It never fails. As we TRY to eat better, we always end up in a restaurant or ordering in because of lack of planning. We look at each other – “What do you want to eat tonight?” — “I don’t know.” — “What about you?” — “I don’t know either.” Then we reach for the car keys or order a pizza online, despite the fact that the refrigerator is full of veggies and the cabinets are bursting open.
So, we made a master menu. I opened my 1998 version of Microsoft Publisher, which has real restaurant menu formats, and began to type in Main Courses, Vegetables and Sides, Soups and Salads. We’ll continue to add to this master menu.
Then, for the weekly menu we proceeded to decide on the seven main courses and the vegetables that would best go with each one. With this approach, we discovered that we had a short shopping list. Then, when we went to the refrigerator and the freezer, we found that many things could be removed from that list. No more tossing out organic vegetables that we paid a fortune for (although the chickens will be dissapointed that there aren’t as many greens left over).
Also, with planning a menu, we saw that there would be at least 3 or 4 days where there could be leftovers for lunch the next day.
Now, we decided NOT to specifically say, “This meal is happening on Monday, this one on Tuesday,” etc. Because we knew that would bore us. BUT, with each week, we do have seven choices and all the shopping finished for all the ingredients. This first week, well, its not adventurous cooking. But, it’s a heck of a lot better than takeout. We even ended up with two vegetarian days and one pescotarian day.
1.Chili with grass-fed ground beef
2.Chili again for another day
3.Baked Chicken, corn on cob, green beans
4.Vegetarian Spaghetti and salad
5.Fish and stir-fry veggies over rice
6.Vegetarian “Meatballs”, asparagus and pinto beans (beans cooked previously to go into chili)
7.Homemade Pot Pie (leftover baked chicken) with a rice flour crust