28 February 2012

Meal planning

I have always shied away from menu planning because the thought of deciding what I will make a week in advance makes me shudder. Ironically, I have always enjoyed planning, making lists, staying organized and being orderly. I just do not like the idea of being confined to what I eat on a day to day basis. We had been in a food rut for a couple weeks now and I was dying to break free of the lack of enthusiasm I was experiencing towards dinner. We have been focusing on more of a plant based diet (not vegetarian by any means, but not a lot of meat either) so I thought it was high time I found a use for all the chicken in my freezer. I resorted to by stand by assistant, Martha Stewart and together we created a menu of four meals I could make in the event I had the desire to. I wrote out the name of each meal, the items I was missing to make said meal and then went to the store to purchase the items. I have done this before, but with two dinner invitations extended and my lackluster performance in the dinner department we needed it.

Here is the report:
Sauteed Chicken in Mustard Cream Sauce: I have an aversion to using heavy cream (I usually substitute fat free milk for it instead), but succumb for this recipe. It was simple to make, visually appealing, felt fancy, classy and made me excited to find other uses for the left over tarragon I now own.

Jamaican Chicken Curry: I made this for some friends for dinner and then to take to another friend who just had a baby. I cheated and used regular curry powder, so next time I will have to use Jamaican curry as instructed. It was probably the farthest thing from what I normally make, so it was exciting to increase my repertoire on willing participants.

Moroccan Chicken Stew:  Since always find the need to take a cheat, I did not dredge the chicken in flour. This might have compromised the overall flavor of the dish, but I have my suspicions this is one of those recipes which is more flavorful the next day.

I have enjoyed being a little more adventurous in the kitchen as of late. Anyone have any great chicken recipes I should try?

2 comments:

joyinthemoments.com said...

Sorry, I don't have any good ones. I'm kind of in a rut with cooking...but the Moroccan Stew one looks intriguing. I love sweet potatoes.

Tara H said...

I used to menu plan, but I also can't commit to what I might be making when. So I picked about 3 recipes for one week, made sure I had or bought all the ingredients and then whatever I felt like that day, I made. It's a happy middle for me. Sounds like what you did. I am interested in the Jamaican Curry since I haven't heard of the Jamaican kind. Yum. I finally got adventurous this week because of our neighbor and made an Ethiopian chicken-Doro Wat. http://www.ethiopianrestaurant.com/recipes.html