Monday, September 20, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Every Friday I try to plan my menu for the week.  For me, menu planning is a three step process.

Step 1 - The long view - About once a month we load the kids into the minivan and drive to the commissary.  While there we get the boys haircuts and do a BIG shopping trip.  This is generally where we buy out meat and spices and pantry goods.  For this trip we make a very general menu.  Usually this menu consists of about 10 main dishes.  We don't plan to make any particular dish on any particular's just a rough draft.

Step 2 - The short view - Generally on Friday I will make a more detailed list of what we are going to eat for the following week.  I have some general criteria.  I do not cook on Monday, Wednesday or Friday.  These are leftover days.  On Saturday we make a one night meal - something that either doesn't taste good the next day or something that is just to small to make leftovers.  Sunday is out BIG cooking day.  On Sundays we try to make something that not only will provide leftovers for Monday, but will make enough to store in the freezer for another day or something that is exceptionally complex.  Tuesday and Thursday are just regular cooking nights where I will make something that isn't too complex but will make enough for left-overs.  On Saturday someone will go to Wegmans and get the veggies and other random things that we need for the weekly menu.

Step 3 - The microscopic view - Fact is, I can never totally get it together so that we make one shopping trip per week.  Part of the problem is that we just don't have enough refrigerator space for the vast quantities of milk that three boys consume in a week.  The other part of the problem is that I am woefully unorganized.  Finally, something just don't store well.  Things like fish and beansprouts really need to be eaten the day that they are purchased.

After writing all this out...I realized that it might seem a little complicated, but it keeps me (relatively) sane so I'm sticking with it.

So without further ado, here is my Menu Plan for this week.

Tuesday -- Stuffed shells with meat sauce

Thursday --Pork Stir-Fry with Noodles (Lo Mein)

Saturday -- Grilled Salmon with Mango and black bean salas

Sunday -- Grilled Pork Loin with Apple-Cherry Filling with Caraway on a Gas Grill


  1. I too find that my life is so much easier by planning out a weekly menu each weekend. Thanks for reminding me to include meals that will yield leftovers more often. Your meals for this week look delicious!

  2. Love how you menu plan! I'm a working mom so I often plan in a similar way - I do big cooking days, plan my meals with intentional leftovers, and try to keep week night meals super simple but still yummy! Thanks for stopping by my MM's Mission blog. Hope you'll visit me at Seaside Simplicity too. Have a great week!