Menu Plan Monday ~ Week of July 25, 2011

Menu Plan Monday grilling versionMenu planning takes a summer vacation in our household. The warm weather finds various members of the family trekking about the country and we even have some flexible adults-only time to enjoy. With this change in schedule and number of people in the house on any given evening, I’ve found the best laid menu plans go astray quickly. Being more spontaneous is fun but I do find that without a solid plan we eat out more which isn’t necessarily wallet-friendly. With four weeks of summer break left though, it’s time to start getting back into our routine.

The Plan

When you add school and holidays in the mix, the fall and winter months are hectic times in the kitchen even before I cook for the blog. In a bit of an attempt to get ahead of the game I’m testing recipes now for late August and beyond. I’m also trying out some new recipe finds from my collection of summer recipes so I think we’ll have a well-rounded and interesting first week back to menu planning.

  • Monday:Mongolian Beef with steamed rice and edamame
    Chinese takeout is a family favorite but it can be calorie-heavy and expensive. This Mongolian Beef recipe from cooking light is both calorie- and budget-friendly. It also comes together in about the same time as it would take me to fetch takeout. I’ll make extra for lunches during the week.
  • Tuesday: Food blogger event at Rio’s Brazilian
    As summer draws to a close the food events will start to pick up. This week we’ll be revisiting a fun little Brazilian spot and I know the family will enjoy their food. I’m looking forward to the revised menu and renovated space.
  • Wednesday: Mom’s Night out
    Mom’s night out is a status quo and I have every intention of keeping it that way. I’d bet dad and the kidlet will have burgers.
  • Thursday: Pulled Pork Sliders with tomato and cucumber salad and oven fries
    I’m making some final tweaks to a crock pot recipe for mini sandwiches that are just perfect for tailgating. If all goes well I’ll be doing a quick photo shoot of said sliders on Thursday night.
  • Friday: Create your own grilled pizza with fresh fruit
    Grilled pizza continues to be a family favorite and it’s a slam dunk for me after a busy week. We’ll stop by the grocery store as a family to pick out our toppings.
  • Saturday: Grilled fish kebabs, grilled lamb kebabs, zucchini bread, and skewered pasta salad
    I have a bit more time on Saturday so I’m going to try two kebab recipes from the special summer issue of Everyday Food along with a zucchini cornbread recipe I plan to doctor up with roasted corn and Hatch green chiles for a feature on the blog in August. I’m also testing a recipe for pasta salad on a stick for more tailgating fun.
  • Sunday: Green chile, apple, and pork stuffed tenderloin with quick mashed potatoes and slow-cooked green beans
    Stuffed pork tenderloin looks so impressive but is actually very easy to make even on a weeknight. I’m making a first pass at a recipe idea I hope to feature on the blog in August. I’m also interested in trying out a technique for making mashed potatoes in the microwave that I read about in Cooking Light. A big batch of slow-cooked green beans will fill the fridge for lunches next week.

Do you take a vacation from menu planning in the summer? When will you get back on the wagon?

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