The days are cooler now, and it’s really, truly fall! I love fall cooking-so many fun soups, casseroles and crockpot meals to enjoy.
1. Soccer season is over. YAY!! So for a couple of weeks, until Girlscouts start up, I have only one evening activity for the kiddos. Of course Yankee Bill is still gone on Wednesdays and I have play rehearsal 4 days this week-but hey, my stuff is at least after dinner instead of in the middle of it!
2. We’ve been invited out for dinner on Saturday, so no need for a meal that night. Also there is a potluck luncheon at the church on Sunday-usually that means a very heavy lunch, so something light for dinner is fine.
3. Still got a few cans of not quite sealed correctly green tomatoes left in the fridge.
4. In the garden I’ve got brussel sprouts, cabbage, chard, butternut squash, Mizuna, Tatsoi, one lone volunteer Nasturtium and some insane Zuchetta Trombonchino that didn’t realize they were supposed to be done growing. Other than the Zuchetta & Nasturtium everything else is frost tolerant, so I don’t have to be in a rush to use them, but they are available. Oh, yeah, there are also turnips that I fall planted, and those need to be thinned. So I better eat some turnip greens in there somewhere!
5. In the fridge I’ve got about a pound of ground venison I browned up a few days ago that I should use.
6. In the freezer I’ve still got that fish the kiddos caught a couple weeks back, 2 lone storebought hamburger patties that are starting to look freezer burned and about a cup of dehydrated cherry tomatoes that have been in there for about a year. I’ve also got a huge batch of chicken chili in there leftover from our wine weekend camping trip.
7. My goals are always to include a fish meal, a meatless meal and a venison meal in each week’s menu plan.
Taking all that into account here is my game plan:
Monday: This and That Curry over Rice
This and That curry is one of my go to meals for using up lots of little bits of veggies and meat. I’m really, really tired of looking at those jars of green tomatoes in my fridge! Curry is a great way to use them up-somehow the flavors just “go”. I’ll take those two sad hamburgers and chunk them up for the protien-if it doesn’t look like enough I’ll either toss in some of the browned venison or maybe some lentils.
Tuesday: Chicken Chili Blanco with Sweet Northern Cornbread and Turnip Greens
The Chicken Chili Blanco just needs to defrost a day or two in the fridge. . . then it will be a super easy heat and eat meal. The beans may have dissolved in the freezer–the white beans seem a bit softer than the kidney or red type that folks typically use in a standard chili, but that’s ok! If it comes out more like stew than chili, who really cares? I’ll make some sweet northern cornbread to go with it-maybe I’ll make it muffin style to have some leftover for breakfasts. As a vegetable I’ll think the turnip patch and then do a “mess ‘o greens” on the stovetop. Basically cook them to death with some ham bullion and red pepper flakes.
Wednesday: Cheater’s Beef Stroganoff over Egg Noodles with Sauteed Summer Squash
The Cheater’s Beef Stroganoff will be easy to make with the pre-browned ground venison and some sour cream (which I actually have some of in the fridge for once-you can also use yogurt). I’ll serve it over some regular old egg noodles (or even leftover rice if there is any left from Monday) and a saute of those silly little squash that are growing out in the garden! This is my Venison meal for the week.
Thursday: Baked Fish with Vegetable Fried Rice
I’ll just bake the fish the kids caught (once they defrost of course) with some butter and a sprinkle of cajun seasoning. I’ll make vegetable fried rice, much heavier on the vegetables that normal, as a side dish. That will use up plenty of odds & ends out of the fridge. This is my fish meal for the week.
The kids would be so upset if I skipped pizza night! Of course I use my Pizza Hut Crust Clone recipe.
Saturday: Eating Out
Sunday: Lentil Casserole (for potluck) and Stone Soup and biscuits for dinner
I’m going to make the Lentil Casserole recipe I like for the potluck. Not only is it tasty and economical, I admit that I see it as a good opportunity for folks in my church to try it and see that it is a good recipe to use to save money in their own homes (I’m worried about folks as this economy continues). For dinner we’ll do a “stone soup”. Ie a little bit of whatever I’ve got leftover in the fridge–rinsed if it’s got a sauce that is going to conflict with flavors–made into soup. Biscuits for a bread because hey-you need something like that to go with soup!
Are you interested in learning more about menu planning? Check out my post “Why Plan a Weekly Menu” .
For more great menu plan ideas, head on over to Menu Plan Monday at the Organizing Junkie.