Monday, May 21, 2012

Menu Monday

I decided to start a new weekly post detailing our menu for the week. I think that this will help to keep me accountable to eating healthy and also work towards my goal of eating out less. We currently eat out on Friday and Saturday evenings, and occasionally on Sundays too. I would like to get back to just a max of once a week, if we can. By posting menu ideas and shopping for these days, we should be able to avoid eating out when the weekend arrives. As of right now, I don't have meals to make for this Friday or Saturday, but I want to find the perfect whole wheat pizza dough recipe so that I can make our own pizza this weekend. I haven't done that since we lived in Georgia (and I bought Publix's super awesome bakery dough), but now that I have my bread machine, I should be able to easily make my own. So, if you have a great recipe, I would love to try it!

Sunday: Whole Wheat Pizza Pancakes
I have blogged about this recipe for Pizza Pancakes in the past, but tried a new version I created using whole wheat flour instead of Bisquick. The results were awesome! Will post about it soon. :)

Monday: Crockpot Bacon Chicken with couscous and parmesan stir-fried green beans
This is a new recipe I am trying tonight after finding it on Pinterest. I am planning to cut the recipe in half and sub Greek yogurt for the sour cream. I am considering using a packet of dry ranch dressing instead of some of the flour to hopefully add more flavor as well, but haven't decided yet. Has anyone tried anything similar to this?? For the beans, I use frozen cut green beans and saute them in a little canola oil and parmesan seasoning. Delicious!

Tuesday: Cajun shrimp over brown rice with oven roasted parmesan broccoli (fish sticks for the boys)
I buy fresh shrimp and season them with Cajun seasoning while giving them a quick sear on the stove top in a little EVOO. I roast the broccoli heads in the oven, sprinkled with EVOO, seasoned with salt & pepper, and topped with a little shredded parmesan near the end.

Wednesday: Cajun stuffed peppers
This consists of red bell peppers stuffed with a mixture of brown rice, quinoa, andouille sausage, lean ground beef, diced tomatoes and kale. I blogged about this recipe here. At the bottom of the post, I added an update I made to this one too. This time I am really hoping to try making kale chips with the leftover kale, since I still haven't tried doing it yet! :(

Thursday: Chicken parmesan over whole wheat rotini with parmesan stir-fried green beans
This is an oldie, but a goodie. I combine bread crumbs and grated parmesan cheese with Italian seasoning to coat thinly sliced chicken breasts that have been dipped in egg. I bake them, topping them with a little bit of shredded mozzarella cheese. I serve them on top of the rotini with a little bit of tomato sauce.

Friday: Eat out, probably pizza (we love Mellow Mushroom!) - or attempt homemade pizza (probably a Margherita one) with whole wheat dough

Saturday: Eat out - maybe Indian?

I also want to create a new menu board like one that I found on Pinterest. I think having little cards with all of the dinners I make will help me to remember all of the possible meals that I have in my arsenal and help me to rotate them a little better than I am doing right now. Then when I am not in the mood to pick meals, I can just pick a card from the stack randomly and the decision will be made! :) Although I don't require a lot of variety, I am sure the rest of the family will appreciate it!

I also have a master Excel spreadsheet that I am working on with a list of all of the dishes I make, organized by type (i.e., breakfast or dinner, then by meat - chicken, beef, fish, pork, etc). All of the ingredients are listed across the top of the spreadsheet and if a particular ingredient is in the dish, it will list the amount of it in the correct box. So if you read across one line, it will give you all of the ingredients in the dish and the correct amounts of them. It's kind of hard to explain, but once I finish it, I will try to post it so you can see. It will be helpful for those days when I need to throw something together and can check the list to see what ingredients I have on hand and what I can make from those ingredients. :)

So, lots going on in the meal planning department right now! I was also doing some research this weekend and found a great blog about a mom who decided that her family was going to eat "real food" for 100 days. This meant no more processed foods, something that can be difficult today in our highly processed food world. I am working on getting this started for our family too. I need to find some good whole wheat flour to use in my bread machine so that I can make homemade sandwich bread for the boys and hubby. It is so easy to make and requires so few ingredients, yet when you check the ingredient list of most store bought breads, you will find around 40 ingredients in them! Yikes! She has a great recipe on her blog, but it includes honey, so I will have to hold off on that one until Noah is a year old. She also inspired me to finally try organic milk. I would love to be able to get fresh milk delivered to us like she does, but I'm not sure if that is available around here. Buying organic will at least be a start. It costs about double what the generic, non-organic, store brand milk does, but now that I am dieting, we're consuming almost half the milk that we were previously consuming, haha, so the wallet shouldn't feel the difference! :) I have been trying to buy a lot of other organic food items for awhile now, but I am being even more cognizant now of what I purchase. There also aren't too many food items in the apartment now that are processed, and I will hopefully eliminate all of them in the next month or so.

Have any of you made big changes to your diet? If so, I would love to hear about your experiences and tips!


  1. Maybe look into local farmer's markets. We have several in our area that we visit on weekends, as well as farm stands now that spring is here. It's a great way to get fresh organic produce and the money stays in the community :) Our farmer's markets also offer meats, cheeses and other dairy products and they are typically much cheaper than what we find in the grocery stores. Best of luck!

    1. Thanks, Jessica! I didn't think about the farmers' markets offering more than fruits, veggies and the like. I will have to see when/where our local one is offered/located and see what they have. :) Thank you!


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