Monday, December 8, 2008

Tasty Tuesday - Preparing A Menu

Some people create their meal plans a month in advance. Some people do it when they see the sales ads. Some people don't do it at all. I have tried all of these and have yet to find my nitch (although I'm pretty sure the last one doesn't work AT ALL).

Something that I've done is to create a list of meals that we can make with different kinds of meat. We eat a lot of meat in this house, but I absolutely despise pork, so we mainly just eat ground beef and chicken. Occassionally, I'll purchase a roast or a turkey or something special, but in general our freezer is stocked with those two meats. Since it does happen on occasion that we have NO meat in our home (it's a sad sad day), I also like to have a list of things we can eat that DON'T include meat.

I'm going to share my lists with you, but I want to warn you....I'm learning how to cook. And I'm learning how to eat new things. I tend to stick to what I know, even at restaurants, so experimenting with new foods in not my favorite thing in the world. It's unknown territory. It's change. And change is bad. HOWEVER...for my husband, I do try. So here goes:

Ground Beef:
  • chicken pot pie
  • oven-fried chicken
  • chicken stir fry
  • chicken casserole
  • grilled chicken
  • battered chicken fingers
  • chicken tacos
  • chicken sandwiches
  • chicken noodle/dumpling soup
  • chicken and rice bake
  • chicken and stuffing
Roast Beef:
  • roast beef dinner
  • pulled beef sandwiches
  • beef stew
  • beef vegetable soup
Ground Sausage:
  • pasta w/ red sauce or alfredo sauce
  • grilled cheese sandwiches w/ soup
  • breakfast (toast, eggs, fruit)
  • veggie stir fry
  • PB&J
  • cheese pizza

I'm sure if you have lists like this, yours are MUCH longer, but again....I'm trying. It helps for me to keep these lists around so when I take a look at the sales ads or when I suddenly realize at 4pm that I forgot to plan dinner, I can grab these, look over them, and find something to make.

What things have you found helpful in your menu-planning? Do you plan by the day, week, month, or not at all? Please share your menu-planning tips! (I obviously need them!)


Amy's Anecdotes said...

We were just doing a menu for once a week but now we do it more like once a month. We only go grocery shopping about every 3 weeks/month except for fruit, bread and milk so it worked out better to make a monthly menu. We usually alter it a couple times but have built in days if we want to eat out. We have noticed by doing it this way we dont eat out hardly at all. Last month it was just twice. Also, I have a master list of my favorite recipes so I just rotate those and then I also try and include a couple new recipes so we can try new as well. I would like to see what others do as well.

Sarah said...

Ground Beef
*Cheeseburger Macaroni Bake
*Minestrone Soup

*Chicken salad sandwiches
*White Chili
*Teriyaki Chicken and Rice

*Beef Stroganoff (using leftover roast)
*Beef Burghundy (also using leftover roast)


*15 bean soup
*Beef and bean soup
*Ham and bean soup
*Split pea soup
*Navy bean soup
*Wild rice and lentil soup

Most bean/rice/lentil style soups are perfectly suitable and filling to use for non-meat main dishes. Often times if you just have some bouillon cubes, they will do the trick for the stock. You don't necessarily have to have a meat bone, or even any meat to put into the soup.

Ground Sausage
*Baked Cavatelli
*Home made pizza

Okay, I could go on and on, but I guess I'll stop here. I'm one of those strange people who enjoy cooking.