Monday, January 14, 2013

monday menu planning

Ah, Monday morning. A week full of new beginnings and promises...
and the inevitable "what are we going to have for dinner?" question that looms
over my head every day. I love to cook, but sometimes have to be in the mood
to do so ~ and there are other days where I just don't have a taste for anything.
I eat mostly vegetarian, but will eat little bits of meat and fish; my husband will eat
anything (thank God); and our son is pretty picky, but I don't cater to him. ;-)

Starting last Monday, I've been planning a week's worth of dinner menus
so that I'm not scrambling for ideas at the last minute every day.
Looking over last week's menus, I saw that we ate mostly vegetarian meals.
So much cheaper - and healthier - than meat-based meals!

Here's one of the meals I made that is easy to keep vegetarian, or you can add
a little bit of meat to keep the meat-eaters in your family happy, too.

Chop up onion and celery...

 Little side note: did you ever notice how beautiful the inside bottom of a bunch of
celery looks when you cut it open? It has a flower pattern. A few years ago, I used
this open celery bottom as a "stamp". I dipped it in paint and stamped the pattern
on my kitchen wall!

Back to the cooking:
Put a pound of dried beans (I used a mixture of red and white) in the Crockpot...

Add your chopped onions and celery and a ham hock (or not)...

Cover with water. (Note: I used too much water and ended up having to drain some. 
You'll want to add just enough water to cover the beans.)

Set your Crockpot to 8 hours on low.
Add seasonings of your choice (salt, pepper, oregano), to taste.
That's it!

I made cornbread to go with the soupy hearty and delicious!

Another mid-week dinner I made was a quick, simple one that we all enjoyed...
Sauteed veggie pizzas on naan bread.
Saute veggies of your choice (I used onions, red pepper, green olives, and mild pepper
rings because I was going for a Mediterranean vibe) in a little garlic olive oil,
top purchased naan bread with the sauteed veggies, and add cheese.
I used shredded mozzarella and a little bit of feta.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 min. or until cheese is melty - and enjoy!

 Other meals we had during the week were Southwestern veggie chili; garlic chicken
in the Crockpot with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli; grilled cheese and tomato
roasted red pepper soup; and....Chinese take-out!

What have you been cooking up lately? Do you do weekly menu planning or do
you fly by the seat of your pants?


  1. I'll be stopping by tonight for dinner.... what time did you say it was? :-)

  2. I always wait to the last minute and therefore always at a loss. You gave me some great ideas ---- beans will be on the menu for Tuesday. Thanks for sharing but mostly thanks for the inspiration!! New goal : plan ahead!
    Missy M

  3. We usually plan our evening meal sometime that morning so we can decide and lay out anything that needs to thaw. Very few nights do we fly by the seat of our pants.

  4. I grew up on beans and cornbread, but never thought to make them in the crockpot. Thanks for the tip!

  5. Oh, I almost forgot. I've been a menu planner from way back, always done on Thursday night before grocery shopping on Friday. A menu allows me to make sure I have all needed ingredients on hand. But it's not set in stone, by any means. If we decide to go out, or not quite as hungry, we'll switch gears. And we have to plan for leftover nights, since we often have so many.

  6. I'm also trying to do a better job of menu planning. I used to be awesome at it but have been a slacker for the last several months. It does make a big difference for me.


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