Back by Popular Demand . . . Menu Plan Monday

Several of you have asked what happened to my weekly menu plans. They just have a way of disappearing, don’t they? Trust me, no one feels their absence more than I. When I get off track with menu planning, life is infinitely more stressful. I hate that feeling when 4:00 rolls around and I realize I have nothing planned for dinner.

Add to that, my freezer is about empty. Last week I cooked my last of the 10 chickens that I bought from Pasture’s Pride Natural Meats last fall and the last pot roast from the 1/2 of a cow I bought from Wholesome Dairy Farms last summer. The steaks and stew beef are long gone. I have a few more pounds of ground beef in there, and then the cow is done. About all that’s left is a bunch of tomatoes I froze last summer and a bunch of odd cow parts — tongue, liver, and a few other unmentionables that I have NO IDEA what to do with.

Cow tongue, anyone?

I go to great lengths not to buy meat at the grocery store because it is all factory farmed — yes, sadly, even the organic stuff is usually from a feedlot. I prefer to buy my meat locally and directly from a farmer whom I know raises his animals on grass with care and respect (not because I have any desire to glorify the animal, but because healthy meat comes from healthy animals, and because cows and chickens were designed to live outside and feed on grass.) If this is new to you, you can read more about it in my Chicken: What to Buy post. A lot of that info pertains to all types of meat.

ANYWAY.

All that to say, it’s slim pickins around these here parts! This Thursday I get to pick up an order I placed with Your Family Cow. I met Edwin, one of the owners, at the WAPF Conference I attended last fall. While the farm is a couple of hours away from me, I was delighted to discover that they deliver to drop-off points all over the Philly area. Edwin is friends with Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms, and his farm follows the same model so I’m confident I’m getting truly pastured meat. I placed a small order, just for sampling purposes, but I’m definitely in the market to stock up on meat and poultry again. I love having a fully stocked freezer.

I can also get locally raised pastured meats at my local whole foods store, but you pay a premium buying them there, so I’ll probably venture over to Wegmans and pick up a few things to fill in. I love Wegmans for their fresh fish department. I hear they have excellent quality control, and they always give me great recommendations if they don’t have what was on my list, so I put a fish dinner on my menu plan for the week. They also have a nice organics department and a gluten-free section so I like to stop in from time to time and stock up.

So . . . with all THAT SAID, I give you . . .

Menu Plan Monday

MONDAY: Chicken Gruyere with roasted new potatoes and string beans. I have the gruyere and beans in the freezer. I like to get the frozen string beans from Trader Joe’s; they’re great to have on hand for when you run out of fresh veggies.

TUESDAY: Tacos (my husband’s birthday dinner request) with all the fixins, homemade vanilla ice cream and Flourless Chocolate Cake from Trader Joe’s. My family is generously accommodating my gluten-free diet and settling for a store bought birthday cake, although admittedly, TJ Flourless Chocolate Cake is in a league of its own.

WEDNESDAY: Broiled Tilapia Parmesan with quinoa and oven-roasted broccoli

THURSDAY: Mongolian Beef Crockpot Meal. This will be my first attempt at this meal. It sounds yummy, and I’m looking for more ways to use my Slow Cooker.

FRIDAY: Italian Turkey Spaghetti Squash Pie. This is always a sure hit.

The weekends are always a crapshoot. Sometimes I feel like cooking and sometimes I don’t. We can either spread these meals out and have some leftovers in between, or we’ll eat the leftovers up over the weekend.

This post is linked to the Menu Plan Monday blog carnival.

What are you eating this week??