Thursday, November 5, 2015

A weekly menu? Why not a monthly one?

Recently, AARP or was it Bon Appetit published a weekly menu to aid the busy cook in the kitchen, reminding everyone that planning a menu doesn't have to be so daunting.
Yes, I thought, why is it that I plan menus and never really follow them?
Or, is it just me?
Or, could it be that as a working mother I had so little time left in my day/week, that a planned menu was necessary for survival, or my family was reduced to opening cans.

The fact is for all of us, young and old, that food is extremely expensive, and feeding our families well is one of the most important task we have.

So, I'm offering my ideal weekly menu for a busy family that with a few variations can become a monthly menu:

1. Monday: Legumes, as the pasta and beans in the picture, all pantry items. Change the type of pasta, the sauce, or the beans, and you have four different meals, one for each week.

2. Tuesday: Chicken, as in fried, bbq'ed, in a casserole, over rice, over orzo, with tagliatelle.

3. Wednesday:  Soup, as in chicken soup made with the previous day's chicken, and assorted vegetables, or minestrone with mostly beans, or seasonal with the weeks' greens or tubers like beets.

4. Thursday: Beef, as in hamburger, meat loaf, meat balls, stew, chili, corned beef and cabbage

5. Friday: Pizza: as margherita, with sausage, olives and mushrooms, squash and spinach.

6. Saturday: Crepes or pancakes, filled with cheeses, mushrooms, sausage, or crab. Let the children help before you all scramble out of the house.

7. Sunday: Exotic day, to try new recipes, new combos, from Japanese teriyaki to Swedish meat balls, from an expensive prime rib roast, to a tian provencal, layered vegetables with a cheese top casserole.

This is a primitive plan, sketchy enough to be changed; yet, a guide to provide your family with varieties and creativity. Nobody will call your cooking boring.


  1. Great idea, Rosaria! I love your plan! Think I'll try it in the next week. It would certainly introduce a lot more healthy variety to our meals. Thanks!

  2. Excellent idea. :-)

    Greetings from London.

  3. I'm so glad the weather has changed. I will miss the bounty from the garden in fresh form, but I've got a stockpile in the freezer. Now we can enjoy cooler weather food....soup and stews. The spouse made sourdough bread today to go with our chef salad for dinner.

  4. I do plan meals a week in advance, have been since our children were tots! Carl's diabetes is keeping us on the straight and narrow for certain!

  5. I recently rediscovered a love of cooking, probably courtesy of my kids getting more adventurous about food. I've been pulling off weekly meal planning, which has gone well. I try to make a soup from scratch once per week since I can have that for lunch for the next few days. And I try to have a different type of meat each day, plus two vegetarian dinners per week. We'll see how long I can keep this up. Your plan is a good one.