Monday, February 18, 2008

menu plan monday - week 1


I found Menu Plan Monday thanks to my homie La Rêveuse. Making a list of the week's meals isn't anything new to me - I grew up watching my mom do that every week. About a year after moving here I started channeling her and making my own lists. It's true - it does save money and yeah, I struggle a little coming up with a fresh list every week, but I only struggle for that half an hour and for the rest of the week I know what I'm making. It's quite nice, actually!

But the real bonus of Menu Plan Monday is being able to participate with others that are doing the same thing and being able to see their lists and get new ideas. I do have a tendency to make the same things over and over again so these lists are really helpful to me.

Since this is my first week and there will presumably be a few folks visiting, here are a couple of notes before I get to this week's list:

Dang, y'all sure eat a lot of big meals!
Here in France, the main meal of the day is lunch, not dinner. Yes, my hubby is on vacation this week but he works within walking distance and comes home for lunch everyday. The dinners are actually rather light, especially since we typically don't eat until 7:30 or 8:00. They'll get even lighter as the weather gets hotter.

Well, you eat pretty healthy anyway!
Last year my weight got out of control and my doctor warned me that if I didn't lose the weight I would continue to have fertility issues (yes this is not true for all women but it is true for me, please don't take offense). I started seeing a dietitian and we completely changed the way we eat - no more high cholesterol meals, no more sugar. I've loosened up a little bit on the diet but I still basically follow it.

But don't you eat a lot of meat?
This is for two reasons - one, for my husband, a meal isn't a meal without meat, and two, the dietitian had me eating 100g of meat with each meal. I can replace that with a couple of eggs if I want to.

You're pretty big on leftovers, too!
Yep. This is for two reasons - one, cooking two (what I consider to be in my American mind) "big" meals everyday is draining, so having about one leftover meal a day really helps me out, and two, we discovered that it's much more cost efficient for us to buy a little bit extra and make enough for two meals than it is to make a different dish for every meal. Yay, efficiency!

And a note on shopping: I actually go shopping twice a week. This is because I've found that most fresh meat, vegetables and fruits don't last as long as what I'm used to (and my freezer is tiny!). I do my main shopping in the beginning of the week at a store that sells mostly fresh products, and fill in the blanks at the end of the week at a store where I can also buy toiletries and other things not available at the fresh store.

So here we go, Week 1! Don't worry, I won't be so long winded every week!

Notes: Breakfasts for Stéph are waffles, for me they are a bowl of cereal with milk and a cup of coffee or tea. Each lunch includes a piece of bread (bought fresh everyday) with cheese and a glass of 100% juice with no sugar added. Snacks will include seasonal fruits, carrots, cornichons (small pickles) and cheese and bread for Stéph. My "dessert" is a yogurt with no sugar added, cereal biscuits and a glass of 100% juice with no sugar added.

Lunch Steak hachée (like a hamburger but served without the bun), purée (mashed potatoes), carrots, cornichons
Dinner Tortilla de pommes de terre (potato fritatta) from Légumes faciles

Mom's meatloaf, green beans
Dinner Tortilla de pommes de terre leftovers

Mom's meatloaf (leftovers), green beans
DinnerDad's ragu sauce and spaghetti (most of this sauce will go in the freezer for future meals)

chicken & broccoli stirfry (going to make this one up as I go)
Dinner surimi salad (see below)

steak, lentil stuffed tomatoes (based on this recipe)
Dinner Free Night (in case something is displaced - if not we'll get something out)

Chicken & onions (see below), lentil stuffed tomatoes
DinnerBeef & veggie skillet (recipe to come in the near future)

salmon, potato something (haven't decided yet)
Dinner soup & sandwiches

As always, thanks to The Organizing Junkie for hosting every week!

Extra special notes:
Here is the Wikipedia entry on surimi. I'd never heard of it before I moved to France. Here it looks like crab sticks (scroll down for the picture). I put them on a bed of lettuce with cherry tomatoes and serve with a mustard vinaigrette based on this recipe.
Chicken and onions: Cut chicken in cubes, chop onion, cook them up in a skillet with salt and Trader's Choice poultry seasoning. Easy peasy!

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