Last week, I committed to more consistent menu planning, creating and sticking to a weekly menu plan each week, which would include a power food that I could involve the kids in making or using. I also committed to some goals for the Eat from the Pantry Challenge.
How did I do? Well, I succeeded at creating and sticking to a menu plan, flawlessly, save for flipping some nights around, since our chicken didn’t defrost in time to cook this past Tuesday night, and adding another catch-all night since the raviolis and pierogis at the store I shopped at last week were too pricey for me to purchase. (Trust me, I was tempted to get lazy and just have Mike pick up a pizza on the way home one night, but I knew that would put me over my $75 limit from my Eat from the Pantry Challenge. So, I drew my finger away from the dial buttons.)
And, how about the power food? Fun and yum! The kids not only helped me make our first power food, crockpot yogurt. (See pictures here.) But, they also helped me make a number of items with it: “yogurt sundaes” (with berries and chocolate), yogurt quick bread, baked yogurt-omelets and the like. We hope to have as much fun using this week’s power food – eggs. (And welcome suggestions for future power foods in the comments below. Please leave one!)
Why eggs? Well, one of my favorite cookbooks, The Vegetarian Mother’s Cookbook for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women, declared eggs a “Super Mommy Food” due to their highly usable protein and many essential vitamins and minerals. Also, eggs happen to be what put me a few sense over the edge last week with my Eat from The Pantry Challange goals. Yes, when a local farmer called to see if I might want some fresh eggs delivered, I said, “Yes,” despite the fact that the $3 price, when added to my Good Health shopping trip, put me a few sense over my weekly $75 limit. But, what’s a few pennies to buy local?!?
So, this week, I am budgeting two dozen eggs into our weekly limit, as I create my shopping list and menu. And just what is the menu? Here goes:
Monday: Build-Your-own Mini Taco Bites (one of the kids’ favorites from last week with corn chip rounds, leftover beans, homemade yogurt – in place of sour cream, as that is what we have in the fridge, tomatoes, cheese, greens, etc.)
Tuesday (working, Mike with the kids): tomato soup (made from canned tomatoes and frozen herbs) and toasted cheese sandwiches and – bonus – a meal that is both a favorite of our kids and easy to clean up, to make the evening easy for Mike.)
Wednesday: (working, Mike with the kids): pasta with zucchini, tomato and garlic mix (from the freezer) or tomato sauce (Pasta is another of Luke and Nina’s favorites, and easy to clean up. Always thinking about the husband!)
Thursday (working, Mike with the kids): baked omelet with homemade bread or muffins and spinach (ditto the easy to feed the kids and not too bad to clean up)
Friday: Top Your Own mashed Potatoes (with yogurt – in place of sour cream, broccoli, cheese, beans, etc.)
Saturday: pasta with snap peas, garlic, tomatoes, onions and walnuts or feta
Sunday: split pea soup with brown and serve rolls and make-your-own salad side
Power Food of the Week: Eggs! (A local farmer’s fairly new chickens just start laying again, so we want to support her by buying two dozen this week. We’ll have fun at Jammies School stirring eggs into baked omelet mix, baking with them, slicing them for our Small Plates Buffet, etc.)
And for good measure:
Breakfast 1 Choices (We start our days with a drink, a vitamin and – as the kids will agree to – a fruit or a vegetable): fresh-squeezsed tangerine and lime juices, applesauce, defrosted berries, apple slices, steamed broccoli, steamed asparagus, steamed spinach, canned pineapple, dried pineapple, canned peach slices or fresh fruits on sale
Breakfast 2 Choices (After the fruits and veggies digest, we have our heartier, starchier meal to give us energy for the day.): homemade muffins (chocolate-zucchini, squash, herb, pineapple, yogurt, etc.), pancakes (with fruits or veggies mixed into the batter), waffles (with zucchini in them), overnight oatmeal with toppings or toast.
Daddy’s At-Work Lunch Choices (We try to concentrate on a protein here to rebuild muscles.): chicken curry with wheat berries, tuna sandwich, leftover black bean wrap, tuna and grain salad or chicken, egg and grain salad
At-Home Lunch Choices (Ditto the protein.): peanut butter/cheese roll ups, scrambled eggs with greens and toast or tortillas, Small Plates Buffet (wheat berries, vegetable bits, nuts, apple slices, sliced eggs, etc.), rice and edamame, nut butter sandwiches, pizza toasts or roasted green beans, garlic, tomatoes and boiled eggs,
Snack, Tea Time, Treats and Dessert Choices: tapioca, homemade cookies, yogurt sundaes, cheese, homemade quick breads, homemade muffins, chips, nuts, choco-banana shakes, watermelon freezes, leftovers and quick bites from fridge and pantry
Next week… Anyone have any ideas for what to do with cups and cups fo frozen cabbage – preferably vegetarian and/or kid-friendly ideas? Do share in comments below. Thanks!
And, for other folk’s menu ideas, see Menu Plan Monday at I’m an Organizing Junkie or the Eat from the Pantry Challenge links for this week at Money Saving Mom. Also, we’d love to hear about some of your favorite kid-friendly menu ideas or budget-friendly shopping tips in the comments below. We’d also love for you to join us for another housekeeping commitment we are making — Order in the Home. Please share!