Menu Monday 3/8/2009

Heather says:

I have been in a mood where nothing sounds good or worth the effort. If it weren’t for menu planning, everything would go to pot around dinner time, so there is that. Yesterday served as a perfect illustration. I scrapped the plans due to company, we had pork spare ribs -I used the same technique as for the beef in this recipe-, roasted broccoli, and pasta salad, but it took my husband and I a good hour of idea volleying before anything sounded remotely appealing. As an added bonus it was fab (yes, I am patting myself on the back) and there is more than enough for dinner tonight.

Do you have phases like this?

If so, how do you snap yourself out of them?

  • Monday – L/O Ribs, pasta salad & roast broccoli
  • Tuesday – Reubens for the adults, grilled cheese for the kids, unless they decide to brave the sauerkraut, cream of broccoli soup, sliced apples
  • Wednesday –  White chicken chili – I’ve never made or even had this, so it’s a big Fearless Friday experiment.
  • Thursday – C.O.R.N.
  • Friday – Spaghetti with marinara, sautéed yellow squash
  • Saturday – Pizza Night – Theme to be determined
  • Sunday – Roast chicken, broiled asparagus, stove top macaroni and cheese

Do you menu plan? If so, I’d love to hear what you’re having for dinner this week. Feel free to share in the comments or link to your own site.

If you would like to get started menu planning, I put together a primer to help you out:



19 Comments

  1. Becca on March 12, 2010 at 2:48 am

    I plan the menu….shop for it and then hit the "eh" stage. With five kids, a husband and a home-based business….I, every once in a while, just don't want to mess with cooking dinner. Like tonight! Hubby is bringing home Mexican….yay him! Luckily we work nights like tonight into the budget, too!

  2. @Sheepmama on March 10, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    I am menu planning around the crockpot this week. a challenge for me is i'm going to start shopping for a week at a time instead of two weeks at a time. should be interesting!! My goal is to plan 7 crock pot meals that can double as lunches the next day

  3. javanapoleon on March 11, 2010 at 2:10 am

    My menu planning around the chicken this week. a challenge for me is i'm going to start shopping for a week at a time instead of two weeks at a time. should be interesting!! thanks.

  4. Anna on March 9, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    I had a blah menu season recently. The best fix I've found is to dig out the recipe files (these are magazine rip-outs) and try something really crazy for a few days. It often doesn't make it into our rotation, but it snaps me out of the meatloaf or baked chicken rut.

  5. Carly on March 9, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    I've just started menu planning. I gave up going out to eat for Lent, so choosing my meals before the week starts has made it a lot easier. I try and make sure that most of the ingredients I use overlap in a few recipes for the week. It can be hard though b/c I'm only cooking for one. I'm actually blogging about it too! – here's my menu plan for this week, http://cookprayeat.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/meal-

  6. Brenda on March 9, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    I menu plan through orgjunkie.com. You can link your menu/site on her blog. It is fun to look at what other people are cooking. It helps to inspire me when I am in a rut. I am in a phase like you mentioned each time my husband comes home. I am really good at making things at home when it is just me and the kids. When he gets here though, we do a lot more running around and tend to eat out way too much. Then, it gets hard to switch gears and make something at home. Especially when you haven't been home to clean up the kitchen, see what you have on hand or even buy some groceries. He leaves tomorrow, so I can get back on schedule. Good luck!
    My recent post Please Vote for Katey’s Poster!!!

  7. Shanele on March 9, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    I have a fairly simple receipe for white chicken chili. It calls to be cooked in the slow cooker, but I cook on stovetop for about an hour. Very nice twist to the traditional tomato-based.

    • Heather on March 9, 2010 at 1:15 pm

      Would you be willing to share your recipe? I’d love to try it.

  8. asyhre on March 9, 2010 at 3:06 am

    I think 4/5 of my meals planned this week are from this web-site… making and posting my menus helps a ton at the whole not eating out or not eating just buttered noodles for supper, yes sometimes I am that lazy.

