Really, no kidding, can it just be spring?
I know I shouldn’t wish time away, or anything, but man…do I feel like we’re in a rut! I’m sure I’m not the only one for whom the endless parade of cold, blustery days and braised meat and limited seasonal vegetables is starting to lose its novelty. It really became apparent to me as I sketched out this month’s meal plan just HOW blah the whole routine has become, and how much I’d love to greet a new season and the promise of new, fresh foods and fresh dinner ideas. Of course, it also didn’t help my frame of mind any that February hasn’t even started yet, and it’s already shaping up to be an almost unbearably hectic and overscheduled month. Deep breaths.
So here, friends, is the best I’ve got for the next twenty-eight (thank goodness it’s only 28!) days. There’s a lot of trying to cover for busy days, a lot of trying not to get too bored, and a lot of trying to make sure the dinner whining quotient stays at a minimum.
Friday, 2/1: Fend night (what a way to start the month!)
Saturday, 2/2: Roast turkey drumsticks and wings, broccoli, and potatoes of some description
Sunday, 2/3: Super bowl food! In this house, we’re going with make-your-own nachos.
Monday, 2/4: “No-fuss” chicken, vegetables
Tuesday, 2/5: Slow cooker — Pork shoulder with black beans and peach salsa over rice
Wednesday, 2/6: Weekend warm-up — Butternut squash and pear soup
Thursday, 2/7: Slow cooker (again, as I’ll be out at a rehearsal) — Chicken pot pie with biscuit crust
Make it GF: Use my gluten-free biscuit recipe, or top with mashed potatoes.
Friday, 2/8: Fend night
Saturday, 2/9: Early dinner, since I’ve got a performance — Homemade pizzas and salad
Make it GF: You can use a gluten-free pizza dough substitute, or make pizza burgers — melt the sauce and cheese and toppings over turkey or beef patties in a skillet.
Sunday, 2/10: Make-ahead dinner that the guys can pop in the oven, as I’ve got ANOTHER performance — Maple glazed chicken thighs and squash
Monday, 2/11: Potato pancakes with skillet steak and peppers
Tuesday, 2/12: Slow cooker — chicken soft tacos
Make it GF: Use corn tortillas
Wednesday, 2/13: Weekend warm-up — Sesame noodles with stir-fried vegetables
Make it GF: Use brown rice noodles
Thursday, 2/14: Chicken with goat cheese and marinara for my Valentines.
Friday, 2/15: Fend night
Saturday, 2/16: Burgers on homemade English muffins, sweet potato fries
Make it GF: if you like gluten-free buns of any kind, go for it. To me, they’re not worth it; I’d serve the burgers as lettuce wraps or on squares of crispy polenta.
Sunday, 2/17: Eggplant parmigiana, salad
Make it GF: Skip the breading and do roasted eggplant, or make an easy gluten-free breading by using 1 part ground oats, 1 part ground popcorn, and 2 parts ground puffed brown rice in place of the breadcrumbs.
Monday, 2/18: My parents will be in town, so we’ll do pork chops and whatever vegetables they’d like
Tuesday, 2/19: Slow cooker — California chuck roast
Wednesday, 2/20: Chicken cacciatore over pasta, salad
Make it GF: Serve over crispy potatoes instead, or use either Jovial or Tinkyada brands of brown rice or quinoa pasta
Thursday, 2/21: Szechuan beef and shrimp with rice
Friday, 2/22 THROUGH Thursday, 2/28: Some of you may recall that my friend C. said she’d love to see how I might handle another no-shop challenge week without the benefit of all the summer produce I’d frozen. I promised to take on the challenge again in February — and this is the first time all month that things will be calm enough around here for me to be able to put my mind to it! Stay tuned to see if we make it through another week without food shopping…