Sunday, September 26, 2010

Planning Ahead

Now that the school year is back in full swing, I simply must start planning meals again. Why plan? For several reasons:

1. I am a lot more likely to make dinner after a long day at work if I already know what I'm supposed to do. There's nothing that forces my hand more than having to make a decision when I'm exhausted. Because when I make decisions while tired and hungry, things get ugly.

2. My brain can not keep track of ingredients. These days money is tight for many of us, and one really good way to stretch your dollar is to not throw out food. Forget not buying expensive, think about how many things you've already bought that you've had to throw out. It kind of turns my stomach. Planning ahead helps me get items out of my fridge and into my dinner. This week, I need to use up a leftover leek from the chicken, leek and mushroom pie I made (I promise to post about that soon). I have some half and half left over from that too that needs using. Also, tonight I'm making something that requires half a can of canned tomatoes, so I planned something to use up the other half of the can.

3. Staving off boredom is another good reason to plan. If I know what I'm making I can keep us from eating chicken four days in a row or pasta every night. Granted there are times when I want to eat pasta every night, but I'm trying to curb those urges.

So with all that in mind, here's the week's plan:

Sunday: I'm trying out Baked Chicken and Pastina. Hopefully with some homemade breadsticks.

Monday: I need to use up some ricotta, so it's Lemon Ricotta Pancakes for me!

Tuesday: In an effort to use up leeks and cream, I'm going to make Pasta with Pancetta and Leeks. Except with turkey bacon instead of pancetta.

Wednesday: To use up the can of tomatoes I will have opened on Sunday (and to get a night off cooking), I'm asking Ryan to make turkey chili. Yum.

Thursday: I'm keeping my options open. Maybe portobello burgers. Maybe portobellos stuffed with artichokes. Either way, it will be vegetarian and mushroomy.

Friday: Turkey Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes. It takes a long time to cook, but the preparation is pretty easy. Just what I need for a Friday night.

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