For several weeks now I have been partipating in Mary Louise's Weekly Supper Menu Challenge at MLCH Garden, and I must say that mealtimes in our house are much less stressful. By organizing meals on Sunday for the upcoming week, I no longer have that nagging thought, What am I going to fix for dinner?, because I already know; in fact, not only do I know, but all the necessary ingredients are at hand so there are no last minute trips to the grocery store.
And with afternoon and evenings like ours, the last thing I need is a "quick" trip to the grocery store.
As I sat down this afternoon to plan, I noticed another huge benefit of menu planning: any meal that we didn't use carries over into the following week. Last week, for example, leftovers one night and an unexpected invitation to dinner on another night meant that two planned meals (chicken saltimbocca and pork tenderloin) will be on for this week.
Two meals already planned and the fact that my husband will gone most of the week makes for a super easy planning week (when Joe is out of town I keep it simple: something easy for the kids, and a salad for me).
So, this week:
Monday: quesadillas; spanish rice; banana pudding
Tuesday: burger night; fresh fruit
Wednesday: pasta w/ homemade tomato sauce; seasoned ciabatta rolls
Thursday (Joe comes home): pork tenderloin w/ rosemary & olive oil; polenta; wilted greens; lemon sorbet w/ fresh fruit
Friday Game night: homemade pizza; garden salad
Saturday: chicken saltimbocca; oven roasted potatoes; tomato salad
Sunday: lunch at Nonna & Nonno's (yeah! no cooking for me)
P.S. Sometimes it feels so good to sneak in a healthy meal without anyone realizing it. Case in point, last week I made Low-Fat Turkey Burgers from the Eat Clean Diet Cookbook. Everyone loved the grilled burgers, so much so that I didn't feel the need to divulge the ingredients (why ruin a good thing?).
But, for you I will:
Low-Fat Turkey Burgers
1 c. high protein cereal flakes (I used whole bran flakes)
1/2 c. skim milk
3 tsp. instant low-sodium chicken bouillon
3 tbsp. minced onion
2 egg whites
1 lb. ground turkey
Combine first five ingredients. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add ground turkey and shape into patties (at this point I added some breadcrumbs because the mixture seemed a little "wet"). Cook on the grill.