Menu Plan for the Week! Or few days…?

I used to be very particular about planning a weeks dinners. You can see that from posts here. I’d read the sales for the week…then I’d figure out what we were eating! Breakfasts were always kinda the same, and lunches were leftovers.

Now we’re in a different place eating wise. We still have all our own meat and dairy, but I buy pretty much all our dry goods in quantities to last us months. We’re getting a CSA box from Bullock Lake Farm, so that takes care of our vegetables, it’s just a matter of picking up some fruit to last the week.  I’m also finding that sticking to a week long menu plan just ain’t working for me. So instead I plan 2-3 days at a time. Our house is stocked so I’m not running to the grocery store more than once every week or two. Most importantly? It’s working for us.

When it comes to eating, I don’t want you to compare yourself to me. I hope to inspire you with a few recipes, or maybe encourage you to plan at least a few days in advance so that you can save a few bucks. Whether you’re vegan, paleo, vegetarian, WAPF or whatever’s in the fridge cook. We can all stop comparing ourselves, because I know that everyone is doing the best for their family. It’s natural to want to compare, so lets compare to ourselves. To our personal progress. In 5 years I’ve gone from raising chickens to eat (for 9 years actually), but still buying boxes of frozen chicken breasts, to being completely chicken sufficient. Thats a great milestone for me. I used to be horrific at keeping my kitchen clean, now I’d say it’s fairly painless. The turning point on that one? I decided that I was a stay at home Mom and it was my job. I was going to make dirty and need to wash clean dishes every single day. This resentment I felt toward dirty dishes? Did I really want that amount of resentment in my life everyday? No, no I really didn’t. Recently Marius and I made a deal that at minimum on weekends, if not some weekdays, he needed to put away the clean dishes. Thats the part I hate the most, the actual standing there washing doesn’t bother me! So set a goal, and delight in reaching it.

 

Sunday Dinner

Roast chicken rubbed with Herbs de Provence+ large salad of whatevers in the fridge

Monday

Breakfast- I’ll probably make buckwheat pancakes  cause my Dad’s visiting and Mac loves them.

Lunch – Marius will bring leftover chicken sandwiches and Dad, Mac and I will eat whatevers around.

Dinner- I told Marius if he found more chantarelle mushrooms (some are in dehydrator right now) I’d make Fresh Pasta with creamy mushroom sauce for him and Dad. I have pesto in the fridge, so plan B is that we have Pesto Fresh Pasta, and either way I’ll be having pesto as I don’t like chantarelles! I’ve got green beans hanging around too so we’ll have those sauteed in some garlic and basil! The pasta I made for the first time a couple weeks ago is a recipe from The Homemade Pantry. I’m loving this book!

Tuesday

Breakfast- Oatmeal? Toast? Muffins? They’re all around so we’ll pick one.

Lunch – More chicken sandwiches for Marius, Leftover Pasta for Mac, Dad and I.

Dinner- Chicken Soup. Monday I’ll make stock, and then I’ll transform that into a terrific soup, Im thinking a Red Lentil Ginger? Something easy peasy.

 

Thats honestly as far as I’ve gotten. If I plan any farther ahead I’ll just end up changing my mind anyways! What are you eating this week?? 

 

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Pairing up meals to Pare down on Cooking

In lieu of Menu Plan Monday, I’m sharing a great menu planning strategy.

 

I love to cook, that’s no surprise. Especially when you live somewhere with extremely limited take out, on a limited budget and you don’t like to drive anymore than you have to. (which I would have to do to go pick up food!) That’s not to say I’m not immune to the odd dinner out, or have pierogies on a lazy night. Here’s what I do, especially at this time of year when I’d rather be outside more.

‘Planning’ to have leftovers in one part of your meal, to make the next night go faster is my biggest convenience strategy. Tonight, for example, I’m roasting a chicken which will yield much more than 2 adults and a toddler can eat in a night, so tomorrow we’re going to have a big green salad with cold chopped chicken ontop. I can throw that together in under 10 minutes, so tonights time investment of roasting a chicken will pay off in huge dividends. I’m also cooking extra roast potatoes because Mac won’t eat much salad, but will eat chicken and potatoes, as well as my potato lovin’ husband will like them alongside the salad.

Here are a few examples of foods to double up on one night to eat the next!

 

Night #1 Springtime Honey Garlic Roast Chicken Skillet by How Sweet Eats  (I’d cook a bigger chicken, to have more leftovers.

