monthly meal planning, take one!

by Amy on 11 January 2011

in last friday’s post, let’s talk about … dinner planning! i spoke about my goal for 2011 – to plan dinners monthly instead of weekly to reduce wastefulness, save money + increase efficiency. i started by planning 3 weeks’ worth of dinners (in my fabulously quirky new owl notebook) + if this goes well, i’ll plan all of february’s dinners during the last week in january.

many of you expressed interest in seeing our monthly menus, so without further ado, here are our dinners for the next three weeks! i’d love your feedback – what you think looks good, what you think i should change, what recipes you’re excited about reading (+ those that you aren’t, too). let me know!

sunday, january 9: individual chicken pot pies (ate two, froze two for february)

monday, january 10: pappardelle with parsley/parmesan meatballs + marinara
tuesday, january 11: pulled chicken with tomato/onion/garlic-sauteed black beans + saffron rice
wednesday, january 12: leftovers
thursday, january 13: chicken, potatoes, + peas with madras simmer sauce, chana masala, naan ***
friday, january 14: out for dinner
saturday, january 15: parsnip, rosemary, + parmesan risotto (recipe coming soon!)
sunday, january 16: a big ol’ pot of matzo ball soup with potato latkes

monday, january 17: shepherd’s pie
tuesday, january 18: chicken + tomato posole
wednesday, january 19: turkey tacos + spanish rice-a-roni (don’t judge. i love that stuff.)
thursday, january 20: leftovers
friday, january 21: takeout, perhaps from one of my favorites – calypso cafe! (or pizza)
saturday, january 22: dinner out
sunday, january 23: sheri’s greek roasted chicken with potatoes (see comments for sheri’s recipe)

monday, january 24: parmesan/panko-crusted chicken with israeli couscous, balsamic onions, + garlic-sauteed baby spinach
tuesday, january 25: tortellini with white wine-sauteed cremini mushrooms + shallots
wednesday, january 26: leftovers
thursday, january 27: parsley/parmesan meatball sandwiches with provolone
friday, january 28: mac + cheese with bacon, tomatoes + peas
saturday, january 29: out to dinner or takeout
sunday, january 30: bouef bourguignon (recipe coming soon!)

*** my brother, jason, leaves the united states on thursday, january 13 to begin a two-year government posting in india. as a shoutout to jason, we shall be dining on indian food that evening. bon voyage + safe travels, brother!

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 sarah January 11, 2011 at 11:57 am

I’m really impressed with this and it’s inspiring me to try to plan our own meals better, too! There are definitely some recipes i’d like to hear more about – the parsnip risotto and the tortellini with mushrooms, to name a few. Also, we love rice-a-roni too – no shame there!!

2 amy January 11, 2011 at 12:06 pm

thank you! the parsnip risotto is going to be on the blog next monday (assuming that we make/photograph it this weekend as planned). i’ve made it a bunch of times + it is absolutely delicious. the tortellini with sauteed mushrooms is usually something i just ‘wing,’ but i can certainly write down the exact measurements + post it as an official recipe – it’s really easy, light + healthy (+ a good vegetarian option). good luck with your meal planning!

3 Vivek Surti @ Vivek's Epicurean Adventures January 11, 2011 at 12:13 pm

This sounds great, Amy!

Have you ever checked out the blog – Jane puts up a post every Sunday and people comment by leaving their menus for the week. Great way for recipe exchange and to see what other people are making.

4 amy January 11, 2011 at 12:24 pm

vivek! thank you so much for sharing the link with me – i had never run across that blog before but just checked it out + loved it. i also added my week’s menu to the comments for others to see. i will definitely be adding to my google reader. thanks again!

5 Lisa January 11, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Wow, this looks great! Do you need any extra people to taste test these recipes for you? If so, we’re free! I think the panko chicken sounds really yummy and so does the risotto. And sherri’s roasted chicken sounds great, too! Also, your notebook is really cute, where did you get it? Thanks for sharing your menu!

6 amy January 11, 2011 at 2:40 pm

thanks, girl! the notebook was actually a christmas gift from honey – he got it from a local art gallery, art + invention.

the risotto will be on the blog soon, as will the roasted chicken. the panko-crusted chicken is just something i make up as i go along – basically, i start by making a panko/parmesan/seasonings blend. i pound boneless/skinless chicken breasts flat, then coat them in a little egg, then coat in the panko mixture. then, i sautee in olive oil until they’re browned on the outside + cooked through. delish!

7 katie January 11, 2011 at 6:09 pm

i LOVE rice a roni’s rice pilaf, so no judging from me! looks good :)

8 amy January 11, 2011 at 6:20 pm

thanks, katie! i don’t know why, but i just find that stuff so darn tasty. glad to see that others share the rice-a-roni love with me! =)

9 Sheri O'Neill January 11, 2011 at 8:17 pm

First off, I’m so thrilled that you’ve included my Greek Roasted chicken in your line-up :) please let me know how it turns out!

I love how you’ve come up with the plan ahead menus. I totally intend to make quite a few of your planned meals. I too can’t wait for you to post the risotto recipe!

I’m planning on making your chicken pot pies this Saturday. I can’t wait to try your recipe.

10 amy January 12, 2011 at 9:04 am

we’re really excited about trying the greek roasted chicken – i thought it sounded sooo good when you mentioned it, + had to work it in. the risotto is amazing – i know you’re going to love it! + the chicken pot pies were similarly great – you’ve picked some of the best recipes to try! =)

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