Monday, April 18, 2011

My first Menu Plan Monday!

Yay! I am so happy to finally be able to participate in this meme. I have seen these posts by many of my bloggy friends, and my stomach would rumble. When I lived at my parents' house, I was able to give my input on meals, but I wasn't the decison-maker. Now that Jon and I are responsible for feeding ourselves, I've been dutifully planning out meals and collecting recipes.

However, with Jon's crazy, always-changing work schedule (which we never knew until 3 days ahead of time), menu planning was spotty and our meals together were very rare, maybe twice a week if we were lucky.

GREAT NEWS! Jon landed a sweet new job with a new company, one that he had interviewed with a few months ago. We went out over the weekend and bought him a small wardrobe of dress clothes (since he wore a uniform for his last job). Today is his first day on the job with a set schedule, regular work hours, extra pay on holidays, no overnight shifts, and so many more factors that we are hoping will make our lives a smidge better/easier.

Now that our work hours coincide 92% of the time, rather than the 12% that it used to be, I was able to plan an entire week's worth of meals for this week:

Today: grilled chicken with salad and couscous
We have a George Foreman grill that we use constantly, so that's how we do our chicken.

Tuesday: Crockpot pasta pizza casserole

This is a meal that Jon absolutely loves, and can really be adjusted to your own taste. I'll have to post the recipe one day. And I love that I can throw together some ingredients in the morning, go to work, and come home to a fully-cooked meal that is ready to eat.

Wednesday: grilled steak with a veggie and leftover couscous
Again, GF grill. I don't know which veggie I'll make; we always buy a stock of frozen veggies when they are on sale.

Thursday: breakfast - french toast, eggs, bacon
I love having breakfast for dinner, and cinnamon swirl bread was on sale this past weekend. Plus, we have lots of bacon from when that was on sale a couple weeks ago.

Friday: pasta with veggie sauce

I had made veggie pasta sauce in the Crockpot a few weeks ago and frozen some of it for later on. Jon and I observe the "No meat on Friday's" rule during Lent, even though most people don't anymore. It's a small sacrifice that we are willing to make, considering the sacrifice that was made for us, the reason for the season.

Jon and I do our grocery shopping every other weekend, and we pick out the meats that are on sale and freeze them to use later on. Actually, we really only buy the items that are on sale, and I make meals around those things. We don't generally go for fancy or elaborate meals, as it's only the 2 of us and we are not that picky. Also, I'm not afraid to admit that I use frozen vegetables. Gardening isn't my thing, and besides, we are not allowed to have gardens in our condo complex.

On weekends, we head over to either his parents or my parents for dinner (or both). His parents will be away visiting his brother and SIL this weekend, so we'll have Easter dinner at my parents' house.

If you want to join in with the weekly menu planning, head over to Org Junkie every Monday!


Tara V said...

Welcome to MPM! You menu looks great. And congrats on the the new job for Jon, makes life easier.

dddiva said...

Thanks for stopping by- your menu looks delicious, the kinds of meals we enjoy- easy and delicious. We also use a ton of frozen veggies, bought on sale, although in the summer I will admit to sponging off my brother-in-law who has a wonderful garden.

Congrats to John on the job- it should help making plans immensely to have regular hours. Ken worked shift work til he was medically retired, 3pm-3am so I know how rough crazy hours can be. He's still adjusting to "real people time" lol.

This is the first week in a very long time we haven't done a breakfast for dinner- I can't eat in the mornings without getting sick but I love the foods, so most weeks we have at least one bfd.

Can't wait til you post the crockpot recipe- pizza, pasta, easy- what's not to love?

Melis said...

Don't EVER be ashamed of frozen veggies! They are every.single.bit. as good as fresh! The rule of thumb is that the more heat applied to the product, the fewer nutrients it retains (vitamins tend to break down in high heat) and canned veggies or veggies in frozen dinners are the worst because they're subjected to absurdly high temps to sanitize them for canning or jarring. Frozen veggies are frozen fresh and immediately. They're fine! That's generally what we use - corn, peas, green beans, spinach, brussels sprouts, etc. I use fresh carrots and onions and lettuce and tomatoes and other salad stuff, but frozen is awesome - don't ever be ashamed!

And if you EVER need help with meal ideas, I am queen of quick, frugal, nutritious meals... clearly ;o)

Love that you're participating and congrats to Jon! Kevin just told us about his new gig like two days ago and Justin's dying to talk to him about it!

Vintage Marigold said...

Looks good! I love frozen veggies b/c we just can not eat fresh before they turn!

Thanks for commenting on my blog!

Elizabeth said...

Looks wonderful and thanks for the comment on my blog. Congrats on the new job for your sweetie. Enjoy your time together!