2012 Menu Planning: 2/19 – 2/25/12

We had a little getaway this past weekend, and it was really nice, just the two of us.  But it became clear that we will be paring down our eating (both amounts and ingredients) in the coming weeks.  And since Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, and there are 40 days of purposeful living (and eating), it’s a good time to do that.  We will eat simply, with fewer “recipes” but still lots of flavor in the seasonings and vegs.

I have to say that when you’ve been sedentary for a while — in my case, it’s been about a year since I smacked my head against the icy cement — mild hikes become “events,” and moderate terrain becomes “scaling a cliff.”  The exercise has been good, though, and sparked me to try to get out even in colder weather, even if for short walks just to stretch.  Getting home by 3 pm certainly should help.

So this week, some exercise and pared-down intake.  Here’s what’s on our dinner menus this week:

Sunday:  Last of the junk — a quick pizza from Papa Murphy.  $4.00 for the pizza and free cookie dough (birthday month).  Oh, yes, and #2 pointed out, “You said that the last time we had pizza.”

Monday:  Chicken Fajitas similar to THIS RECIPE (chicken .99/#, peppers about $.75, onions .25), green salads with tomatoes (.60), brown rice for the boys (.35).  About $3.45.

Tuesday:  Boneless pork chops (1.89/#, so ~ 2.84) pan grilled, frozen green vegs tbd (~.58), potatoes for the guys (.50).  About $3.95.

Ash Wednesday:  Tuna (.50/can; 1.50) tossed with pasta (.75) and herbs, salads with tomatoes (.60).  About $2.85.

Thursday:  Slow-simmered, extremely lean boneless beef ribs (4.10 from Aldi), garlicky green beans (.25 sale), brown rice for the guys (.35).  About $4.70.

Friday:  Tomato soup (about .60 total with herb add-ins and toppers), grilled cheese sandwiches (~.20 each x 4) for the guys.  About $1.50.

Saturday:  Fish of some sort tbd (hoping to keep it to less than $3), Parmesan vegs (about $1.50 per MasterCook), yolk-free noodles for the guys (.50).  About $5.00.

These dinners for four will cost about $21.45!  I’m still aiming for two or more meatless dinners per month, and the Lenten season makes that easier for my family to get into the habit willingly.  The cost of fish is so incredibly high; supply and demand, and folks are catching on to how good it is for us.  DH and I were discussing the unavailability of much local fish, but I’ll still look for reasonable walleye to cook up at home.  Salmon seems to be out of the budget, unless a local grocery would have a loss leader — hint, hint.

I was reading in one of the ToH magazines that black beans actually contain more omega-3 antioxidants than salmon!  A bag of beans will likely go into my cart this week to help with the meatless meals.

For more inspiration and awe, visit:


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