Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fall Menu Plan

The bug may have finally hit me.  Decorate for Fall has been on my to do list for the past three weeks, but this week it may actually get crossed off.  We took the kids to the pumpkin patch this weekend, temperatures are about to get cool(er), and I've been pinning winter squash and apple recipes on Pinterest.  This menu plan was hard to write because there were so many recipes I wanted to include. (Since I started this post, I have found even more recipes. *sigh*)
Pumpkins on death row

Also, we joined a new coop this month that offers local food during our growing season!!!  So excited about this.  I'll update you on our progress on the Pantry Challenge at the end of this post as well.

Since seasons range quite a bit around the country, I wanted to give you a quick how-to for menu planning so that you can adapt to where and how you live.

1. Start with what's in season.  If you shop at the grocery store, start with what produce is on sale. (This will save you money and you will get better quality.)

2. Look at your family calendar and decide which nights you would benefit from a quick and easy meal or a crock pot dinner.  Do you want to eat out one night?  I like to put more time consuming recipes on the weekend.

3. Consider spreading out costly items such as meat and dairy.  We only cook meat 2-3 nights a week. If we eat it other nights, it's leftovers added to a new dish.  Some people have chicken on Monday, pork on Tuesday, etc.

4. Think about grouping meals together that share ingredients or can be used to make the next meal.  I'll give you an example in my menu plan in week two with the Cilantro Lime Chicken.

That's about it!  So, without further ado, my fall menu plan:

Week 1

Saturday- Sweet Potato Burgers/Quiche
Sunday- Chicken & Shrimp Gumbo (freeze leftovers in small portions for lunches)/ Chipotle-Glazed Roast Chicken 
Monday- Curried Quinoa/ Creamy Quinoa Primavera
Tuesday- Crock pot Meatloaf/ Pineapple Teriyaki Burgers
Wednesday- Grilled Sweet Potato Medallions/Sweet Potato Quesadillas 
Thursday- Spanish Tortilla/ Twice Baked Potatoes (crock pot)
Friday- Homemade Pizza

Week 2

Saturday- Steak & Baked Potatoes/ Chili & Cornbread
Sunday- Butternut Penne/ Pumpkin & Sage Ravioli 
Monday- Crock pot Tikka Masala/ Crock pot Cilantro Lime Chicken (Serve with lots of veggies & cook extra rice to go with it. If necessary set aside about two cups of chicken before serving for Friday's recipe.)
Tuesday- Crock Pot Lentil Soup/ Crock Pot Bean Soup (Serve with leftover rice from Monday.) *Both recipes came from, but they've changed their site, so I will share these recipes later.
Wednesday- Homemade Pita stuffed with leftover lentils/ Roasted Veggie and Black Bean Burritos
Thursday- Kale Risotto/ Roasted Butternut Squash with Kale
Friday- Chicken Tortilla Soup/ Mexican Chowder (Use leftover chicken and cilantro from Monday's recipe.  If you're worried about food poisoning, you can freeze the chicken Monday night.)


Last time I included lunches in my menu plan, and we didn't really use the recipes I posted.  This time I'm just going to assume we will either have leftovers, sandwiches, or will eat one of the meals we didn't end up eating during the week.  And of course, there's always Butternut Squash Soup. :)

Pantry Challenge Update

Ummm, yikes.  I am way behind posting.  I started this post last week, didn't have time to finish it and then life happened, including starting back to work part-time, and it's a week later.  Oh well.  I will try to remember as best I can and hope my menu on the calendar is accurate.

Day 12
Eggs; leftovers; Out

Day 13

Yogurt & Granola; Quinoa Salad; Vegetable Tian

Day 14
Out; Eggplant Marinara Flatbread; Simple Stuffed Peppers

Day 15
Zucchini Muffins; Leftovers; Salmon & Crock Roasted Root Veggies

Day 16
Apple Pie Breakfast; Out; Chicken Sausage, Red Cabbage & Apples

Day 17
Smoothie & Toast; leftovers; I don't remember. 

Day 18
Eggs & Zucchini; leftovers; Chicken Wrap

Day 19
Zucchini Muffins; Out; Homemade Pizza

Day 20
Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts; Out; Paella

Day 21
Baked Oatmeal; Community Lunch at Church; Caprese Lasagna

Day 22
Zucchini Muffins (so glad I made a bunch and froze them); leftovers; Cilantro Lime Chicken, Rice, Sweet Potatoes

Day 23
Yogurt, Frozen Fruit, & Granola; leftovers; Black Beans & Rice

Day 24
Make-your-own-cereal; leftovers; Roasted Veggie & Black Bean Burritos (This recipe made 6, so I froze the extra ones for future lunches. :) )

As far as spending goes, at this point we are at 506.79 total for the month.  I also highly doubt I will spend absolutely nothing at the grocery store in the next 7 days, considering that we are almost out of salt, vanilla, and something else which escapes me at the moment.  I still think we've done pretty darn good, overall, though. 

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