Menu Plan Monday ~ Week of January 2, 2012

Menu Plan Monday LogoHappy New Year!

I just finished putting our holiday decorations away which always makes me a little melancholy. It seems like just yesterday I was stringing lights and decking the halls (as it were). Still, with the turning of the year comes all sorts of possibilities so I’m choosing to focus on starting the year with a bang (or at least a solid thump).

Menu planning during the holidays becomes the epitome of a juggling act, making school year men planning look like a walk in the park. There are visitors, parties, holiday to-dos, and so much more to plan around, and the mix of “big meals” and quick on-the go dinners is almost dizzying to consider. Frankly, I’m happy to be back in a normal menu planing routine – or at least as normal as any thing can ever really be around here.

Menu Planning Resources: Pinterest Boards

As a new addition this year to my menu planning posts I thought I would add a section on menu planning resources and tools. Some weeks this might just be my own tips and tricks, learned thanks to trial by fire as the family menu planer, and others it might be great sites, cookbooks, or articles I come across. I thought I’d kick this new feature off by linking to some Pinterest boards focused on easy and weeknight-friendly recipe finds.

  • Lara Liles Weeknight Meals board includes family-friendly dishes like pizza casserole as well as some more grown-up dishes like easy crab cakes in a muffin pan.
  • Amanda Perez Weeknight Dinners board includes lower-fat options as well as links to recipes for mini versions of meatloaves, tarts, and chile rellenos which are just plain fun.
  • Viktoria Berkes Fast for Dinner Recipes board will make you rethink sandwiches (in a good way).
  • Amanda Landau’s Weeknight Dinner board has links to several recipe collections and some great crock pot options.
  • Gaby Dalkin’s Savory board isn’t dedicated to easy recipes in specific but she’s a busy woman with great taste so most of her recipes are easy yet just a little on the gourmet side.
  • Alli Worthington’s Cooking This One Day board is full of family-friendly and weeknight-ready recipes because Allie lives a crazy busy life and has a rollicking family so she’s in the know about what sorts of recipes are going to be tasty and easy.
  • Cooking Light’s No-Cook Recipes board is a quick way to find some of the best easy recipes on their site in one place.
  • My Easy Weeknight Dinners board is where I keep the recipes I want to try for fast yet healthy and tasty dinners.

To find your own boards full of weeknight options try these search terms (and remember to search for boards, not pins or people):

  • Weeknight dinners
  • Weeknight recipes
  • Easy recipes
  • Fast recipes
  • Kid friendly recipes

What is this Pinterest of which I speak? Oh my friend, if you haven’t discovered Pinterest you’re missing out. This beautiful site is the home of thousands of virtual pin boards where community members keep track of everything from recipes they want to try to great outfits and beautiful hair styles and even inspirational photos. I wrote about it earlier this year and it’s one of the fastest growing social networks out there, and for good reason. A warning though, pinning can be a bit addictive, so be ready to loose yourself in it a bit, particularly when you first start pinning. Over time you’ll find a healthy balance, or at least that’s what people tell me.

This Week’s Plan

We’ll of course hit the ground running this week with practices and classes in full swing. To top it off the kiddo is headed out of town this weekend which means a night out for the adults and a chance to try a new fish dish.

  • Monday: Make Your Own Pizza, the Meatless Monday version, and a side salad
    For a fun and easy dinner the first day back to school and work we’ll have pizza night but the one rule will be no meat on the pizzas. I’m working on having more meatless meals in our world without causing rebellion in the house and pizza is a good way to start.
  • Tuesday: Pineapple Chicken Satay, steamed rice,  and sauteed broccoli
    Who doesn’t like food on sticks? The whole family can help put this easy dish together and leftovers will be great for lunch. I’ll make extra rice for fried rice later in the week.
  • Wednesday: Cincinnati Chili, pasta, and fixin’s
    This family favorite dish isn’t your typical chili. We serve it over angel hair pasta with grated cheddar cheese and it’s pretty fantastic. I hope to get my act together and share my recipe before chili season is over.
  • Thursday: Almost Classic Pork Fried Rice
    Leftover rice will help this one-dish dinner come together quickly. I’ll buy pre-cut veggies to save on prep time.
  • Friday: Parents’ Night Out
    With the kiddo winging her way to visit her grandparents for the weekend the adults can go out for happy hour drinks and dinner on a Friday night. If you don’t mind making a dinner out of appetizers, happy hours are a great way to have a wonderful dinner without breaking the bank. Of course I have to run 20 miles on Saturday morning so I won’t be taking advantage of the drink specials (well, maybe just one glass).
  • Saturday: Lemony Halibut en Papillotes, roasted root vegetables
    I love to cook in parchment paper because it’s easy and relatively mess-free. We’ll be trying this new recipe for healthy halibut for a romantic dinner for two at home on Saturday night.
  • Sunday: Five Spice Baby Back Ribs, green beans, corn cakes
    I’m going to let the crock-pot do the heavy lifting on these ribs because I have to work a trip to the airport into my typically busy Sunday. I’ll make extra green beans to have for lunch next week.

Are you pinning fun and easy recipes on Pinterest? Share the link with me in the comments so I can follow you!

1 Comment

  1. I do consider all the ideas you’ve offered for your post.

    They are really convincing and will definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are very
    quick for newbies. May you please extend them a bit from next time?
    Thanks for the post.

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