Sunday, January 20, 2013

Weekly Meal Plan

I have been so happy to spend so much of my time at home this week.  I've accomplished something every day except Wednesday when I was out with Mama and that was just sheer 'I don't wanna', because I had plenty of energy and time to have done anything I wanted.  January to me is the perfect month to declutter and re-organize and re-think what isn't working.  So far I've cleaned out more stuff than I thought possible, considering I pretty much have de-cluttered twice a year at least.  I'm not a pack rat, but...well, things do accumulate and now and then it's good to see what you have, discover what you'd forgotten, think about what you own and what you're letting own you, etc.

I can't say I'm anywhere near done, because I've only done a bit here and bit there, not even finished one entire room yet (scarey thought!) but I can say that what has left the house hasn't hurt my feelings one little bit.  I look forward to continuing this project until I've been through every room in the house. 

I've been  more on target with my menu this week.  I think because I really thought about what I'd like to eat this past week.  I didn't take into account exactly how much some of these meals make, for all that they were low on meat.  There was enough Sweet and Sour Chicken for John to have a portion for his dinner on Wednesday.  I still have rice left (it's very good stirred into pancake or muffin batter by the way).  Then the Shepherd's Pie we had today for dinner is definitely going to serve us again.  Instead of making Chicken Gnocchi Soup, I made Spaghetti Diable with the second chicken breast and half that went into the freezer for a future convenience meal.  There's enough Cheeseburger Soup for another meal despite my eating it for supper.  Amazing, truly, how food can stretch!

And that leaves me with three meals I never made in any shape or form.  It's like money in the bank!  I won't boast too hard.  I'm having buyer's remorse over that huge head of cauliflower I purchased last grocery shop and haven't used a morsel of yet.  Sigh.

Here's the plan for this week.  You'll note I start out with a proper 'meat' meal.  I've noticed we go along fine for about six days without a meal that focuses on the meat and then we start snacking a lot, trying to fill that craving for Bvitamins, iron and protein.

Fried Chicken, Potato Salad, Black Eyed Peas with Tomato Jam, Biscuits and Gravy
I never did make biscuits this past week...well I didn't make them but I did buy the canned biscuits John enjoys.  I like a good homemade biscuit myself and plan to make them this week.  I'll double the recipe and put a pan or two of unbaked biscuits in the freezer for future meals.

This menu is feeding my "I'm Southern and I want MY food" craving, the sort of meal I grew up eating.  Mama always served her potato salad warm and that's the way I like it.  Leftovers go in the fridge and John considers that a treat.  No competition from me on that score, I am loathe to eat cold potato salad!

I'll cook a few extra potatoes when I'm boiling them for the salad.

Roast Beef Hash, Garden Peas with herb butter, Coleslaw
I discovered a portion of roast beef in the freezer, which should be just enough for two if made into hash with the extra potatoes I cooked.  If there are any leftover biscuits I'll add those to the menu as well.

Chili Dogs, Sweet Potato Fries, Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad
Our favorite brand of hot dogs are on sale this week and I couldn't be more pleased.  They are pricey and only come 7 to a package but we get two meals off a packet.  John found a deal on canned chili (a good brand) at the grocery a couple of weeks ago and we bought several cans.  I prefer canned chili on my hot dog...The leftovers of the can will make a supper of nachos or Mexican pizza one night for us.

Mock Filet Mignons, Cauliflower Au Gratin, Tossed Salad with homemade croutons
 One of the meals I didn't get to make this past week was the mock filet mignons.  I think the cauliflower will be a good accompaniment. If I find, as I suspect I will, that there's still going to bea lot of leftover cauliflower, I'll blanch and freeze.  I can always use it later that way.

Chicken Tostados, Corn with cumin butter, Avocado slices
One chicken breast will stretch nicely to serve two.  If you need to serve more, you could spread refried beans on the tostado.  I've got a half cup of leftover kidney beans I'll mash and toss into the meat as it simmers in the taco sauce which isn't quite going to stretch the meat but will help add to the proteins in the meal.

Chicken Curry with Cauliflower, Rice Pilaf, Tomato and Cucumber Salad, Pita bread
Some of the cauliflower can most certainly go in with my chicken dish.  The pilaf is just plain white rice with add-ins like a bit of green onion, coconut, raisins and sliced almonds.  It's a nice side for curry dishes.

Leftovers Day
This week taught me that we will have leftovers of something from most meals, even though I've gotten very good at reducing recipes.  The main culprits are those 'meat stretcher' meals which serve far more than two.  I don't have a meatless meal this week but with a leftover day, that's a huge savings right there.  However, if I change my mind we could do a meatless meal of bean soup, mac and cheese, etc.

That's my menu plan for this week.  What's yours?

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