Menu Planning Saves Time, Money

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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. 


More recipes, a budget shopping list and tips here

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