Sunday, February 19, 2012

Menu Planning

Cooking for two after cooking for upwards of ten is often a trial for me.  Something I continue to strive for.  Sometimes I just don't feel like going through all the trouble of cooking for just the two of us.  I know that's not right but at my age you......can get weary. 

The fact is that cooking for two and cooking for us as we become elderly is more important and it the requirements have changed.  At our age we begin to loose muscle mass if we don't get enough protein among other issues.  Cooking REAL FOOD is more important that ever.

REAL FOOD is food that is as close to the way our God, the creator, made the food and grown or raised in a way that is the closest to the way our God, the creator, designed.  We also believe strongly in purchasing food that we either grow ourselves (this way we are sure about the way it was raised) or that is grown/raised the closest to where we live as we can find it.  Sometimes this all means that the food will cost more.  It has been said you can either pay for the cost of nutriant dense, healthy food or pay to go to the Dr.  Basically, that has proved true in our lives.

I don't know about you but I take my career as a HOMEMAKER seriously. What would my husband do without me? Pay for a housecleaner to come in every week and a chef to plan and cook his meals? Plus, what about all those money saving things I do like grow our own vegetebles and put them up for the winter? That not only saves money but saves on Dr bills because I'm such a great healthy menu planner. I keep his calendar and remind him of birthdays and even reminded him to call his mother every week when the dear woman was still with us.

I've done a lot of reading on foods, learned their nutritional pluses and minuses and how to combine them properly.  Most of my studies toward my Biblical Health Counselor and Community Herbalist Certificates were in the area of nutrition.  I also try to keep in mind what is available seasonally when considering what to eat.  Will all this food coming in from over seas it muddy's the water a bit but we must keep up on what poisons those foods might contain.

 I plan my meals for two weeks to coincide with my husbands pay schedule. I not only plan the meals but gather the recipes, make a grocery list and a game plan to keep me organized and on track. This is all put together in a notebook for the week for me to reference.

I seperate my seasons into Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall. I have favorite recipes for each season (many of which I will share here) and I create three sets of two-week menus. These menus are then rotated throughout the season. Sometimes I'll change out some meals if I want to try new recipes, which I do often.

When I create these menus typically the recipes are for 4 servings and the left-overs are used for lunches. Before I shop for these two weeks I will also add what I might want for snack, breakfasts and lunches. After that I create a grocery list from the recipes after which I go to my pantry, cross off the things I already have and that becomes my grocery list.

After the menus and grocery list is complete I go through and organize my game plan....but that's another post.

Seems like a lot of work in pre-planning? It may be, but I have found that is saves me food dollars and time later.  Plus it keeps me on track and I always know what I'm going to be serving.

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