nw mama’s dinner menu: week 24, 2014

I really love to be in my kitchen, however I am especially looking forward to cooking this week. Just writing this menu is making me hungry. I have not looked up a recipe for gluten free meatballs yet, so I may just be making it up as I go. Feel free to send suggestions!

This is also the week before Father’s Day. For my family, this Sunday’s dinner carries almost the same amount of anticipation as Thanksgiving in that we only partake of it once a year… for the sake of our health <smile>.

NW Mama’s Menu for June 9 – June 15

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Father’s Day Triple Bypass Recipe

Inspired by this recipe at Allrecipes.com, the “Triple Bypass” has become a Father’s Day tradition at our home. I’ve tweaked this to our family’s liking, but the recipe on it’s own is quite fabulous.

If you are vegetarian or a heart patient, stop reading now. You will be sick.

If you are a Carnivore with a capital “C,” this will unleash the meat-loving animal inside of you!Read More »

nw mama’s dinner menu: week 23, 2014

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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nw mama’s meal planning: leftovers & inspiration

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.”

nw mama’s dinner menu for week 22, 2014

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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