Tuesday, January 5, 2016

January Menu Plan

This month is all about keeping expenses low.  Since we're in the crunch month for teachers (where we get paid before the Christmas holiday and have to make a single check stretch over six weeks), this is super important.  So, we're relying on some old standards and what we put away from the CSA this year in our freezer.  We're also really grateful for the little treats that came in our stockings that will provide some snacks and variety.

We'll purchase the staples and items that are at rock bottom.  These include:

  • eggs (our chicken sisters friends have quit laying for the winter)
  • milk (either whole organic that we water down for baking, or almond/soy w/ coupons)
  • spices/nuts from San Francisco Herb Company
  • yogurt (only if 20 cents per cup or lower)
  • carrots
  • onions
  • maybe bread flour
  • corn meal
  • cabbage
  • dried lentils

So, without further ado, here's the plan for January:

Breakfasts:  oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts/seeds, butternut squash pancakes/waffles, egg and cheese sandwiches on homemade bread, whole wheat banana nut muffins, zucchini and flax muffins, smoothies, cereal and grapefruit

Lunches:  leftovers, egg and cheese sandwiches, smoothies

Dinners:  potato soup with grated cheese and side salad, homemade pizza x 4 (with pesto, sausage, mushrooms, and whatever else we have on hand), black bean chili with ground beef and corn bread, vegetable or minestrone soup, lentil sloppy joes over homemade bread with cheese and steamed veggies, BBQ turkey wraps/sandwiches with roasted veggies, veggie stir fry, refried bean quesadillas with winter squash, jambalaya, breakfast for dinner with waffles or pancakes and fruit, beans and rice with fixin's, beef and cheddar pie, tuna noodle casserole with steamed/roasted veggies

We find that the crock pot is our saving grace, especially when the weeks get busy.  It's so nice to be able to start something in the morning, have minimal dishes, and know that there's something yummy and easy for dinner.  We can round these meals out with a veggie side or just some bread.  Little man is really getting adventuresome with his tastes in soup lately, so it's been fun to try some lentil soups and he liked the potato soup last night (well, maybe it was just the bacon and cheese!).  I'm on the hunt for more crockpot recipes besides soups that will be a hit with our crowd, especially ones that I can prep and freeze for when baby #2 arrives in March.

The bread machine is also wonderful, helping us easily pull together a healthy homemade pizza for dinner that is a crowd pleaser.  It's also really nice to have a freezer full of prepped veggies that we processed this summer from CSA extras.  These really help meals to come together quickly, especially stir fries and soups.

What are you doing to live and save green in the kitchen this month?  I'd love to hear from you!

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