This is the fourth post of a series where I will be sharing with you my menu for the week, along with a few helpful menu planning tidbits throughout the summer.
Welcome back for week 4 of the Menu Plan Monday series! Here’s a little recap of what I’ve covered so far:
Week 2: Why I meal plan
If you are new to the series, make sure you go back and read the previous posts so you can have all the info. If you’ve been keeping up, those posts are there for your reference whenever you need them! This week we will be covering how to plan for breakfast, lunch, and snacks including what to do with leftover meals and ingredients.
The Trick to Successful Meal Planning for Breakfast, Lunch, & Snacks =
The Trick to Use Up All of your Leftovers =
Choose your dinners based on breakfast/lunch supplies needed during the week!
If you will need lunch for the entire week, then you should either plan all of your dinners to have enough servings to leave you with at least one serving per person the next day, or you can plan 1 night that leaves you with 2 servings per person, and then get 2 days of lunch out of the one meal. Let’s look at my Enchilada Casserole, for example. There are only two people in my home – John usually eats 2 servings at dinner because he’s a big guy and needs more to eat. I, on the other hand, only have 1 serving. This means that at the end of dinner, we’ve eaten 3 out of 8 servings, leaving us with 5 more servings! John and I can both get lunch out of this the next day, and there is still enough for me to have 2 more lunches, or him to have 1 more.
Once I know that information, I can plan to make the casserole at the beginning of the week, and know that lunch is taken care of for the next day and that I can have lunch for 3 days, but we’ll need to do something else for John’s lunches, like make sandwiches. From there, I might plan my next night’s dinner to not leave us with leftovers. When I know we will have run out of leftovers, I plan for us to have a dinner that creates many servings again.
This said, I don’t plan for us to have leftover meals for lunch everyday because sometimes that just won’t work or you feel like something different. For this reason, I always have certain staples that keep well. Some of these include tortillas, beans, sweet potatoes, peanut/almond butter, bread, etc. Since leftovers don’t often lend themselves to something you’d want to eat in the morning, we keep staples on hand for breakfast, too. These include oatmeal, cereal, frozen fruit for smoothies, eggs, bread for toast, peanut butter, pumpkin butter, etc. If I’m having burgers earlier in the week and know I’ll have leftover buns, I don’t need other bread that week because we can make sandwiches/toast/french toast with the leftover ingredient! Similarly, if I have a meal that leaves me with leftover greens, I know I can plan on having a salad for lunch later in the week. Snacks can be made out of anything that won’t be used up for breakfast or lunch.
Now planning your meals to lend you the leftovers you’ll need will take you a little time and consideration to begin with, but each week you will get faster and faster until it becomes second nature. As long as you keep your shelf-stable staples on hand for back up, you will have the comfort of knowing you’re not without options if your plan has holes one week. Keep an eye on the expiration dates of your staples – if you get to the week they will expire, then plan your meals around using them up!
This is a strange week for us as we wrap up our time here in Boston with lots of celebration (and the need to eat all of the food in our apartment before we leave).
This said, here’s my menu for the week:
Monday – Dinner with Paul & Erica (my younger brother and sister-in-law)
Wednesday – Sweet Potato Nachos
(When you cut out the chips, these get so much healthier!)
Friday – Out to celebrate the completion of John’s web development program!!!
Saturday – Dinner in the North End for our last night in Boston…ah, bittersweet.
Sunday – Dinner at my parents’ house/SPOTSIE REUNION!
Hope to see you back here next week to discuss building variation into your menus…including themed eating!
We’ve had a fantastic time in Boston and will miss it, but we’re also ready to get back to our little spotted pup! And in case you’ve been wondering what a Pointer mix looks like when she’s got something in her sights and the rest of the world disappears, here’s a funny little photo for you. (Yes, I did balance a stuffed bear on her head without her even noticing…)
Linked to: Organizing Junkie