Monday, September 8, 2008

Time to Plan...

When they learn that I'm a chef, there's one question people always ask, "What should I make tonight for dinner?"

There's a way to avoid the stress of "oh, no, not chicken again!?" It's called weekly menu planning. This may seem like an added chore, but once you get used to it, you'll enjoy its benefits.

When you create a dinner menu plan for the week, it gives you a chance to check your refrigerator and pantry for items you might already have at home. That way, you won't accidentally purchase another bottle of ketchup at the grocery store, or forget that you needed a stick of butter. Once you've purchased all of the items you need for the week, you won't have to swing by the supermarket on your way home from a long day at work, just to pick up a spring of parsley! (It will also keep you from pulling into that fast-food drive-thru, because you're too tired to figure out what to make for dinner!)

To get you started, I've posted a simple weekly dinner menu plan. I'll leave the food preparation to you - this is about learning the ease of weekly planning. There are some dishes posted twice - because it's good to use leftovers!

Tomato salad with basil and mozzarella
Grilled fish (any type) with Herbs of Provence add a squeeze of lemon
Steamed broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots
Steamed brown rice

For kids:
Baked plain white fish (Tilapia is a good cheap option)
Raw carrots
Serve with ketchup

The wedge - 1/4 iceberg lettuce with Blue Cheese dressing and diced tomatoes
Penne pasta with mushrooms, artichokes, sundried tomatoes, parmesan, chicken and green onion

For kids:
Penne pasta with chicken

Shredded iceberg with carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli with Ranch dressing
Chicken enchiladas (stuffed with brown rice, chicken and cheese)
Black beans
Corn on the cob (sprinkle parmesan and parsley)

For kids:
Cheese quesadillas
Try shredded iceberg salad

Romaine with avocado and Italian dressing
Flank steak
Blue cheese couscous
Green beans

For kids:
Green beans

Romaine with cucumber tomato and basil
Turkey and vegetable lasagna

For kids:
Turkey meatballs with tomato sauce