Saturday, February 07, 2009

What's On the Menu?

I complained that my family is wont to wander into the kitchen, open the refrigerator or pantry door, stare glaze-eyed at the bounty of food inside either, and decry "There's nothing to eat in this house!"

Well, here's the embarrassing rest of the story. I, on a regular basis, do the same thing. Or something near enough to be a close cousin. I'll stand there and think "it's too much work to figure out what to make".

So I scheduled an archeological dig around the kitchen this afternoon while my brain was still moderately alert and made a list of things I can make right this minute, without having to go the store for any of the ingredients and without having to spend more than 20-40 minutes in the kitchen preparing it. All these meals can be made without a serious dent in either my time or pocket book. (and since hubby's pay cut goes into affect today, and in a more serious way than we had first thought, that's an important issue!)

I hope they inspire you to see what healthy, inexpensive meals you have lurking in cabinets and freezers right now, in your very own home.

A List of Homemade Deliciousness

Falafel on Pita with yogurt, shredded lettuce, olives, and peppers
Whole grain pancakes with blueberries (fresh frozen)
Grilled cheese or tuna sandwiches with soup (canned)
Turkey or Boca burgers on whole grain buns with oven fries
Minestrone soup made with whatever is in the vegetable bins
Pumpkin curry
Spaghetti with marinara and turkey meatballs (frozen)
Rice pilaf with fennel salad
Chili with homemade cornbread
Cold pasta salad with shrimp
Hummus with tortillas, crackers, and crudites
Cream of broccoli soup (made with soy milk)
French Onion Soup with bread
Stuffed Acorn Squash
Chef Salad
Quiche and green salad
Lentil soup
Sloppy Joes made with seitan on hamburger buns (frozen)
Split pea soup
Red beans and rice
Chicken Posole
Quesadilla, black beans, and Spanish rice
Eggplant casserole
Gypsy soup (from the Moosewood cookbook - yum!)
Polenta with sauteed mushrooms and greens (I'd have to go find the greens in my backyard)
Tilapia (frozen) with garlic mashed potatoes and vegetables
Ravioli (frozen) with salad and bread
Vegetarian sausages with (canned) baked beans
Potato pancakes with applesauce and yogurt (we use yogurt instead of sour cream)
Turkey!! (I keep forgetting I've got a full sized turkey in the extra freezer!) with all the fixings - stuffing, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, cranberry sauce
Salmon patties, cole slaw, boiled potatoes

Additional snacks or desserts

Rice pudding
Pumpkin bread
Apple Crumble
Peach Pie
Assorted cookies
Gingerbread with applesauce
Fruit and yogurt smoothies

I'm sure there are lots of other menus hiding in my kitchen but I think that's a long enough list for now. Even more amazing, most of these meals can all be made without duplicating most of the ingredients. Sure, I'd have to replace some basics like potatoes and lettuce if I tried to make it all day after day without replenishing. But with a little forethought, I could go a long while without overlapping the need for the same foods. If this was a different time of year, or even just a few weeks difference with a different market trip just behind me, I'd have different foods available to work with and a radically different menu list.

And now I'm off to make dinner. Tonight I'm going with the Cream of Broccoli soup as I noticed the broccoli is at that now or never point.

What's your list right now?


Blogger Belita Rose said...

We had soup and lasagna. I've got a cold so the soup for me, and lasagna because it was in the freezer and I didn't feel like standing long enough to make anything else.

7:50 PM  

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