Back by Popular Demand . . . Menu Plan Monday

Several of you have asked what happened to my weekly menu plans. They just have a way of disappearing, don’t they? Trust me, no one feels their absence more than I. When I get off track with menu planning, life is infinitely more stressful. I hate that feeling when 4:00 rolls around and I realize I have nothing planned for dinner.

Add to that, my freezer is about empty. Last week I cooked my last of the 10 chickens that I bought from Pasture’s Pride Natural Meats last fall and the last pot roast from the 1/2 of a cow I bought from Wholesome Dairy Farms last summer. The steaks and stew beef are long gone. I have a few more pounds of ground beef in there, and then the cow is done. About all that’s left is a bunch of tomatoes I froze last summer and a bunch of odd cow parts — tongue, liver, and a few other unmentionables that I have NO IDEA what to do with.

Cow tongue, anyone?

I go to great lengths not to buy meat at the grocery store because it is all factory farmed — yes, sadly, even the organic stuff is usually from a feedlot. I prefer to buy my meat locally and directly from a farmer whom I know raises his animals on grass with care and respect (not because I have any desire to glorify the animal, but because healthy meat comes from healthy animals, and because cows and chickens were designed to live outside and feed on grass.) If this is new to you, you can read more about it in my Chicken: What to Buy post. A lot of that info pertains to all types of meat.

ANYWAY.

All that to say, it’s slim pickins around these here parts! This Thursday I get to pick up an order I placed with Your Family Cow. I met Edwin, one of the owners, at the WAPF Conference I attended last fall. While the farm is a couple of hours away from me, I was delighted to discover that they deliver to drop-off points all over the Philly area. Edwin is friends with Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms, and his farm follows the same model so I’m confident I’m getting truly pastured meat. I placed a small order, just for sampling purposes, but I’m definitely in the market to stock up on meat and poultry again. I love having a fully stocked freezer.

I can also get locally raised pastured meats at my local whole foods store, but you pay a premium buying them there, so I’ll probably venture over to Wegmans and pick up a few things to fill in. I love Wegmans for their fresh fish department. I hear they have excellent quality control, and they always give me great recommendations if they don’t have what was on my list, so I put a fish dinner on my menu plan for the week. They also have a nice organics department and a gluten-free section so I like to stop in from time to time and stock up.

So . . . with all THAT SAID, I give you . . .

Menu Plan Monday

MONDAY: Chicken Gruyere with roasted new potatoes and string beans. I have the gruyere and beans in the freezer. I like to get the frozen string beans from Trader Joe’s; they’re great to have on hand for when you run out of fresh veggies.

TUESDAY: Tacos (my husband’s birthday dinner request) with all the fixins, homemade vanilla ice cream and Flourless Chocolate Cake from Trader Joe’s. My family is generously accommodating my gluten-free diet and settling for a store bought birthday cake, although admittedly, TJ Flourless Chocolate Cake is in a league of its own.

WEDNESDAY: Broiled Tilapia Parmesan with quinoa and oven-roasted broccoli

THURSDAY: Mongolian Beef Crockpot Meal. This will be my first attempt at this meal. It sounds yummy, and I’m looking for more ways to use my Slow Cooker.

FRIDAY: Italian Turkey Spaghetti Squash Pie. This is always a sure hit.

The weekends are always a crapshoot. Sometimes I feel like cooking and sometimes I don’t. We can either spread these meals out and have some leftovers in between, or we’ll eat the leftovers up over the weekend.

This post is linked to the Menu Plan Monday blog carnival.

What are you eating this week??

Comments

  1. Ranni says

    I *love* your menu plans as they provide inspiration to and when making my own. The fish recipe is one for this week. I hate fish but am trying to learn to like it, so always on the lookout for a recipe that sounds decent. This one does. Thanks!

  2. says

    No idea what we are eating this week! Ack! I have got to get back to this too, with four kids playing softball/baseball on four teams we will be running wild most days.

  3. Melissa says

    Thanks…sounds like a really good menu.

