- 10 years ago
- Wedding: September 2011
4 nights a week it’s two pieces of frozen Tombstone pizza for me. Exactly two pieces.
4 nights a week it’s two pieces of frozen Tombstone pizza for me. Exactly two pieces.
okay so I blog about our weekly menus so you can literally read what we’ve eaten for the last few months. but ideas: pasta w/veggies (go to dish), burritos, lasagna, stirfry, soup & bread, tortillina/raviolli, big salads & homemade pizza (hint – buy the dough!).
We have our staple meals too and try to make a new or out of the ordinary recipe once a week. Our “go-to’s” are:
– Homemade pizza on pita bread
– Turkey meatballs, basmati rice and a veg of some sort
– Stir fry
– BBQ chick/pork chops with some sides
– Fiance makes awesome crockpot pulled pork
– Homemade burgers (sometimes beef, sometimes turkey)
You’ll find your groove in no time!
I WISH I could plan out the whole week in advance. Fiance is sooo simple in what he likes, so it makes life easy.
What I normally do is go to Trader Joe’s and buy about 2 bags of their mushroom hericot verts, 2 bags of their seasoned potatoes and 2 bags of their mixed veggies.
I buy a big thing of hand trimmed chicken breasts and 2 steak filets and we’re good for the week.
I probably only spend around $100 for groceries a month.
We’re not vegetarians, but we keep Quorn and Veggie burgers on hand for quick meals (I usually don’t get home until 9 between work and then running afterwards), or we do a quick stir fry probably 4x per week. On the weekends we’ll get creative and take turns cooking. Usually I cook on the weekends and he cooks during the week b/c of our work hours.
I use realsimple.com and allrecipes.com to find uncomplicated and quick meals. There are some I know by heart, but other times I do a quick search before I leave work and buy the ingredients on my way home (I live in NYC so this is normal and convenient).
I try not to make anything too often and I try to mix up the cuisine at least so we aren’t having pasta 3 nights in a row or chicken all week. I try to stretch out cooking also, so if I’m making pork chops one night I will cook 4 of them and the next night mix up the sides. Like instead of salad I’ll put out rice and steamed veggies. But I really only cooked 1 night.
I always have the recipes up on my ipad while cooking so I don’t have to have big cookbook in front of me.
I used to be sooo intimidated by Bon Appetit but the recipes are really easy to follow and really fab. I usually plan out the week and I decide in advance so I can pick everything up at one time. Also, I will make a huge batch of old-school Italian meat sauce on Sunday night and that lasts a long time.
Tonight we’re having pizza: Chopped fresh tomatoes, fresh basil. I do this in advance and let the basil and tomato steep in a bowl for a few hours (but this is not necessary). Then I take a thin pizza crust, brush a small amount of olive oil on it, sprinkle a little sea salt (this is necessary-don’t use regular table salt) spread out tomato/basil mixture, layer leaves of fresh escarole and then top with a mix of mozzarelly and fontina cheese. Broil/bake for about 8 minutes. It’s really, really good. And easy:)
Can I just say I love this thread? 🙂 That’s all. Carry on!
It’s kind of trial and error, until you figure out what works best. At first, I’d go to the store and buy a lot of staples (beef, chicken, turkey, etc) w/ veggies, etc – but what I was finding out was I ended up throwing a lot out (because we wouldn’t use it).
It also doesn’t help that DH detests frozen foods – so even buying and freezing meat isn’t a good option (I’m working on this with him!!) 😉 wishful thinking…
What we’ll usually do is pick up whatever protein source the day of or a few days before. But, it also depends on our schedule – usually if we aren’t home together and one of us is out the other will go out too – so no cooking is done.
Typical week’s include: fish of some sort (like baked salmon w/ veggies, etc.), a roast of some sort (sometimes in the crockpot- that always turns into two meals – the next day we’ll stir fry it w/ veggies), sometimes grilled steak… some times chicken.
We don’t use recipes at all (DH hates using recipes for some BIZARRE reason – he feels it’s less creative…) and we keep things pretty simple (some sort of protein + some sort of veggie). We use lots of onion, garlic and herbs (cilantro, rosemary, etc) – lemon goes a long way too.
