Every week I sit sit down, usually with a big cup of milky tea, and figure out what the heck we're going to eat for the next seven days. Sometimes I enjoy the process, sometimes it's the very last thing I want to do, but it always ends up getting done one way or the other. I love how much money I save by getting everything needed for a meal all at once. I love the lack of waste, since I don't buy anything extra that isn't going to be used during the week. But most of all, I love not having to think on days that are long and hard, knowing that dinner is all planned out and I won't have to figure out what on earth to make at 5:00 when I'm starting to get hungry.
Taking a cue from my friend Danielle, I'm going to post my menu here each week. Not promising anything extraordinary or too exciting - this is food for a family with small children done on a budget. Hope you find something interesting here, or at least get an idea of what to make for dinner!
Oh, I don't assign days to any of the meals I plan. It's too hard to know if today is going to be a really late day for Dan, or my oldest will melt down completely in the afternoon and need constant attention (gotta love Aspergers!) or if life will somehow get in the way of that stew that takes four hours to cook. I take it one day at a time and pick whichever meal seems to make the most sense. I also plan in several fast and easy meals (usually ones I've made many times and can do in my sleep) for days that seem to have no extra time at all. Like, oh, today.
Our menu this week:
- Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots (I've got a whole chicken in the freezer and felt like comfort food)
- Chicken and sausage gumbo
- Fried rice, stir fried greens with garlic - this one is really fast and a great way to use up leftovers
- Hoisin chicken buns, steamed rice, bok choy with oyster sauce (the buns are made with the leftover chicken from the roast)
- Megadarra (lentils and rice with caramelized onions), mashed zucchini with onions, garlic and mint
- Chicken and broccoli stir fry, steamed rice - also quick
- Multigrain pancakes, sausage, cinnamon apples, and yogurt (I often do breakfast for dinner - cheap, appealing to the boys, nutritious, and easy to make)