Sunday, February 17, 2013

Menu February 17, 2013

Over the years I've had several friends say, "if only you'd plan my menus, maybe I'd cook more!" Well, I don't know how consistent I'll be at doing this (I menu plan on Sundays, a day I typically don't get on the computer), but I thought I'd give it a go. Here's a snapshot of this week's menu:

Sunday: Grilled Coconut Curry Chicken with Basmati Rice and Spinach - recipe to come (if it's good!)
Monday: Quinoa and Salmon Salad, as seen on What's Gaby Cooking
Tuesday: Salt and Pepper Shrimp Rice Noodle Bowl, as seen in the March edition of Cooking Light
Wednesday: Winter Salad with Lemon Yogurt Dressing, from Epicurious
Thursday: Leftover Lentil Meatball Subs from Kim O'Donnel's The Meatless Meat Lover's Celebrations
Friday: Eat out

Some background on how to build a menu:

Depending on my mood, I have a few starting points.
  • I check our calendar to see any obligations we have, to make sure I plan for the correct number of meals.
  • I also take lunches into account. Typically, I prepare a dinner for four, so Luke and I eat half for dinner, and take it to work the next day. If I know one of us has other lunch plans, I might do something like a salad the night before that is lighter and might only make one lunch for the next day.
  • Since I subscribe to so many magazines, not to mention I stumble upon great recipes throughout the week through my job, I typically start with recipe inspirations for in-season recipes I've been dying to try. 
  • I then take stock of what I have in the fridge, freezer and pantry to see what needs to get used up and to also make sure I don't purchase what I already have.
  • I usually take stock of the weekly circular for my grocery store to see if there are any deals I should be taking into consideration, either to try a different recipe or maybe to tweak one I was going to try to include an on-sale ingredient.
  • I then list out all the ingredients I need, by recipe.
  • Then, I reorder the ingredients by the order of the store, so I won't have to hunt all over the list when I'm there to make sure I get everything.
  • For any oddball ingredients (like something I need from a specialty shop or the farmer's market), I make sure to keep on a separate list so it doesn't get lost in the shuffle.
See, there IS a method to my madness :) And now, I have my handy-dandy chalkboard so Luke knows what we're eating too! 


Jennifer said...

I made a salmon salad the other day with peas in it! It was yummy, but I want to try this one. Your method of making a grocery list is basically what I do, too - when I'm organized!

Apron Adventures said...

I find it's definitely the best way to keep my food life in easy, working order! :)