Ok, so it isn’t Monday. It’s Wednesday. And it isn’t even early Wednesday, it’s Wednesday late afternoon. But hey-I haven’t even written on my blog in, oh, a couple of years. . . so take this as the win that it is.
I may not have been writing, but I’ve still been living the frugal, prepared and somewhat self sufficient lifestyle. I’ve got to write more about that, an update on how the family is doing, and all that jazz. But those things take thought, and honestly-I’ve just got to start writing again. So I’m starting with the easy stuff, which is actually publishing and talking through my meal plan.
Even if I haven’t been writing, I have continued to meal plan. Things have evolved over the years, so my original “how I meal plan” post really needs to be updated significantly so that it will reflect what I really do.
The quick rundown is this:
- Since Princess and Buddy are both in college now I’m only cooking for 2 most of the time (for those of you who have followed me a long time-Princess is graduating this spring and already has a job lined up in NYC. Feel old now?).
- I’ve continued to keep a very deep pantry, buy meat in bulk (ie a side of beef), and preserve a lot of food from my garden and purchases via canning, freezing, dehydrating and freeze drying
- I still stock the pantry then create my meal plan by looking at what food needs to be used up and what I have on hand, rather than choosing recipes then having to shop for ingredients
- Due to the price of luncheon meat (crazy right?) we’ve moved away from sandwiches for Yankee Bill’s lunches. I am instead freezing leftovers and soups and then pulling those out for homemade “mix and match” lunches. This helps because frankly I haven’t mastered cooking for 2.
- I’ve been cultivating a habit of making soup for lunch on Sundays. I can throw whatever in the crockpot before we leave in the morning for Christian Ed and church, and lunch is ready when we get home. I picked up the idea from Three River Homestead on YouTube. It’s extra handy since I’m doing intermittent fasting so I’m starving at lunchtime and glad to come home to a prepared lunch.
Now on to the plan!
- Tuesday is an errand day and I’ll be out. I’m not going to want to cook anything complex when I get home.
- Thursday I’m hosting a birthday meal for a friend at my house. She requested Seafood Newburg. (I gave up eating restaurant food for Lent, so if I’m having dinner with friends someone is cooking. In this case it’s me!)
- Saturday night we are out at a friends for dinner.
- Sunday we were invited to lunch after church, so we’ll just have our Sunday Soup as a light dinner.
What has to be used up:
- Cooked Beef Tongue (finally got brave and defrosted one from the freezer)
- Sausage Gravy
- Leftover dressing from making Broccoli Salad
- Grilling Cheese (an impulse buy at the discount grocer)
- Cheddar Garlic Italian Sausages
- Pork Hearts (given to me from a friend who just did butchering)
- Green Onions (I had onions sprout in storage so I put them in water to sprout, now I have got to use up some of the greens)
- Pickled Red Cabbage
- Coconut Milk (a dented can)
- Hamburger Buns
The Meal Plan:
Monday: Beef Tongue Tacos w/ Refried Beans
I cooked the tongue in my crockpot w water with carrot, onion, celery, bay leaf & garlic over the weekend, peeled it and then stored it in the broth. So I just chopped it up fine and then cooked it in the taco seasoning like I would have ground beef. I did pick up some lettuce and tomato at the store. I shredded some of the block cheddar cheese I keep on hand. The refried beans were from a can but I jazzed them up a bit w/ some bacon & bacon grease. The resulting tacos were ok. Not fantastic, but quite edible.
There was enough meat left over to put it along with the cooking broth from the tongue in the crockpot to make a soup. I tossed in the leftover lettuce and tomato from the tacos, the leftover taco sauce and some of my dehydrated vegetables and cubed potatoes. That made soup to freeze for Bill’s lunches and to keep in the fridge for mine.
Tuesday: Bacon Onion Quiche w Coleslaw & Soup
The quiche and the soup were made on Monday. I had a sale purchased pie crust in the freezer, so I actually used it to make 2 quiches (one went into the freezer). Besides the bacon, cheese and a ton of the green onion tops cut fine with my kitchen shears, I defrosted two cubes of frozen lambsquarter (a delicious foraged green that most folks consider weeds) and used that in my quiche recipe (obviously with a regular crust instead of a rice crust). The leftover greens were thrown in the soup I mentioned above.
Coleslaw was homemade with cabbage, carrot, green onion tops and homemade coleslaw dressing.
I baked the quiche, made the soup and did all the shredding on Monday, so when I got home at 4pm on Tuesday I just had to mix up the dressing and dinner was ready to go.
Wednesday: Pork Thai Curry with Rice & Thai Carrot Slaw
I’ve had a jar of “Thai Green Curry” powder in my spice cabinet for a long time. It has a recipe for making chicken curry on the side of the jar. I’m going to use the pork hearts cut small & sauteed in the recipe instead of chicken. To bulk it out with vegetables I’ll either pull a bag of frozen sugar snap peas, or a bag of stirfry vegetable mix (both made from garden veggies & frozen last summer-except I did buy frozen broccoli to add. I don’t grow that). I’m pretty sure I have some basmati rice on the shelf, but if not I’ve got a whole 5 gallon bucket of short grain rice that will do the trick.
The Thai Carrot Slaw is a new recipe. I wanted an additional side to go with the currty, and I have plenty of fresh carrots. Since I had regular slaw the night before, I was looking for something with a completely different flavor profile.
Thursday: Seafood Newburg in Puff Pastry Shells, Green Salad and Chocolate Cake.
I’m making the seafood newburg and splurged for some shrimp and mock crab legs. I’ll add in some freshwater salmon as well. Another friend is bringing the cake.
Friday: Cheeseburgers, Coleslaw and French Fries
I’m thawing ground meat from our 1/2 steer for the burgers. This will take care of those buns that need to be used up. I’ll use the leftover coleslaw, and make homemade french fries from my bulk purchased dirty potatoes this fall (and of course using the deep fryer, because if you are going to make french fries you might as well go whole hog). I’ll probably make Sriracha Mayo to dip the fries in. Mmmm. Not low calorie, but oh so yummy.
Saturday: Irish Birthday Party
It’s a theme party and they asked folks to bring a dish to pass. It doesn’t have to be Irish but they encourage it. So I’m going to make Colcannon, which is homemade mashed potatoes mixed with greens. I’ve got the bulk potatoes, plus tons of kale & lambsquarter that’s frozen, canned and dehydrated. So I’m not lacking greens!
I’ll put together a pot of “leftover soup” from whatever we have on hand. It never comes out the same, but it’s never bad. It we are extra hungry I can always whip up some sandwiches-we always have tuna fish/ canned chicken on hand, grilled cheese fixings and PB&J
So there you go, my first blog post in FOREVER.