Night #2 Green Salad with cold cubed chicken. I’d throw in sunflower or pumpkin seeds, feta, sliced almonds, bell peppers, apples, shredded carrots, or any other yummy salad toppings I have around. Tomorrow it’ll be finely chopped broccoli, apples, almonds and feta. Use what you have! Adding things like cheese, nuts and seeds add protein and ‘fill-up’ value to a salad so a little chicken can stretch a long way. Stretching meat means it’s frugal which just happens to be my middle name.

 

Night #1 Burritos with Homemade refried beans by The Prairie Homestead.

Night #2 7 layer dip by 4 Little Fergusons.  Along with veg+dip  and some tortilla chips…yum!

Night #1 Sausages (I love our game sausages, but use your favourite chicken, beef or pork as well!) with applesauce and mashed potatoes.

Morning after (Tricked ya!) Mashed Potato Pancakes by How Sweet Eats. Not going to lie, I’d probably just eat them on their own without anything else.

Night #2 Pizza with sliced sausages and all your other favourite toppings. Maybe homemade Mozzarella?, we love spinach on sausage pizza!

Night #1 BBQ Steaks, BBQ potatoes (simple toss smallish potatoes in a bit of oil, salt and pepper, poke with fork and cook until done! They’re fast on the BBQ, sometimes just ten minutes), and salad.

Night #2 Pasta Carbonara by the Pioneer Woman with sliced steak and extra veggies (frozen ones work great!). I like to add much more vegetables than it calls for. Peas are fabulous in it though. I skip on the sliced steak, but my it appeals to my husbands inner carnivore. Because you slice it so thinly, last time I made it, I fed 3 hungry adults and only used 2 small steaks. It stretches far!

 

Night #1 Macaroni or rotini noodles with your favourite sauce.

Night #2 Cold pasta salad. Make it with cooked beans and whatever seasonal veggies appeal to you for a meat free meal.


I was going to come up with another yummy pairing, but then realized the potatoes are close to being done and I haven’t made dip to go with the broccoli and carrot sticks! Yikes! Enjoy these and I hope they’ll help you spend less time in the kitchen, and more time with your family while still eating wholesome meals.

Menu Plan Monday

Can you believe I’m back and menu planning!? I have been sort of planning meals for the past week or two, but for 2 months before that I couldn’t think farther into the future than what I would eat in an hour. Needless to say my husband did a lot of his own cooking…

It’s VERY exciting that our “Tuesday Market” has started up again because it’s only farmers and food producers, unlike the Saturday market that has all sorts of vendors. Two weeks ago I got salad greens, spinach for smoothies, strawberries, asparagus, dill and cilantro. I may have gone over my budget in groceries so much that I had $20 left for last weeks groceries. Luckily I also overbought most things too so I only had to pick up some new potatoes and organic grapes, as well as later in the week we picked up strawberries from a local farm.

For Breakfast…

I’ve got some pancake batter (I always make too much so we can eat a pancakes a few times in a week), spinach that needs to be used so we’ll have pancakes as well as toast. Yum.

For Lunch…

Leftovers leftovers leftovers!

For Dinner…

Monday: Out at a friends house, they don’t eat much meat but do enjoy farm raised so my contribution is a roasting chicken we’re going to cook there.

Tuesday: Porcupine Balls . I’ll make them with venison though. I’ve got Dinner: A Love Story’s new cookbook and all I can say is go buy it. Right now. It’s a novel and a cookbook all in one which is my favourite kind. I read 2/3 of it in one evening, got up the next morning, made Mac and I breakfast and parked myself on the couch to finish it. (Cowboy was home so I wasn’t totally neglecting Mac, I promise!)

Wednesday: BBQ Venison backstrap w/ bbq new potatoes and salad. We eat soooo many salads at this time of year when the local salad greens are primo.

Thursday: Pasta Carbonara w/ leftover steak. I made carbonara once two years ago, then made it again last week and we don’t know why we haven’t been eating it more often!

Friday-Sunday: We’re camping with my sister and her family and we haven’t figured out what we’re bringing yet. The men will be fishing so there will be trout for dinner, and I think fire baked potatoes, bacon, pb+J sandwiches all sound like good bets. We’re going to make a round of jerky, muffins and cookies to bring as well.

 

So it’s you’re turn! What’s on your plate? Give me ideas for next week’s meal plan please!

Mamamameeeenu Plan

My Dad’s here this week! Friends for dinner Friday night! Hello to another crazy week!

 

Tomorrow I’m picking up a massive bulk order from an Organic, Non-GMO food store and in there I have:

Green/Red Lentils

Kidney/Black/Small White/Garbanzo beans

Green Peas

Soft White/Red Fife wheat

Popcorn

Panella

Rice

Oats

Quinoa

 

All in large amounts. To say I am excited would be an understatement. I look forward to much smaller grocery shops in the future!

