta. I did throw extra Italian spices in with my meat as it browned and in with my ricotta cheese mixture.

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