Monday, October 21, 2013

Easy Menu Planning

Every day Bela asks me "what's for dinner?" and every day I'm expected to have an answer. It feels like the hardest thing I do all day. Seriously.


BHG
I would much rather look at a pretty kitchen than use one.

To make life easier I've automated our menu. Each day gets a catchy slogan. For example, Meatless Monday. Taco Tuesday. Pizza Friday. It's still new, so I haven't quite figured out what Wednesdays should be called. "Wonderful Wednesday" seems a bit too broad to be very useful.

Then Sudoku-like, I fill in the menu with recipes, knowing we should have a certain number of chicken meals, a fish, a red meat, etc. We complement with lots of frozen vegetables--keeping things quick & convenient--and tend to avoid starches and grains.

Meatless Monday is not meant to be a vegetarian meal so there might be bacon in the quiche or on the side of "breakfast for dinner" pancakes. Taco Tuesday can really be any sort of taco: fish or shrimp, shredded chicken, or ground turkey. 

I also like to leave room in the schedule for re-using leftovers. One of my favorite dishes to prepare is something I created with tortillas, leftover Spanish rice, black beans, and sour cream--and assembled like a lasagna.

Tory Burch
The final element is presentation. In fact, I just read that "some studies seem to indicate we even absorb more nutrients from food that is visually appealing." But more about that later...

So when Bela asks today, I have my answer! We are eating tomato soup and quesadillas tonight. 

{This has been day 21 of the 31 Days of ... A Calm Life series.}

Shared at Menu Plan Monday 

5 comments:

  1. What a great idea Carrie! i get a bit frustrated too trying to figure out what to tell my son when he asks the same question!

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  2. Some great tips here. I'm like you - would rather look at my kitchen than cook in it :)
    Stacy

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  3. Menu planning can be exhausting! I love the themes. My kids would love tacos and pizza every week, lol.

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  4. I learned early on in my motherhood that dinner can be the necessary evil of life. You are SO RIGHT that the remedy to the problem is to have a plan. Menu planning DEFINITELY frees me! When I make a menu if the children ask what's for dinner, I don't feel like ripping their poor innocent heads off! LOL Thanks for the reminder. I better get busy ;)

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  5. I don't have children but do follow a very similar take on week-night meals. Once a week is breakfast for dinner, I try to do a salad one night and then the ones you do as well. Maybe one night is a meal that your kids help out with too or they have input on?!?! Love this post!

    - Jaime

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Thanks so much for commenting! I love to read what you have to say. ~Carrie

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