Challenging Menu


I never realized how much I rely on canned foods… I decided to make a dinner menu for 1 week without using any pre-made or pre-cooked items… it posed more of a problem than I anticipated as I started thinking of our options, our usual menus and things we’ve been wanting to try.
 
You know what I discovered? We use an awful lot of canned beans, tomatoes, veggies and chicken/beef broth/stock….. Then I had to decide… am I calling pasta off-limits, as well? (I decided no.) Same with cheese. (Again, I decided we would use cheese… mainly because I’m not planning to MAKE cheese!!!) So, I cannot call this a fully "Whole Foods" menu… but it made me really think about the convenience foods that are available. Some I use, some I avoid, some I use only occasionally, and some I am trying to cut out of my pantry completely.
 
This week, for the first time in my life, I will be making Chicken Stock!!! Yes, you read that correctly. I have never made chicken stock. Me, the one who loves to cook and bake. This week, that changes!
 
On to the MENU!!!
 
We start the week with something I have never made before: Quiche!!
 
SUNDAY:
Asparagus & Tomato Quiche (yes, I made the pie crust… I hate making pie crust, but I did it!)
Big Salad
Lemon Vinaigrette (yes, made from scratch with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, honey, shallot, salt & pepper)
 
MONDAY:
Roasted Chicken
w/ garlic mashed red potatoes
& steamed veggies (cauliflower, broccoli and carrots)
 
TUESDAY:
Grilled Flank Steak
w/brown rice
& Big Salad (with the rest of the Lemon Vin. from Sunday’s dinner)
 
WEDNESDAY:
Creamy Pasta with roasted veggies
& Big Salad (if the Lemon Vin. is gone, I’ll make the next one on my "to try list", a balsamic vinaigrette)
 
THURSDAY:
Um, well… we’re not planning to cook this night…
The girl child has a home track meet, so we’re planning to go out for dinner…
I admit it… I’m not perfect!!!
Oh…. but I’ll be taking the chicken carcass from Monday’s dinner and making it into stock for freezing to use another time.
 
FRIDAY:
Grilled Tilpia
w/ Tomatillo Salsa
(containing tomatillos, jalapeno, garlic, onion and black beans… the black beans are dry and will be cooked up on Thursday for use in this dinner)
 
And uh, well, Saturday is the boy child’s birthday party with his friends… I will not make him suffer through the embarrassment of my food experiments, and he has requested pizza, so I will oblige. But the poor kid WILL have to suffer through fresh fruits and veggies for snacks… and I will make some homemade bread for creating the french toast for Sunday morning breakfast!
 
So there you have it… nothing canned, nothing frozen, but I did cave to the use of dried pasta… again… I’m not perfect!
 
My goal by the end of summer is to be planning better menus, using more fresh, whole, and local foods, including some vegetables from my very first garden!! We’re looking into purchasing grass fed beef from a local farm, and have some friends that are raising chickens, so we’ll get some fresh chickens, too. (We’re already getting our eggs from friends who have layers…) Now if only we could find raw milk, locally…
 
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