    Is your farm chicken “chewy”? Ours has been no matter how I’ve cooked it, and which farm I order from…which means that my family no longer wants it. Because of that I can’t justify the high price so I may have to go back to the best grocery store brand I can find, which I really hate to do. (I hope I haven’t asked this before. I apologize if I have…but I just can’t remember…ha!)

    Where is your talapia from? Is it farm raised??? Another item I just can’t locate that I feel good about.

    • Jo-Lynne says

      Yeah, pastured chicken is a different texture than the feedlot chicken that most of us are used to. I find that I have to cook it more slowly to tenderize it.

      As for talapia, I think it is all farm raised? I struggle with that quandary, but I end up buying it occasionally because it is yummy and cheap. I only buy talapia raised in the U.S.

  4. says

    You’ll have to tell me how the Mongolian Beef is – I have that recipe saved in my “to make” folder, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. It looks so yummy!

    Liver is good – I throw it in a pan with diced tomatoes (from a can/jar) and it turns out really nice. The acid in the tomatoes calm the flavor of the liver and make it edible LOL My boys love it…which is saying something!

    • Jo-Lynne says

      Wow, you are scaring me. LOL. I just remember the liver and onions from my childhood and I can’t imagine that there’s a way to make it edible.

  5. Katie says

    I love your menu plans also! I love eat local philly too, since I am a philly suburb myself. Your family cow has 2 drop points near me, you will have to let me know how that goes because I am thinking of placing an order. I have been eating mostly vegetarian as of late because i have not had access to good meat.

    • Jo-Lynne says

      Yep, good meat is around, but it takes some extra effort to get it from the farms, and it’s not always available.

  6. says

    Yay! I’m happy it’s back. I always get some good ideas.

    I just picked up about a months worth of meat this weekend from a farm that drops off nearby and is at our farmer’s market in the summer. I am excited about that. I also now want a nice big freezer so I can stock even more.

    My mom tells me about Wegmans. They have one close by now that she goes to every now and again and she really likes it.

    • Jo-Lynne says

      I have a love/hate relationship with Wegmans. It is HUGE and overwhelming, which I hate. But they do have a great selection of fishes and cheeses and organics.

  7. Jen says

    Yay!! I have officially made the leap to GF. I went to the store today with a few recipies in mind and I ended up leaving discouraged. I admitt I went to a store I was not very familiar with so I will be doing it again sometime this week. I hopped on the computer when I got back and I was pleasantly surprised by your menu plan-it’s exactly what I needed to see!

    • Jo-Lynne says

      Wonderful! Feel free to email me any questions you may have. I think it’s best to just try to cook without it (and without carbs) rather than trying to find replacements for everything. At least, at first. Although I DO recommend getting some gluten-free all purpose flour to have on hand for thickening sauces and gravies so you don’t have to be deprived of those.

  8. Jen says

    I knew that the mixes and flours were going to be a little pricier than the usual (and even those have gone up) but when I saw how much they wanted for a teeny tiney bag-that’s what got to me. I need to do some menu planning for myself and see where that lands me and what I will need to change or leave out. Thanks so much!

    • Jo-Lynne says

      Yeah, that is why I try not to do a lot of substituting. We do a lot of rice and potatoes for fillers for meals. And then meats and veggies. A lot of bacon and eggs for breakfast. Lunches, I usually eat leftover dinner or salads. the kids still eat sandwiches.

  9. DeAnn says

    We had your “Friday Night Chili” and “Cookie Corn Muffins” last night. Big hit once again. The rest of the week is a Food Network week: Tonight I made Emeril’s Fettucine Alfredo (Used real, grass-fed cream and butter…Yum) and added chicken and broccoli to it. Tomorrow is Giada’s Beef Manicotti.(leaving the pasta out of both of those has been fine for me…still delicious) Then, Thursday or Friday is Barefoot Contessa’s Salmon and Lentils. (I would link them but the addresses are so long and don’t always work) Thanks for the Menu plan! I’m wanting to try the fish recipe! I really need to get more fish in our diets! Oh and the liver, you can either chop it really well or put it in a Food Processor and add it to chili or meatloaf. Everyone gets the added nutritional benefits and they never know! ;)

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