Friday, March 11, 2011

Planning simple menus others can follow

One of my biggest challenges is planning a menu that someone else can follow. This requires that the meals all be very easy (2-3 steps at most) and still nutritious and budget friendly. Most meals are planned to leave leftovers for the next day's lunches.

Below is my plan for the coming week, items without a cost are pantry items we have left over from previous weeks. For example, all the ingredients for bread are sitting in our cupboard, so no cost is listed.

Breakfasts: Oatmeal with sugar and cinnamon

Snacks: Seasonal fruit & homemade muffins       $5

Honey Dijon Chicken with Rice
8 Chicken Thighs     $5.00
2 tbsp honey    
2 tbsp Dijon mustard    
1 tbsp fresh thyme (chopped)    
1 tbsp cider vinegar     $2.00
1/2 tsp salt    
1/2 tsp pepper    

Mix all ingredients together(except rice). Place chicken on a hot grill and brushwith sauce. Cook 10 min per side, brush with sauce a couple times. Make rice according to package directions.

Veggie Stirfry with Rice

1 bag stirfry veggies     $3.00
1/4 cup rice vinager    
1/4 cup soy sauce    
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce    
1/4 cup fish sauce    
1/4 oil    
1 tbsp sesame oil    
2 tbsp cornstarch    
2 tbsp water    

Mix all ingredients together (except rice). Stirfry till heated through. Make rice according to package directions.

Pesto Asparagus Melts
1 loaf bread, sliced    
1 bunch/bag asparagus     $1.50
Mozzarella cheese     $1.00
Pesto Sauce              

Toast bread lightly. Steam asparagus for a few minutes until crisp tender. Spread pesto on bread, top with mozzarella, then asparagus. Toast melts under the broiler until the cheese melts.

Pasta with Tomato or Pesto Sauce
Canned pasta sauce    

Boil pasta and top with sauce.

Grilled Cheese
1 loaf bread, sliced    
Cheddar Cheese, sliced    

Make into sandwich and grill till melted.

Pizza Soup
1 jar pasta sauce (+ 2 jars water)    
1 green pepper chopped     $1.00
1/2 red onion, sliced     $0.50
1 cup slice mushrooms/1 can drained     $0.49
1 can diced tomatoes     $0.88
1 cup pepperoni, sliced     $2.50
2 sausages, casings removed     $2.00
shake of dried basil    
1 tbsp oregano    
mozzarella cheese to taste     $1.00

Put all ingredients into crockpot (except cheese). Turn on and set for 7-9 hrs on low. When done serve with cheese.

Turkey Sandwiches
1 loaf bread, sliced    
cold turkey     $2.00
mustard + mayo    

Make sandwiches

Estimated cost(allowing for items in pantry): $28

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