Monday, May 2, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

I've been meaning to start menu planning for awhile now, but aside from my Indian Inspiration Week haven't gotten around to it. However I've decided to commit to it starting this week! So many reasons to do so:
  • Shop JUST ONCE for the whole week rather than 3-4+ small, rather disorganized trips. This should also encourage us to eat earlier in the evening as I won't need to shoot out to the store to grab something last minute (and as we mamas know, there's never really a "quick trip" per se when you have a little one!)
  • Reduce or eliminate wasted food as there'll be a plan to use everything
  • Healthier eating in general; no need to bust out the Lean Cuisine 'cause there's not enough time or ingredients to make a "proper" dinner .
  • Less expensive eating; more home cooked meals = less eating out & takeout PLUS we can plan a menu around weekly sales items which'll save additional $$.
  • Find ways to use existing ingredients lying around the house before they go bad.

Plus, I found a great blog called Food and Whine which has an EXCELLENT page dedicated to meal planning. If you like the idea of meal planning yourself but haven't gotten started yet, or if you plan but feel your approach could use some work, I highly recommend checking out her page! It includes some sample menus and a bunch of links to other helpful sites as well. The site I heart the most is It allows you to type in a set of ingredients and it generates recipes containing these ingredients. Funny thing is that I had an idea to build this type of app a few years back but then forgot about it. Turns out it already existed! (Either that, or the Supercook creator read my mind and went from there. ;)

I've noticed some mamas plan out all three meals each day, however I'm going to start with dinner alone as we usually eat leftovers for lunch and we always have ingredients on hand for breakfast (hot & cold cereal, eggs, pancake mix, smoothie fixings, etc.) Also, I'm just doing Mon-Fri as we very often end up eating out or at a family member's house for dinners on the weekend so I don't want to overplan and end up wasting food.

Without further ado, here is my inaugural Menu Plan Monday menu! It is inspired by the fact that we have lots of chicken & shrimp in the freezer, and by hubby's desire to ingest a lot of veggies following his meatball & wing-laden UFC guy's night. :)


Spinach salad with strawberries & almonds (This recipe looks good so we'll try it!)
Mediterranean chicken breasts (frozen, pre-seasoned)

Broiled salmon *
Steamed broccoli
Mashed potatoes w/ garlic and parmeson cheese

* We buy our fish from TJ Seafood, a local establishment which has the most fresh, high-quality fish I've ever tasted and also makes its own delicious smoked salmon in-house. TJ supplies to numerous restaurants in the KW region. So technically this is a separate trip, but a very catered one and so worth it! :)

Asian stirfry w/ shrimp, tofu and LOTS of veggies (zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, peppers and other goodies)
Spinach & Mushroom pasta bake (we'll try this one and use the tri-coloured vegetable fusilli in the pantry!) 

Chicken Parmesan over pasta (how about this recipe?)
Some veggie - we'll probably just go frozen for this one!


For all you veteran menu planners out there, how does this look? :)


  1. Great idea - I did a menu plan last year for a few months, and it was awesome...saved $, ate good dinners with variety...then I stopped for some reason.

    I really need to get back to it - your post has inspired me to start menu planning again :)

  2. Glad this post inspired you, Heather! Good luck and hope it works well for you again. :)

  3. Man, I want to do this. I NEED to do this. But I am about as far from organized as one can get.