/ 16.2.10 / 3 Comments / Cooking , frugal living , Menu Plan , Recipes
Whats for Dinner Mom?!
Of course, I had five children before the Lord decided I was done, and they, along with their father, all agreed this is pretty much the most important question of the day! According to some research, most women cook only TEN different meals on a regular basis! I figured I could probably do better than that, but I didn't want to have to spend a lot of time cooking either. I was homeschooling all day and raising five babies and that didn't leave a lot of spare time.
Ratatouille?? We love that movie! It gives a fun perspective on the art of cooking. Well the proof is in the cobbler I guess. Jacob didn't even know I was writing this article..but he asked me if there was something 'sweet' he could cook. I told him yes, if he would let me take his picture after he made it. I told him what to do in less than 1 minute. He wanted to show off his handiwork to me even before he had cooked it!
The second rule was no more than five ingredients per recipe, except for special occasions! I needed things I could cook fast without having to resort to frozen lasagna or pizza or a Hamburger helper type meal. I've posted my own 10 favorite Super Easy recipes here.There not the healthiest meals in the world but there more from scratch than the alternatives and they are so easy, any of my kids could cook them instead of me. That is important as any busy mother will agree I'm sure. See this website for Dinner Made Easy for some more good ideas.
The third rule was that I always had a menu plan. There's nothing more intimidating, in my opinion, than an empty stove and a crowd of hungry people!! Apparently, Mrs. Roosevelt, Teddy's wife, had 30 recipes planned out on a monthly calendar...leaving a few days blank for eating out etc. I liked that idea and it made it easier to make out my shopping list.
After 20 years of shopping, and price comparing, I've decided to only shop once a month. I can't fit all the milk, bread, and fruit/veges in my fridge for a month, but I can fit all the ingredients for a month of dinners. I tried the once a month cooking method, but never could seem to find the right day to do it. And I didn't like the taste of a lot of things after being frozen.
This picture shows my menu plan when all five kids were little, pickier, and I had NO spare time and not much help with the cooking. By the way, Ranch chicken is chicken enchiladas and Country Potato Casserole is just hashbrown casserole that I added ground beef to. Most of these are extremely easy meals to make. By the way, I didn't list the veges on the side because I just stocked up on fresh and frozen veges and I always steamed or microwaved them. Every meal included a big bowl of carrots, greenbeans, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, or spinach. It was always a vege that was low in carbs and high in nutrition or I would do a big crunchy salad.
There are other ways to do this. You can try Menus 4 moms though I think that can get a bit complicated. However, they provide meal plans for healthier meals than I usually make. You can also buy food from Angel Food Ministries That settles the meal plan delimma for the month and their menu items, which used to consist of a lot of fried stuff, are much healthier now.
I also love FlyLady's menu plan, If it's Monday, It's Spaghetti! meal plan.I sometimes resort to that, if life is really crazy.