It’s meal plan time again! Spring is sort of springing around here (dang frost in the mornings) and we are trying to spend more time outside. It’s amazing how much better we all feel when we can spend time outdoors.
1. We have our regular round of kids activities this week. Dance lessons. Cub scouts. Piano lessons. Sunday school and church. Yankee Bill has both pool league and drill for the NY Guard. The kids have “Turn off TV Week” activities and haircuts. The tree cutting guys are coming to remove some dead and scruffy trees at both my Mom’s and my house (I’m handling both). I’ve got an “advanced” soapmaking class on Saturday. Yankee Bill and I have an event at the American Legion to attend Saturday afternoon. Actually, I was thinking it wasn’t a very busy week but now that I’ve written it all out it sounds pretty busy! Long story short, on Wednesday and Thursday I need some easier meals and Saturday the kids will be fed by the babysitter.
2. I’ve got to make and photograph Salsa for a Cinco de Mayo post and Strawberry Rhubarb Jam (if I can find rhubarb this early) for a strawberry post. I’ve actually got 2 weeks to do it, but I’d rather not leave it all to the last minute–so on the days I’m accomplishing that I might not want the worlds most complex dinner to cook.
3. In the fridge I’ve got asparagus that I purchased and didn’t get to use, a head of broccoli, some lettuce and a few raw veggies that probably would be best used in stew at this point. I’ve also got plenty of eggs, and a can of crescent rolls that has been in there for quite a bit (extra unused from the brie post!).
4. In the cold frames I’ve got collards, kale, and lettuce doing pretty well. Everything else that I overwintered has pretty much bolted at this point. I’m leaving the flowers to give the local bees something to eat right now (although hopefully the forsythia will be out soon followed by the apple and lilac blossoms.)
Taking all that into account here is my game plan:
Monday: Chicken Salad Crescents, Corn, Radish Pods and Roasted Broccoli
So I wasn’t a good little menu planner on Monday. It was getting right up on diner time and I hadn’t decided what to make. I ran down to the freezer and pulled out packages of cooked chicken, corn (frozen from the Amish farm last fall) and radish pods (frozen from my garden last summer). I defrosted and warmed everything, popped the fresh broccoli tossed with olive oil, salt & pepper in the oven to roast, then I made a quick chicken salad, pulled out that tube of crescents and created Chicken Salad Crescents. Just a big dollop of salad on the triangle, roll it up and cook according to the crescent directions. It came out pretty good for an “I don’t have any idea what I’m cooking” night.
Tuesday: Stuffed Shells and Green Salad
I’ll make a basic ricotta filled stuffed shells and serve them with a green salad (which will have some wild and garden greens mixed in).
This is my meatless meal for the week.
Wednesday: Vegetable Egg Drop Soup, Slow Cooker Ginger Teriyaki Pork and Rice
I’ll use a chicken broth base and cook up some of those sad looking vegetables in the fridge, then I’ll use some of the farm fresh eggs I get delivered each week to make egg drop soup. That doesn’t seem like quite enough for supper (although I think it would make a lovely lunch) so I’ll put together the slow cooker pork in the morning–it will be ready at supper time and I can just serve it over rice.
This is my soup meal and my pork meal for the week.
Thursday: Venison Spiedies on Italian Bread, Collard Greens, and White Bean & Corn Salad
I’ll start marinating venison this afternoon for spiedies (a local specialty that can be made with chicken, pork, beef or venison) that we can cook on the grill Thursday. The tradition is to pull them off the skewers using a piece of soft white Italian bread and to just eat them like that I never did make the collards from the garden last week, so I’ll put them on in the mid afternoon to simmer all day with one of my organic ham hocks (from my 1/2 pig). The white bean and corn salad is a new recipe–I hope it tastes as good as I think it will. I’ll probably use some more of my frozen corn in that, along with dried beans that I’ll soak and cook earlier this week.
This is my venison meal for the week and my bean meal for the week.
Friday: Baked Fish, Sauteed Carrots and Pasta with “Garlic Mustard” Pesto
The fish will be simply baked with some butter and herbs. The carrots are from the remaining ones in the garden-scrub, slice, saute. I’m going to make the pesto out of the garlic mustard that grows in my yard each year. The stuff is an invasive weed, so it does my heart good to destroy it by eating it. Luckily I’ve got frozen pine nuts on hand
This is my fish meal for the week.
Saturday: Frozen Pizza
We will be out, the kids will have a sitter. Frozen pizza it is!
Sunday: Roast Chicken, Gravy, Mashed Potatoes and Greens
I didn’t get to do a roast chicken last week because our new butcher shop specializing in local foods didn’t have their meat in yet (they were making killer pannini though!). So I’ll do a very traditional Sunday dinner and roast a chicken (which will give me plenty of leftovers for soup and another meal next week). I’ve still got some potatoes down in the basement that I have to use before they all start sprouting eyes everywhere, so I’ll make homemade mashed potatoes. I’ll either have leftover greens from Thursday or I’ll cook up some more.
Are you interested in learning more about menu planning? Check out my post “Why Plan a Weekly Menu” .