Monday, January 25, 2010

This Week's Menu

As I've mentioned before, if I don't plan dinners ahead of time, I turn into a stress case around 4 p.m. Also, we've had a lot of requests for ways to save money and still eat well, and I can tell you that planning menus has definitely impacted my pocketbook in a positive way.

Here's what this week's menu looks like:

Monday: Quinoa Chili (recipe HERE)

Tuesday: Rigatoni with Sausage and Peppers (recipe HERE)

Wednesday: Easy Night-- Omelettes (My fave ingredients=sauteed onions, zucchini,
spinach, tomato, mushrooms, and cheddar or feta cheese.)

Thursday: Lentil and Rice Salad (Talk about economical and healthy--we start with a layer of brown rice (cooking instructions HERE), then brown lentils (cooking instructions HERE), followed by greens, diced cucumber, green pepper, tomato, and avocado, then topped with a dollop of cottage cheese and dressed with soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. This is one of our favorite meals and you feel so happy after dinner about the favor you just did your body!)

Friday: Homemade Pizza (my favorite crust recipe HERE)

Let me know if you have any questions. These meals are all delish--hope you love!

***Scroll down for the freezer-meals giveaway winner!***


Rachael said...

just have to put in a plug for the quinoa chili--we LOVE it around here! and by a happy coincidence, it's already on our menu for this week. :-)

Kate said...

Well we had quinoa chili last night for dinner! (or canoe chili as Mark refers to it) It's a favorite around here. Homemade pizza is also on my to make for dinner list too! I'll be trying your other suggestions! Looks yummy!

LJ said...

Yum. These look so good and healthy, too! Thanks!

EHC said...

I would actually love to see a series of posts about menu planning. A friend of mine does Mexican every Monday, Italian every Tuesday, etc. Another friend plans her menu around a few key ingredients to make shopping easier. In any case, I know there are probably alot of secrets & tips out there and I want to know them!

Brianne said...

Yum! That picture of chili looked so tasty, I just had to go buy some quinoa to try the recipe tonight!

danielle said...

we have been making homemade pizza a ton around here. We love it. I think we are going to try to figure out a way to make a pizza oven in our oven...I think if you put a brick slab in it it makes your pizza crust crispier. I'll let you know;)

Heather said...

So I have to ask...

The menu for the week sounds fantastic but does it end up costing more than one would expect for a weeks worth of meals?

I do a monthly calendar for my meals and do my grocery shopping based off of that and am always looking for new recipes to add to our favorites but I don't want them to cost a lot or take a whole lot of time to make. The simpler the better.

Sarah said...

You chili looks so yummy... I must try it. Thanks for sharing.

Steph said...

Thanks for pointing me in the direction of the quinoa chili recipe. I've got a whole bunch of quinoa on hand, and I haven't been quite sure what to do with it other than quinoa pilaf.

Sounds great!

Heather said...

Yum!! I am really excited to have some new ideas & recipes, funnily enough I am making veggie quinoa chili on Thursday! I love having a weekly menu, it makes life SO much easier. Thanks for the ideas!

Valerie said...

All the recipes look great and I can't wait to try them. I am also with EHC, what are better tips for meal planning. What is the best way to start? Is it easier to choose a theme, like Mexican food or Italian and do it on those days, or do you just sit down every week and conjure up meals that will go together. Also I LOVED that you put links to all your recipes.

Mrs. Cropper said...

@EHC and Valerie,
I don't do any particular type of food on certain nights, mostly because my weeknights vary (family commitments, church activities, etc.) Basically, when I sit down to do meal plans I grab a stack of our cookbooks and my recipe binder or go through a few of my favorite recipe sites or food blogs and decide to cook what sounds good! Of course, I take into consideration what I have on hand, in my freezer, in my garden, etc. Also, if I'm trying to particularly save money one week for some reason, I go for all my dry goods--beans, rice, quinoa, lentils, etc. All those ingredients are a major bargain!

We will continue to talk about meal plans, what is good to always have in your pantry, etc. This is a topic I've grown passionate about. And, honestly, a year and a half ago I was terrible at it. I didn't know where to start, how to budget, or even how to cook very well. I've really worked at it, and to answer Heather's question, I'm happy to report that meal planning has become very cost effective for me. I just came home from the store this evening and I had spent $118 on all the meals I'm making the next TWO weeks. Granted, I have lots of ingredients in my pantry that will play a part in those meals, and I'll return to the store next week for more milk, bananas, and eggs, but that is pretty amazing, no?