• Whenever I plan a weekly menu, it accomplishes a number of things:

    1. I never find myself staring blindly in the frig for ridiculous amounts of time trying to figure what to make for dinner.

    2. I tend to be careful about incorporating any produce I happen to have leftover from the prior week into my current new menu.

    3. I usually stick pretty closely to my shopping list when I go to the market to retrieve items I need for the current weekly menu.

    4. I spend considerably less money than when I go grocery shopping without a weekly menu in mind.

    All good reasons to make a weekly menu, don’t you think? This is a short week, as we’re planning a big feast with some friends for this coming weekend. Thus, I’ve only planned menus through Friday. With one exception: I know for sure that I’ll be making Five Minute Nachos from Go Dairy Free by Alisa Fleming, one of my new favorite cookbooks! I made it a few weeks ago for the friends who we are spending the weekend with and they requested that I include it as part of our weekend feast. If you don’t own this cookbook, RUN to your nearest bookstore or order it online. It is fabulous!

    This year, starting on Jan. 1, ’09, I developed a new strategy for weekly menu planning. I bought a small 2009 weekly calendar and I write my weekly menu right into its’ appropriate day, notating the recipe source (my own files, online website, cookbook in my personal library). I keep the calendar in a kitchen cabinet, easy to find. One of the benefits is that when I plan my next weeks’ menu, I can look at prior menus for inspiration.

    Oh, yes, and I realize that my menu for Monday is quite ambitious. I did that intentionally so that we would have lots of leftovers for this weeks’ lunches.

    Monday, Feb. 9
    Creamy Mashed Cauliflower with mushroom gravy
    Roasted Delicata Squash Wedges
    Pistacio Pesto and Easy Tofu Feta
    Chopped Salad
    Cranberry Sauce

    Tuesday, Feb. 10
    Fettucine Alfredo (from Vegan With A Vengeance)
    Vegan Caesar Salad
    Gluten Free Breadsticks (will use Bob’s Red Mill pizza mix)

    Wednesday, Feb. 11
    Mashed Potatoes with Punk Rock Gravy (from Vegan With A Vengeance)
    Roasted Veggies
    Baked Tofu (from Vegan With A Vengeance)

    Thursday, Feb. 12

    Friday, Feb. 13
    Spicy Tempeh Sushi (from Veganomicon)
    Elephant Sushi Rolls (from Veganomicon)
    Edamame with Lots of Kosher Salt

    So, what are you making this week? Anything special? Whatever it is, bon appetit!
    • Alisa

      Those are four really great reasons … #1 alone makes me think I had better start this weekly menu planning! Looks like Isa Moskowitz is guest-chef in your kitchen this week :)

    • I Am Gluten Free

      Hi Alisa,

      Yes, Isa Moskowitz is definitely a guest-chef in our kitchen this week. Next to your Go Dairy Free cookbook, hers is one of my next favorites. Your book is my constant go to when I want something dairy-free, yummy, quick, and nutritious.


    • miss v

      i really like this idea. if i don’t shop without a menu, i tend to have a lot of stuff that doesn’t really go together. i think i’m going to buy a calendar!

    • I Am Gluten Free

      Hi Miss V,

      Yup, the calendar is key. It has been a HUGE help in keeping me on track!

    • Martha

      I’m a weekly menu planner myself, for all the reasons you stated. My system is a little less organized: I write the menus on 3×5 cards, which I tuck into the wall calendar. That way, my family can look and not ask “What’s for dinner?” Though they still ask. I do save the cards each week so I can remember what we had and what we liked.

      I’m going to check out the Go Dairy Free book, as I am dairy free and always looking for new ideas. Thanks for the reference.

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