Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Menu Planning

Sometime in the last few years, I started weekly menu planning to guide grocery shopping, save money, and reduce the frequency of the question- "What's for dinner?"  Although we allow a degree of flexibility (the temptation of half price burger night at our favorite local spot can be strong), menu planning helps us to stick to our food budget, eat healthier, and eliminate the stress of pulling together dinner after a long day at work.

Mike and I were pretty proud of ourselves when The Biggest Loser*** gave each contestant $70 to pay for one week of healthy groceries.  70$ per person?!  That's not much of a challenge.  We listed the groceries we would've added to our cart: rolled oats, bananas, milk, eggs, grains, vegetables, dried beans, olive oil...Basically, we know how to feed ourselves well and that's something to be proud of.

Here's this week's menu:
Sunday: Carrot Soup with tahini and roasted chickpeas, homemade pita chips with sesame seeds
Monday: Roasted salmon and brussel sprouts, Trader Joe's wild grain mix
Tuesday: Homemade pizza with caramelized onions, fennel, sun-dried tomatoes, and mozzarella, spinach salad
Wednesday: Vegetable stir-fry with soy glazed tofu over brown rice
Thursday: Trader Joe crabs cakes with sweet potato fries (roasted with olive oil, sea salt, pepper)
Friday: Whole wheat spaghetti with turkey meatballs and tomato sauce

What's on your menu?  Do you menu plan before grocery shopping each week?  

***I confess; I am a fan of the show.  I started watching this season and the emphasis on balancing healthy eating and exercise as well as the goal of reducing childhood obesity echoes some of my own priorities.  Admittedly, I do fast forward through some of the more emotional segments as I am more inspired by the contestants' hard work than their sob stories.  Furthermore, I will only watch the show on DVR as I cannot deal with the ridiculous scene breaks during the weigh-ins!  Fast forward!!!!