Apr 27, 2012

Musical Chairs Menu Plan - THRIVE saves our dinner!

I had a wonderful meal plan for this week.  Having a menu plan really makes a big difference in getting dinner on the table on time and making sure we're getting some fruits and vegetables and not just the main dish.  This week between distractions, a lack of sleep one night and a late afternoon delivery, we've played musical chairs with our menu plan.  The Zucchini Chips did not get made for Monday night's dinner so I pushed them back to Thursday night.  The Oven Roasted Potatoes got moved to Tuesday night when my Shelf Reliance Q order didn't arrive until late afternoon - too late to make the Quinoa and Black Bean Salad.

So last night was the night for the zucchini chips.  Once again, I went to start them too late.  So I improvised and combined that recipe with the Oven Roasted Potatoes recipe.  After the first 20 minutes, I thought they might be done.  But they didn't even appear close.  For some reason I thought they could go another 20 minutes to make them crisp.  So I put them back in, set the timer and ran to drop off a CD at a friend's house, knowing I would be back before the timer.

I made it with 5 minutes to spare.  Yes!  The zucchini chips, however, looked like this...
Some survived but most were burned to a black char.  The ones that survived got an "Wow!  These are delicious!" from my 9 y/o who doesn't like vegetables and would NEVER in her life try a zucchini.  So I'll be attempting these again tonight.
So on to plan B, or is it C since these were supposed to be Monday night originally.  I turned to the pork chops which I set out to defrost.  Um, they're still frozen solid.

I have to admit it - I called my husband and gave him my woes hoping he'd say "I'll pick something up on the way home" even though we shouldn't because eating out is just not in our budget.  And he didn't.  He said "So what are you thinking?"  Oh great - put it back on me so that I can't blame you when I update the finances.  So I suggested he could stop at the grocery store and pick up some frozen pizzas that are on sale.  Then I glanced at the menu plan - Friday is tacos.  But I haven't defrosted the ground beef from the freezer.  Pooh!  And then I had the Aha! moment.  I SELL SHELF RELIANCE!  I am trying to help moms who need a healthy dinner and fast!  What does it say if I'm turning to frozen pizza which would take 45 minutes from the current time to put on the table?  So....

4:55   I made the decision, pulled out my THRIVE Ground Beef and set it soaking in hot tap water.
 Gave it a quick stir with the fork and set a timer for 15 minutes.
While it rehydrated, I chopped tomatoes, cut lettuce out of my garden and tore it into pieces.  Cleaned off and set the kitchen table.

 5:10 pm   I drained the ground beef and....
Put it into my frying pan.  Poured in 2/3 cup of water.  Oh, but look at that water - it's brown.  I used some of the beef broth that formed from rehydrating the ground beef instead of just pouring it down the drain.
 Added my taco seasoning spices (4 t chili powder, 4 t cumin, 1 t salt, and 2 t garlic powder for 1 lb of ground beef).  But you could use a package of taco seasoning mix to keep it even more simple.
 Give it a stir to mix in the spices.
 5:15 pm the meat is ready
 5:16   Dinner is on the table and we're ready to eat!
From panic to a healthy dinner in 20 minutes without stress!  Now that's one of the reasons I LOVE THRIVE!

If we had given in to the dinner out temptation, we would have easily spent $25 or more.  Plus my tomatoes would have gone bad and I need to be using that lettuce I'm growing in the garden.  I did use about half of my pantry can so comparing to a pound of beef from the grocery store, it's not cheap.  But comparing it to what I would have spent going out, we saved almost $20.