Do you menu plan?
I never used to but now I cannot live without it. I plan for about 1 month because we get paid once a month and I do my stock-up shopping then. But, if one week or two weeks may work better for you, give it a try.
My menu for the week looks like this: (click on recipe titles for links to recipes)
Tuesday – May 3rd – late night home : Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup with homemade bread (bread maker start- 3:30 pm)
Wednesday – May 4th – My son’s birthday dinner: Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese (his request)
Thursday – May 5th – 8:00 pm dinner & Cinco de Mayo: Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas with Mexican rice and green salad
Friday – May 6th – Feis Weekend: Chicken Quesadillas (leftovers from Fajitas – add extra chicken and peppers)
Saturday and Sunday – Feis
Monday – May 9th : Slow Cooker Spicy Ginger Pork Loin with brown rice and vegetables
If you really look at it we have a crazy busy week ahead so I have planned ahead to use my slow cooker as much as possible. Also prepping any vegetables such as onions, peppers, broccoli and freezing it or having it in the refrigerator already chopped is going to help each morning get the dinner in the slow cooker. I also write what we have going on that may impact dinner so that when I am planning dinners I can take that into account.
The other question I get is what if my family doesn’t want to eat what I planned (or I don’t want to make what I planned)? Mix the days up. You should have all your supplies for each meal for at least one week in your refrigerator, freezer or pantry. If you are thawing meat take out 2 or 3 packages at a time to thaw so you have choices. When I took out the chicken for the soup I also took out the pork and an extra package of chicken for the fajitas. If I want I can make the fajitas and move the chicken soup. Give yourself a plan and it is easier, and cheaper to have dinner at the ready even on those nights that life is busy and you don’t want to cook.
Last night was a super easy Steak Pita with caramelized onions.
Thought the picture doesn’t show it (had to take on a cell phone because my camera was dead) the steak was perfectly grilled to medium rare for us. The steak was tender and flavorful having marinated in a Mediterranean marinade for several hours.
Topped with caramelized onions, cooked for 30 – 40 minutes on the stove top they were sweet and delicious! A drizzle of steak sauce on the soft pita bread made this an amazing sandwich.
I served this with a raw veggie tray to complete the meal.
Steak Pitas with Caramelized Onions
- 1 1/2 – 2 lbs. steak
- 1/4 olive oil
- 1/4 red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon powdered garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 2-3 large sweet onions (about 4 cups), thinly sliced in rings
- 3 tablespoons butter
- soft pita bread (pocket less)
- drizzle of steak sauce if desired
- In a large Ziploc bag mix together olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, powdered garlic, oregano, parsley, and onion powder. Add steak and shake gently to coat. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to 3 hours.
- To caramelize onions – 30 minutes before serving meal place butter and thinly sliced onions in a skillet over medium-low heat. Allow the butter to melt and stirring occasionally let the onions cook for 20-30 minutes. Once they start browning watch them carefully so they do not burn. Remove from heat when the onions are golden brown and cooked through.
- Remove steak from bag and grill as you normally would. Remove steak from grill when it has reached the desired doneness for your family. Allow it to rest on a plate tented with aluminum foil for 3-5 minutes before slicing.
- Slice the steak thinly and place on in the center of a pita bread. Cover with caramelized onions and a drizzle of steak sauce if desired.