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My Menu Plan

2013 November 17
by WWGD

MyMenuPlan-WhatWouldGwynethDo

Here are a few things I have come to realize about me and my menu planning:

I am somewhat fanatical about it. Any time someone asks me about menu planning, I go on and on and on about how great it is, how it saves you money, wasted food, time, energy…and on.

I can eat pizza several times per week. This is not always ok, but it’s the reality of my life. Especially now that we have perfected our homemade version (see Friday below).

Simple really is best. I try to incorporate one new recipe per week but often times I repeat the classics, so please don’t get bored of these menus if there are repeat favorites when I post them…just use them as inspiration to find your own repeat classics and plan away!

Here’s our menu for this week:

Sunday – grilled sausages (half from the butcher, half are the Hofbrau Brats from Trader Joe’s, which are delicious), roasted shaved brussel sprouts with balsamic glaze and (finally!) these rosemary parmesan polenta fries. I have been wanting to make polenta fries forever but every recipe involved boiling polenta, letting it sit, too many steps, etc. This one showed me how to simplify the whole thing with pre-packaged polenta – genius!

Monday – I am a die-hard fan of Ina’s penne alla vodka, but some days you just need a quick fix and last week I found it during an impromptu experiment in my kitchen when we were hungry and tired. I just doctored up a jar of Trader Joe’s vodka sauce with some freshly cut red peppers, sweet onion, garlic, a ton of spices and herbs and it was so delicious (and easy!) that we are craving it again. Always a good thing when you crave it again. Will serve with simple penne and a green salad.

Tuesday – Taco Tuesday. Going classic this week with ground turkey and crispy corn shells.

Wednesday – Gwyneth Paltrow’s chicken milanese.

Thursday – looking for new ways to switch up our standard broiled salmon and this recipe from How Sweet Eats is the pick of the week. I am having a major mustard moment lately.

Friday – homemade pizza. As mentioned, pizza is my thing. I can seriously eat it every day and never get sick of it. We have been making our own at home for ages but always used a pre-made crust from Trader Joe’s. No more, friends. We are new devotees to the amazing thin crust from Jennifer Perillo’s Homemade with Love. The recipe is so simple to follow, so fantastically delicious – thin and crispy and chewy all at the same time – and comes complete with a lovely story about her own family’s Friday night pizza-making ritual that I love so much. Her whole book is a delight and this recipe, in particular, warms my pizza-loving heart to no end.

*image above of my pizza lunch (see, I told you I have a problem…) at Gjelina in Venice last week. Lamb sausage, rapini, a few cheeses, red chili pepper…sigh. I love pizza.

Have a great Sunday.

7 Responses leave one →
  1. Jennifer permalink
    November 18, 2013

    I’m a die hard menu planner too :) But- when I shop for the week on Sunday, I always get stuck with bad meat or fish by Thursday. Is it fine and I’m just paranoid? I’ve resorted to Thursday = pasta and veggie night and Friday = takout.
    What’s your secret?

    • WWGD permalink*
      November 18, 2013

      We freeze! I pop the things I don’t need until later in the week in the freezer until day of…and honestly, I don’t see any difference in taste or anything. OR if it’s something I absolutely want fresh that day, then I make a note to myself on Sunday that on Wednesday I need to stop and get rosemary, or whatnot. I don’t love doing that because I always end up buying extra junk for no reason, but it happens.

      • Jennifer permalink
        November 18, 2013

        OF COURSE! Why didn’t I think of that? Haha. Thanks!

  2. Fran permalink
    November 19, 2013

    I’m a die hard menu planner as well as a lover of bulk cooking/meal prepping. Before my husband and I became parents we would loosely follow the menu plan and would oftentimes end up with takeout. Now with a six month old baby boy in our life (and with both of us working full-time), menu planning – and following it – is essential. I plan our weekly menu Friday night after we put our kiddo down for the night, shop the Farmer’s Market and Whole Foods on Saturday, and bulk cook/meal prep for about 3 hours on Sunday (I started making our baby’s food now too so I tacked on an extra hour for steaming/roasting/pureeing). Usually I’m either roasting a whole chicken for the week, roasting up veggies like beets, baking quinoa granola ahead of time, or chopping up veggies so it’s a quick throw together when I prepare the meal for that designated day. It certainly helps that I enjoy cooking and it’s sort of my “zen” time (besides running and yoga haha!)

  3. December 20, 2013

    Man, I am the worst menu planner. I’ve tried time and time again and it just doesn’t stick. You’d think that being forced to go to the supermarket on a Wednesday because you are out of essential meal ingredients would force me back into it, but no. Help! Instead I really just try to have frozen meat and fish on hand as well as grains and then add my CSA veggies from that week and call it a day.

  4. Jenny permalink
    February 24, 2014

    I FINALLY made the polenta fries last night, and they were very yummy. Thanks for all the great menu ideas! xx

    • WWGD permalink*
      February 24, 2014

      So good, right?!? I need to whip those up again. xx

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