Saturday, November 2, 2013

November Meal Plan

I'll post this here for people who are interested, rather than assaulting people who come to our personal blog hoping for pictures of cute kids. :)

November’s meal plan:

I was surprised (pleasantly) that I did hear from several people that they liked the previous post about my grocery shopping habits/meal planning.

So I figured I’d do the same thing for November.

Breakfasts: again, this is just for the girls and me (sort of...I eat whatever sounds good) and Senor eats cereal 99% of the time
Sunday: ½ PB & J, fruit, milk  OR oatmeal bake muffins (basically I’m just going to make them in muffin tins and freeze them; thaw in the microwave when ready to eat) with milk and fruit.
Back-up bfast for Sundays is always cereal.

Monday: Muffin Monday. (I’m making several kinds of muffins—BB, carrot, pumpkin, banana and freezing them; thaw in the microwave when ready to eat), egg, and fruit

Tuesday: Toast Tuesday (cheese, plain or cinnamon toast), vegetable, fruit, cheese on the side if they don’t want cheese toast

Wednesday: Waffle Wednesday. (Again, I’m making a large batch and freezing them, they reheat well in the toaster or the oven), yogurt, and fruit

Thursday: SmooTHie Thursday (a stretch, I know!) I blend yogurt or milk with frozen fruit…pick some combo, ½ whole wheat mini bagel

Friday: “Fun” Friday. Some sort of “fun” food…cereal or some weird fruit. Milk. Fruit.  Sometimes I just put in the extra effort to make it look like a face or something.

Saturday: Super Saturday. Pancakes, Fresh oatmeal with fruit/nuts, French toast, etc….yogurt, fruit. Since Senor is home we generally try to make something special and yummy.

Lunches: This is just for the girls & I, Senor takes a sandwich or pasta or leftovers almost everyday. 
Sunday:  “Protein Pack” which translates into some form of carb (usually bread/pita or crackers), nuts/cheese/egg, vegetable, fruit

Monday: Pita, EVOO dip, vegetable, fruit, black beans/nuts, cheese

Tuesday: whole wheat mini bagel with PB (or plain), nuts on the side (if no PB), fruit, & vegetable

Wednesday: PB & graham crackers, milk, fruit/veg

Thursday: Cheese & crackers, veg & fruit

Friday: Pasta, egg/beans, cheese & veggie

Saturday: usually a toss up and some form of a lunch from earlier in the week…often depends on what they had for breakfast.

Our Dinners: in order of when we plan to eat them...(with my ahead-prep notes)…most of our meals I make sure will feed us for 2 nights (and sometimes more) so that I’m only cooking every other night or so.

Crepes-senor’s specialty

Pizza—I’ve made this ahead and frozen the dough, but honestly nothing beats fresh made pizza

Chicken Curry— diced up chicken & put into a large ziplock freezer bag. Measured diced onion into sandwich size bag, tossed into the freezer bag; in a snack size bag I mixed up all the spices garlic thru salt and put that little mixture bag into the big bag. Placed it all in one bag into the freezer with recipe card; coconut milk, tomato paste and sour cream/yogurt are all pantry/fridge items
I also set aside the bag of frozen peas and rubberbanded it to the chicken curry bag.

Minestrone w/bread- I put the first 6 ingredients in a bag. (I blanche the zuch first, just FYI).  I shred my carrots and put them in a little bag. And I mix all my spices into a bag and the pasta shells measured out into a little bag, I put all 4 bags together in the's like a little kit; for the spinach I bought frozen, chopped spinach and will thaw and drain when time comes; it's not fresh, I know, but it all gets mushy anyways even if you use fresh. I put some whole-grain yummy bread in to freeze and it's ready to go.

Pork Tenderloin w/cherry sauce, butternut squash, green beans, maybe cheese grits- I made up the cherry sauce in advance, poured it back into the jar and put it in the fridge. The butternut squash I roasted in the oven and pureed it, a spoonful of maple syrup/butter…freeze flat in a ziplock bag in the freezer-thaw & microwave when ready to eat. GB I blanched and flash froze. I’ll steam them or toss them in boiling water—swirl with a little EVOO and sea salt. Cheese grits have to be made fresh…IF you’ve never tried grits, I HIGLY recommend you try this recipe sometime. It’s divine!

Chicken Pot Pie-I made up the entire pie and froze it unbaked. Will thaw and bake when it’s time to eat!  *These do tend to take more than a hour to bake from frozen. If thawed well they’ll bake in about 1-1.5 hours

BBQ, corn on the cobb, sweet potato fries/mashed sweet potatoes, lima beans—I just put the Boston Butt in the crock pot the night before and make the veggies fresh. This is a pretty easy meal to throw together if you remember to start the meat the night before.  *To make lima beans correctly, one must put the fatty ends of bacon in with them and simmer on low for 30-45 min…MMMMmmmm J 

Enchiladas-I always make up some mixture and it’s never the same recipe twice. This time it will be a cross of this, this and this…  So I’ll mix up the mixture and sauce, assemble the enchiladas and place them in a foil pan, freeze it.

