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Changing the way we do things -- need some suggestions please!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I've decided to have a certain type of food each night to make meal planning/cooking easier for me. I'm not going to specify which night each food will be eaten, but we'll know what's available to us every week. Here's what I've got so far:

1. Sandwich Night
BLTs
Sloppy joes
Grilled burgers
Marlboro Man sandwiches
Club sandwiches
Grilled cheese
Side dishes: fruit, baked fries, raw veggies with dip

2. Pasta Night
Spaghetti
Chicken spaghetti
Lasagna
Stroganoff
Italian chicken pasta
Chicken fettucini alfredo
Shrimp fettucini alfredo
Chicken & red pepper pasta
Side dishes: green veggie, corn, green salad, garlic bread

3. Mexican Night
Tacos/burritos
Enchilada
Mexican lasagna
Mexican rice casserole
Quesadillas
Side dishes: Mexican rice, black beans, refried beans, tortilla chips & salsa/guacamole

4. Soup Night
Chicken tortilla soup
Taco soup
Potato soup
Vegetable beef soup
Chili
Side dishes: green salad, cornbread/rolls/crackers

5. Grill Night
Grilled steaks
Grilled chicken breasts/thighs/legs
Grilled pork chops
Grilled whole chicken
Grilled sausage
Grilled shrimp
Shish-kabobs
Side dishes: green veggie, mac & cheese/mashed potatoes/potato salad, green salad, rolls

6. Pizza Night (homemade)

7. Eating out

Can you add to my list of ideas for each night? Thanks!
post #2 of 16
I love this idea! I am working towards something similar for my family as well. I have to ask...what are Marlboro Man Sandwiches?
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
They're from the Pioneer Woman website. We actually do the Malboro Man Sandwich II, which is basically a chicken breast seasoned with lemon pepper, pan-fried, then topped with bacon & a slice of cheese until the cheesy is melty. Sooo good.
post #4 of 16
Marlboro Man sandwiches are awesome! Both of them.

The only thing I could think of was fajitas and maybe broccoli cheese soup?
post #5 of 16
How about Gazpacho soup as a nice summer chilled option?

I just did a similar thing for us for the next 2 months. My system is going to be:
Sunday: Mexican
Monday: Kid Food (DH and I are often out, so this is the pizza/mac and cheese night with the sitter)
Tuesday: Freezer Meals
Wednesday: Sandwiches
Thursday: Pasta
Friday: Mock Chicken
Saturday: Middle Eastern
post #6 of 16
Great idea, I need to do something like that. I have a suggestion though. I'd put sandwich night after grill night and soup night after pasta night, so that you could use leftovers for the next meal. For example, if you had leftover steak, you could do steak sandwiches (YUM) or if you had leftover chicken you could do chicken salad sandwiches. In fact, you might choose to grill extra for the sandwiches the next day. And you can use your leftover pasta in whatever soups you make.

RE: The Marlboro sandwiches, I made them yesterday (pretty much followed the recipe except I didn't have Lawry's, I don't use any kind of seasoned salt in my kitchen, so I just did my own personal mix of spices). I was unimpressed. I'd take a regular steak sandwich with grilled steak and mayo over the MB sandwich any day. Maybe it was because I didn't use the Lawry's. It was kinda like a philly cheese steak with too much Worcestershire sauce and no mushrooms or cheese.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by noobmom View Post

RE: The Marlboro sandwiches, I made them yesterday (pretty much followed the recipe except I didn't have Lawry's, I don't use any kind of seasoned salt in my kitchen, so I just did my own personal mix of spices). I was unimpressed. I'd take a regular steak sandwich with grilled steak and mayo over the MB sandwich any day. Maybe it was because I didn't use the Lawry's. It was kinda like a philly cheese steak with too much Worcestershire sauce and no mushrooms or cheese.
My dh isn't a fan of MM sandwiches (the beef ones), though he likes the chicken ones. He says that the beef ones "taste like cube steak". LOL. He isn't a big fan of cube steak anyway.

Sometimes I make something similar that we call French dips. Do a roast in the crockpot with a jar of banana peppers and some beef broth, plus some Italian seasoning. Cook all day, shred, then serve on buns with cheese melted on the top. It's an old internet recipe called "Italian beef in a bucket" if you want the original recipe.
post #8 of 16
Noticed there isn't much fish in your ideas? You could do grilled fish, tuna sandwhiches, seafood chowder, baked salmon etc.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
These are great ideas, thanks! I especially love the idea about doing sandwich night after grill night. We do eat most of our leftovers for lunches, but we could grill extra for the sandwiches, like you said.

Vanessa, my kids don't eat fish. Not a single one of them will touch it.
post #10 of 16
I thought of another category that we like. "Grandma/Comfort Food"

For us, this is things like meatloaf, baked or fried chicken, ham, chicken and rice casserole, pork roast with barbecue sauce, pork chops, cube steak, that sort of thing. Oh, and I'd also include a vegetable plate (where you just make 4 sides, no main dish) in grandma food.
post #11 of 16
I used to do something like that and it worked really well. In fact I just dug out my old home management binder today so I could do it again. I have been having a hard time planning meals so I hope this will help.
post #12 of 16
Great ideas! I like the inspiration. Our categories are as follows:
Soup or Salad Saturdays
Roast Sundays
Mexican Mondays
Tuesday is Noodle Night
One Pot Wednesdays
Leftover Thursdays
Pizza, Popcorn and Movie Night Fridays
post #13 of 16
I love this idea. I was even thinking to have a slow cooker night. I can get everything together on a Sunday night after the little ones are in bed and pop it in the crock pot in the am. Thank you so much for this idea. It is exactly what my family needed.
post #14 of 16
I've got a pasta night that features tortellini and spinach. I think I got it from somone here.

Fry 2 slices of bacon and some red peppers.

Cook tortellini.

Place hot tortellinin washed baby spinach to wilt it. Add chopped bacon and the red peppers and all the grease. Season with pepper. You can add some frozen peas if you want. Toss and serve. (We usually use 2 piece of bacon/person, but that was the original recipe.)

I've also made toretllini soup with some stock and then cooking the spinach in the soup.

I'll also add that that kind of meal planning helped me a lot. Narrowing the choices paradoxically made it easier to plan.

Pizza bagels or "food on bread" is also an option for sandwhich night.
post #15 of 16
I didn't seee fajitas on your mexican night menu... here is my quick and easy recipe.

http://www.pamperedchef.com/our_prod...recipeId=37228
post #16 of 16
Great ideas - thanks for sharing. I usually plan meals one week at a time and am always trying to think of new ideas but this idea of a category/night of the week is great. You would only need a few things in each category to not have duplicates for a whole month. I've been thinking of planning a month out instead of a week so I wouldn't have to rush through it the day I'm going shopping like I did this morning.

Thanks.
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