Menu Plan Monday ~ Week of March 21, 2011

Austin Food Blogger Alliance City Guide LogoI’ve taken a bit of a break from posting about my menu planning because I’ve been knee-deep in launching the new Austin Food Blogger Alliance, a non-profit group for local food bloggers focused on education and community involvement. Starting a new organization is exhilarating and exhausting, but I’m already seeing the many ways it can make a difference for my fellow food bloggers in Austin and for our local food community. I also participated in local Austin conferences SXSW and TECHmunch, making the first three weeks in March a bit of a whirlwind.

TECHmunch was chock-full of great information for bloggers of any type, and I took copious notes which I’ve shared on my Social Feasting blog. If you’re of the blogging persuasion, you may find some helpful tidbits about everything from page design to personal brand, multimedia, and more.

Menu Plan Monday LogoYou’d think after such a frenetic start to spring I’d rest on my laurels a bit (do laurels bloom in spring?), but no, that would be much too reasonable. I’m on a plane early in the week for business, running a 10k at the end of the week, and then I’ll round out the month with a deep immersion into the Hill Country Wine and Food Festival. In and amongst all of this business it becomes even more important to my family that I plan our meals every week. While our schedules may be a tad, okay more than a tad, inconsistent, knowing what we’ll have for dinner every night creates a center to our day that we all need. It also helps us keep our budget and health goals firmly on track.

The Plan

Travel and 10k make for some interesting menu planning challenges, but with some help from the freezer stash, some leftovers, and a couple of super-simple recipe the plan comes together.

Breakfasts

Over the last couple of weeks I let my stash of breakfast foods run low and I found myself relying on takeout breakfast more than I should have. I found some time during SXSW to have a baking fest and I continue to look for more healthy breakfast options to keep on hand. This week I’ll have a nice collection to choose from:

Lunches

I’ll admit that in the last few weeks I’ve eaten way too many lunches out because I haven’t planned as well as I could have. This week I’m focusing as much on my lunch plans as well as our dinner plans so I can get back on track. My lunch options this week include:

  • Tacos made with leftover Spicy Shredded Beef
  • Chinese chicken lettuce wraps with the last of the chicken from my freezer stash
  • Pasta with marinara for my pre-race carb loading days
  • Tostadas at a local tacos shop with a gift card I’ve been hoarding

Dinners

The family will be on their own for a couple of nights this week while I’m travelling and attending a food event. Even so, we’ll have several nights together to have healthy family dinners.

  • Monday: Chicken tenders and fries
    It’s music and dance class night, so the kidlet and her dad will grab dinner inbetween sessions.
  • Tuesday: Tacos made with leftover Spicy Shredded Beef, cucumber and tomato salad, and taco fixin’s
    I doubled the spicy shredded beef recipe because I knew it would be good to have on hand for lunches and for easy meals while I’m out of town.
  • Wednesday: Broccoli and sausage sauté, pasta
    This one dish dinner is easy and will help me acclimate after my business trip. A bit of pasta on the side will help with my carb intake as I look forward to my 10k.
  • Thursday: Dad and daughter on their own
    I have a food event on Thursday night so the family will be on their own. If I was a betting woman I bet they’ll do happy hour at our local sushi spot.
  • Friday: Meatball sandwiches, salad
    My crystal ball tells me I’ll want to just eat out if the alternative is making a complicated dinner. Meatball sandwiches however just take a bit of reheating of the marinara and meatballs from my freezer stash, a task I’m pretty sure I can manage (or pawn off on the kidlet) at the end of a long week.
  • Saturday: Lamb Kabobs (adapted from Lamb Bulgogi with Asian Pear Dipping Sauce), naan brad, and steamed artichokes
    My pre-race dinner will have a nice balance of protein and carbs with some veggies thrown in for good measure.
  • Sunday: Surf and turf, sautéed spinach, grilled bread
    As a reward for my race we’ll enjoy a restaurant-style dinner at home for a fraction of the cost; I’ll decide on final recipes based on what’s on sale at my local grocery later this week.

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