 

For Breakfast…

We seem to be eating a lot of oatmeal. I’ll make pancakes while my Dad’s here too.

For Lunch…

Lalalalaleeeeftovers

For Dinner…

 

Monday 26th

Kate Hundt’s Chicken, roasted potatoes, veg+dip.

Tuesday 27th

Venison Roast, baked potatoes, ceasar salad. Maybe the Tablespoon roast?

Wednesday 28th

Chinese Venison Broccoli w/ rice (I’ve still got tons of frozen broccoli from last gardening season!)

Thursday 29th

BBQ Chicken w/ warm quinoa/lentil/pea salad

Friday 30th

Salmon, fried rice, guests bringing salad

Saturday 31st

Shepards pie (I made and froze a bunch a month or so ago! Wahoo)

Sunday 1st

Venison+Green Bean stew. Didn’t make this last week, but I have lots of frozen green beans!

It’s 10 am and there is not a Menu Posted!

Whoops! Guess I’d better post that up now.

This time of year is when I can no longer get local root and winter vegetables steadily. So I dig into my frozen, canned and dried foods I put up in the summer/fall. Also, we have friends coming for dinner twice and my in-laws here for 3 nights. Sometimes I really pile it on my plate!

For Breakfast…

We’ll have pancakes, oatmeal and smoothies!

For Lunch…

We’ll have leftovers!

For Dinner…

Monday

Rhubarb Meatballs w/ fried green pea rice+spinach salad. I’m going to toss some lentil+pea sprouts into the rice right before serving. I’ve got lots of canned rhubarb so I want to make sweet and sour meatballs with it.

Tuesday

Roasted Chicken w/ warm potato salad. Friends coming over and bringing a salad. I’m making Rhubarb Spice Cake for dessert! (You guessed it…using up that rhubarb!)

Wednesday

Halibut, quinoa and broiled garlicky green beans w/ canned green beans

Thursday

First night on in-laws being here. I’ve got easy meals planned for the whole time so we can keep our schedule loose. English muffin egg sandwiches w/ cheese, sausage patties (I’ll make these up with ground venison) and fruit smoothies.

Friday

Hamburgers w/ broccoli sprouts, bacon, mushrooms. Apple Slices on the side!

Saturday

Chicken Noodle Soup  from chicken on Tuesday! (using celery, carrots, dried peas, spagetti squash)

Sunday

Friends over again, bringing salad. Salmon, warm quinoa+lentil salad. One of them is a vegetarian, but will eat bits of fish, so I try to cook that when they come over, and make sure there is lots of protein otherwise.

Whats on your plate this week? Have you planned any of it? Even 2 days in advance?

Menu Plan Monday!

Can you believe it’s Monday again already? I abandoned half of the meal plan last week, ditching the last few days, and used leftovers we had sitting in the fridge. I went grocery shopping a week ago, and my plan is to not go again until next Monday. You see, the thing is, that I actually really love grocery shopping. Its almost a hobby. So I’m trying to stretch it out more, not be so addicted to it? I usually go once a week and never spend over our budget, usually less, and always get so many fabulous whole foods. The less you go, the less you seem to spend overall though, and I LOVE having money leftover in my grocery budget jar.

Do you ever use the jar system? It’s similar to the envelope system where when you deposit your paycheck, you take out all the cash you need for groceries, gas, etc. We don’t do a bunch of jars, just odds n ends, farm money, groceries and gas. At the end of the month, if I’ve got money leftover in the groceries jar I use it to buy bulk amounts of items like honey, grains, etc.

For Breakfast

We’ll rock the pancakes this week. I plan to make a big bowl that will last a few breakfasts. I make pancakes so often, always with the same recipe that it’s about time I shared it. Buckwheat Cottage cheese baby! I use a similar one for waffles, and they’re so filling a 3 waffle eater can only eat 1! Stick to your ribs full of protein, baby! Smoothies are our other go-to.

For Lunch

We usually have leftovers during the week, and on the weekend we often make soup or bacon and eggs. Cowboy works on jobsites without a place to warm up or do anything with his lunch, it needs to be able to be eaten while sitting in his work truck. (He’s a carpenter). He doesn’t pack his lunch by the day, but rather will put enough food in his truck for a week. This usually includes apples or carrots (Obviously not in really warm weather), homemade granola bars or trail mix. He’s weird about his trailmix….no chocolate! I make it for his with different seeds, nuts and sometimes dried apples. While most guys bring a big lunch, he prefers to just have protein packed snacks to eat quickly if he’s hungry. When he gets home he almost ALWAYS grabs himself a bowl of cashews to tide him over until dinner.

