Friday, September 7, 2012

Weekly Menu for 9/9/2012 - 9/15/2012

Day Menu Item Shopping
Sunday Leftovers

Chef Ann Cooper's Baked Pasta with Tomato and Ricotta
1 lb Pasta (Gluten-Free)
Pasta Sauce
Ricotta Cheese
Parmesan Cheese
Mozzarella Cheese
Vegetable Soup

1 medium Onion
2 cloves Garlic
2 Carrots
2 medium Sweet Potatoes or YamsCelery
24 ounce Vegetable Stock
2 large fresh Tomatoes
2 Sweet Red Pepper
Frozen Peas1 Zucchini
  1 16 ounce can Chickpeas
Whole Grain Pizza Muffins
Rye Flour *
Whole Wheat Flour *
All Purpose Flour *
Mozzarella Cheese (low-fat)
Parmesan Cheese
Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Turkey Sausage or Pepperoni (optional)
Peanut Butter Granola Wrap
Peanut Butter **
Granola Cereal
Dried Cherries
Whole Wheat Tortillas***
Fruit and Cheese Plate
 Fill a divided plastic container with assorted cubes or slices of reduced fat cheese, easy-to-eat fruit such as apple and pear slices, grapes, berries or melon and whole-wheat crackers***.
Saturday Leftovers

September 9, 2012 - September 15, 2012

You will also need:

Salt, Pepper, Olive Oil, Cinnamon, Bay Leaf, Basil, Oregano, Baking Powder, Eggs, Milk of your choice, Salad, Salad Dressing, Gluten-Free Bread, Fruit, Sliced Vegetables, Dip

* Replace the flours you are unable to eat due to allergies or food preferences to Gluten-Free Flours of your choice

** There are delicious "nut" butters other than Peanut such as Pistachio, Almond, Soy, or Macadamia to name a few

*** Gluten-Free Tortillas, Gluten-Free Bread, gluten-free crackers, vegetables such as Celery or Carrots could replace the the whole wheat tortillas or whole wheat crackers

This week is all about showcasing delicious Back to School Lunch items.

Lunchbox menus need not be difficult or super creative.  After all, aren't they similar to a picnic?  They're fun!

Are you like me and start projects or a new year with gusto and then about half way through start petering out?  Guess that's why I enjoy cooking so much.  There is always something new to try.  When there are leftovers staring me in the face, combine them with something else, and Presto! a completely different dish.  Didn't cost much and didn't take too much time or effort.

Since creating weekly menus, things really have simplified as far as meal planning goes, anyway.  ;-)

Here are some suggestions to keeping lunchtime fun, healthy, and most of all in the tummies of your loved ones.

  • Linda Larsen suggests: "To make sure that the lunches you pack are envied by other kids, but eaten by your child, include your child in the planning process." 
  • Pack lunches the night before and leave them in the refrigerator.
  • Slip a hand written note saying something like, "See you this afternoon for a fun outing," or "You're going to ACE your math test," or maybe something simple like "I love you."
  • Keep fresh fruits, vegetables, crackers, nuts, and other nutritious food on hand.
  • Healthy snacks can be expensive so buy them from the bulk bins.
  • Leftovers aren't just for dinner another night.
  • Make cookies and muffins in large batches and freeze them.  They should be thawed by lunch.

Some of the recipes this week will need to be tweaked in order to fit dietary needs.  For example, vegan cheese, milk, and butter will need to be substituted.  I'm going to make these this week, so let's compare notes and see how we did.

How did you enjoy this week's menu?  Did you enjoy the websites?  How were the recipes?  Were they easy to follow and the ingredients easy to find?  Did you have quite a bit of the ingredients already on hand?

Did you find cooking different meals having similar items easier?  Were you able to prepare multiple meals at once?

What would you like to see on future menus?

P.S., Each Friday, we post our weekly menu showcasing our dishes as well as dishes prepared by others throughout the internet.  Please add your menu, appetizer, main dish, dessert, drink, table-scape, or tutorial below.
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