Weeknight Menu Inspiration

Meal planning. We all do it! Yes, that means me, too. How else is anyone supposed to prepare meals from scratch?

Trust me, it gets easier the more you do it. I get inspiration from my own recipe index, Instagram, NY Times Cooking, magazines, and various cooking blogs.

Typically, I come up with three dinner ideas and make a shopping list for ingredients. I always buy ingredients for making fresh green salads – sometimes kale, sometimes spinach, sometimes arugula – which become part of the weekly mix. I usually have some leftovers that can then be combined with fresh/frozen pantry items, dry goods pantry items, or unused “extras” to become other dishes and/or meals.

Here were my three meals for last week:ย 

Chicken Posole (served with corn tortillas, sliced avocado, cheddar cheese)

Vegetable Stir Fry (no recipe, I made it up and served it with Udon noodles)

Guinness Pie (because it’s winter and I need it)

I shared 1 quart of the Chicken Posole with a friend (but you could freeze it!) and we got two meals out of it. The Guinness Pie was dinner one night with a salad and then was great to have around over the weekend for hot lunches. I also froze one serving for that night in the future when I’m not home and my husband can enjoy it. The Stir Fry was a plan to use up veggies in my refrigerator, which it did. I had some leftover cooked veggies which could then be used with the tortillas and cheese for quesadillas. See how this works?

Here is the 3-meal plan I just made:

Thai Beef (I will skip the cabbage cups and served the beef mixture over Udon noodles – I have them from last week!)

French Onion Soup (I saw this recipe and I’ve never made French Onion Soup – I will report back)

Veggie Chili Served on Baked Sweet Potatoes (Plan 1/2 a baked sweet potato for each serving. So yum. I will freeze some chili for another day.)

Happy home cooking!


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