This Week’s Menu: A Week Without a Menu Plan

Happy Fourth of July! We’ve got nothing special planned for tonight other than a traditional American meal of hamburgers, french fries and watermelon. The Kaua’i Hospice sponsors a big fireworks show, but admission is quite high so we’re skipping it (again) this year.

I did not menu plan last week, and boy was I surprised by how much I have depended on my weekly plan. I thought I might feel more relaxed without one, but instead felt lost and sometimes even a bit anxious even though we have plenty of supplies on hand. WenYu also had a different work schedule last week so we also ended up with w-a-y more leftovers than usual. Anyway, I’m happy to be back to making a regular plan and sticking to it.

We’ve been having problems with our refrigerator too – on some days it seems to feel the need to go into “super cold” mode and has frozen some things versus just keeping them cold, like the eggs, yogurt, some vegetables and so forth. Most of the things, except for the vegetables, we’ve been able to save, but it’s puzzling as it’s been so inconsistent.

Here’s what we’re having this week:

  • Tuesday (this evening): Grilled hamburgers; french fries; watermelon (no roll or fries for me).
  • Wednesday: Chicken curry with potato, carrot and onion; steamed rice; cucumbers (no potato or rice for me)
  • Thursday: Beef & zucchini stir fry; steamed rice (I’m skipping the rice)
  • Friday: Slow cooker kalua pork; steamed rice; macaroni salad; coleslaw (just pork and coleslaw for me)
  • Saturday: Leftovers; YOYO
  • Sunday: Scotch eggs; toast for everyone but me; fruit
  • Monday: Grilled Italian sausages, spaghetti w/ pesto; steamed artichokes; garlic bread (zoodles for me, and I’ll skip the bread)

We’ll be getting mainly fruit at the farmers’ market as well as plenty of zucchini and cucumbers. Since only Brett and WenYu will be having macaroni salad on Friday, rather than making it at home we’ll pick up a small container at Pono Market.

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6 thoughts on “This Week’s Menu: A Week Without a Menu Plan

    • Laura says:

      Our landlord owns the fridge, but he is very ill right now, so unless it gets worse we’ll manage. We sort of think it was caused by a combination of humidity and poor air flow inside. Fingers are crossed.

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  1. Hawaii Planner says:

    Your menu plan sounds fabulous! We are having grilled burgers, grilled potatoes, & watermelon tonight. Looking forward to it. I’d love your curry recipe – chicken curry with potatoes is one of my favorites.

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    • Laura says:

      We love Japanese-style curry (Golden Curry, medium hot, is our favorite), and use that. It’s so easy – sauté meat, simmer vegetables, add curry cubes to water and let them melt and sauce thicken, add protein back in and voila! I’ve made it from scratch, but it’s too hot here to do that anymore. The curry mix is in the Asian section of most supermarkets – it’s really, really good!

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  2. Roberta says:

    I am intrigued. I have never “menu planned” What a great idea. How do you do it? Do you make a list and then go shopping for everything at once? I am serious. I figure it out in the morning, then go to Trader Joes. That’s it. I might try the planning. Maybe I would be less stressed over what to make. I am so tired of cooking.

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    • Laura says:

      I have been a planner for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure where I picked it up either – my mother never planned our meals.

      I used to write out a menu and then make my shopping list from the menu. Our food budget would be out of control if I did that here, so these days I buy things I can use to create meals, then each week I see what I have and think about what I can make. I ask my family what they’d like, but I also know their preferences, and go from there. The only thing now I buy weekly is produce I need from the farmers’ market.

      Anyway, it’s a process and you can choose the way that works best for you: make a week’s menu and then shop for what you need, or buy a variety of healthy basics (protein, starches, produce, dairy, etc.) and see what you have and imagine what you can make from that. But sit down at around the same time every week and make a plan. Your budget will thank you.

      P.S. I still really, really miss Trader Joe’s!

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