It has been sometime now since I posted a menu plan. I am hoping to change that this year. Over the past couple of months I have returned to creating a monthly menu plan after a good year, probably almost 2-year, break from menus. I created weekly menus during that time and would shop off the weekly menus but I felt I needed to get a better handle on our eating habits, thus the monthly menu.
Creating a monthly menu means I can plan ahead for new recipes I find on Pinterest, from my Food Love board or my Keto board. Or, even my SMALL GROUP Desserts board, where I keep all things decadent and where I find those amazing recipes to share with our small (Life) group that meets in our home on Sunday evenings.
Some things I have been doing lately to make menu planning easier:
Monday's are a chicken dish. I have acquired quite the stash of chicken recipes, such as Jalapeno Popper Chicken, Parmesan Crusted Chicken Cordon Bleu with Dijon Sauce, Creamy Tuscan Chicken (recipe to follow), Mushroom Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken (recipe to follow), Baked Crack Chicken (recipe to follow), Chicken with Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce (recipe to follow), and Balsamic Baked Chicken Breasts with Mozzarella - all of which are delightful and make for an easy rotation and which I simply serve with a vegetable + cauliflower rice and/or rice.
Tuesday's are always tacos. And, always our homemade tacos. Sure, sometimes we add a batch of Jalapeno Poppers but it's always tacos on Tuesday's and it makes menu planning that much easier.
Date night's are Saturday's. This means Jeff and I eat out and the boys fend for themselves.
Use my stash of tried and true keeper recipes. Because I have been creating menus in one form or another since 2011, and I love to cook, and my family loves to eat I regularly prepare new recipes that become family 'keeper' recipes. Those recipes that we return to over and over. We have a ton. It makes menu planning easy, too. And, because I have been creating menus for so long over the years I can refer to those previous menus for reminders of great dishes.
This month I have a couple of new recipes I am planning on trying, too. One thing I have noticed when I am looking for recipes these days is, Is it easy to prepare? It is almost a necessity. Not because I am in pain but because easy to prepare often means healthier. While we still eat tacos every week I am trying to eat much healthier and as the new year often brings lifestyle changes I want to make sure we're doing just that - eating healthier. So, a dish with a meat and lots of vegetables, or a seafood and lots of vegetables are high on my list when hunting down new recipes.
And, that's a wrap for my January menu plan.
Oh, I do want to say that I almost always follow the menu plan in its entirety but I don't stress about it if there is a day or two that ends up being scratched.