Keeping Your Menu New & Exciting

While I require my meal prep and cooking process to be easy-peasy, I will admit that the planning part does take some brains.  But it’s so worth it!  Here’s my personal rule-of-thumb when putting together a week’s menu:

  • every dinner should have meat, starch, and greens
  • everyday, the meat, starch, and greens should be different from the previous day
  • pasta only once a week
  • fish at least once a week
  • red meat no more than once a week
  • any meal not to be repeated for 3 weeks, (with the exception of casseroles/meatloaf/baked pasta dishes which are large and can be served for lunch as leftovers or one lazy dinner when I don’t feel like cooking)
  • every meal should be colorful

It’s not a bad idea to come up with some sort of criteria for yourself when meal planning – I treat it as my starting point.  It helps me to plan for a variety of nutritious and flavorful foods as part of my regular diet, and it makes every dinner exciting! Often, my husband prefers to eat a home-cooked meal by me than to go to a restaurant, and I feel the same way most of the times too. Getting to control exactly what goes into my meal and saving a ton of money is pretty much an unbeatable combination.

Here’s a sample of what a week of great planning can get you:

 

image

Monday: Stir-fried chicken thighs with broccoli rabe and homemade yellow jasmine rice, topped with fresh parsley

Tuesday: Pan seared salmon with white wine whole-wheat couscous and sauteed broccoli, topped with green onions

Wednesday: Baked chicken thigh with crispy skin, roasted yukon and carrots, and wilted swiss chard, paired with carrot tops

Thursday: Broiled rib-eye with sauteed peas and carrots of many colors and homemade garlic bread

Friday: Spaghetti with ground turkey, sun-dried tomatoes, and broccolini, topped with freshly grated parmesan

What will your homemade menu look like this week?