Menu Plan Monday: January 3-9

The first Monday of 2011. The first “Menu Plan Monday.” I am so excited because I received a few new cookbooks for Christmas, as well as downloaded several cookbooks to my handy dandy Kindle. So, I have many new recipes to incorporate into the menu plan, as well as family favorites to keep in the rotation.

Many are beginning 2011 with resolutions and/or goals, hoping to bring about positive change. One of the most common resolutions/goals people make is to eat more healthfully, as well as to exercise more. As moms, we can bring about positive change in our families by purchasing, preparing and presenting healthful and tasty foods to our families.

Although I love to cook, I haven’t always meal planned. It took a while to get into a routine. However, making the necessary changes in our home to have meals together, sitting at the table, and serving (mostly) home cooked foods has been a huge positive in our family.

If you are wondering why you should create a menu plan, The Organized Junkie, has shared 13 reasons to menu plan. For us, it has created community in our home (planning menus, preparing meals and eating together); allowed us the opportunity to try new foods and recipes (my kids now love Greek Yogurt, Indian Curries and and Middle Eastern foods); helped to reduce our food budget (not eating out as much, or wasting the food because we didn’t eat it); along with helping us to be more aware of what we eat, where it comes from and how it is prepared.

Yes, it requires planning and preparation. However, I have found the effort to do so very beneficial. There are many resources online to assist you in this journey. Here are a few links to get you started:

Menu Planning: Saving Time in the Kitchen

30 Quick, Green, and Frugal Meal Planning Resources (Massive amount of resources)

Meal Planning | Menu for Moms (Articles, free meal planning sheets, etc.)

The Grocery Cart Challenge: Feeding a Family of 6 or $60/week (Menu Plans each week)

Vanderbilt Wife’s Weekly Menu Plan

Heavenly Homemakers Menu Plan (Here is one of her plans, as well her site has a lot of great recipes and information.)

I hope you find the links beneficial, and are able to use some of the resources. For us, menu planning is a family affair. Everyone is asked if there is a special meal they’d like to eat or prepare. Currently, we are using The Essential New York Times Cookbook. (Check out “Cooking with the Kids,” which begins Sunday, January 9th.)  As well, we have our family favorites, and I usually plan a day each week for leftovers and “breakfast for dinner.”

And now here’s our first menu of 2011:

Monday: Beef Pot Roast with Potatoes and Carrots, Green Peas and Corn. (Cooking in pressure cooker!)

Tuesday: Special “Dinner with Dad” before he heads out-of-town

Wednesday: Tomato Bisque, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Carrot and Celery Sticks with Homemade Hummus

Thursday: Baked Chicken, Rice Pilaf and Green Beans and Green Salad

Friday: Turkey Burgers, Sweet Potato Fries, Broccoli and Apple Sauce

Saturday: “Breakfast for Dinner” Whole Wheat Pancakes, Scrambled Eggs, Sausage and Fruit

Sunday: “Cooking with the Kids” Malcom and Kelley McDowell’s Pink Rigatoni, which is  from The Essential New York Times Cookbook


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