Tuesday, March 30, 2010

-Mindless Menu-

Some of my dearest girlfriends suffer from 'chronic kitchen tedium'.  It is a horrible daily crisis that plagues them.  Picky eaters, selective eaters, and lack of motivation/enthusiasm are symptoms of their kitchen inhabitants.  Sadly, there is no prescription that will alter their circumstances.  What is a girl to do with this timeless question, "What's for dinner?"  I have given this some serious thought and have come up with a fresh idea---what if you only had to think about cooking 4x's a week!  

First, you need to sit down with your monthly calendar and take a good hard look your family lifestyle.  What are your busiest days that keep you out of the house all day?  What days are you usually home?  Do you have a morning or afternoon when you are typically home?  If you can define this piece of information, you can create a rhythm to your cooking habits.  For instance,  I am home on Tuesdays afternoons, we have no activities scheduled for the rest of the day.  So I make Tuesdays my TRIPLE IT day.  I will make a triple batch of spaghetti sauce or soup or chili.  Then I freeze what is leftover.  Wednesdays we are in and out so I keep that as our GRILL IT day.  Dinner is a snap when you can throw your meat on the grill.  Friday's is our PIZZA night.  I put the ingredients in the bread machine and dough is ready.  Everyone makes his or her own personal pizza and yums it up!  Perhaps you have a little time in the morning and can put your dinner in the CROCK POT.  Maybe you are super sonic busy and need 2 crock-pot nights; that's totally fine.  Therefore, what I am suggesting is to label your days of the week with your plan for cooking:

Mondays:  Kid Pick-cook your kids favorite meal
Tuesday:  Triple It (or double depending on your family size)
Wednesdays:  Grill It
Thursdays;  Family Favorites
Fridays:  Pizza night
Saturdays:  Crock-Pot or Left Over's or Dining out
Sundays:  Reap It (use your frozen 'triple it' food to eat today-NO COOKING)

This is so flexible.  Maybe one day would be a leftover day or a take-out night for your family.  You know your habits best and your financial status so tailor this to equip you schedule.  We try to eat fish once a week, have a meatless meal once a week, No fried foods here baby, no beef, minimal diary and pork.  We try to eat organic and I really try to keep it simple.  Veges are steamed (no sauces) or we have a salad.  Side dishes are your basic carbs; pasta (orzo is quick), potato, or rice.

Here is a glance at a month of meals for us:
  • Kid Pick: 
      • chicken wings, orzo, steamed vege
      • ziti w/garlic bread & salad
      • meatloaf w/potatoes and carrots
      • linguine w/bacon & broccoli
      • beach-a-roni
  • Triple It:
      • spaghetti (can use for Friday night pizza sauce too)
      • chicken (you can use beef) barley soup
      • chili & cornbread
      • pea soup
      • bean soup
      • chicken noodle soup
  • Grill It:
      • burgers
      • salmon or some other fish
      • bbq chicken
      • chicken sausages
      • mahi tacos
  • Family Favorites:
      • teriyaki chicken
      • garlic shrimp
      • broccoli and  potato soup
      • burritos
      • butterfly chicken w/leeks, carrots, potatoes
We leave Saturdays as leftover days or the kids will get chicken nuggets and fries and hubby and I will order take-out sushi. I personally have not had a lot of corck-pot successes, but I am open for some ideas here gals!  Sundays is our reap-it day, after all it says not to work on the Lord's Day!  Now there is no legalism here, be flexible.  I hope that this will empower you to shop accordingly and whip up dinner because you have a plan.  Let me know if you would like a recipe, I am happy to share.


Timeless and Treasured, Photography by Heather said...

We're not worthy - we're not worthy!! You are awesome! The broc-a-mollie was a hit!!

Anonymous said...

You are such an encouragement. Since I need so much encouragement in this area, I am blessed to have you as my friend. Thank you.