Monday, January 9, 2012

Menu Monday #2

I must admit that last week I was skeptical when I posted a dinner menu for the week.  Plan all the dinners for a whole week?  Who does that?!  ("Plenty of people. They're a more organized than you." Thanks, Guilt Monster. You may leave now. I'm perfectly capable of guilting myself.)  The idea was challenging, at least for me.  I love to cook and feed my family and those around me -- good food shows love, right? -- but the thought of planning more than 24 hours in advance was not something I wanted to contemplate.  It brought to mind the women from my youth and the times we spent doing the once-a-month cooking for families of 10 or 11.  Let me tell you, when you're trying to cook and freeze enough food for a family that size and do it all at once, it takes at least two full days and a million little helper hands.  Not my fondest childhood memories.  I did not want to turn into that.  Moreover, Honey doesn't really like talking about food that far in advance, so it means if I want to plan meals I am on my own.  Could I be trusted to plan a week-long menu of food that was yummy, simple, and pleasing to all members of the family?  Last week was the first test and I believe it was successful!  The menu changed just slightly from what I posted last week, but that's to be expected.  Here's what we ate:

Sunday (1/01) -- Crock pot French onion soup + salad
Monday -- squash gratin + salad
Tuesday -- Baked potato soup (using previously cooked red potatoes & the leftover French onion soup) + salad
Wednesday -- Chicken burgers
Thursday -- Curried squash soup + salad
Friday -- curried squash soup, spinach sabzi, crock pot butter chicken, dahl, cilantro-lime rice, naan, and Nutella cheesecake (My brother, Thin Man, came over for dinner and brought a friend who is visiting from out of state, hence the elaborate meal.)
Saturday -- Crock pot chicken and dumplings

There are at least two things you might notice: we only eat meat (or poultry) a few times a week and I love my crock pot.  (If you love yours, you might want to check out the blog 365 Days of Slow Cooking, something I found this weekend and am anxious to try.)

Menu, January 8-14
Sunday -- crock pot chipotle black bean soup + salad
Monday -- black beans and rice + salad
Tuesday -- Taco salad
Wednesday -- Tortilla soup + salad
Thursday -- Jambalaya + salad
Friday -- Fresh pasta with chicken jalepeno cheddar "casserole" (we just bought a pasta machine -- finally!) + salad
Saturday -- Curried chickpea and quinoa tacos

As you can probably tell from both menus, we eat a lot of salad.  Our salads are mainly spinach with bell peppers and mushrooms -- easy to throw together to compliment whatever the main meal is supposed to be.  We buy large bags of spinach at Costco because that seems to be the best deal -- under $5 for 2.5 pounds of spinach (which is a LOT), and we eat about that much every week.

So that's the main menu.  But what are we going to try for snacks?  Honey eats a lot of celery, so I recently bought some jalepeno Greek yogurt dip from Costco to go with the celery (delicious, low in fat and calories, high in protein), but then I saw this recipe for Buffalo Wing Hummus.  Yep. Definitely trying that this week! And for me I want to try the Green Monster Spinach Smoothie.  (As if we didn't already eat enough spinach! Just call me Popeye.)

Anyone have good suggestions for next week's menu?

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