Menu Plan Monday ~ Week of April 11, 2011

Menu Plan Monday LogoMenu planning is a really great tool when you’re on a mostly, kind-of, sort-of predictable schedule. Variances for the occasional food blogger event and school activity are easy to manage with a freezer stash raid or a quick taco night. But when you throw a major conference, Spring Break, a local food festival, and a business trip into the fray and there’s no such thing as a normal schedule for 5 weeks, menu planning is, if we’re being honest, a pipe dream. For the last several weeks I feel like we’ve been a family of pin balls bouncing from bumper to bumper, crossing paths every few days and luck to get any meal in together. Happily, our time as participates in a real-life arcade game is up – at least until summer arrives with its array of travel and camps – so we can get back to our (relatively) normal life, complete with weeknight dinner plans. And while it’s nice to have some predictability in our meals again, I’m most looking forward to having more time to spend with my family in the coming few weeks. As much as we enjoy our time apart, we’ve definitely missed our evening dinner connections. I’m ready to re-acquaint myself with them, warts and all.

The Plan

I pretty much exhausted my freezer stash during our spring sprint so I’ll be doing some freezer filling cooking in the next few weeks. It’s all so full-on grilling season here in Central Texas so there will be a bit of al fresco dining sprinkled into menus which is great because I can marinade meats the night before and toss them on the grill for quick fix meals that aren’t repetitive. It’s also the first week of Austin’s Spring Restaurant Week so I’ll have a budget-friendly lunch and dinner thrown in for good measure.

  • Monday: Lamb Chops with Lemon and Tzatziki, Grilled Chive Potatoes, grilled asparagus and spring onions, and Mixed-Berry Oatmeal Crisps
    I’ve put this menu together as a quick Spring menu perfect for Easter or Mother’s Day. To test the “quick” hypothesis I’ll make it on a weeknight that includes dance class for the kidlet. The lamb chops go into the fridge to marinade tonight so this dinner is already in the works.
  • Tuesday: Lemongrass-Cilantro Chicken with Honey Dipping Sauce, steamed rice, and broccoli sautéed with red peppers
    I’ll marinade the chicken and make the dipping sauce on Monday night so this dish comes together quickly when I get home from work. I’m making extra chicken and rice for fried rice lunches later in the week.
  • Wednesday: Girl’s night out for Restaurant Week
    I’m looking forward to a little girlfriend time and I know my daughter and her dad will enjoy their evening together.
  • Thursday: Spicy Pork with Asparagus and Chile with soba noodles
    Ground pork and in-season asparagus will make this dish come together quickly. Leftovers will be good for weekend lunches.
  • Friday: Honey-Chile Chicken Wings, oven fries, and edamame
    Friday night is family movie night and these wings will make it all the more fun. They are baked and not fried so they are healthier than what we’d find at a wing place and the whole family can get into the making.
  • Saturday: Fish tacos (or chicken tacos for the kidlet), fixins, and black beans
    These simple tacos will be perfect for a spring evening on the porch and they come together quickly which is good because I’ll be cooking brunch for a blog post earlier in the day and will probably be tired of my kitchen by the time dinner rolls around.
  • Sunday: Coriander Scallops with Orange-Ginger Dressing, grilled steak, pecan wild rice, and roasted Brussels sprouts
    We’re making a return to surf-and-turf Sundays so we can get more seafood into our diet. Because it’s grilling season there’s some sort of tasty steak on sale every week it seems and seafood doesn’t have to break the bank when you cook it yourself. It’s as if we’ll have our own restaurant week dinner at home. I’ll make extra steak and rice for lunches next week.

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