It has started to really feel like fall here in Upstate New York-to me that means lots of fun fall dishes like soups and casseroles (which are both a frugal cook’s friend) in the menu plans from here on out.
Every week I like to take a look at the calendar and peek into the fridge before I make my menu plan. This helps me make sure I’ve got all the scheduling straight for life in general, have taken all the evening activities into account when I’m planning how much time to spend on a meal, and finally to make sure I actually use the stuff up that I’ve got in the fridge.
Here are my considerations for this week.
1. Yankee Bill has pool both Mon & Wed this week, which means he won’t be home for dinner. He’s also got drill this weekend so won’t be home Fri or Sat nights for dinner either. Wow. I actually don’t get to see my man much this week. How sad 🙁
2. We’ve got sports & dance to be at Tues night, and then Thurs night we’ve got open house at the intermediate school. End result? Dinner better be ready early (or just quick to prepare) on both nights!
3. I’ve got a bunch of cut up veggies I meant to use last week that are going to go bad if I don’t use them up immediately. I also have leftover liquid from straining tomatoes from canning, a bag of fresh caught fish fillets we were given by the neighbors (we’ve got great neighbors), some defrosted venison spicy meatballs and a bag full of slightly too large purple podded green beans.
4. My awesome Mother in Law brought me over a homemade lasagna the other day-for no reason, just because. Woohoo.
5. My mom will be visiting this weekend. Knowing her that means she will probably want to take us out to dinner one night, and then she (and of course my brother who now lives in town) will be over to dinner one night.
6. I’ve got two friends over and will be canning apples all day Wed-which means I will NOT feel like cooking dinner.
6. My goal, as always, is one venison, one fish and one meatless meal during the week.
Taking all that into account here is my game plan:
Monday: Venison Vegetable soup with Homemade Bread
Since Mon is already over, I’ll tell you what I did. I took the cut up veggies plus the liquid from draining the tomatoes (which were chopped & used in the salsa I canned) and boiled them together on the stove. That was just in case those veggies were starting to turn (food safety ya know!). Then I put that in the crockpot and shredding up the venison sausage meatballs (which were raw) into it and tossed in a couple of beef bullion cubes. Left it on high all day (to make sure that meat cooked) and viola, soup at dinner! This is my Venison meal.
Tuesday: Baked Ginger Fish with Rice and Sesame Beans
I’ll toss the fish into my Ginger Fish Marinade right before I head out the door for Buddy’s soccer practice-when we get home it will be ready for a quick bake it in the oven. Heck, I might even be able to have Yankee Bill throw it in the oven for me so it’s ready to eat when we get home. The rice will be plain and cooked in my rice cooker (which mean I can start it as well when I head out the door and it will be ready & kept warm till I get home). I’ll hand “french” the beans (hopefully that will make them more tender) and cook those before I go as well-then they can be microwaved.
Wednesday: MIL’s Lasagna with Sauteed Chard
All I have to do is pop it in the oven. How fabulous is that? I’ll pick some chard from the garden and saute it for a side dish.
Thursday: Slow Cooker Chicken Thigh Dinner
This is an all in one type meal. Potatoes, carrots, chicken and the sauce makings all go into the crockpot and 6-8 hrs later dinner comes out. Gotta love that on a busy night.
Friday: Pizza on the Grill
I really like the way pizza tastes when it’s cooked on the grill-it’s got an extra special “smoked” flavor! I’ll use my favorite Pizza Hut Crust Clone recipe and parbake it for a few minutes in the oven first to make it easier to handle on the grill.
Saturday: Chicken Pot Pie and Green Beans
This should use up a bunch of veggies from the garden and crisper, as well as some meat from the chicken thighs. The green beans will be fresh picked from the garden. Those pole beans just keep on producing!
Sunday: Cincinnati Chili and Fried Green Tomatoes
The Cincinnati chili can cook in the crockpot (and leftovers will be great in lunches next week). We’ve got a lot of tomato plants dying-so that means green tomatoes in abundance. Fried green tomatoes are an end of season classic around here!
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.