Monday Menu (a day late)

Here it is Tuesday and I don’t have a menu planned for the week. The weekend was so busy that I got off to a slow start yesterday, and only managed to plan Monday’s dinner. What I’d like to do is start a regular feature here called Monday Menu. I’ll post my week’s menu, and I invite you to share yours in the comments. I used to read a blog that did this and I found it invaluable. Not only did it motivate me to get my menu planned at the beginning of the week, but there were lots of ideas to borrow from other people’s menus. Sometimes it was a completely new recipe, sometimes a reminder of a forgotten favorite. That blogger doesn’t post regularly anymore, so I thought it would be nice to host a little menu planning right here!

Some weeks I sit with the grocery ads and plan my menu around what’s on sale. Some weeks (like this one), we have a fairly stocked pantry and I plan around the ingredients we have on hand. This week’s produce: zucchini, carrots, celery, asparagus, kale, grape tomatoes, lettuce, broccoli, cucumber, celery root, pumpkin, potatoes, onions, bananas, avocados, grapefruit, limes, lemons. Meat: ground beef, whole chicken, pork shoulder, beef ribs, T-bone steaks, and a turkey carcass. In the pantry and fridge: pasta, couscous, rice, canned tomatoes, beans, flour tortillas, goat cheese, parmesan, Jarlsberg…I’m sure there are some other surprises lurking in there! I bought produce yesterday, and will have to get more milk, ricotta salata, and some cilantro, but that’s about it for this week’s groceries. I think that will only be about $20 for the week. Not bad!

I write my menu on my Google Calendar, so I have a record of our past menus that I can refer to, and as I’m planning I can shuffle meals around to fit our schedule. I get ideas from food blogs, magazines, and searching Epicurious for recipes with specific ingredients. I try to think about repurposing leftovers, too. This week I’ll use the leftover chicken for taquitos, and then I’ll make broth to freeze. I don’t always plan something specific for the weekends; that’s usually my husband’s chance to get in the kitchen and work some magic. But this weekend I’m guessing he’ll be bringing some work home, and we have a karate tournament and some church activities. I planned one dinner, and we’ll be flexible for the other.

Monday: Cubano sandwiches, baked kale chips, roasted yellow peppers

Tuesday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, broccoli (steamed and then tossed in a little garlicky olive oil)

Wednesday: Asparagus, goat cheese & lemon pasta (the kids will pick out the asparagus, so we’ll have some veggies and dip on the side), green salad

Thursday: Roast chicken, zucchini fries, rice, tomato and cucumber salad.

Friday: Chicken taquitos, guacamole, refried beans, green salad

Saturday: Pulled pork in the crockpot (I wing it using both this recipe and this one), kale & ricotta salata salad, more veggies and dip for the kids

What are you eating this week? Even if you don’t have the whole week planned out, drop a comment with a couple of ideas or what’s in your pantry. Steal an idea or make a suggestion! If you do have your week’s meals planned, please share!