Monday, January 6, 2014

A Revealing Menu Plan

This week for Menu Plan Monday, hosted by Organizing Junkie, I wanted to do something different. I've been sharing our menu plans for the week for several weeks now. Many people have noticed a trend. We have a "something beef" day every week, a leftover buffet most weeks, and there's a lot of turkey and fish. This week is no exception. But, I've decided to share some of the reasons we eat like this and share quickly our typical breakfast and lunch menus.

My husband had several health issues that are now mostly under control that all cropped up several years ago now. Some of which, like his heart attacks, ended up causing us to have a more heart friendly diet. Ground turkey is much better for you than ground beef as in most cases it's leaner. He had been using salt substitute for a long time, once his heart issues were back under control he switched to the sea salt that the rest of us use. We'd switched from table salt to sea salt at the time he was using salt substitute. We eat turkey bacon because it's leaner than regular bacon. 

We eat so much fish because we like it mainly. But, partly because we've always had meatless or fish Friday's because we're Catholic and that's also how my husband was raised. 

As for the leftover buffets, those are a new-ish thing here. Not everyone here likes leftovers and often our dogs get the brunt of this or our garbage cans. It does however waste a lot of food if you're not careful. Usually I'll change something several times to use up any leftovers, but there's still some things left over. Almost every week lately Saturdays have been days that we've typically made leftover buffet days. Whatever hasn't been eaten gets picked and chosen over. One will want some soup (as an example) while another child will say, "Oh! We still have chicken? I'd like some chicken and noodles then!" It provides control over what's being eaten still, gives them a choice in what's for dinner, and allows me to use up those hated leftovers!

This week's dinner menu:

Sunday - Fish and potato "packets" done in the oven (usually these are done on the grill but the weather is yucky!)
Monday - Turkey dinner with all the trimmings! (this is about a 20 lb turkey!)
Tuesday - Hot turkey sandwiches with mashed potatoes
Wednesday - Turkey soup 
Thursday - Beef stir fry (for "something beef" night)
Friday - Tuna noodle casserole
Saturday - Leftover buffet

And once you see what are typical breakfast and lunch menus are you'll see why I haven't shared them.

Typical breakfast menu: Fruit and yogurt smoothies, cold cereal, or pancakes, eggs, and turkey bacon. Most days it's a smoothie or cold cereal because these are the children's favorites and the easiest to make.

Typical lunch menu: We're big sandwich eaters around here so often, about six times a week, we eat some form of sandwich for lunch. Peanut butter and jelly or cheese sandwiches are the usual. Sometimes there's a Nutella, or more accurately an off brand form of Nutella, sandwich but not often. That one, maybe two, day a week that we don't eat sandwiches for lunch it's usually some form of soup or leftovers from the night before. Fruits and veggies are added in at lunch time, sometimes some string cheese.

Most of the day the campers drink water but at dinner it's always milk and often with breakfast it's some kind of juice. Daddy and I most often drink coffee, yes, all day long.

There's absolutely nothing special about what we eat. In the coming weeks you'll notice a lot more soups than we've previously eaten. This time of year soups are a staple in our home. We'll eat them for lunch and dinner almost every day. Some bread and maybe a salad on the side and it's a full meal. Also, eating soups helped both my husband and I loose weight a few years ago.

Quick and easy Fish and potato "packets" (best done on a grill but works in the oven):

  • any kind of white fish, enough to feed your family
  • sliced potatoes, skin on or off
  • diced onions
  • sliced mushrooms, fresh or canned
  • garlic powder to taste
  • Mrs. Dash onion and herbs, to taste
  • Dale's sauce or soy sauce, also to taste
  • a couple tsp butter or margarine
  • tin foil
This is super easy and only takes minutes to prepare. If doing this on the grill pre-heat your grill to about med-high heat, in the oven you need 375 degrees F. Lay out a decent sized piece of tin foil. On top place your potatoes, onions, and mushrooms. Season and then gently toss. Add 1-3 tsp of butter, your choice. Roll tin foil up to make a packet (if you've done this camping the same theory applies). Then fold this packet into another packet to fully seal and make sure that your potatoes don't stick to the tin foil (too much). Place in preheated oven, or on grill and close. Let cook for about an hour on the bottom rack. Next make the same packets with your fish. When the hour passes for the potatoes flip the packet of potatoes over and put the packet of fish (or two packets if making a larger amount) on the top shelf in the middle of the oven. Remember to place packets on a cookie sheet or something similar in case of dripping juices. Cook both about 20 minutes, flipping the fish halfway through. Cooking time for fish may vary depending on size of packets and type of fish. 
French fries were made for Peanut



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