School starts this week for us here in upstate New York. And along with school comes dance lessons, soccer practices, afterschool activities and, hopefully, the reinstating of my morning exercise routine. What does that mean for menu planning? Well-that I need to make sure I keep up on all the afternoon and evening activities to ensure that I’ve got dinner ready within the amount of time I have (or don’t have as the case may be!)
So what am I working around this week? Well, lots of things as usual.
1. Labor Day was on Monday so we were at a party-no dinner per se, but I did bring along a dish
2. We’ve got soccer practice for Buddy two nights a week (with games on Sunday afternoons-ick), then pool league for Yankee Bill on yet another night. . . and next week dance classes start up for Princess.
3. The garden continues to produce-which not only means I have veggies to use up in meals, but also that I have vegetables that I need to “put up” in various ways for the winter.
4. There are a couple of slices of left over pork from a roast I made on Saturday, 3 packages of chicken I picked up on sale that need to be cooked or frozen, a bag of BBQ pulled pork Yankee Bill purchased at a charity ride (like 4 lbs of BBQ pulled pork) that also need to be used or frozen, a bunch of lemon cucumbers from my brother’s garden that are getting past their prime, 1/3 head of home grown cabbage, some sweet Italian frying peppers I bought at the farmers market to see if we liked them enough to grown them next year and a bunch of veggies that didn’t get eaten from the garden fresh vegetable platter I put together for Labor Day. Oh yea-and about 1/2 cup each of garlic dip and bacon dip (mayo & sour cream based). That’s a lot of stuff to use up.
5. I’m still working on 1 meatless, 1 fish and 1 venison meal per week.
6. I start packing lunches this week-which means some meals may be made with an eye to leftovers for lunches for both the kiddos and Yankee Bill.
Taking all that into account here is my game plan:
Monday: Crunchy Asian Chicken Salad & Vegetable Platter for Labor Day Party.
I made the Crunchy Asian Chicken Salad to take along to the party yesterday-I even splurged on almonds! The cabbage was home grown from my garden (yay!) which is why I have 1/3 of a head in the fridge right now-it was a really big head of cabbage. The veggie platter was mainly from the garden as well-cucumber, zucchini, cosmic purple carrots, yellow squash and then some sweet peppers I bought at the farmers market. The leftover Asian Chicken Salad will be used for lunches, and the veggies will be used both for snacks and in meals later in the week.
Tuesday: Pork Vegetable Soup with Blender Popovers
The weather is cold and rainy here today, so soup just sounds good! I’ve got, as I’m typing, a nice soup going in the crockpot. It’s a mixture of frozen chicken broth I made myself, bullion, the leftover pork cut into small chunks, and a ton of veggies from the garden and fridge. Should be yummy! I’ll make popovers for a bread just to do something different. Hopefully they will come out looking pretty so I can take a picture and post the recipe for you guys.
Wednesday: Breakfast for Dinner! Pancakes and Bacon
This is our first day back to school so I wanted to do something special for the kids. They LOVE pancakes for dinner. I don’t know if I’ll make regular ones or go special with something like Pumpkin Pancakes or Chocolate Pancakes (basically my Chocolate Waffle recipe in pancake form). I’ll add a rash of bacon on the side because, well, it’s bacon! Although I know bacon is a meat, since it’s my menu plan I’m considering this a mostly meatless meal.
Thursday: Venison Stirfry with Rice
Stirfry will take care of two issues. First, it will use up a heck of a lot of vegetables from my fridge. Number two it will be my venison meal for the week. It’s also a pretty quick and easy meal-which is good because we have soccer practice to contend with.
Using the pizza hut crust clone recipe. .. of course. I’ll put a big salad on the side.
Saturday: Ginger Fish with Bulgar Pilaf and Stir Fried Chard.
I’ll use a Ginger Fish Marinade to dress up some plain-jane flash frozen fish I picked up at the store a month or so back. I’ve been meaning to try cooking more with the wheat berries I have leftover from making my Easter grass (wheat stores forever if kept dry-so no worries!) I found an interesting looking recipe where you cook it like rice and use it in a pilaf. . . hope that tastes good! The Chard is going nuts in the garden, so I’ll use some of that up as well. This is my fish meal for the week.
Sunday: Grilled Chicken with Dilly Zucchini Casserole and Steamed Carrots
I’ll probably marinate the chicken in some Italian Dressing, or fix it up with some jarred BBQ sauce. I’m not sure yet. Then I’ll add the Dilly Zucchini Casserole on the side (probably made with yellow squash I have on hand) and dig up some carrots from the garden to steam.
Other Food Tasks for the Week:
-Make jello or pudding cups, bake cookies and pre-slice some veggies for the kids lunches.
-Pick, sauce and can tomatoes.
-Pick crab apples from church and make crab apple butter (then can).
-Freeze chicken breasts and BBQ pork in meal sized portions.
Are you interested in learning more about menu planning? Check out my post “Why Plan a Weekly Menu” .