Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A New Year, Some New Changes & Our Menu Plan

Last year I worked on minimizing our use of white flour, substituting whole grain brown rice and pasta and whole wheat bread for all the white stuff we'd been using. Mission accomplished. I also attempted to remove most of the preservatives in our diet by eliminating foods with nitrates, artificial colors and flavors, MSG, and other ingredients I can't pronounce. We did pretty well in that area although Daniel refuses to relinquish his pepperoni and I haven't found an affordable alternative.

This year my goal is to minimize our red meat intake so that we are only eating beef and pork twice a week and bringing in more fish, seafood, chicken, beans, and whole grains. The purpose is to improve our overall health by reducing our saturated fat and cholesterol consumption and increasing the fiber and antioxidants in our diet. Daniel agreed as long as I stopped fixing sweets! Whoa! What a minute! How will I survive without cake and icecream?! But I agreed. We don't need all the fat, excess sugar and calories, so instead we are going to try to eat more fruits and naturally sweet foods. This will be quite a challenge for me! I have also discovered that I don't have a lot of cookbooks with good recipes for beans, lentils and other whole grains so I am going to have to do some researching to find some that we like. As I found out last night, some recipes just aren't very good!

Here is our menu for this week:

Sunday: Taco salad with ground beef

Monday: Chicken parmesan with whole grain penne pasta, broccoli, and a sugar snap and carrot medley

Tuesday: Quinoa with cinnamon, feta, and cranberries (This crockpot recipe was DISGUSTING! I had to throw it out, which was disappointing because I like quinoa.) We ended up eating salad with spinach, hard boiled eggs, carrots, mushrooms, and beets and baked potatoes.

Wednesday: White beans, kale, and cornbread

Thursday: Breakfast Burritos from The Pioneer Woman's cookbook but minus the burrito shells [Eggs, hashbrowns, sausage] and biscuits and jelly

Friday: Pizza Night! A family tradition [Instead of pepperoni, I plan to use some sweet Italian chicken sausage for my lovely husband who HAS to have some meat on his pizza.]

I don't know how long I can keep up the menu plan each week but I've found that when I plan for the week, I am much less stressed and save a lot more money than if I'm trying to decide at 4:00 what we'll be having for dinner that night.

I've got some yogurt in the slow cooker for tomorrow's breakfast that I need to check on and Cora should be waking up soon.

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