The Art of Making a Menu


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I have not gotten around to making the menu above (but it is on my to-do list) however, one of the habits I have finally committed to is making a weekly menu. Getting into the habit is not easy.  It takes time out of your weekend and at times it feels completely tedious.  However, there are some major benefits to carving out 20 minutes to do this each.

1. You don’t have to think about what to make for dinner on busy weekdays.

2. You can plan and prep things like baked goods, snacks etc. before the week starts

3. You can create a specific grocery list so less food is wasted throughout the week.

4. Your kids can help so they will be happy with what they find on their plate and in their lunch box.

5. Do this every week for a month and then just REPEAT!!!

On Saturdays or Sundays I sit down and figure out what we are going to do for dinners throughout the week taking into account any social events and dinners out. I ask each child to pick a dinner and to tell me what they want for lunches. I then plan some easy grab and go breakfasts.  My kids like sweet breakfasts and I hate sugar so I decide on a few “paleo” baked goods from Against All Grain then I cook them and store them on Sundays. Coffee cake and muffins made with eggs and almond flour are winners that I don’t feel guilty about. Lots of protein, very little sugar makes their teachers and me happy.

I always make a different menu for myself to accommodate my breakfast and lunch preferences and I don’t normally require an AM and PM snack. My poor husband just gets whatever I plan for the kids or he is the recipient of all of the dinner leftovers packed up for his lunches and snacks.

After I create the menu I print it and put it on the fridge.  That gives me an easy reference for the week.  I compile any recipes that I need and then take a quick inventory of what I have already and what I need to get at the store. I find most of my recipes online so as I scan through recipes to see what I have on hand, I normally put my laptop on the counter and stare into my fridge and pantry while adding items that I need onto my phone shopping app. If this is starting to sound like way too much work, trust me it gets easy and efficient after a couple of weeks. Have a look at my Menu  this week. It might help you get started!

This week at my house, seaweed snacks are all the rage.  However, I cannot seem to buy the packaged seaweed snacks at the store.  They are really expensive and they have loads of packaging.  So, I Google searched the recipe to make my own and it is so easy and fast, that I made about ten batches today.  Seaweed is so good for you but if you are like me, you eat it around your sushi roll and that is about it.  Well, not anymore. If seaweed snacks have not hit the top ten trends in your neighborhood, they probably will.  So save yourself some money and make your own.

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Ingredients:

Seaweed nori wraps

Sesame or olive oil

Salt and any other seasoning you desire

Directions:

Buy a package of toasted seaweed nori wraps around the Asian food section of your store, I use Stash brand. Place large seaweed square on a dry cookie sheet with or without parchment paper. Brush sesame or olive oil lightly on one side of the seaweed.  Sprinkle with salt. Bake on 300 degrees for 5-7 minutes. Remove; cool for a few minutes, cut into small squares or any other fun shape.  I took the dehydrating pouch out of the original package of seaweed, put it in a large zip lock bag and stored my seaweed snacks that way.  You could also store them in mason jars or anything else that will keep moisture out. Honestly, these only last a few hours at my house so storage is not an issue.

Enjoy!!!

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3 thoughts on “The Art of Making a Menu

  1. great idea sissy! i need to start making lists with Mark so we dont waste time and money. plus i will have to try the sea weed as i liked the Traders kind for about a week once and then it bothered me.

  2. I totally agree that menu planning is the way to go! My process is a little simpler, because I’m only feeding two (my husband and myself) and don’t have to plan separate kid’s breakfasts and lunches, but I still find that I spend a lot less at the grocery store when I menu plan and have a lot less waste. Menu planning also helps cut down on extra trips to the store for that *one* essential ingredient for a recipe, which saves money, gas, and time. When I first started menu planning, I thought I’d miss the spontaneity of making what sounded best each evening, but I’ve found that I look forward to the meals I’ve planned, and as a result, those are the meals I crave each day. Oh, and my husband loves seaweed snacks, so I’ll have to try out your recipe when he’s home next!

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