Monthly Menu Plan- April 2010

Today instead of just sharing my weekly menu I’m sharing my monthly menu for April as it begins mid way through the week.  If you want to see what is on the menu for the first 3 days of this week or you may have missed a weekly menu plan, visit the Monthly Menu Plan – March 2010 post.

I’m working on creating my menu as I wait for my gluten free flours to come up to room temperature.    This week I’m baking extra to send back with my JMU college son.  He’s really been wanting me to bake Shirley’s (gluten free easily blog) Double-Chocolate Clementine Cake ever since she shared it on Friday Foodie Fix- Clementine.  I’m also making the most requested Pumpkin Bread and Carrot and Raisin Muffins from Ali Segersten’s( Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen blog) Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook.  I’m trying a new recipe from Susan O’Brien for Granola Bars using a new product so I’ll let you know next week how they turned out.

One of my goals this month is to only buy fresh fruits and vegetables to add to the other ingredients filling my freezer and pantry.  I love when my favorite proteins go on sale and I take full advantage.  I rarely buy them at full price which is how I can have supplies of seemingly expensive ingredients in my recipes when in actuality, I got them at a much lower cost.  The seafood and meat department have weekly and even daily specials.  Get to know your fishmonger and butcher even if you are shopping where all of the products are packaged and out in the cooler shelves.  They often know what specials are coming up, what is the freshest and will look out for you.  After all, most people don’t pay much attention to service employees and your attention will be noticed and appreciated.

Another one of my goals this month is to pay attention to how much fat we are consuming.  Did you happen to catch the second episode of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution?  He trucked in the amount of fat a school was consuming in a year.  It was totally disgusting.

We very rarely eat processed foods and when we do it’s a box of pasta, jar of pasta sauce, can of beans, jar of mayonnaise, some mustard or ketchup which does not have more than 5 ingredients and very little fat.  But you will also find in my freezer two boxes of Amy’s frozen meals and  two boxes of Organic Bistro meals that have been in there forever.  No one eats them because the have the taste for real food.

So our fat consumption comes from the oils I cook with and the cuts of meats we eat.  I do like to buy the inexpensive cuts of pork and beef that I cook very slowly and freeze the extras to have ready for meals.  Those cuts of meat have a higher fat content.

So when I was creating my menu this month I thought about eating more of the leaner versions of protein like chicken and turkey breasts, seafood, beans, vegetables, and quinoa and keeping the amount of the other meats to smaller portions.  I worked on incorporating them into my meals and my baked goods.  Because, even though I can try to sit on my high horse and say my kids don’t eat processed foods or school lunches like the people shown on Food Revolution, we still could do better.  I could do better in planning and making my meals.

So I’m offering a challenge to everyone, even those who don’t eat processed foods often.  What can  you do with your menu and your cooking to bring more of what our bodies need and less of what we don’t need? If you are eating a lot of packaged and processed goods are you willing to try and learn to make some of those dishes from scratch this month? I can tell you from experience that when most people find out they need to live without something like gluten, our first step is buying the frozen gluten free meals.  I did it A LOT!  I believe it’s really part of the learning curve and getting comfortable with a new lifestyle.  But I implore you to start to take walk away from those meals  and then run as fast as you can.

The Food Revolution starts in our homes.  Will you take this challenge with me this month?  If there is something you would like to learn how to make instead of eat from a box and you don’t know how, I’m here to help.  There are many of us here to help.  Just ask for help.

Finally, here is my menu.

1-Pastelón – Plantain Lasagna

2- Eating out at Poste Restaurant

3- A version of Steamy Kitchen’s  Ham with Mango Ginger Glaze, sweet potato hash, asparagus

4- Salmon with wild rice, mushrooms and harricot verts

5- Roasted Balsamic Chicken with Figs and Onions

6- Chicken LoMein

7- Spinach Dip Pizza

8- Burger with yucca fries, salad

9- Broiled flounder, broccoli, quinoa

10-  Quinoa pasta with roasted vegetables

11- Chicken cacciatore with rice

12- Pork chops with carrots and polenta

13- Tilapia with bok choy, onions, spinach, mushrooms

14- Chicken Tandori Pizza with salad

15- Cubano Jerk Burgers

16- Fried Shimp and Noodles

17- Mushroom Rissoto

18- Beef Buritos

19- Italian Vegetable Soup, homemade rolls

20- Sundried tomato shrimp pasta with a spinach salad

21- Calzone

22- Pork tacos with spicy slaw

23- Scallops and black beans on polenta

24- Buffalo Chicken Mini Burgers

25- Chili Piquin Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

26- Ostrich burgers, sweet potato fries, salad

27- Mahi Mahi with pineapple glaze, rice, salad

28-  my version of Steamy Kitchen Cookbook Thai Style Chicken Flat bread

29- Steak fajitas, beans, rice

30- Mexican Seafood Stew using whatever seafood I have on hand

Shared this menu on OrgJunkie.

6 Responses to Monthly Menu Plan- April 2010

  1. gfe--gluten free eas March 30, 2010 at 5:05 am #

    Another great post, Diane! What an awesome menu for the month, too. I'm so game on the challenges … reducing sugar greatly is one goal (check out my post later today), making pasta from scratch (which you mentioned recently), and making a more traditional gluten-free pizza (vs my flourless one). The pasta and pizza might not sound healthy, but they certainly can be if topped properly. 🙂 Jamie's show is inspiring lots of discussion and action and that's fabulous. I saw where you tweeted that studies have shown the healthy eating program he put in place in England has actually caused academic gains–not a surprise, but, hopefully, eye-opening news!


    • Diane March 30, 2010 at 5:31 am #

      Shirley- Thank you! I'm glad you're interested in making pasta. I have the recipe from the new GF Italian cookbook I want to give a go. I need to swap out the rice flour so I need someone to make it with rice flour. Are you up for that? I'm going to ask for lots of volunteers. See how many folks we can get to give it a try. You are absolutely right on the toppings. Lets face it, we can take just about anything and make it both in a calorie laden way and a less calorie laden way. Some things I realize you can't but I will say if you're eating gluten and dairy free you have a good start.

      Wasn't that great news on the academic front in England. See, one person can make a difference and he's doing it.

  2. Joleen September 19, 2010 at 11:52 pm #

    Hello! I'm new to this GF diet stuff and am still trying to work my way around finding recipes and knowing what does and doesn't have gluten.
    I was doing a search for a GF shrimp pasta recipe (I bought some GF pasta and I have shrimp I need to use up), and came across your page. You listed "Sundried tomato shrimp pasta with a spinach salad" that sounds absolutely delicious! Do you have a recipe for that you'd be willing to share with me? 🙂


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