I want to know what I’m cooking next!!! I sort of got out of the habit of planning a menu recently. I blame the weeone’s swim team schedule, summer, etc, but really, there are no excuses other than the fact that we went with the flow for a while. The result of going with the flow was eating out more than I’d like, so it’s time to revisit the menu.
How do I plan my menu? There are a few steps I always take when figuring out what we’re going to eat in a given week.
- Two nights are (almost) always repeats of something we already love!
- Two nights are almost always selected by the weeone (but they can’t both be repeats!) This has really expanded the foods she’s willing to try as it’s “her” meal.
- I only plan five nights of meals each week. (This is primarily because 1 night each week the weeone goes out for pizza with her dad and one night we usually go out as well.)
- There can only be one menu item that takes a great deal of prep time or cooking time. I work full time, plus write for a sports network, plus try to be a decent mom, plus I like to have a social life from time to time – there are only so many hours in the day.
- One night’s meal needs to make great lunches for the next day!
- I build my menu plan to use as many “in season” ingredients as possible. This makes finding said ingredients simple and also will help cut grocery costs as fresh foods are less expensive in the height of season.
- I don’t assign a day of the week to each meal. We either decide when it’s time to start prepping, or in the morning of that day what we feel like from the list.
- Parmesan-crusted Calamari atop mixed greens with Roasted Red Pepper Basil Dressing
- The Wimberly Salad (a knockoff from a local restaurant that is spinach based and divine!)
- Butterflied Shrimp with Habanero-tomatillo Salsa (served with black beans)
- Corn and Crab Chowder