For this experiment, I’ve decided to return to menu planning rather than just haphazardly throwing things into the shopping cart and figuring out what to do with them later. I did this for a few reasons:
- I’m tired of thinking. If it’s the meals are all planned out for me, it’s just a matter of picking from a list.
- It helps me stick to a budget. When I have a fixed amount of ingredients, I know exactly what to buy and it prevents me from picking up whatever seems tasty.
- I know that I’ll have all of the ingredients on hand and there will be no extra trips to the supermarket.
I also wanted to use up a few items in the house–really ripe bananas, some mushrooms and an opened jar of tomato sauce. These items helped drive the menu choices at Chez Jana for this week. So what are my delicious dishes this week, you ask? Well, they are:
Breakfast choices: mini-bagels, cereal, banana muffins, yogurt, pancakes and eggs (Saturday and Sunday mornings). We also have OJ and milk. My daughter eats breakfast at daycare but she usually has a snack of OJ and yogurt before she goes.
Lunch selections: black bean soup, vegetable soup, cheese sandwiches, pb and banana sandwiches (not a big seller) or leftovers. There is also an assortment of crackers and chips, fruit and carrots to add to the lunches. My daughter’s daycare provides lunch so she’s covered (though I bring her a snack for the drive home).
Dinner options: chicken parmesan with pasta, hamburger or black bean sliders (buttermilk biscuits are used as rolls), fries and carrot sticks (made from peeling and slicing what is known in my house as Bugs Bunny carrots), chicken burritos, shepherd’s pie, enchilada casserole, homemade pizza (and homemade pizza sauce) and plain pasta with tomato sauce and salad.
Snacks: in addition to the chips and crackers, we have cheese crackers (think Cheese Nips), Princess cookies (like Teddy Grahams only with princess faces on them…my daughter is obsessed with anything princess), popcorn, ice cream, and pudding.
Drinks: milk (cow’s and soy), OJ, grapefruit juice, apple juice, iced tea, water. We do not drink coffee and soda is a rarity at our house.
So that’s what we’ll be eating at my house this week. All of the soups, muffins, pancakes and dinner entrees are made from scratch, or as close to scratch as I can get. They have all been adapted to be vegetarian (ex., the shepherd’s pie uses soy crumbles rather than ground beef) but can be made the “traditional” (read: meat-eating) way. The recipes will all be posted at some point, just in case you’re dying to try one of them for yourself!