I am/was behind in menu planning this month. I am sitting here coming to the realization the month has already started and I haven't planned the menu! I've enjoyed the last two months as I prepared the following month's menu at least a week before the month started. It has really made life easier to plan in advance like that rather than waiting until the evening before I do my weekly grocery store trip to plan the menu and the list. It takes a little longer to plan for the month but not as long as it used to do the weekly plan since I made up a bit of a draft to always follow.
First I print out a Monthly Menu Planner.... I had one saved to my computer but couldn't find the link. Here's another that I like:
So now I take a look at the menu and fill in the dates.... Then I look at my regular planning calendar and mark off any days we might not be home for dinner due to previous plans or make note of days we will be out of town for dinner and may need to plan on food to take with us! Then I mark of Wednesdays and Fridays. These are days we follow the fasting rules of the Orthodox Church. The rule permits fish without backbones on these days but does not allow any other animal meat. We are a little more lenient in our home and allow any type of fish, but try to stick to the backbone rule on at least one of these days. So Wednesday and Fridays are automatically seafood days and I try, if we have it on hand, to do wild caught salmon once a week. I am out right now and need to get myself to our best source soon!
Next is my list of our current favorite Paleo meals:
- Bacon Spinach Casserole
- Paleo Chili
- Mushroom Meatloaf
- Chicken With Mushroom Sauce
- Spaghetti Squash with Homemade sauce
And a couple "ALMOST" Paleo Meals:
- Turkey Reuben Salad
- General Tso's Chicken served over cauliflower rice
And, usually - because my family LOVES them and my husband and son volunteer every month to help our church make them...AND because we don't, at this time, want to be 100% Paleo..... one NOT paleo meal...but used more as a side dish now beside a very large salad...
- Perogies. Yep---- wheat AND white potatoes in the same meal...I'm sure the paleo police will come after us for sure but so far we do fine with this ... and I personally think making them a side dish now instead of a main meal is just a nice guilty pleasure that is at still better than what we used to do! 🙂
So with the seafood meals, which I also have a list of convenient easy meal combinations pre-made, that automatically gives me 16 meals already planned! Throw in about 6 Hot Plates (Stir Frys) that are super easy and Thursday Leftover Days and that leaves me with only about 4 meals to plan! These will be my experimental days to try new Paleo Recipes!
I decided to add this here as some of you may be wondering just what Turkey Reuben Salad is... It may sound a bit strange... making a reuben into a salad rather than a sandwich but my husband suggested it and I figured if he was willing to give up the sandwiches, I should be supportive and attempt the salad. Even my 15-year-old likes it 🙂
Turkey Reuben Salad
3/4 - 1 lb. organic deli turkey, thinly sliced
1 jar sauerkraut (raw sauerkraut is the healthiest choice)
1/4 - 1/2 red onion, sliced or diced
organic cherry tomatoes - 1 container
1/4 lb. swiss cheese - cubed or you may use sliced cheese and cut it into nice long strips
Homemade Thousand Island Dressing
Organic Baby Spinach - Extra Large Package...about 12 oz. [or green of your choice]
I make this salad up "buffet style". My husband and I like the spinach but my son prefers a nice romaine lettuce and opts to leave the onions off. I also like to mix baby romaine or baby lettuces with mine. Try it and let me know what you think! Meanwhile, I need to fill out that menu planner!!