Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Meal Planning (3)

I tend to plan four or five supper menus each week. We usually have leftovers for a couple of nights, and will eat at our parents' or out at a restaurant.

I used to feel guilty if I did not cook a delicious meal "from scratch" every evening for supper. I've learned that it is okay to have convenience foods every now and then. I keep frozen pizza and chicken nuggets in the freezer for nights when it is difficult to cook. Convenience food are more expensive, but they still cost less than eating out. In fact, it is easier to pop a frozen pizza in the oven than to load up all the kids and go somewhere like Wendy's.

When I plan menus I also try to "reinvent" the leftovers from one meal as something else. For example, when we have roasted chicken I can use the bones and leftover meat to make yummy homemade soup for later in the week. If I'm really on the ball, I could cook two chickens and freeze the extra meat or use it in casseroles.

Here's a sample of my menus for the coming week:

1. Pot roast
Mashed potatoes
Peas and carrots
Green beans

2. Shepherd's pie
Steamed cauliflower

3. Cheesy tuna casserole

4. Chili with beans
Cornmeal muffins
Mixed green salad

5. Pork chops in mushroom sauce
Brown rice
Mixed green salad

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