Monday, August 31, 2009

Meal Plan......

Right about now is when I should be double checking my plans for the week, double checking my recipes to see what else I need to get, and finalizing all meals for this week.
I am slightly uninspired to do this at the moment.
But I am slightly inspired to try and see what all we can make from things we already have on hand. Don't know how long this will last, but my husband is great because it gives him a challenge, and he is great because he is willing to make things up and try new things!
We started today with an amazing potato leek soup, and I'll let you know how the rest of the week turns out. Got any great "pantry" recipes to get my mind wandering?

"Pantry" Soup

I don't think I am always the best at figuring out things that I have on-hand and making them into something delicious.
The internet helps.
And my husband is great!
We had some leftover potatoes and leeks from a meal I made for my son, some homemade broth from roasting a whole chicken a while back, and some other simple ingredients that are normally around the house.
The result? A delicious Potato Leek Soup!
Tasty, Frugal, and Simple!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - August 23

Once again, as I look ahead to make sure I have all our meals planned for the week, I quickly realize that tonight is our only night without something going on...makes it hard for making and planning meals...
I am also quickly realizing that I need better on-the-go options for us, better than a turkey or PBJ sandwich in the car. I am thinking about reversing our meals, making lunch a bigger meal for us like I would normally do for dinner, and make dinner more like a lunch meal, and more mobile. I just haven't totally figured out the more mobile meals. I would LOVE feedback and ideas if you have some great "road" food for your family!!!
Also, once again, we did not get to all our meals I had planned for last week (and I am way OK with this since it is keeping my grocery budget low this month!!).

Monday: We never got to the cashew chicken from last week, so hoping to make it tonight and then have for lunches one day this week.

Tuesday-Saturday: Still trying to figure out lunches vs. dinners and how to eat on the go a lot. I am making egg salad for sandwiches, making a cold pea salad I did not get to last week, and may also make this pasta salad.

Friday: I am having people over and still deciding on a finger food to share with the gang (instead of one big meal).

I did make the pork and apple curry last week and my husband and I loved it!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - Week of August 16

Last week ended up being a great week of food! We ate out once (but it was paid for, the best!) and stretched our meals great! My husband has always been the type that if a meal is good, he will continue going back for more until he is stuffed. But he has been trying to eat more healthfully lately, and thus it is working out better to portion out the meals before we eat, knowing that we will have a certain amount and we will have leftovers! It is working to stretch our meals.

Sunday: Leftover Raspberry Chicken with green beans
Took the leftover chicken, topped it will homemade basil pesto and melted mozzarella cheese. So good. And had a side of green beans from our garden, sauteed with onions, salt and pepper in a little almond oil (out of olive from making the pesto) and they were so good! Great dinner created and prepared by my husband!

Monday: Cashew Chicken (not sure if i will find the hoisin sauce, so not sure what i will substitute if not)

Tuesday: Will be at the gym from 4 pm on for multiple scrimmages and will have to take a sandwich or grab some pizza at the concession stand. Sandwich will be healthier, but will also take more planning....

Wednesday: On the go between volleyball and Small groups. Not sure what I will do for this yet. I need better on-the-go dinner options without considering fast food an option.

Thursday: Slow-Cooker Pork and Apple Curry

Friday: Pasta with fresh basil, tomatoes and mozzarella

I'm also planning to make this cold pea salad to go with some of the meals and/or lunches.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Gradual Shift to Drinking Water

My husband made the comment this morning "So, I guess we've totally stopped drinking crystal light, huh?" "Yeah, pretty much. Water seems to be working fine for me, how about you?" "Yep. Wow, how much are we saving now?"

This has been a gradual process for us. I wrote another WFMW post about simplifying. One thing I mentioned was having less drink mixes in the house. I was just trying to reduce clutter and use space better then. But as I started this process, I also started paying a little more attention to just how much we were spending on drink mixes. Not the name brand kind even, we just liked flavored water, and drank A LOT of it! We would make pitchers of it, and could easily go through 2-3 pitchers a day, if not more! And we would have the smaller packets to mix into water bottles when we were out. And these are even more expensive, comparitively.

So, I stopped buying the stuff. Cold turkey. But we had enough of a stock that it took us a while to make it through. We began to get more conservative on how often we would drink the flavored water. We started mixing in drinking more water on some days, and more flavored on other days...

And then, all of a sudden, we were ok with just drinking water. I don't know how long it has been. At least a couple of weeks. And the conversation just came up. It's healthy, easy, takes up less space in our cabinets and our fridge, and costs MUCH less!

It worked for us to make it a gradual, non-shocking process, and it's working for us to drink more plain water. What works for you? Head on over here to find more great success stories!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - August 9

The weeks seem to be flying by way too fast lately. We are full swing back into volleyball season, making our days, and weeks get away from us quickly. We are not getting home most nights until around 7, and this leaves us just a few minutes to get the little one bathed and in bed. And then we want something quick to eat for dinner. Quick, but not take out, or boxed, or unhealthy...This can be tricky, but seems to be going well. At least week 1 did. And speaking of week 1, the Thai Chicken with Basil was awesome!!

Sunday: We were at a pool party and had hotdogs, chips, brownies, etc.

Monday: Dinner on the go for husband, quick sandwich for me.

Tuesday: Grilled Raspberry Chicken, corn on the cob

Wednesday: Dinner on the go between volleyball and church group

Thursday: We will have to eat out or pack sandwiches since we will be at the gym for pictures and a game from about 3-9

Friday: Turkey Cabbage Bake

Saturday: Leftovers

I didn't realize it was such a crazy, on-the-go week until I wrote it. Meal planning definitely helps!! It's nice to see the big picture, even if it is a little bleak this week.

For more great menus and ideas, head on over to visit Laura.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - August 2

I am sorry that I have been MIA for a bit now. I hadn't noticed quite how long it had been until I looked at the date of my last post. Last week I didn't have much of a menu. I pulled some stuff from the freezer, made a dish from the pantry, and the rest was provided for us at a volleyball camp we were working. Yep, volleyball is now officially in session (although it never seems to actually end) so life will only get busier around here. But we love, and that's why we do it!
So, for this week, with volleyball tryouts and practices not ending until 630 at night and likely not getting home until 7 or 730, I am trying to make meals that are VERY quick, or that can be prepared ahead of time.

Monday: Garlic Zucchini Pasta, sliced tomatoes (from mom's garden!!)

Tuesday: Thai Chicken with Basil, Fresh corn salad (sour cream, worcestershire, salt, corn, red pepper, green onions)

Wednesday: Crock Pot Applesauce Chicken, rice, green beans

Thursday: Sloppy Joes (good and simple, but don't remember where the recipe is from), Corn salad (from above)

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: More Leftovers or Pizza