Friday, July 25, 2008

How Do You Meal Plan?

The Heart of the Matter is having a "How Do You Meal Plan" meme today. Here's an excerpt from their blog: "Every Friday we will feature a different topic for our meme. Mr. Linky is set up below so please share with us your How Do You Meal Plan? We would love to see recipes of all kinds! I would especially love to find some new homemade bread, crockpot, and meatless recipes." So go on over to The Heart of the Matter and see what's cooking!

I've tried different ways of menu planning. Sometimes I plan for an entire month. I'll print out a blank calendar for the month, and write down the supper on each day. On the back of the calendar I'll write out all the ingredients I'll need from the store. That way I can go through that list and make my grocery list. This works out nicely, but it takes the effort of sitting down for a couple of hours and making the menu. I'm always glad when I do it though!

Another favorite way of mine to menu plan is to sit down and decide on about 14 meals, make my grocery list, and purchase everything and have it on hand. I post the meal list on the side of my fridge and then in the morning choose which meal we'll have that night. This works great. I like having the option of which meal I can serve that day, and not be tied to "today is Tuesday so we must eat...."

It truly does help to plan ahead and have things in stock. It saves time and money.

Here is one of my favorite meatless recipes. I make this mostly in the winter, but it's good any time!

This comes from Betty Crocker's Easy Vegetarian Classics Go Meatless (one of the little cookbooks you can buy in the grocery line)

Pasta and Bean Skillet

1 cup salsa
2/3 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
3/4 cup water
2 tsp chili powder
1 can (15 to 16 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1. Heat all ingredients except cheese to boiling in 10 inch nonstick skillet; reduce heat to low.

2. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until macaroni is just tender. Sprinkle with cheese. 4 servings.

We like meat and we usually eat more than the "serving size" so this is how I usually adjust it:

1/2 lb ground turkey, cooked and crumbled
1 cup salsa
1 1/3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1 1/2 cups water
4 tsp chili powder
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (16 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup shredded cheese

Follow directions above.

1 comment:

SmallWorld at Home said...

I do the shop-for-14 days and write a menu--but without the days--for the most part. Makes life soooo much easier!

Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."