The week is almost over, and I am late getting this post out to you. My apologies. Time management has gone out the window this week, but I’m reeling it back in.
The end of the month is always interesting when it comes to meal planning. I usually leave a few empty spots on my monthly meal plan at the end of the month. Why? Well, it’s a pretty good bet that I’ve banked some meals (haven’t used them or the ingredients) from earlier in the plan, and I can plug them in at the end. Life happens, people, and just because you have a plan, doesn’t mean it all goes accordingly. It does, however, give you the flexibility to move meals around according to schedule changes.. which seem to happen at a world-record-breaking rate around my house.
So here we go:
NW Mama’s Menu for June 2 – June 8
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Are you ready for it?
I don’t think.. rather, I KNOW I had no clue what I signed up for when my husband and I decided to host international students. I was not ready for the “culture shock” that would affect not only my students coming to the United States from the other side of the world, but how it would impact my own family as well. So far, it has caused my world views to be expanded beyond the borders of this country I live in, to be open to other traditions and practicalities, to realize some things are the same about us no matter our geographical location and patience. Loads of patience.Read More »
Make hay while the sun shines: I’m not going to say this is a simple recipe. This one, my friends, takes patience. Since time is such a precious commodity, I like to make two and freeze one for later!
This lasagna is adapted from a dear friend’s “secret” lasagna. When my dad became diabetic, I wanted him to still be able to have some of his favorite dishes without having them loaded down with carbs. I had heard of using zucchini instead of pasta, so I made a few tweaks and came up with this adaptation. Zucchini Lasagna has also become a great gluten free option for my family.Read More »
What to do with Leftovers (Re-Purposing)
I was once discussing grocery shopping and meal planning with a friend of mine, and when I said the word “leftovers,” she said that her family refuses to eat the dreaded “leftovers.” I know, I feel the same way about them. But I hate wasting food, especially when good, nutritious, fresh foods are often “not cheap.” Honestly, my family doesn’t eat “leftovers” either. We re-purpose what was left over and use it to make something new for the next dinner meal.
A couple examples:
This week we are having chicken and mashed potatoes. Most likely the chicken will get gobbled up the first night, but we’ll have a mound of potatoes left over. That’s okay! The next night we are having breakfast for dinner. Mashed potatoes will become potato puffs via a great recipe I found on Pinterest! If you are planning on enough chicken left over, it can be used for chicken salad wraps or chicken tacos the next night.
Roast beef is also expensive when feeding a large family on a budget, so I like to make it stretch! We might have traditional pot roast with lots of vegetables one night, and the leftovers will be used for stir fry, stew or french dip the next day.
Suggestion: If you are planning on using “leftovers” to make something new the next night, put the amount you need in the refrigerator before serving dinner. If your family is like mine, mark it so that it doesn’t get taken for lunches. This guarantees you will have what you need for the next evening’s meal.
Where to Find Inspiration:
- Let your family in on the planning! Get suggestions from whoever shares your dinner table. Find out what they would like to see on the menu.
- Example: One daughter loves pizza, one daughter loves hot dogs, both love chicken (baked, bbq’d, fried). I try to get those things on the menu once each month as a treat for them. My husband loves a good salad, so especially during the summer, we have salad bar a couple times a month.
- Are you addicted to Pinterest yet? Do you have any favorite recipe websites or magazines? Do you have a board or binder or recipe box full of recipes that made your mouth water? Go look at them before you make your grocery list! I use both Pinterest and a few of my favorite recipe bloggers / websites to put my plan together.
This is the second post in my meal planning series. You can find the first one here: “nw mama’s meal planning: getting started.”
I think the biggest benefit for meal planning is the flexibility it provides. I used to stress out at the beginning if I didn’t make what was on the menu for that particular night. Now that we have been doing this for a while, I am very comfortable swapping around the order of the meals as the week progresses, or “banking” them for another night if plans change. This week’s dinner menu is a little less creative and a little more simplistic. We are in the midst of some heavy spring cleaning and garden planting, so keeping prep to a minimum is key for us right now.
NW Mama’s Menu for May 26 – June 1
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