Do you have a plan for dinner for the week? For a long time I just kind of winged it for dinner. I bought what looked nice, added a few staples, and then made dinner. The problem with my approach is that sometime it worked and other times it did not. There was also extra effort in trying to figure out what to do with all of the ingredients all of the time like I was on a TV food challenge show. So eventually, I started creating the weekly menu. The idea is to create meals with balanced plates of protein, starch/carbs, and a vegetable element which includes a green vegetable. Now I know some popular diets philosophies tend to favor one food group over the other like for example high protein and little too no carbs, but speaking for myself, I find that omitting one group from a meal leaves me feeling like there was something missing in the meal. And unfortunately veggies tend to be the third wheel in our Meat and Potatoes culture. The slogan is “Where’s the beef?”, but how about “Where are the Vegetables?”
Once the weekly menu is created, the family weighs in. Are their too many baked items? Is the menu too heavy on meat and not enough on vegetables. Am I falling back on the same thing week after week? Ideas, suggestions, and preferences start to take shape. For example broccoli is always a crowd pleaser, so I know to fit that in. I like to mix up the menu with various cuisines like Asian, Mexican, Italian, Comfort American, and others.
Suggestions are noted and a final menu is drafted. The family gets excited about the week’s meals and preferences are met. This strategy can be a good way too bring kids into eating healthier. If they have a say, they are probably going to eat it.
The other great thing about weekly menu planning is leftovers. I usually make a little extra for dinner which then becomes a quick reheat lunch the next day. Dinners do not have to be fancy, or entirely made from scratch. I run to can beans, the occasional frozen veggie like peas, and sometime center a meal around jazzed up ramen noodles.
Here is this weeks menu:
Baked Chicken with roasted potatoes and greens (saute kale and onions)
Beans with cornbread and salad w/dressing
Brown Rice Risotto w/seafood and peas
Turkey burgers w/salad and baked sweet potato fries
Vegetable Stir fry with rice
please feel free to share your weekly dinner menu.