Monday, September 2, 2013

// a dinner menu for a month

Can you believe it's September? 
I seriously c a n n o t  e v e n.
This month begins our busiest time of the year. 
It includes so many birthdays and holidays and events. I'm bracing myself. 
It gets cray-cray at some points.

On Sunday I sat down to make a food plan for the month. 
I like to make a monthly menu because I have a hard time thinking on demand. 
Yep. Thinking. When I don't have a plan, we end up with take out. 
Don't get me wrong, I l-o-v-e take out but with our new diet there aren't many fast food options for us to have.
I am one of those people who stares into the refrigerator at a loss for ideas. 
I realized early in our marriage that menus are my saving grace.

My sister-in-law asked me to post my plan so she could see what we eat now. 
I warned her that there is nothing exciting about it. 
I mostly make the same things in different order every week. 
The plan is posted below but beware you've been warned. 

We eat a lot (A LOT) of spanish-style food. Lots of rice and beans and tomato chimichurri.
I make a ton of refried beans and chimichurri every weekend 
so that we can have it on rice, eggs, chips, etc. throughout the week.
I'm so lucky that my husband, 
who was formerly on a strict diet of a PB+J, chicken parm, and cheese in general,
converted to loving spanish food that I know how to make.
Otherwise we'd probably eat pasta and sauce every night.

Also, even though I make a monthly plan
sometimes we end up going to Chipotle or Qdoba or buying a rotisserie chicken from the store. 
I'm not ashamed. Sometimes I'm too tired to cook.

So here is the plan. Maybe it will help you get some ideas for your meals? Maybe.

Week 1:
  • Naked burgers or hot dogs on top of salad
  • Brown rice pasta with marinara sauce and sausage
  • Chickpea salad
  • Southwest eggrolls with avocado and tomato salad
  • Grilled tilapia, rice, beans, and salsa 
  • Portuguese take out 
Week 2:
  • Tortilla soup and chips
  • Grilled chicken with brown rice and broccoli 
  • Chicken salad wraps to go
  • Ground beef tostadas
  • Huevos rancheros
  • Maple balsamic pork loin, stuffed sweet potatoes, arugula salad
  • Leftovers or Breakfast for dinner 
Week 3:
Week 4:
Some other notes:

I always have a pound of ground beef or frozen tilapia in the freezer in case I change my mind 
and want to throw something else together.

Sometimes I'll substitute a starch with quinoa for dinner but we usually have quinoa for lunch 
(since certain men in the family don't love it)

Vegetable sides are always in substantial portions so they are super filling. 
I make veggie sides for almost every meal but I'm usually the only one who takes them. 

I go to the produce market every week and wing it so I get produce that is available/on sale.

What are your dinner staples?
I obviously need to bring some variety into mine. I used to have more things on rotation 
but when you go gluten- and dairy-free and low-sugar, it slims down your options.


Unknown said...

This is one of our favorites:

This on sandwiches (you could use a GF bun and be sure to buy a GF wing sauce)

And I make this once a week, just leave out the cheese or use the toffuti cream "cheese":

Okay that's enough! :)

Unknown said...

In my opinion, scheduling meals on a weekly basis works well for my family. It lessens my stress and I get more chances to have a balanced and healthy meal. But we still make it a point to have a cheat day and dine in at a finger food catering or a fast food restaurant in order to avoid being deprived.


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