One part of running a household that I’ve always detested is menu planning. I admit to being a picky eater and preferring a more limited diet than what I should be eating. Plus, it’s very easy for me to get into a routine, buying the same items at the store, and making the same meals over and over. And trust me, hearing lots of complaints about dinner, but no suggestions does not make for a happy cook!
My solution was to go back to meal planning, but this time, involve the family. My husband is more than happy to make suggestions and be experimented on. The girls, not so much.
Each week, I take a look at next week’s schedule and figure out how many “fast” meals we’ll need. Each girl selects a meal they want, and my husband and I tackle the rest.
Winter is coming, though you can’t really tell with the sun shining and temperatures still in the 50s. But you’ll be able to see its influence in the selections we made. I try to focus on (relatively) healthy meals that do not break the bank or take hours to make.
Saturday: Lemon pepper rainbow trout with baked potatoes.
Sunday: Potato soup. This is a soup made with broth and dill, not the usual creamy potato style.
Monday: Chicken breasts and salad
Tuesday: Parmesan tilapia. This is a staple and one of the few ready made items I’ll buy. It is cooked from frozen and great for those crazy, busy nights we all have.
Wednesday: Another soup. This one was Asian style with bok choy, noodles, and shrimp.
Thursday: Since this night was busy, we did beef stew in the crockpot. It was wonderful coming home and already having dinner ready and waiting.
Friday: Spaghetti made with turkey meatballs for half, and kale/quinoa “meat”balls for the other half. The sauce was canned this past summer.
As you can see, I try to keep meals simple, and mostly frugal. While we had beef one night, it was a pound of stew meat, rather than a couple pounds of steak. Soups are excellent, especially during winter. They help stretch the food, and reheat wonderfully. It is unusual for us to have it three times in a week, though!