Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Menu Plan Monday - for the rest of January

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So I’m still menu planning by the month, which is why my Menu Plan Monday posts have dropped off, oops. And here we are almost the end of January…but I thought now is better than never, right? I’m going to post what I’ve already made for this month as well as the rest of the month’s plan.

I came across a new idea (new to me, at least) about a month and a half ago, and I’m slowly integrating it into our meals. Here’s the idea: instead of making freezer meals, preparing them to the very last step and then freezing them, freeze the raw ingredients for crockpot meals instead! Freezer Crock Pot meals, so easy! I tend to make double batches of food that freezes well and freeze one pan anyway, so this isn’t really all that different in concept, but much better in terms of time needed! I have found several good resources for recipes, one being this great e-cookbook that I got for Christmas. Ring Around the Rosies has many posts that are about freezer cooking, with a bunch of crock pot meals thrown in. I also have a pinterest board going for all the other ones I find that sound good to me.

A few things to note about this method and us: I have two very picky eaters here (my husband and my daughter), so rather than jump into  prepping a dozen recipes only to find out that no one will eat them, I’m starting out by just making a single batch on the day I want to eat it. If it goes well, I’ll add it to the list of ones we actually like. Hopefully by March or so, I’ll have enough of these tried out that I can actually do once a month cooking with it and pop out 20+ meals to have for later. The other thing of note is that we mostly eat chicken around here with the occasional beef or pork. Nothing philosophically or morally wrong with other meat, it’s just what we all prefer. Lastly, I am not a spicy foods person and I’m cooking for three little people too, so I didn’t pick many of the recipes that included much “flavor”. Just know that if you choose to buy the ebook I mentioned above (which I’m not at all getting compensated to promote, I just think it’s great), there are a lot more choices than the ones I’m choosing to make for my family.

Okay, enough talking! What are we eating (or have already eaten) this month:

6 7 8 9

10
Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

11
Polish Pierogies

12
Teriyaki Burgers

13
Dinner at my dad’s

14
Basic Tacos

15
Cilantro Lime Chicken from Mama & Baby Love

16
Crockpot Parmesan Chicken from Mama & Baby Love

17
Date Night! Out to Nordy’s

18
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

19
Breakfast Burritos

20
Stuffed Jumbo Shells

21
Tortilla Casserole

22
Healthy Mama BBQ Chicken

23
Sesame Honey Chicken

24
Zatarains and Sausage

25
YOYO

26
Tortellini Spinach Bake

27
Lasagna for Shane’s party!

28
Leftovers or something from the freezer

29
Orange Beef Stew from Mama & Baby Love

30
Family night with Fellowship Team

31
Spaghetti & Meatballs

1
Creamy Chicken Taquitos

2
YOYO

The only thing that I should have made already and haven’t is the Polish Pierogies. They seem like such a good idea, and they’re so yummy, but they’re also a ton of work. Making dough, filling them, boiling them, frying them. Yeah. Haven’t wanted to do all that yet. I’m hoping to make them still, though, so maybe that will be the kick off of February’s menu.

The Cilantro Lime Chicken and Crockpot Parmesan Chicken were both very tasty and I’ll definitely be making them again! Now I’m off to start the Healthy Mama BBQ Chicken for dinner and start working on the lasagna that I’m making for this Sunday. My baby boy is turning one next week, so I’m feeding 30+ of our closest friends dinner :-)

~S

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