Well, it is a couple days late, but here is my first weekly menu plan for October 2016!
As you may notice, I like to keep things simple. Even when Andrew is home, dinner prep can be stressful with an energetic two-year old who wants to go outside, play with Mommy, read a book, eat a snack, drink my coffee, climb my leg, make tea (“Put kettle on! Make tea!”), play with Mommy's kitchen things, etc, etc, etc—ALL AT THE SAME TIME.
OK, not exactly, but if you have small children or little siblings, you get the basic idea.
Anyway, I like to keep it simple most days. I do need to expand my “repertoire” of recipes (hopefully this blog will help me do just that), but there's a certain charm to simplified meal prep that I don't intend to throw out anytime soon!
Normally, my dinners consist of three categories—a protein (meat or eggs), a salad or grain/starch, and fruit or veggies. If the main dish is filling enough, I'll omit one of the sides. Keeps it pretty simple. I typically stay away from meals that take a long time to make, although I'm interested in exploring shortcuts if something strikes my fancy.
Monday: Trim Mac Salad (p.181 in the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook) - S
This meal is pretty easy. All you do is prepare the lettuce, brown some ground beef and onions, and add some cheese and diced tomatoes. The original recipe calls for specific seasonings as well as broth or stock, but you don't need the stock and you can use whatever seasonings you think you would enjoy. Just don't forget the salt. :) :) :)
Actually, I made this for lunch on Tuesday, not for dinner on Monday (we skipped dinner that night), but I'm putting it here because it's a great quick and easy dinner (and it was slated for Monday, originally). Makes a great lunch too!
Tuesday: flatbread, green beans, tuna burgers – Crossover
This was another easy meal, mainly because I had both the bread dough and the tuna burgers made up days before. (I sometimes make a large batch of tuna burgers at the beginning of the week so that Andrew can take some to work for lunch during the week. Need to do this more often—it makes dinners easier, too.)
If anyone's interested in tuna burgers, I can post instructions later (I don't have a recipe on hand, I just wing it), but you really ought to check out the bread recipe. If you ferment the dough for 3-5 days, it lowers the carb count (so for Trim Healthy Mamas, it becomes “E” friendly). So far, I've used it for pizza and flatbread, and it is really good! You can find the recipe here.
Wednesday: quiche, salad - S
I like this one because after you pop that quiche into the oven, you can relax...play with the baby...whatever. Plus, quiche is a convenient way to get rid of leftover veggies or meat that would otherwise go to waste (or the chickens). I usually make a crustless quiche because it eliminates extra work. It's still really good!
Thursday: Parmesan-crusted fish sticks, apple slices, roasted veggies
The sides are super easy; the fish sticks I haven't tried yet. I got the idea from Pinterest (where else?) and can't wait to try it! I'll let you know how it turns out.
Friday: pesto chicken, salad, potatoes (for Andrew/Dean) – S for me (I avoid the potatoes) and Crossover for everyone else
Again, the pesto chicken is super easy...all you do is smother on some pesto and add some cheese on top (I use mozzarella), then bake. Sometimes I sprinkle chopped nuts on top and that's good too, but it's pretty versatile and you can dress it up anyway you want. Sliced tomatoes also make a yummy topping.
Saturday: pizza – Crossover (or E, depending what toppings you use)
Since I use Gwen's E bread dough recipe for this, I make the dough days in advance. All you have to do is roll out the dough, add your toppings, and bake. Easy as pie. (I do bake the crust for about 10 min before adding the toppings, to make it crustier, but that's a matter of preference I think.)
Sunday (lunch): leftover pizza
That's it for this week! What do you think?