Every week when I shop in the store, I start in the produce section and plan meals based on what I see that looks good and is a good price. Most of our meals are based more around fruits and vegetables rather than meat, although fish and poultry are included. I usually think of 4-5 good dinners and make them in quantity for "plannedovers".
Here is how I structure it:
- Pasta with fresh broiled tomatoes (or pomodoro tomatoes) and other veggies
- Green veggie to go with baked fish and rice - usually asparagus or green beans
- Stir fry veggies - usually carrots, mushrooms, spinach, peppers and these can be used for salads and other dishes, too
- Another vegetable to go with chicken or turkey breast - usually broccoli or zucchini or green beans in a steam bag; can also be winter squash
- Ingredients for salsa that can be used to make burritos, tacos, fish, chicken (broiled salsa recipe and instructions here)
- Salad and fruit
- Sometimes cabbage for slaw - and it doubles as a great stir fry ingredient, too
- Something new to try - lately I have been reading Ottolenghi The Cookbook and I have been making delicious salads and a couscous dish that are inspired from the pictures
There are more menu planning tips here, too.
Here is a fun meal we just made - it was turkey burgers with oven fries, fresh slaw and carrot wedges.
Step one - preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Wash potato under running water and then cut into wedges.
Step 2. Place wedges on lightly oiled baking pan. Lightly spray with cooking oil spray. Place in oven and bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Step 3. Turn potatoes over after they are brown and continue baking another 5 minutes. This is what they look like when they are done.
We made a quick slaw and cut carrot wedges. This is a lot better than what you find in a fast food place but gobbled up just as quickly!
For the quick slaw - toss fresh sliced cabbage with a little oil, Balsamic vinegar, a pinch of sugar and black pepper.
We served the oven fries with a turkey burger - complete with English muffin, lettuce tomato and no-salt-added ketchup.
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world-famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. After a decade in food service for Hyatt Hotels, Judy launched Food and Health Communications to focus on flavor and health. She graduated with Summa Cum Laude distinction from Johnson and Wales University with a BS in Culinary Art, holds a master’s degree in Food Business from the Culinary Institute of America, 2 art certificates from UC Berkeley Extension, and runs a food photography studio where her love is creating fun recipes.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science and Dietary Guidelines to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.