Welcome to a short week here at Frugal Upstate–well at least it is a short week for me. I’ve got a trip down to Walmart HQ in Bentonville Arkansas this week from Wed-Sun.
1. I’ll be gone from Wednesday through Sunday. Experience has proven that Yankee Bill will not attempt to cook from scratch when I’m gone, and the kiddos aren’t quite old enough to be left with meal planning and execution. Therefore we have hit upon a compromise–when I go out of town for business I stock the freezer with the kinds of frozen family meals that we typically don’t eat. Things like premade lasagna, family sized Salisbury steaks, frozen pizza, and bagged frozen vegetables. It works for us! But it means that I really only need to plan Monday — Wednesday night’s dinners (I can leave something cooking in the crockpot on Wednesday so that it can simply be served at supper time without any problems).
2. It’s been super hot, and we don’t have AC, so I didn’t make the lentil soup last week. The thought of eating hot soup, or heating up the kitchen (even with the crockpot) was unbearable. I still have the ham that was intended for that in the fridge.
3. In a fit of optimism I purchased leeks, lettuce, and an eggplant at the fruit & vegetable stand this weekend. I really need to use them up.
4. Usually my goal is to have one venison meal, one fish meal, one pork meal, one bean meal, one meatless meal and one soup meal per week. Let’s face it, with me only in charge of the cooking for 3 days that probably isn’t going to happen.
Taking all that into account here is my game plan:
Monday: Ham and Lentil Soup
Right now in the crock pot are ham, lentils, a can worth of home canned green potatoes, some water, and 2 stalks/bulbs of green garlic from the garden. I’ll probably have to add some more seasonings later, but it should wind up as a nice soup.
This is my bean meal and the soup meal for the week.
Tuesday: Oven Baked Eggplant Parmesan with Spaghetti, and Grilled Leeks
I was going to use the Eggplant as a grilled vegetable–but I don’t think I’ll get around to that. So instead I’ll go with the oldie but goody–Eggplant Parmesan. Instead of frying the breaded egg pieces I’ll dip them in the egg white & bread crumbs and then bake them all. Once they are baked, I’ll assemble them into the parm with layers of sauce & cheese and then bake again in the oven. I’ll serve with spaghetti because it’s Italian, and I’ll do something with the leeks on the grill–maybe the Grill Braised Leeks recipe by Alton Brown. . . or something like that.
This is the meatless meal for the week.
Wednesday: All Day Macaroni and Cheese with Salad
My flight is in the early evening, so I’ll get the All Day Mac ‘n Cheese in the crockpot in the morning, and I’ll make a salad and leave it in the fridge. That way at dinner time it will be easy for Yankee Bill to put it all together. Also the Mac and Cheese will be good for him to take in on subsequent days for lunches.
Thursday-Sunday: Frozen Meals a la Yankee Bill
Are you interested in learning more about menu planning? Check out my post “Why Plan a Weekly Menu” .