For Dinner…

Monday 12th

Halibut+Roast Potatoes+Broiled Garlicky Green Beans. Gotta use up the canned green beans!

Tuesday 13th

My Birthday! My Mommy is making us dinner 🙂

Wednesday 14th

Chinese Venison Broccoli with rice. We seem to eat this quite often. Probably because it’s fast, simple and you eat so much broccoli!

Thursday 15th

General Tso’s Chicken+Green Pea fried rice+Broiled Garlicky Green Beans (Make extra rice Wednesday…dinner is half made for Thursday!)

Friday 16th

Venison burgers stuffed with spinach+cheese. (Homemade Mozzarella?) I’ll make the buns as I have everything at home to make them, thus keeping me out of the grocery store/bakery.

Saturday 17th

Good Question. I think Leftovers! On second thought, the next day is Poppa’s birthday, so Maybe I’ll have my Grandma over for dinner. Guess I got to come up with something special now! (He has simple tastes, he’d be pleased if I made a good soup/stew followed by cake!)

Sunday 18th

My Godson’s birthday party with a late lunch, so we’ll have Chicken Noodle Soup for dinner!

Menu Plan Monday

Here we are at another week! Another Menu Plan! This week I had some issues. I don’t know why but it seemed harder than usual to come up with what we were going to eat. Do you ever get weeks like that? 

For Breakfast,

We’ll have pancakes, oatmeal, toast and smoothies

For Lunch,

We usually have leftovers during the week, and on the weekend we often make soup or bacon and eggs. Cowboy works on jobsites without a place to warm up or do anything with his lunch, it needs to be able to be eaten while sitting in his work truck. (He’s a carpenter). He doesn’t pack his lunch by the day, but rather will put enough food in his truck for a week. This usually includes apples or carrots (Obviously not in really warm weather), homemade granola bars or trail mix. He’s weird about his trailmix….no chocolate! I make it for his with different seeds, nuts and sometimes dried apples. While most guys bring a big lunch, he prefers to just have protein packed snacks to eat quickly if he’s hungry. When he gets home he almost ALWAYS grabs himself a bowl of cashews to tide him over until dinner.

At Dinnertime,

We eat pretty early, 5:30-6 is average, unless it’s a more involved dinner that couldn’t have earlier prep, because I milk the cow at 4 pm everyday and don’t get home until 4:45.

You’ll notice we eat meat at every meal. This is because we believe good quality, wild or homegrown meat is very good for you. We don’t eat large quantities, a pound of meat usually goes for the 4 of us, often with leftovers, but we do eat meat everyday.

Monday

Bear Sausage+Applesauce+Quinoa. I’m off island all day and this will be a quick dinner to make!

Tuesday

Test run on Seehk Kebabs for Saturday night! I think we’ll eat them with leftover quiona and green beans. (I canned a LOT. I like to toss in olive oil, s+p and garlic then broil until crispy!)

Wednesday

BBQ Chicken pizza. We have a large cast iron skillet/pizza pan that we want to try making a nice smoky pizza on the BBQ with as it’s too large for our oven. I actually use it for making pancakes on the stovetop all the time.

Thursday

Eggs+Hashbrowns+Bacon. (Mom’s chicken’s eggs, Bonacres farm potatoes and Northend Farm bacon. All within 10 minute drive from our house)

Cowboy is going to the Canucks VS Jets Hockey game with a friend and I’m going to have my two God-children/cousins over for dinner so their parents have alone time! Why I thought having 3 children under 4 was a good idea for the night my husband was away was a good thing, I’ll never know. We’ll have fun, watch movies and eat popcorn.

Friday

Shredded Venison burritos. I’m going to try making tortillas as well, using this recipe. Although I won’t soak them. I’ll make enough for the following night. I’ll use canned venison stew meat for this, SO easy to just add seasoning and heat up.

Saturday

We’re having my birthday party at my Mom’s and we’ll cook and eat around a fire outside. I’m going to experiment making Venison Seehk Kebabs with fresh tortilla’s, yogurt sauce, chutney and veg+dip. My plan is that we’ll cook the kebabs on a grill over the fire, then wrap one in a tortilla with chutney and yogurt sauce.

Sunday

Soup+Biscuits, baby! Got enough in the freezer I’ll just pull some out Friday/Saturday and let it thaw in there.

 

Can you tell me one thing you know you’re eating this week?