Wednesday, August 25, 2010

menu plan | use it up

We're on week 2 of school and the calendar is full. It's been difficult getting everyone home at the same time for dinner so I've been cooking a meal and having it available for everyone to eat when it works in their schedule; not my choice modus operandi. I'm hoping it won't be like this all year long.

Remember when I did that batch cooking? Well, since then I've found a new convenience food...boil-in-a-bag brown rice. Twice now I've forgotten to take it out of the freezer to thaw so I dropped it, bag and all, in a pot of boiling water for about 20 minutes. Worked like a charm. Considering it takes 45 minutes when cooking it from scratch, it was alot quicker. That batch cooking is proving to be a real time saver, not only for rice but for several of the meals I have planned as I'll be using up what's in the freezer.

Here's what's planned through September 3rd:

chicken potato delight, green beans, garlic bread

frittata, fruit, toasted bagels

mexican lasagna, chips & salsa

spaghetti carbonara, salad, garlic bread

bacon chicken crescent ring

bubble pizza, veggie sticks & dip

lettuce wraps, egg rolls, pineapple

chicken diablo, roasted potatoes, steamed broccoli

chicken quesadillas, black beans & rice

pizza (frozen variety)*

*I hate to put this on my menu but it will save my sanity. We'll be attending all home football games this year in order to watch Madison on the Dazzler (dance) team. In order to make it on time and not be relegated to concession stand food for dinners, I've decided it's ok.  There are worse things, right? Like the golden arches.

Do you include convenience items on your menu during the school year to keep things simple due to the flood of school activities?


Jenni said...

A big convenience item for me lately has been the pre-cut, pre-washed lettuce. I get baby spring greens, baby spinach, and romaine, mix them, throw in some grated carrots and maybe grated purple cabbage, and have everyone add the things they like. Grape or cherry tomatoes and cans of mandarin oranges and grapefruit work as convenience items, too. Not everyone likes the same things on their salads and it is quick and easy for each to customize their own and have a healthy, fast meal. I know it's more expensive buying the lettuce this way, but we're eating a lot more salad and often as the main course.

Anonymous said...

everyone in a while I will buy some pre made meals from trader joes. they especially come in hand on the nights I don't feel like cooking!

Minnie said...

Oh my gosh. Would you mind sharing the chicken potato delight and the bacon chicken cresent ring recipes?

I keep two crockpot safe bags in the freezer with meat, veggies, and seasonings. On morning where I know they both have practice/games I toss it into the crockpot (still frozen) and add liquid.

No matter how late we get in dinner is ready.

Michelle @ Give a Girl a Fig said...

To save MY sanity I am using quite a few convenience foods. The main one I can think of are frozen sausage patties and links. I can warm them right up, toast a muffin, fry an egg and voila, I've got an egg mcmuffin to shove in someone's hand on their way out the door. And the links...quick to warm up in the morning, add an egg or a piece of toast with peanut butter and they've got protein to get them through to lunch. I will admit, while the organic, healthy, from-scratch life is's just not in MY cards right now. I am still conscious of what it is IN the convenience foods...and aside from pork, amazingly there isn't anything bad in those sausages!

You plan your meals like I do...a main thing, an then a couple easy fruit or chips and dip. It makes for a good meal...and not a lot of work!

I am really going easy on myself as far as feeding my family goes. I had to stop reading some blogs...and stop overdoing the information cram sessions into my brain and just go with what I know and do the best I can. And I'm fine with that...

Sarah H. said...

Frozen pizza is better than it used to be! We like the California Pizza Kitchen brand now and then. Gotta do what you gotta do! Good luck keeping up with all the activities this year.

Renee said...

I do use frozen pizzas by times for the kids lunches. I don't like to, but yeah, its easier.

Now whats this bubble pizza on your list?

Anonymous said...

absolutely! i've cut myself some slack and allowed one quick fix freezer meal a week for that night that everything is crazy.

keep posting your meal plans, if you will, nancy, i love them. and i get great ideas from them!

and i'm with michelle i buy all my meat local, but lately we've started getting the pre-pack turkey sausages for the same reasons she mentioned!

Sharon said...

What a great menu, and planning sure helps!
My daughter's marching band has Friday dinners before the game so that is one meal we do not have to plan...thankfully.

I like to think of my cooking as semi-homemade. I do use some convenient foods, but usually it consists of frozen veggies. We'll sometimes order pizza out, but since I'm able to buy pizza dough, we've done it less often. I think the crock pot is going to be my best friend for the month of September!

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

I buy frozen pizza too! My kids eat it gladly, and on nights that we need a quick meal it's always there. I also buy those Bertolli meals when they're on sale or the Macaroni Grill boxed meals that you add chicken to. They're great for nights I'd really rather not cook...and it saves us the cost of dinner out. I try to use my crockpot on my busy, busy days so that dinner cooks itself.

SZM said...

I buy a good bit of pre-made stuff @ Trader Joe's. They have bags of brown rice you can zap in the microwave in 3 minutes flat. Love that!

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

Also meant to tell you that the rice idea is brilliant! :)