This month I’ve set a goal to improve my menu planning skills. Does this never-ending task cause you stress too? No more 5 o’clock hussle at my house.
Look for tools (tech and otherwise), tips and menu planning ideas. Share your ideas too! Plus, a weekly recipe so by month’s end, we will all have a lovely brunch menu planned.
Tip 1: Pick a shopping day and plan your meals and shopping list BEFORE you go. I know, sounds basic, but why do I skip this essential step?
Tip 2: Be honest. I know I don’t cook every night so I’ve already cut my to-do list down by planning 4 dinners not 7!
Tip 3: Try one new recipe a week. I have to balance my curiosity for the new prize-winning recipe with my family’s love of favorites.
Tip 4: Have your recipes organized! My recipes are everywhere, so I’ve started a binder of [gasp!] PRINTED recipes. If it’s Pinned, I click the link and save the recipe so i can really try it. Something about ‘a place for everything’ and then I know where to start with Tip 1.
Maybe I should rename these Goals?
Here’s your first brunch menu idea – Chopped Vegetable Salad. This recipe makes the perfect lunch, can be made with fresh summer veggies or enjoyed all year. It’s colorful and tasty and I can eat an entire recipe by myself.
1/2 cup diced artichoke hearts
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced green beans
1/2 cup diced red onions
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup celery
1 package small tomatoes
1 small avocado
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup mixed greens
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a large pot, bring 6 cups of salted water to boil. Blanche the carrots and green beans for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Toss together artichoke hearts, carrots, green beans, red onion, corn and celery. Add tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, then add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a salad bowl lined with mixed greens. Top with cheese and avocado. For variation: Add edemame, blanched asparagus, green onions or use fresh corn kernels. If you really love a dressing, try this basic Honey Dijon Dressing.
Honey Dijon Dressing
1 tablespoon honey Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup almond or safflower oil