Sunday, October 27, 2013

Menu Planning 101 - Dinner Winners

Very good lasagna tonight, if I may say so myself.  Oven ready noodles.  Two jars of pasta sauce - any flavor.  No ricotta - no problem.  I combined shredded mozz, an egg, a half a jar of leftover aflredo sauce, shredded jack & cheddar, shaved provolone, and a little grated Parmesan. We are trying to eat vegetarian a few nights a week so I sauteed onions, green peppers (from the garden!), and diced carrots with some fresh herbs to make veggie lasagna.

I'm famous for not having a dinner PLAN - much to my husband's dismay, but I'm pretty good at pulling something together.  Some of my other posts have talked about letting the harvest determine the menu, based on what is in the garden.  You can also let the pantry or the fridge determine the menu, based on what you have in stock or what leftovers you may have.  Having a well stocked pantry is the key to success with this style of menu "planning".

5 tips from a seasoned cook:

5.  Keep a well stocked pantry.

4.  Cook often enough so that you know how to make easy substitutions. (I knew what consistency lasagna filling should be, so that I could come up with a reasonable, tasty substitute.)

3.  Make do with what you have.  Mozz, cheddar, provolone, parmesan - whatever.

2.  Notice that I said "cook" and not "chef" - they won't all be winners, but they'll be okay for dinner.  Trial and error is okay.  That's how you accomplish number 4 above.

1.  Hate running to the store as much as I do!!  I'll be really creative (risky?) with substitutions before I will run to the grocery store.


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