It’s really trial and error – you’ll start finding what you both like or don’t like… every meal is an opportunity for experimentation, IMO.
When I did use recipes, I really liked epicurious.com – it’s a little more involved than some recipes, but it helped me learn different cooking techniques and incorporating flavors I wouldn’t have tried otherwise.
My standby meals for dinner are: chicken fajitas, lasagna, tacos, spinach and ricotta canneloni, beef roast and roast veggies, bratworst sausages & mashed potatoes, tacos, lemon chicken, chicken pot pie, pasta and sause with chicken and big chunks of vegitables that I make myself, or stuffed chicken breasts (usually cheese and red pepper or asparagus) with green beans.
When we’re really lazy we sometimes eat those pasta ‘sidekicks’ as a meal, or grilled cheese, frozen pizzas, or tacos are also very fast.
Neither of us are really good at cooking at all, so all our meals are very easy and we love them! 🙂
Oh and my tip is that when you buy things (like lasagna shells for example) use the recipie on tha package as those recipies are usually easy, and usually great! :). But often they make enough food for 8 people…
We menu-plan once a week, usually on Saturday mornings. It’s usually based on what is on sale for meats and produce (I sit down with the circular and my coupon collection on the floor next to the cookbooks!). Since most recipes serve 4, and there are 2 of us, we plan on most dinners lasting 2 nights, so we plan 3 meals (we eat out or get takeout or just eat out of the freezer one night a week).
Our standbys (usually have one of these each week):
– shake ‘n bake pork chops
– brinner (breakfast for dinner…omelettes, egg sandwiches, french toast, etc)
– chicken breast tenders coated in breadcrumbs and baked
For our other meals, I really enjoy trying new recipes. I get the magazine Everyday With Rachael Ray for ideas; I used to really like it, but it’s been lackluster lately, so I think I’m going to get Taste of Home or something else when my subscription expires. I also get Better Homes and Gardens, which has recipes in it (along with other stuff). I also LOVE cookbooks, and have more of them than I can ever cook from. I especially like ones by Williams-Sonoma; they are more expensive than others, but they have pictures for every recipe generally, which I really like. I also love my BH&G cookbook, and I have a few Martha Stewart ones that are really good.
One thing I do is that I write notes on anything I cook. I write right in the cookbook the date, a smiley face rating, and any notes on what I would do differently. This is really helpful when I want to remake things. Any recipes I get from the internet I print out and keep in a binder for this reason as well.
Lately, I’ve been trying to get my husband more involved in the meal planning. He usually cooks one night a week, but hates picking what we are going to have. So I’ve been narrowing down to 3-4 recipes, and then let him pick. I just hate the pressure of always picking because then if we hate dinner I feel bad, and I also am a pickier eater than him, so I feel bad that we never eat certain things that he loves and I hate (like tomato sauce, ick).
This sounds really weird, but we actually plan out a month in advance. We sit down a couple of days before payday (1x a month) and draft a plan. We have 4-6 different lunches that we rotate (1 week is PB&J, 1 week is a 3 bean salad, tabouleh salad, or chicken sandwiches, etc). We fill in our major meals, and fill in with our “stand-bys”. We do have a few things that we gravitate towards: a lentil soup that we can whip together, lentil sloppy joes (so yum!), meatloaf, chili, roasted chicken. We keep bulk dried goods on hand, so we can just pop in rice, couscous, quinoa whenever (we eat quinoa a LOT). We also eat fish at least once a week, and rotate our proteins throughout. Lots of organic chicken, some grass-fed beef (maybe 1x or 2x a month). We do meatless meals a lot too (LOVE lentils 🙂
Fav books: Veganomicon, Moosewood books, America’s Test Kitchen books
Fav blogs: 101 Cookbooks, Fatfree Vegan Kitchen, Gluten-Free Goddess
note: we are not actually vegan, nor gluten free, but I find that a lot of these recipes really focus on fresh veggies and other foods, which is something we strive for.
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