Philly Dips…broccoli, carrots, and fruit (frozen or fresh)

Lasagna w/bread—this will be assembled and all put together, placed in the freezer…homemade stouffers lasagna ready to go. I do make mine in smaller foil containers b/c 9x13 in the freezer takes up a lot of space and we won’t eat that much in 2 nights. So I usually make 1 8x8 and then 1 or 2 loaf pans (depending on what I have left) and they’re also perfect size for a small family with a new baby delivery-meal. I toss in some fresh bread from the bakery and freeze it; thaw and heat in the oven when ready!...if you’re feeling fancy you can always sprinkle with some parmesan cheese and garlic butter.
*I’m trying this recipe for lasagna this time…I’ve tried several, still searching for the best one; I’ll let you know how this one goes

Chili with corn muffins, cheese/sour cream/green onions; fruit. Again, everyone has their favorite chili recipe. Most can be made ahead of time and frozen. As can the corn muffins…I went the easy route and bought Jiffy mix this month, but usually I will make them from scratch.  You can also go so far as to freeze the chopped green onions and shredded cheese so you’ll be sure to have it on hand. I generally freeze my chili in batches big enough for 1 night (I find about 1-1.5 cups is about 1 adult bowl); this is another super easy meal to deliver to friends if you need to drop-off a meal.

Teriyaki Flank Steak, Teriyaki rice, broccoli, butternut squash-This is an easy one! I mixed up the marinade and threw it in a freezer bag along with the steak; freeze it flat. Thaw and grill! The rice can be made ahead of time and flash frozen spread out on a cookie sheet; just make sure to undercook it a bit so when you heat it up it has a little wiggle room before getting mushy.

SW Eggrolls-I’m trying this recipe this month; going to assemble the eggrolls and filling then flash freeze them. I’ll thaw them and flash fry them in the skillet or bake them when it’s time to eat!

Quinoa Broccoli Casserole- I pinned this one and will make it all, assemble, freeze prior to the baking step. Just like you would a rice/chicken casserole. We’ll see how it tastes. Probably will add some onion, cheddar cheese, carrots and peas/asparagus

Sausage, Lentil Soup with bread- We’ve had this before, it’s delicious. You can make this into a kit as well; putting the sausage into a large zip loc bag, putting the onions, celery, carrots, 2 cloves of garlic into a bag. 2 bay leaves in a little bag. Put all the bags together in the big bag for a kit. Blanche and flash freeze your kale/swiss chard (literally, just drop it into the boiling water for a few seconds and then drench it in ice cold water….dry, lay out on a cookie sheet and freeze; once it’s frozen transfer to a Ziploc bag and put it with the rest of your kit).  You could even shred or measure your parmesan cheese and put it aside in a bag and freeze it so you have everything except the can of tomatoes and oil all set to go.

Back up meals: Sloppy Joe’s…I usually will make this up in advance, adding some green peppers and using ½ turkey and ½ ground beef. Freeze in a bag in portions suitable for 1 night. (1/3 c mixture is about right per sandwich) 

The winners and losers from October's trial recipes:
~Creamy Sweet Potato Soup: I made this Halloween Day and used a cream cheese/yogurt mixture to create "spider webs" on top; I also used sliced, frozen sweet potato I had in the freezer, tossed it into a pot with water and boiled 10 min til soft. Continued with the recipe.
The bacon and parmesan are a MUST on good.

~Chicken Salsa Casserole: this one was so easy and was good. Not over-the-top, wow-everyone-you-know amazing, but definitely a good regular stand-by. My kids really liked it. 

~Lemon Orzo Soup with Chicken Meatballs. Yummy. Slight variation on your usual chicken noodle soup. I added more veggies...I wouldn't recommend getting too wild. Extra carrots, for sure, but I'd stick with no additions. 

Maybe, need some work:
~Pork Stir-Fry with Green Beans: This was good, had great flavor and was super easy to pull together since I'd done alot of the prep work earlier; however, it felt like it was lacking. We decided maybe some red peppers, carrots...something to bulk it up a bit...definitely needed some more veggies

~Crock Pot Chicken and Rice: This was eh, so-so. Very bland. It defnitely needed some major work to become a staple. I'd definitely go with the Chicken Salsa Casserole over this any day.

~Slow Cooker Gyros. I think next time I'll just marinate my chicken in my regular greek marinade, use the crock pot and go from there. The flavor on these was SO bland and lacking. And watery. Just bleh. Even with homemade fresh Naan and tzatziki sauce...still blah. 

1 comment:

Josh and Lori Shinar said...

Your family is very lucky to have such a savvy gourmet chef!