DinnerPosted: July 11, 2011 Filed under: James and the Giant Peach 4 Comments
I’ve found that the Romgi and I are likely to eat fast food, expensive (but delicious) take-out, or cereal for dinner unless we plan a dinner menu at least a week in advance. But there’s always the question of what dishes to put on the menu. A while ago, I sat down and made a list of all the meals I could think of that we like, and I used that for a while. Then I sorted the meals by main component (like chicken, beef, pork, seafood) and tried to get a good variety every week.
Recently I took things a step further. You know how much I love spreadsheets, right? I created a spreadsheet with a tab for each component – now chicken, pork, vegetarian, beef, seafood, and miscellaneous – with the dishes and links to recipes. We have a rotation now where each of those 6 components shows up once per week on our menu, with Sunday being a chance to toss in an old favorite meal. Then I used my handy Google calendar to plan out weekly menus through November. Yes, I’m like that.
I had to do a lot of hunting to find more recipes to fill up the calendar. We’ve tried a few new tasty meals recently, and I thought I’d share.
Cuban pork tenderloin with soffrito rice
What are some of your favorites? How do you plan your dinners? This week I’m looking forward to chicken-tomatillo chili, barbacoa pork burritos (a Cafe Rio knockoff), steakhouse shepherd’s pie, and blackened catfish. The Romgi caught a couple catfish not too long ago and we have a great seasoning for them. Incidentally, the seasoning is usually used for “blackened red snapper” or “blackened red fish,” which I always heard as “black and red fish.” So when we made a batch of the seasoning early in our marriage, I labeled the jar “Black & Red Spice.” Much hilarity ensued. I may have been embarrassed, but let’s just say that we all thought it was hilarious.
That’s all quite clever of you. Most of the recipes sounded tasty, but I noticed I was also thinking that I wouldn’t have the energy to try most of them! I guess this is what’s called “getting old.” I at least will have to look at the Cuban pork tenderloin one. And the tilapia one–your sister actually likes tilapia.
We’ve been going a lot more vegetarian-ish lately. I have gotten a variety of squashes from the Farmer’s Markets and have used them several ways. The easiest was just frying with a little peanut oil and then adding some salsa. Saturday I cooked the squash then added 3-cheese tortillini and marinara sauce with spinach. It was delicious.
Do you have lots of leftovers? It seem like these recipes would feed you for at least a couple of meals.
We usually have leftovers for lunch the next day, or cut the recipe down to make about 2.5 servings. The Bwun is still small.
Ah-you beat me to it. I’ve been meaning to do a post like this for some time to get people to give me new recipes. I have to calendar the food in advance too. I’m definitely not one of those, “oh let me look at what we have and throw something together” kind of cooks yet. And perhaps never will be. boo.
As for us, one of our favorite, easy summertime ones is pineapple chicken fajitas found here: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/beef/chicken-pineapple-fajitas/