A Weekly Menu Routine Your Family Will Love

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After reading my Friday night pizza post, a reader asked whether we have any other menu routines around here.  I know I've mentioned this briefly in another post, but I figured I'd give a more thorough answer here.

Only two nights (Sunday & Friday) stay constant.  The themes of the other nights still occur each week, they just might happen on different days, depending on what our schedule is like and how involved the dinner plan is.

We'd always been in the habit of eating our heavier meal at lunchtime & then just having a monster salad for dinner, but when Gv started really eating solid foods, we realized we needed to come up with something more substantial for dinner, to make it easier on us all (I only wanted to fix one thing that we could all eat and she's just not really able to eat the flimsy greens of a salad yet).  We do still usually have salad every night, but it's more of a filler at the end of the meal. 

See that monster popcorn bowl (the one with the chips in it)?  That our salad bowl.  Yup, we eat just a little salad!


This is pasta night, because we're usually running around all weekend and pasta is something that's pretty easy to just make on autopilot.  If I'm really feeling wiped out, I'll just grab a container of homemade sauce from the freezer and keep it super-simple, but even a recipe like this dip adaptation isn't very difficult to throw together at the last minute.


Monday is international night.  These meals tend to be Mexican, Indian, Italian, or Asian, but it's also easy to turn something fun stuffed in a pocket or a basic veggie patty into an exotic dish, given just the right ingredient twist.  I often create my Mexican night dishes with a base of some homemade tortillas and a big pot of beans.  Lentils make a great jumping-off point for Indian meals, a trip to our churchy-music produce stand usually yields the ingredients for Asian entrees, and Italian piatti range from baked lasagna to a tasty risotto.  Occasionally, I'll make something inspired by the Mediterranean or African map zones, too. 


Tuesday is salmon night.  Despite my frequent feelings of being salmoned out, it's really good for us and we feel it made a huge difference in Gv being born so healthy (& hefty!)  Two reasons I've managed to get excited about our salmon nights again are this recipe and this one.  They're a bit different, but so delicious!


Wednesday is soup night (even in summer, when bowls of gazpacho and cucumber soup provide a refreshing meal).  I'm often tutoring on Wednesdays, so it's easy for me to just stick something in the crock pot in the morning and have it be ready when we all get home that night.  I'll also usually set the bread machine so we have something yummy to go along with the soup - this might be our favorite bread or some buttery croissants.  This soup and this one are two of our favorites.


Thursday is chicken night.  Up until about two months ago, we didn't ever have any meat at home, but when I realized I was craving it all the time, I knew that was my body's way of telling me I needed some more protein in my diet.  It helped when we found really cheap organic drumsticks at the store and with our bi-monthly $15 coupon, it makes adding a bit of meat more affordable.  As a bonus, now it's a whole lot easier to make my homemade chicken stock in the crock pot every couple of weeks.


Friday is pizza night (this is the post that led to so many others).  I get the dough going in the morning and then stick it in the oven when G calls to say he's on his way home from work.


Saturday is usually just a huge salad (Remember that bowl?  We don't kid around when it comes to salad!) and popcorn during a movie.

Do you have a menu routine at your house?  I'd love to hear - leave a comment or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

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