Mighty Life List
May 11 2007

I Heart Menu Planning

I love to cook, but don’t have a ton of time. When I can, I like to spend a whole Sunday putting up a bunch of frozen dinners. I try to plan our grocery buying so that nothing’s wasted by making mostly frozen stuff, and then having fresh stuff on hand for nights when we have more time to prepare a meal.

Anyway, last weekend the girls were talking about how they hate meal planning, and I mentioned how much I love it. We decided I should share my menus. Most recipes are from Bill Granger cookbooks because those are the cookbooks I’m working though right now.

I’ve linked out to recipes where I can find them, but I don’t have the energy to type in the recipes I couldn’t find online. Buy the cookbooks! They’re excellent and have quality, shiny photos.

FRESH FOOD
This is stuff we’ll keep in the fridge for snacking and super quick meals.

Crudite
-celery
-broccoli
-sliced jicama or turnips
-baby carrots
-hummus
Mixed salad to have as sides with dinner
6 hard boiled eggs
Fruit salad with honey and rum

Smoothies (frozen fruit, condensed OJ, plain yogurt, psyllium husks)
Turkey sandwich ingredients

FROZEN FOOD
These are the meals I spend one whole day making so we have stuff to eat when we’re too exhausted to cook.

chicken with summer vegetables (red pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, basil and chicken stock)
Bill’s Spring Vegetable Soup
spiced zucchini soup
coconut bread
Bill’s corn ginger soup
Bill’s lentil soup with parm toasts

FRESH DINNERS
These are the foods I’ll make the week after I’ve put up frozen dinners. They’re things that don’t freeze well and have fresh ingredients.

thai fried rice
crab spaghetti
carrot avocado salad (via Chocolate and Zucchini)

WILL KEEP
These are the meals I’ll make about a week later because they don’t have many ingredients that will spoil quickly.

open-faced omelette
udon noodles (this is a cleanup recipe involving udon noodles, chicken stock, some fish sauce, and whatever veggies you have left over from the crudite or other recipes)

TIPS
-When I get home, I put the eggs on to boil, then prep crudite and fruit salad.
-I prepare the meals that I need to freeze, starting with those that will take longest to cook.
-I make a list of any fresh food that we should eat first, and post it on the fridge.
-I prep fresh meals whenever you have time in the week to come, and move on to “Will Keep” meals, using any leftover veggies from crudite or other meals to make Udon noodles.
-I have a Manhattan.