Menu Plan Monday ~ Week of April 18, 2011

Menu Plan Monday grilling versionLast week’s return to steady menu planning and the associated actual cooking of said menu plan went really well. We had a night early in the week where exhaustion from my first day back at work after minor surgery took me by surprise so we had to take dinner refuge in our favorite local sushi restaurant. Because I know that I’m not going to be perfect in the execution of my plan (and I’m learning to live with that) I’ve started trying to plan to shop twice a week instead of once. While it does take a little bit of extra effort to work a second quick store trip in during the middle of the week, it helps us not waste food that goes bad because I buy too much and then don’t cook what I bought. This approach worked well last week so I’m giving it another go this week.

The Plan

This week is a pretty straight forward week with a lot of grilling involved because we continue to have perfect grilling weather here in Central Texas. I’m trying to be better about cooking dinners that lend themselves to lunches later in the week to both simplify the planning process and make prepping for a long work day easier.

  • Monday: Fajitas, spicy black beans, and fixin’s
    The whole family loves fajitas and I’ll make extras for lunches later in the week. Besides wrapping the fajita meat in tortillas it’s great on top of a salad with some fresh mango tossed in for good measure. My local market has pre-marinated fajita meat so the prep on this dinner will be very easy after a long first day back at the office after the weekend.
  • Tuesday: Spicy Pork with Asparagus and Chile and steamed rice
    This is the recipe from last week’s menu that was sacrificed to my exhaustion. I’m looking forward to trying it so it’s back on the menu this week. I think leftovers will be great with big lettuce leaves as wraps.
  • Wednesday: Mom’s night out, dad and kidlet on their own
    I’ll be at an event at the Capital Area Food Bank kicking off the first philanthropy event for our newly minted Austin Food Blogger Alliance so the family will be on their own for dinner.
  • Thursday: Balsamic Flank Steak over mixed greens with roasted broccolini
    I love this marinade because it’s fast (as marinades go) but it brings all sorts of flavor to the party. It’s great over greens and equally wonderful on sandwiches which is what I’ll use it for on Friday.
  • Friday: Lime and Ginger Butterflied Chicken, couscous with grilled vegetables, and tomato and cucumber salad
    A butterflied (spatchcocked) chicken is the perfect way to grill chicken quickly and evenly. I’m also testing a new summer side dish recipe on Friday. I’ll probably make two chickens to have leftovers for next week; I think I see chicken salad on a future menu plan.
  • Saturday: Grilled pizza with salad
    We’re having friends over for game night and grilled pizza will be a great quick dinner I can personalize for everyone. People love assembling their own pizzas from a host of toppings I prepare in advance and we even have contests to see who can come up with the most interesting combination of toppings.
  • Sunday: Gulf Fish in Pappillote with steamed artichokes
    Sunday is fish night and cooking fish in parchment is one of the easiest and fastest preparation methods I know of. I’ll probably put the fish in foil and toss them on the grill. Artichokes are pretty much hands off after some initial preparation so I’ll have an effortless dinner on the table for Easter evening.

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