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Menu Planning

We haven?t talked about meal planning for awhile.  Figuring out what to
make for dinner on weeknights was hard when I first started on the Ornish
route two years ago.  Now I have a pattern in my head which helps. Ideally
I plan for the work week during the weekend, and buy all the necessary
groceries, but weekends are busy too.

I tend to think of meals by main carbohydrate:
  bread:  (enchilada, pizza, wrap)

The rice, pasta, potato or bread is either the main ingredient in a
casserole or the base for some type of topping.  The other main ingredient
is a protein item such as beans, tofu or a meat analog.  When I decide what
to make for the next week I first ask myself which basic combinations we
have not eaten for awhile.

An evening meal at our house consists of a main dish, a vegetable, fresh
fruit, and, usually, homemade yeast or quick bread or muffins from the
freezer.  Sometimes the vegetable or bread are part of the main dish.  

This summer I put eight recipe cards in my purse for main dishes that can
be made very quickly.  Then on my disorganized weeks I just run into the
grocery store on my way home from work and pick up ALL the ingredients for
one or two recipes.  I don?t even try to remember if I have any of the
ingredients at home, but buy everything so that I can just make it very
quickly.  The cards have been very helpful for main dish ideas and to
remind me of all the ingredients which we like in a dish-?I don?t want to
waste time searching for a substitution.