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Menu Planning

Sample Menu


Spaghetti with Marinara

Chickpeas a la King

Nut Loaf

and Baked Potatoes


Two-Bean Chili

Brown Rice Casserole

Chili Bean Macaroni

Hoppin' John

Sloppy Joes

Middle East Potato Salad

Sweet Potato-Black Bean Casserole

Kidney-Kale Soup

Italian Bean Salad

Pasta Fagioli

Rice Stacks

Shepherd's Pie

Stuffed Peppers

Creamy Garden Harvest Soup

Corn Tamale Bake

Sesame Noodles w/Napa Cabbage


Walnut Burgers

Oven Fries

Biscuits and Gravy

Black Bean Stew

Stuffed Shells

Menu Tips
  • Start with a Main Dish: Here's how I plan menus. I start by listing a main dish which I augment with combinations of salads, vegetables, fruit, bread, etc. to make complete meals. For a few dishes I've suggested an accompanying item, but often don't plan sides too far in advance.

  • Plan thematically: Mondays=Pasta, Tuesday=Rice, Wednesday=“Meat” & Potatoes, Thursday=Ethnic/Breakfast/Miscellaneous, Friday=Soups, and Saturday=Whatever (but usually dishes that can go in the oven on time bake that we can come home to hot). I like the thematic plan, because then to plan a month of meals I really just need 4 pasta dishes, 4 rice dishes, etc.

  • Adjust to Your Needs: There are other recipes on the site to fit each category...mix, match, or add recipes of your own to meet your needs and tastes.   

  • Time-Saving Tips: If it looks like a lot of work and time in the kitchen to get through a week of meals, a few suggestions:

  1. Develop a growing list of “simple” meals that you can incorporate each week (spaghetti, burritos, crock-pot soups, sandwiches, etc.)
  2. Cook up brown rice and grains at the beginning of the week, or have minute-brown rice on hand.

  3. With any recipe you can, double and freeze leftovers. Next month you've got a great meal that just needs to be defrosted and heated. Not all foods lend themselves to this, but most will. Buy some extra storage containers for freezing—it will be worth it.

  4. Stay flexible. You may even leave a few blank spots per month to try new recipes. Let the menu help you not burden you...you'll find yourself eating a greater variety of foods and having an easier time at the grocery store buying what you'll actually use.

  • Questions?: If I can be of any assistance going forward regarding recipes, ingredients, menus, etc...please don't hesitate to ask. I may be able to help, or at least point you in the right direction. Wishing you continued success in your new lifestyle!

Brent Lane