Menu Monotony: Advice Needed for a Mrs. Out of Ideas

I have a case of the Mondays. Not in the traditional sense, but in the sense that my cooking repertoire is tired, boring, over-used, mundane … I’ve hit a wall with my home-cooking menu and I need your recipes and advice.

Each month, to save money on groceries, I make a monthly menu. I outline an estimate of how many dinners and lunches we’ll eat at home for the month. This month, as I stared back at my Word calendar template trying to fill the squares with exciting cuisine that I’d actually look forward to making each night, I sat stumped.

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My go-to meals sounded blah in my brain; my newer recipes are already getting used too often and too close together; my quick scan of Pinterest for inspiration  intimidates me with complicated recipes I can’t fathom attempting after an 8 hour work day (plus an hour–long Body Pump gym class – plus a post-workouut shower).

You see, I want/need EASY. QUICK. AS FEW INGREDIENTS AS POSSIBLE. But…. I don’t like packaged foods (sorry no Hamburger Helper) nor preservative-filled quickies (Stoffer’s Lasagna is out).

So how do I cook super quick, healthy and delicious foods and how am I supposed to keep  mine and my husband’s palate’s happy when I keep cooking the same old stuff!?!?!

This is where you come in, dear friends:

  • What is your source for new (easy & healthy) recipes?
  • What are some you’ve created on your own that you are willing to share?
  • What’s your advice for rotating a menu?
  • What’s the best rotation of meats each week (like how many days to do chicken or fish or beef, etc.)? 

Inspire me! Send me links! Help me refresh my recipe repertoire!

I promise to share something one of you suggests next Monday! 🙂

10 thoughts on “Menu Monotony: Advice Needed for a Mrs. Out of Ideas

  1. What about breakfast for dinner? There are so many recipes that use hamburger or chicken, the list is limitless. Chicken pizza, taco pizza, taco salad, chicken salad, meatloaf, chili, different stews and soups, chicken and noodles, sloppy joes(use ketsup and mustard in place of canned sauce), chicken fried steak. I’ve heard some cooks have a no meat night or a leftovers night.
    Good luck!

  2. Try….I heard about it from a friend at market. You can specify type of meal plan and how many people in family. You then pay small monthly fee, and it generates the recipes and the grocery list. It apparently saves a lot of money as well as trips to grocery store. We haven’t tried it yet, but might once we move!

  3. I face the same issue every night! After 2 hours of commuting, 8 hours of work, an hour of working out, showering, and doing grad school work – most nights I wish I could just skip dinner instead of trying to cook it!

    The place I find my healthy new recipes is Pinterest, and Cooking Light’s website and email. For the summertime, I’ve been getting big into stirfry’s and non-traditional salads because they are so quick. For stirfry’s, I’ll throw in any veggies I have or my farm fresh veggies I pick on the weekends, add some seasoning, maybe a little olive oil or coconut oil, a protein (if wanted), and done! For non-traditional salads I’ve been making a mess of veggies with chicken and hummus. Or chickpeas, cilantro, parsley, fat free feta cheese, lemon juice, etc.

      • I’m a silly “cook” – I don’t follow recipes for the most part! For my stir frys, I cook up some protein (tofu, turkey, chicken, etc.). I spice it up with any seasonings I like, then take it out of the pan. I then cook together any vegetables that are handy, some extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil, some light-sodium soy sauce, a dash of agave syrup or honey, and just taste-test as you go. Once the veggies are soft, add the chicken back in to mix all the flavors together. Then I serve it over brown rice, quinoa, or pasta 🙂

  4. Pingback: Finally, a New Recipe to Keep Cooking: Ranch Chicken (Seriously Easy, Seriously Delicious) | mrs. & the misc.

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