Monday, January 16, 2012

Menu Monday #3

I have to admit that I am loving Menu Mondays.  I get everything planned out ahead of time for a varied dinner menu and then all I have to do is look at the whiteboard on my fridge to figure out what I'm making?  Perfect!  We tend to make meals every evening anyway, but without some prior planning there have been nights where I just wanted something quick, like BLTs or gardenburgers, which of course need fries, which means...not the healthiest meal.  Planning meals ahead of time has helped me overcome some of that dilemma.

I usually have two weeks planned at once with a general idea of what to do for the rest of the month. (This has also helped with my Pinterest obsession -- now I'm actually using all the yummy-looking recipes that I pin!)  But what do we do with leftovers?  Generally I make something on Sunday or Monday evening that Honey and I can then eat for lunches the rest of the week.  Any other leftovers go in the freezer.  Now in the past the freezer has accumulated food and never again does it see the light of day.  Not anymore!  Once a month will be freezer-eating week, where we'll defrost the meals from the past.  I like this plan!

Menu Monday, January 15-21
Sunday -- Hearty lentils, aka "Vegetarian Sloppy Joes" (The recipe was good, but I added some spices and the lentils took seven hours to cook instead of five. Also, I have no idea what "real" Sloppy Joes taste like, so I can't compare this to the real thing, but it was good with a salad as a dinner option.)
Monday -- Creamy crock pot tomato basil soup and a salad
Tuesday -- Curried chickpea (garbanzo bean) and quinoa tacos (This recipe is from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. I'm not a huge fan of vegan anything, but I've tried two recipes from this woman and both turned out surprisingly well, so I'm looking forward to trying another.)
Wednesday -- I'm still debating which recipe to use, since I have three that vary slightly, but I know the meal will be Thai curry coconut soup. It will not, however, contain chicken, because Honey and I prefer to eat meat/poultry only once or twice a week.
Thursday -- Baked chicken and roasted red pepper taquitos and a salad.
Friday -- Green garlic risotto and broiled lemon-garlic shrimp (I love shrimp but I've only cooked it once or twice, so this will be a fairly new experience for me. Friday evenings tend to be our nights to indulge a bit and I'm really looking forward to trying both of these recipes!)
Saturday -- leftovers

There are two other recipes that I planned for this week, both desserts, both vegan (or are if you have certifiably vegan ingredients, which I don't care about).  I know, I know, it sounds miserably unappetizing.  But there are a few vegans who actually enjoy food and I am counting on them to provide recipes that appeal to food lovers in general.

Guilt-free chocolate chip cookie dough -- I actually made this yesterday and it was amazing.  Seriously.  I nearly consumed the entire batch myself!  It's made with chickpeas, which sounds weird, but it was incredibly good.  I followed the recipe (used 1/3 c. brown sugar as the "sweetener") and used peanut butter, so it tasted a bit like chocolate chip peanut butter cookie dough, which made it perfect for serving with bananas as a dessert.  YUM.

"Not Guilty" chocolate chip cookies -- This recipe is from the same blog as the amazing cookie dough, so I have high hopes.  I think I'll try this today!

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