Sunday, July 13, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

I have thought a lot about cooking and my menu this week. My menu in previous weeks may have deceived my readers into believing I am a confident cook and make gourmet meals every night. Nothing could be further from the truth. A friend of mine was very impressed with my menu and I was sort of taken back by it. It was a compliment, but I don't want to miss lead any of my readers. I have grown to enjoy cooking. My mom is not a cook and I grew up dreading dinners, especially steak since it was cooked or charcoaled beyond recognition. My mom admits to not enjoying cooking and her food shows. She walks away from whatever she is cooking...gets distracted with something else and honestly she is afraid of under cooking so much she goes to the other extreme. I love you mom, but I don't want to be exactly like you in the kitchen.

Since getting married I have worked really hard to learn how to cook well. I now really enjoy cooking for my family. I still have the occasional night where I don't know what to make or I am tired or in tonight’s case too hot to cook, but most nights I enjoy creating healthy meals for my family. Even though I will be heading back to work in the fall working on a sixty percent contract I am dedicated to continuing meal planning and trying my best to make as many foods as I can using whole ingredients and purchasing less processed foods. Ideally, I would like to make all my bread for the month on one weekend day and then freeze it so we have bread for entire month. I have started to purchase foods in bulk and I am figuring out a way to store them now. I have read a lot of blogs on whole food cooking. I am looking for some easy breakfast ideas that I can freeze for my family ahead of time, for example cereal bars, but homemade. I haven't quite figured it out yet, but I am hoping to before I begin teaching again.

For this weeks menu I am going to try a few new recipes. I am very excited to add some new recipes to my family meal options. I have found that menu planning is a great way to help me save time and money. If I plan my meals according to what I have on hand I don't have to go to the store that week or several times in a week. On a side note if this post is a little all over the place I am having a difficult time concentrating little A is teething and has had a lot of trouble going to sleep. I have tried giving him some teething tablets as well as baby pain reliever, but he is still wailing upstairs. So I go up there and I calm him down just now and then I notice that there is light coming I apologize for this crazy post.

Meals this week:
Sunday: Turkey Taco Salad
Monday: Dinner over at my MIL to celebrate cousin Joanna's birthday :)
Tuesday: Frozen pasta dinner with left over turkey taco salad on the side (I am actually going out with the girls so the hubby will have the kiddos all to himself)
Wednesday: Cheesy Turkey Sausage Stromboli (new recipe) with a side fruit and spinach salad
Thursday: Veggie and Basil Tart (New recipe, adapted from Better Homes and Garden August Issue)
Friday: Grilled Turkey burgers, homemade buns (I am still looking for a whole wheat recipe for these), sweet potato fries grilled and grilled veggies
Saturday: Fish Tacos with cilantro rice and artichokes

Now please know that this is only plan and I probably only follow my menu plan 85 percent of the time. I have found that it is good to have a plan, but I need to allow myself flexibility in that plan. I think there have been a few weeks that I have followed my meal plan exactly, but most weeks I plan and then meals get moved around or we end up having company and I have to change a meal, or someone gets sick or something happens where I need to change something. It feels good to have a plan, but feels even better to know that I have options and I don't have to be rigid.

Here is an easy meal that you can make with things that most of have on hand. I didn't have a lot of veggies to put in my salad to night, but it still tasted delish.

Easy Ground Turkey Taco Salad
I just took: green leaf lettuce chopped, green bell pepper, black beans, olives canned whole and sliced, frozen corn (grilled in a pan), avocado, olives, Cheddar cheese shredded, avocado, some crunched up corn chips and then dressing of your choice. Oh and some ground turkey that I had previously cooked and froze. I love doing that and highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. It is so nice to have ground beef and ground turkey already cooked and in small freezer bags, ready to pull out and use in a dish. It also means fewer dishes.

The above picture is my kitchen after my husband waxed the floor as a birthday gift for me. :) I love having a clean home...too bad as soon as my house is clean someone comes along and it is no longer clean. I guess that is just part of having little kids. :) Sorry for the extra long post this week.

1 comment:

Katie said...

I didn't mean to make you feel bad - I'd rather eat at your house than mine! I too am flexible on my meal planning, I usually plan 10 dinners at a time and that will last us two weeks. I choose which meal I feel like cooking each night. Tonight was BLT's and a pasta/fruit salad.