Last time we spoke, I had set my goal to save time in the kitchen to spend more time writing. Next thing I know, I find myself skimming recipes on the web. Does this sound familiar to any of you? Set a goal and then get distracted. So I went out and bought a desk-size family calendar. The purpose of this calendar is to schedule and organize my boot camp steps and to record my weekly meal plans. The benefit of having a physical calendar is that it answers the question, “What’s for dinner?”
I have gotten into the habit of planning my weekly dinner menu in my head. While it works, I don’t always plan for setbacks, colds, late nights at work and joy. If I write down my menu, I am less likely to forget to buy ingredients at the store and have enough ingredients to improvise when the unexpected happens. It also inspires me to add some creativity to dinner. My
family loves Taco Tuesday and Friday Burger night but it might be nice to add a few new recipes to the mix. When I plan in my head, we have pasta on Monday, chicken on Wednesday and pork on Thursday. I am going to use the calendar to plan my weekly menu and plan for my success. Are you ready to start planning? Do you prefer a paper or an electronic calendar? I use an electronic calendar for work but I want my family to be able to share in the meal planning process. I wouldn’t want them to think that they get hungry and meals just appear.
I went to a Healthy Pantry Basics class at 18 Reasons on Monday. I was planning on cleaning and organizing my kitchen as part of the boot camp and the class was a fun reminder that a little planning can bring huge benefits when you need to cook for your family. It was just the inspiration I needed to stick with my boot camp. Listed below are the boot camp activities I am planning for the remainder of the month. An additional bonus was the amazingly easy and tasty recipe I made in pantry class. It was an Asian Salmon Salad. If you have a well-stocked pantry and fridge, all of the items should already be in your kitchen. It is perfect for an easy weeknight meal.
Here is my list of boot camp activities:
1. Clean and inventory my pantry, refrigerator and freezer
2. Reorganize my kitchen tools and equipment
3. Schedule a shopping day to use my Williams-Sonoma gift card and buy one new appliance.
4. Pick a menu planning and grocery shopping day.
5. Decide which day my weekly menu will start (it will be Monday because I start everything on a Monday).
6. Schedule pizza night at Georgio’s.
Next week – Meal planning and grocery shopping.
Asian Salmon Salad (or Black Soy Bean Salad)
Recipe from One Bite at a Time, 2nd edition, 2008, Rebecca Katz
1 (7.5 oz) can Wild Pink Salmon (big bones removed) or 1 (15oz) can Organic Black Soy Beans
½ teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon scallions, finely chopped
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Place salmon in a small bowl and use a fork to break it up. If using Soy Beans, rinse in cold water and massage gently to “waken” from canned state. Add the ginger, lime juice, scallions and sesame oil. Mix well. Add salt to taste.
Serve on top of salad greens, in a whole grain wrap with more veggies or with whole grain crackers.