Every Sunday I sit down with my calendar and plan a menu for the upcoming week. I try to plan easier meals for busy nights. I take into account the food I have on hand, especially perishables. I also try to plan a variety of tastes, textures and nutrients. Some weeks are better than others, of course, but over time I aim for delicious and relatively healthy dinners.
One thing I should mention is that for the past month or so, I have been making smoothies for us for breakfast each weekday. I’m still experimenting but there will soon be a post about getting started with green smoothies. My goal is to give us a healthy dose of fruits and veggies every morning to start off our days. I’ve recently started making myself a second smoothie for lunch. As we enter cold and flu season I’m determined to cram as much nutrition into my daily meals as possible. As an asthmatic, a cold is never “just a cold” for me. It always leads to at least one round of steroids, something I try to avoid.
So if this week’s dinners seem a bit skimpy on produce keep in mind we’ve had several servings of fruits and veggies earlier in the day.
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We have a music event to attend at 7. David has to be there about an hour early to set up the sound system. They have great food at this location but we’ve eaten out a lot lately. I’m going to prepare a simple meal at home before we go and then we might share a plate of their wonderful black bean quesadillas or nachos later that night.
- fettucini alfredo – I make my sauce from scratch. It’s simple and tastes so much better than from a jar.
- tossed green salad
David and I have a meeting in town at noon and we plan to have lunch together afterwards – a nice little treat! And speaking of treats, I think tacos always fall into that category. I grew up eating tacos often – it’s one of my mom’s specialties. While we also love lentil tacos or black bean tacos, tonight I’ll be frying up some grass fed beef which I have in the freezer. It’s very lean so there’s virtually no fat to drain off. I season it with garlic salt, black pepper, chili powder, onion powder, a dash of cumin and of course…Creole seasoning. Or mix up some Homemade Taco Seasoning. I like to season at least twice during the cooking process because it adds to the flavor profile. So I start with just a little of each of these seasonings when I put the meat in the pan then add more when almost done. And do I need to mention that at our house tacos are made with corn tortillas I fry one at a time in coconut oil? None of those hard shells from a box in my house!
- refried beans
- lettuce, tomato, green onions, grated cheese, sour cream, hot sauce – all the usual taco toppings!
- corn relish
To make corn relish, heat a couple of teaspoons of olive oil in a skillet. When hot, add two cups of fresh or frozen corn and cook for a couple of minutes. Add one clove of garlic (minced) and one jalapeno (finely diced). Cook for another minute and remove from heat. Add one medium tomato, seeded and diced, and the juice of one lime. Salt and pepper to taste. This is delicious on tacos or with any Mexican dish.
I have choir rehearsal at 7 p.m. These are the nights when it’s awfully nice to have a slow cooker meal. I can toss in the ingredients early in the day and then relax knowing dinner is taken care of. Plus, there are fewer dishes to deal with.
- “Croc Moroc” – This is an Moroccan-inspired slow cooker recipe I came up with years ago and ran across in my files this past weekend. My son gave it this name – ha! I’ll take pictures and share it in a blog post sometime soon.
- rice – Even though I have an Instant Pot which will cook rice, I kept my old rice cooker. So often I’ll want rice along with whatever I’m cooking in the IP. In fact, I’ll be using the slow cooker setting of the Instant Pot for the “Croc Moroc” this night.
I hesitate to say this because it seems something always comes up but it looks like we don’t have anywhere to go this evening. Sounds like a good time to make a favorite of mine:
- chicken and waffles
- fresh fruit salad
My mom used to make sweet and sour pork chops often when I was growing up. It was a huge favorite for the whole family, as well as a family friend or two who weren’t averse to a last minute invitation to join us for pork chops. I can recall her making two big baking pans full of them and there were never any left over. She used Contadina brand sweet and sour sauce which I really like but am unable to find here in Oklahoma. I’ve been known to bring several cans home in my suitcase when visiting relatives in California. TSA always ends up searching my bags when I do this. Go figure. Since I can’t get that brand here, I make my own sauce. (Note: I shared the link for the Contadina sauce simply so you can see what I’m referring to in case it’s available in your area. It’s WAY too expensive to buy on Amazon – $11.45 for shipping!)
- sweet and sour pork chops
- steamed broccoli
We are attending baby shower barbecue this evening. They are providing the hamburgers and hot dogs. I will ask if they’d like me to bring homemade potato salad. I haven’t made any in quite awhile and it’s a good excuse to make a big batch of it.
This is World Communion Sunday and I’ve been asked to bake challah bread for it, as I have for a number of years. My recipe makes two huge loaves so we have one for ourselves. It makes delicious French toast so I think I’ll make some for a light supper. As usual, we will eat out at our favorite Mexican restaurant after church.
I’ll be baking the challah bread Saturday. If I’m on the ball, I may go ahead and bake some pumpkin bread while I’m at it!
What’s cooking at YOUR house this week?
MEAL PLANNING RESOURCES:
Do you want to eat a healthy, organic, grass fed diet but don’t think you can afford it? My friend, Victoria of A Modern Homestead, explains how they do it on less than $200 a month. Click here to find out how:
This post is linked up at I’m an Organizing Junkie. You can find lots of menu inspiration there!