Organized Junkie and hopefully you get some ideas on what to make your own families. I sit down EVERY weekend and plan out our menu. If you are interested in the menu planner I use, leave me a comment with your email address and I can email you a PDF version. My menu planner includes a spot for breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and dinner.
If I don't make a menu plan every week we tend to eat out alot, which is not good for our waist line or trying to stay on a budget. My menu usually goes from Sunday to Saturday. If you are new to menu planning, just remember to work it around your schedule and make it work for you. You could sit down and do the menu for an entire month if that works best for you.
Over the past 6 months Brenden and I have moved towards a "real foods" lifestyle. It is NOT a diet, it is a lifestyle change! It is a slow process and takes time. No one can make the change overnight. I will be posting more about our real food conversion and simple ways you can move towards a "real foods" lifestyle, so come back often to check it out! The recipes I use are family recipes, internet (food network) recipes, or come from one of the MANY cookbooks I have. I LOVE cookbooks and always look at the cookbook section of every book store I enter! I am always altering a recipe to make it fit what we like and to make it fit our "real food" lifestyle.
I am just going to detail our dinners this week. In the future I may add our lunches, but usually we eat leftovers, salads, or tuna sandwiches. For breakfast we will eat toast, smoothies, or oatmeal (NOT the packets that are loaded with sugar). A note on bread: 100% whole wheat is sometimes not really 100% whole wheat. Watch the ingredient list and try to find a bread that is truly 100% whole wheat and hopefully does not have HFCS or other bad ingredients. It is REALLY hard to find a healthy bread in the store. Someday, when I have an oven again, I plan to make my own bread so I KNOW exactly what is in it. A note on smoothies: these make a great breakfast or snack because they are fast, healthy, and great for on the go. They also are a great way to get some of your fruit and dairy servings in for the day!
For our snacks we eat almonds or other types of nuts, fruit, veggies, celery & PB, or homemade muffins. I will do a post one of these days on healthy snacks and smoothies you can make at home which are much more healthy for you then the packaged products at the store.
Sunday: Sherried Tomato Soup (Recipe from the Pioneer Woman Cooks, Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl cookbook) The recipe is on her website. Check it out here. I did not use onions (my husband is allergic to them) and I only used 1/2 cup of the Sherry. Brenden thought it tasted to "herby" (not sure if this is a word) so next time I will cut back on the amount of basil and parsley I use. In my opinion I thought it was the best tomato soup I have ever had. This one is definitely a keeper! It made a large pot so we are having it as leftovers this week. We would of had more but someone knocked one of the storage containers off the counter and made a horrific mess, so we only have one container left to eat from!
Monday: Chili. I took the chili recipe I grew up with and changed a few things. Of course there are no onions in my chili. If I wasn't married to such a picky eater my chili would have A LOT more in it, so this is a VERY BASIC chili recipe that you could use and make it your own. I will be doing a post separately on my chili, which will include my recipe and seasoning recipe. Check back later this week for it! We will have corn muffins with chili this week. I usually always make some kind of muffin with our chili. The corn muffin recipe I am using this week is from Musings of a Housewife. Check out the recipe here.
Tuesday: Sweet and Sour Chicken. This is a recipe I found on The Food Network website. Check it out here. I have not made this recipe before, so I hope it is good! I am going to cut this recipe in half so we do not have so many leftovers. We will have cut up apples with dinner.
Wednesday: French Toast and Bacon. My batter consists of farm eggs, whole milk, nutmeg, and cinnamon. I don't have an official recipe, I just throw it together. The bacon I purchase at the local meat market. Making the switch from store bought bacon to local, fresh bacon was one of the best things we have done! I don't think I could eat store bought bacon again! I top my french toast with butter and powdered sugar (definitely not on our "real foods" list, but we haven't made that switch yet) and Brenden tops his with either peanut butter and syrup or butter and syrup. We will have some type of fruit with dinner, it just depends on what we have left.
Thursday: Hobos. We make these when we have lots of veggies to use up. We create our own, putting the ingredients in heavy duty foil (very important to use heavy duty), add seasonings and water, and cook them on the grill. It is super easy and there is usually leftovers for the next day! We always make our own "Hobo" so we can have what we like.
Friday: Spaghetti, Buttered Almond Fresh Green Beans, and Garlic Toast. This is basic, whole wheat noodles and spaghetti sauce. I haven't had time to make my own sauce and can it, but it is on my list to get done soon! If anyone has a good sauce recipe I would love to have it! I use Bertolli sauces because it has the fewest ingredients and the ingredients are not horrible. For the green beans I just saute them in olive oil and garlic. At the end I add some butter, salt, pepper, and toasted almonds. I let this cook a few minutes, but not too long or the butter will burn. I toast my almonds in my toaster oven, but it would work to toast them on the stove to.
Saturday: I am hosting a Scentsy Party so I will have hor d' oeuvres for all my guests which means this will be our dinner! I haven't officially decided on what I will be making but it might consist of Little Smokies in BBQ sauce (watch this product too, there are lots of nasty ingredients in BBQ sauce), Queso, Spinach Artichoke Dip, and of course some kind of dessert (maybe something with pumpkin!).
What are you having for dinner this week? Check out Organized Junkie for more "Menu Plan Mondays".