  9. Tina on March 8, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    I'm absolutely a menu planner. I plan an entire month at a time, that way there are no excuses. Inevitably, something comes up in the course of the month so that things need to be shuffled, but at least I know I have a month worth of ideas. This week's plan:

    Monday- Grilled Cheese and soup (grilled cheese will be made on the easiest homemade white bread in the whole world, I'll be posting the recipe on my page on Wed.)
    Tuesday- Homemade pizza
    Wednesday- Honey Glazed Chicken and Rice
    Thursday- Homemade Mac n Cheese
    Friday- Eat Out Night
    Saturday- Leftovers
    Sunday- Pancakes for Dinner (http://commoncentshome.blogspot.com/2010/03/100-w
    My recent post Water Woes

  10. Tinkerschnitzel on March 8, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Dinner tonight is spaghetti. I have no clue what the rest of the week looks like. We went on an eating out marathon last week, so my whole schedule is out of whack. I have chicken and meat for chicken fried steak, so we'll probably be covered for a few days.

    • @HeatherSolos on March 8, 2010 at 3:37 pm

      I made chicken fried steak as the great, back to cooking celebration meal. I needed comfort food in a big way and there was cube steak in the freezer. I need to make it again and post the recipe.

  11. Trixie on March 8, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Your menu sounds delicious! I would love to know what you think of the white chili. I've never made it before, but so many people I know love it. For some reason, I'm worried that it won't come out seasoned enough.

    Trixie
    My recent post Menu Plan Monday

    • @HeatherSolos on March 8, 2010 at 3:38 pm

      I have always looked at white chili in the same way. I want to like the idea, but something about it. . . That's why I'm forcing myself to try it this week.

  12. @Kekibird on March 8, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    I think my problem is that I'm always in a "I don't feel like cooking" phase. I was trying to break that with a resolution to try something new each week but it is still a struggle.
    My recent post I Still Had Hope For Amber

  13. Jenny in CG on March 8, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    I keep past menus so that when I hit the "meh" stage, I can sort through previous lists and come up with a few ideas. Luckily, I have 4 eating machines and a husband that can throw out some good suggestions to get the ball rolling if I come up short.

    One of the ways to keep menu planning from being rigid or repetitive is to keep in mind that *I* am still the one in control. I often look at my menu in the afternoon and realize I either just don't want what was planned or I don't quite have the time for the scheduled recipe. In those cases, I still utilize the main ingredients but I make something else. I also allow myself to switch up days within the week or weeks (I make a 6 week menu plan). For instance, Wednesdays are busy so I usually plan easy to make and eat foods. Sometimes I use the meal planned for Wed/week 4 on Wed/ week 1 because is just sounds better or I didn't get shopping done in time or whatever.

    If the week didn't go as planned, I look at the menu and figure out what needs to be cooked (because it will spoil, etc) and what can languish in the pantry or freezer. Then I focus on those meals and let the other ones hang out in storage until they show up again in the menu. This is also great for helping to keep a week or so worth of meals on hand without it feeling like you had to budget for them.

    Regarding the white chili… we call it "green" chili because we put lots of…. wait for it, wait for it…. green chilies in for flavor. I also season with cumin, lotsa garlic and onion and a little oregano. We love it but I only make it about 4 times a year. I generally make chili every other month and alternate between red, traditional chili and white/green chili just to make sure we don't get tired of either one.

  14. Danielle on March 8, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    I do menu plan, but don't necessarily attribute a day of the week to each menu. This is because my energy level, errands, or quantity of leftovers may change unexpectedly. So I make a big list and just cross things off as I make them. Options for this week: pumpkin pancakes with breakfast sausage, pumpkin turkey chili, lasagna, chicken tenders with cole slaw and black beans n rice, pineapple fried quinoa, and thai chicken curry.

  15. rebekka on March 8, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    In my experience, I get that "meh" feeling because of two extremes: 1. I'm just tired out and really need a rest/break/dinner out or 2. have gotten out of the habit of things and need to pull myself together and look at some cookbooks/home organisation blogs/backsides of cleaning products for inspiration. But first I have to figure out which one it is, because the cure for being frazzled is not the same cure as for laziness!

  16. Lindsay on March 8, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    I'm trying a few new recipes I found in Better Homes and Gardens this week including an interesting turkey salisbury steak dish with white bean mash, and some spicy pan seared shrimp with cheesy grits.

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