February 8, 2010

Meal Planning Monday

When my father cooks, he makes huge quantities of foods.  Our gumbo pot, for instance, was as large as a turkey fryer.  As a child we would very literally feed the neighborhood when we would make gumbo.  My sister and I would put single servings of the gumbo into containers and go around the neighborhood.  We lived in a small town with many elderly in the community, and memories of those trips around the block warm my heart when I think about them. 

Because I first learned how to cook this way, I tend to prefer this method.  I’d rather make one large pot of soup or chili and have plenty of leftovers--I subscribe to the “cook once, eat many times” approach.  Although I greatly enjoy cooking and piddling in the kitchen, life gets busy sometimes.  Having meals that I’ve made ahead in the fridge or freezer makes life easier.  Even having parts of the meal, like side dishes or base ingredients, helps to cut the prep time more than in half. 

This week, we’ll be using many leftovers as part of our meals and snacks.  Because I cooked a lot over the weekend, I won’t need to make much this week.  I’ve marked the foods that are leftovers with a red colored font, so that you’ll see what I mean.  The leftovers mentioned below are either from this weekend’s cooking or from the freezer.  Also, two very large bowls of soup and another two large bowls of chili will go into the freezer for future meals and get-togethers.

Breakfastshash browns, boiled eggs, fruit salad, cereal, soaked oatmeal, baked oatmeal, pancakes, and omelets.  As a special treat for Valentine’s Day, I’ll make my hubby some homemade cinnamon rolls.

Lunchespimento cheese, tuna fish, pasta, garden vegetable soup, chili, pbj, and turkey sandwiches.

Snacksveggies and ranch, muffins, crackers, apples, bananas, popcorn, raisins.

Suppers

Mondaychili with corn cakes

Tuesday—roasted organic chicken, black eyed peas, steamed broccoli

Wednesday—I’ll be making food for the children’s program at church.  We’ll have a Valentine’s color red theme.  Pasta with red sauce, heart shaped garlic toasts, punch, and if I can find some good strawberries I’ll be dipping them in white chocolate.  If I can’t, I’ll try and make some heart shaped cookies or another special treat. 

Thursday—Pan seared tilapia, red beans that I refry, fiesta rice, and lemon garlic spinach

FridayChicken and Rice, cooked carrots, and salad.

Saturday—The church will be having a Valentine’s potluck supper.  I’ll make either Shepherd’s Pie or Chicken Poppyseed Casserole to bring.  Of course, I might always change that plan if I get inspired to cook something else.  ;) I’ll bring a couple of boxes of prepared Annie’s mac and cheese for the kids too. 

Sunday—We don’t like to eat out on holidays like Valentine’s Day because the crowds and wait make it more tedious than special.  Instead, we’ll be making a special dinner at home.  I’ll make the 5 minute bread recipe, venison steaks cooked on the grill, stuffed potatoes, salad, and Honey Whole Wheat Cookies.

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