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A Heart For Home: Meal Plan Nightly Themes

Monday, March 30, 2009

Meal Plan Nightly Themes

Adopting a theme for each night of the week is a great way to narrow down recipe decisions and make meal planning easier. Here are a few theme ideas to get you started on your own dinner rotation.

Pasta, Soup & Sandwiches, Main Dish Salads, Stir-Fry, Crock Pot, Homemade Pizza, Asian, Casserole, Mexican, Fish, Italian, Something New, Something Easy
We were doing well with our dinner rotations for awhile, but I've fallen off the horse and have been unmotivated to start again. However, I've decided that it's much better to take the time initially to plan our dinner theme rotation than to try to put together meal plans from scratch every week, or even worse, to start thinking about what I'll make for dinner at 4 o'clock every afternoon.

For this month our dinner rotation is going to follow these themes:

Mondays - Main Dish Salad
Tuesdays - Italian (usually pasta or pizza)
Wednesdays - Stir-fry
Thursdays - Mexican (usually fajitas)
Fridays - Something New (usually the night we take a meal to someone's house to share)
Saturdays - Something Easy
Sundays - Small Group (we normally take veggies or fruit)

This Week's Meal Plan:

Monday ~ Spinach salad topped with Veggies & Chicken
Tuesday ~ Baked Ziti
Wednesday ~ Veggie & Turkey Burger Stir-fry over Brown Rice
Thursday ~ Chicken Fajitas
Friday ~ Undecided (Tim & I need to sit down and choose a dish)
Saturday ~ Lentil-Barley Soup
Sunday ~ Veggie Tray or Green Smoothies

Some Other Great Recipes:
Feta & Bacon Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Sweet Potato Fries
Freezer Crock Pot Lasagna
Jambalaya
Hamburger-Vegetable Soup
Cream Cheese Chicken Soup
Double Delight Peanut Butter Cookies
Chunky Crock Pot Applesauce
Oatmeal Cinnamon Pancakes

Head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for more Monday Meal Plans. Also contributed to Tackle-It Tuesday, Tammy's Kitchen Tips, & Blissfully Domestic.
Do you use themes to help plan your weekly menu? Why or why not? We'd love to hear what meal planning techniques work for you. Leave us a comment with your meal planning tips.

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10 Comments:

Blogger Bobbi Jo said...

I love the idea of themed meals. I usually only do these type of things for the different holidays but I really like this idea. I also love the idea of making a meal to take and share with someone. What a great family!
I am loving your blog. Hugs, Bobbi Jo

March 30, 2009 at 6:25 PM  
Anonymous Faith - That's Just Freaking Lovely said...

What a great idea! Menu planning is on my to-do list .. I'm hoping to get around to it at some point in the near future!

March 31, 2009 at 9:18 AM  
Blogger ashley:) said...

great blog, I am commenting back from your visit during UBP!

March 31, 2009 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger BarbaraLee said...

I have something like that too.
M-beef
T-soup
W-poultry
T-pork
F-?
S-?
S-Sunday Dinner w/dessert

But I fell off the wagon too when I lost my menus on the computer. I have to start all over again.

March 31, 2009 at 10:03 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I do this too!! I love our themed nights!!

March 31, 2009 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger L2L said...

love the take something to someones house to share!!! Great idea. may have to add that one in to our monthly plan.

March 31, 2009 at 10:39 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I'm interested in hearing more about your shared meal with others. How do you choose where to go? Do you do this every week? Do you share with family or friends or both?

April 1, 2009 at 1:51 PM  
Blogger Tim, Allyson, Emahry, and Jonathan said...

We usually take a meal to someone's house to eat with them every week. Some weeks we just spend this night as a family (usually if Tim's work more than usually or if we haven't had much family time).

Sometimes Friday nights are planned well in advance and sometimes we call someone up Thursday night. We have 3 or 4 families that we regularly visit on these nights. However, we also visit new people every once and a while.

Normally, we find out if they are planning on being home on Friday & then we just invite ourselves over :) "Hey, since you don't have plans Friday night, how about we come over and bring dinner for everyone?" (I can't remember the last time we were turned down.)

There are 3 reasons we invite ourselves over instead of having people come out to our house.
1. We live quite a ways out of town. 2. Our house is fairly small (936 sq. ft.) 3. Most people we know have kids older than ours and we don't have big kid toys/games. (Oh, and I'm home almost all day, every day, so going somewhere else is really nice for me)

We find that inviting ourselves over and bringing dinner takes away all of the excuses that people sometimes come up with for not fellowshipping with each other.

We know people are busy and everyone has said they really appreciate us doing this. It help that Tim is a really good cook (he usually cooks these nights). Would you turn someone down if they offered to come to your house, prepare dinner for you and your family, and clean up the kitchen afterwards? I know I wouldn't!

April 3, 2009 at 1:24 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Thanks for responding...this is such a great idea. I like taking meals to friends who have just had babies, but I've never been able to stay and share!

We love having guests over, even though we don't have a dishwasher and extra dishes means extra work. :-) Fellowship and hospitality are such blessings.

April 3, 2009 at 2:38 PM  
Anonymous Tiffany said...

I should try themes like that. I have a terrible time planning meals. I think I just don't want to make the effort. My husband doesn't want me to do it either because he "might want something different than what's planned" lol. I really should give it a try though sometime!

April 5, 2009 at 1:53 PM  

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