Friday, June 17, 2011

On menu planning

Generally the best way I have found to follow our budget and eat real foods is menu planning. While I have been faithful to following weight watchers recently, I admit I have let this fall by the wayside. I haven't been inspired in the kitchen and so we have been eating out more than I care to admit or just eating boring foods. I'm going to try to break this rut by at least making one new recipe a week and menu planning. This week we did go over budget by about $20 but our menu also includes a special fathers day meal of grass fed steaks.

I have been pretty disgusted with what I am learning about much of our food supply, so in general we buy organic; and our beef must be grass fed. I want to incorporate at least one fish meal as well a week and that must be ocean caught. Its so important to me right now that I would rather eat vegetarian rather than conventional beef or farm raised fish, it really just doesn't seem safe to eat any more. I have been called a food snob before because of this but honestly I feel it's a question of safety. We eat like this at home knowing that while we are out we can't employ the same practices but at least we know the vast majority of our diet is safe.

This has been a challenge as far as the grocery budget so I will be working on following our budget strictly and incorporating vegetarian meals to offset. The fish cost has been offset by buying wild alaskan salmon in a can.

This weeks Menu:

Sunday-Father's Day! Grass Fed Steak, asparagus, roasted potatoes, salad and for dessert Cherry Pie (from the 50 lbs of cherries my friends and I picked and processed). All favorites for Schmoops first father's day.

Monday-honey lime enchiladas made with homemade tortillas (I will be subbing coconut oil for the shortening).

Tuesday-Pizza- store bought crust, store bought sauce. Easy peasy

Wednesday-.Crock Pot Black Bean Soup-served with Greek Yougurt instead of sour cream and flavored with fresh cilantro from our garden

Thursday-Quiche with sausage, onions and peppers

Friday-Alaskan Salmon Chick Pea and Mint Patties served with cous cous

I'm hoping that Wednesday can be a beach day and we can bring leftover pizza for lunch and then come home to some wonderful crockpot soup. Also, did you notice the two low cost vegetarian meals that I snuck in there?

Are you menu-planning? What helps you?


Anonymous said...

Very inspiring Kristi. Question- how do you know if it's grain fed beef? Are you against chicken too? Lately I notice the packages say vegetarian/no hormones on many of the chicken packages. I definitely get in a rut with meals!

I often do a stir fry or quiche (no crust) to use leftovers. Whatever you like can be thrown together so easily. I have been making my own salad dressings occasionally since we're trying to eat more salads and less starch.

This past week I used Taste of Home to roast vegetables. Easy but I wasn't sure how they were cooked. I used yellow squash, carrots, orange peppers, red onion and string beans tossed with oil and vinegar and seasoned with italian herbs. Roasted for about 20 minutes in an open dish in the oven. I'd put the string beans in later though since they were overcooked. We loved it. This is from Debbie S. since I probably am not a member on this site.

Dirkey said...

Hey Debbie! Unfortunately the only way I've found to get grass fed beef is to buy directly from a farm or to buy from Whole Foods. Its expensive but we try to really get the most out of our meat like buying roasts and using for 2-3 meals (I might just cube some and add it to Rossotto, do strips and make fajitas, etc). We do get organic chicken and I would really love to keep chickens for both eggs and meat because of all the soy that is generally fed to chickens. The more I read about soy the creepier it seems. For example soy contains a substance that mimics estrogen in your body and when babies are on soy formula they are receiving more estrogen than someone on birth control.. Messed up right?!?! I just wonder about Bug and I don't want all those hormones in his body as it develops.(

I try to buy up like crazy during sales. Whole Foods had whole organic chickens for 1.69 a lb, so I bought 10 and have them in the freezer. There was also a sale on memorial day where you bought $40 in meat and you got $10 off your order so I grabbed some stuff then too.

Love roasting veggies!! Love that we can grill them now too!

mama k said...

Word. But you already knew that I am on the same page. :)

Joining the CSA this year has been a great value. Hopefully my garden will produce enough to carry over into the winter, but that remains to be seen.