Sunday, September 12, 2010

30 day Menu

A turkey-cooking challenged friend of mine(who overcame her difficulties with about 30 minutes of phone coaching by yours truly) recently begged all of her friends to send her their 30 day menu plans. I was horrified. Not because I am against being hyper-organized, but because I have read some of those thirty day menus. They tend to rely heavily on the crock pot and prepared or convenience foods, e.g. dump some packaged baby carrots over a piece of chuck roast, top with a package of onion soup mix and cook on low for 10 hours. Can you say "yuck"?

These menus also deprive you of taking advantage of that lovely piece of produce that you run across at the farmer's market or even at the grocery.

I think a better strategy to getting dinner on the table is to keep a well-stocked pantry and some key ingredients which you can use to get some dinner on the table without too much fuss.

Like tonight, I made an awesome Chinese meal without going to the store for one thing. In my freezer I had ground pork and dumpling wrappers. In my fridge, I had eggplant, ginger, green onion, leeks, chili garlic sauce. In my pantry, I had rice noodles, Korean beef stock, dried shiitakes, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar and garlic.

I made:
pan fried pork and scallion dumplings
Leek and shiitake soup with rice noodles
stir fried eggplant with chili garlic sauce.

I didn't have a plan before this morning. While drinking my coffee I think about what I have, what I want, and how much time I have that day. Does dinner ever get away from me? Yes. Do I find myself at 5:00pm wondering what I am going to make? Yes. But, I can usually get something on the table by 7 without too much fuss.

I'm sorry I don't have time to post the recipes tonight. I will try to get back to it and add them later. Kisses.


Another Suburban Mom said...

I try to do a large shop of canned and boxed items (beans, pasta, cereal and meat to freeze) once a month and then do weekly trips for produce, dairy and cheese.

I tend to have a meal concept for the week based on the evening commitments of the family members.

I will cook something elaborate on Saturday and Sunday unless we are going out to eat, but otherwise Mon-Fri composes of meals that require assembly.

You know, toss the grilled chicken that was cooked on Saturday with some homemade alfredo and pasta.

The Mendon Foodie said...

@Mom, I like that strategy, it is pretty similar to what I do. Now the question is: when are you going to cook something that I can make fun of?;)

Meghan said...

Can you come live with me? The Czech Republic is really nice.