Menu Planning Saves Time, Money

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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. 

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More recipes, a budget shopping list and tips here

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