Menu Plan Monday

I know!  I'm late again.  I have a very sound excuse though.  We've been out of the house the past two days, going to and fro.  Yesterday was purely pleasure.  We drove to Athens to see Katie and Sam.  Today was purely business: errands, meetings, etc.  Both days we left home in the morning hours and didn't return until sunset hours.  Looonnnggg days!  Needless to say, no meals were prepared except a grab and go sort of breakfast.  We've eaten out two days in a row.  Ack!  Time to rein in the budget.  February is a big birthday month here in our home.

So time to get my frugal on.  There are, as you know, many ways to save, but one of the easiest areas to save is in the kitchen, specifically, food.  Stretching meals, serving a little less meat, increasing fruits and vegetables, baking, but most of all PLANNING.

Tuna Melts, French Fries, Tossed Salad, Tangelos
I was putting away some pantry items (WHOLE chickens in a can, yet, by Sweet Sue packing company), when I spied the cans of tuna.  I thought of all the things I make with tuna in the summer months and  then I thought of how less often we eat it in the winter.  Why is that?  We like tuna.  Tuna melts are a great winter/cold weather sandwich.  They are terrific with tomato or potato soups.  I'll opt for the fries since our weather is warming up a little this week.


Black Bean over Yellow Rice, Pineapple Salad, Chocolate Pudding
Made from scratch black beans have such a nice smoky taste.  I used to use a ham bone to season black beans but nowadays it's smoked beef or turkey, just enough to season them and a tiny bit of liquid smoke to add depth.  Top with sour cream, shredded cheddar, diced green onion, fresh cilantro if you have it.

Black Bean Burritos, Corn, Green Salad with oranges and Avocado dressing
I like to have an encore dish from my black bean leftovers. While I list them back to back here, we won't eat them that way.  I'll serve this dish later in the week. I will mix the beans and rice, add in red bell peppers, a bit of sauteed zucchini and it makes for a very hearty filling for tortillas. I have avocado in the freezer that I'll thaw and mix into a creamy dressing to go over the salad.

Fancy Pants Burgers, Spaghetti, Green Beans, Salad,  Muffins
I love this recipe.  It's easy, it's vintage and it's delicious.  Two thin (very thin) meat patties are put together with a slice of cheese in between.  Seal the edges, brown on both sides, then pour over an 8 ounce can of tomato sauce.  The sauce is terrific over potatoes or rice or pasta.   

Barbeque Chicken, Sweet potatoes, Coleslaw, Corn muffins
Every now and then, when John is working, I'll bake a sweet potato for my supper.  I've always loved a hot baked sweet potato on a cold day.  I usually just eat them with butter, but a few weeks ago, I added a drizzle of real maple syrup...Oh MY!  That was awesome and I'll most certainly be serving these potatoes with maple butter.  I'll drizzle a bit into my homemade barbeque sauce as well.

Chicken and Noodle Soup, Baked Apples w/ cream
I have a good bit of chicken broth and a packet of tidbits of chicken meat.  I'll add in some of the lovely mixed vegetables we bought and make my own noodles.

Polska Kielbasa, Creamed Cabbage,  Pickled Beets,  Potatoes with onions
John loves pickled beets.  I usually just buy plain old beets and then make Harvard or pickled beets for him from those.  Potatoes cooked with onions are so simple, but put them together in a pan and people come to see what is cooking. My dad always called them 'German Potatoes' but I've no clue why.  I do know how good they are though.

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