Menu Plan by FLNW reader Ruth
My father trained race horses and was usually at the track by 5 a.m. Our main meal was at lunch most days but we also ate breakfast foods for any of our meals. He liked meat and potatoes. Most of the meat dishes in my week are from childhood meals. In between I have lighter, more modern selections.
Here’s what’s for dinner at my house this week:
Monday — Baked Ham: Choose a cheap one that is not pre-sliced and then score the tough rind with a sharp knife, down to the meat. Put 2 T mustard in a bowl and stir in as much brown sugar as you can. Slather this on the ham and bake according to instructions. Save everything but the fat from the ham, all of which will be used during the week.
Serve slices of ham and a vegetable of choice. Add a fresh fruit salad (I use one of the following for dressing: sprinkled cinnamon, cinnamon and 2 T. fruit flavored yogurt, or a couple tablespoons of ice cream or sorbet with or without cinnamon.)
Tuesday — Use left over slices of ham to make scalloped potatoes and ham. Add a green salad (see below).
Wednesday — Fancy scrambled eggs and ham: Saute some green onions or sweet onions, sliced mushrooms, red bell peppers and what ever other veggies you like. Chop up a bit of left over ham and cube some Swiss, cream cheese or cheddar cheese. Set aside. Use 6-8 eggs with 2 T water or milk, thoroughly stirred. Pour in buttered frying pan, add a cup of the vegetables, the ham and eggs. (Save the left over veggies for tomorrow’s dinner.) Stir egg mixture until just before “done.” (Eggs keep cooking, and if you cook them too firmly before turning off the heat they get rubbery.)
Thursday — Polenta & Vegetables: (I buy my polenta in bulk at Winco.) You can use other kinds of cheeses–I usually use cheddar. I make the polenta the night before. The next day the polenta will have set up and it can then be sliced. You can grill as suggested or you can heat a cast iron skillet until a drop of water skitters across the pan. Then butter (or use olive oil) the slices of polenta and fry them in the pan.
Meanwhile gently heat up the veggies from Tuesday night. Flavor with a bit of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar, When they are heated, scatter them over the polenta slices. Quickly reduce the vinegar and veggie juice that collected over night by continuing to cook it, stirring to keep it from burning. When it is as thick as you want it, drizzle it over the veggies and serve. This is such a righteous dinner that I would probably serve a nice dessert.
Friday — New England Ham Stew: Put ham bone, ham juice and any chunks of ham left into a large kettle. Add potatoes (I use small ones or chunks of larger potatoes and I leave the skins on). Add a bunch of peeled carrots, and as many green beans as you can get in pot and still be able to stir it all. (You can also add slices of cabbage for a different flavor.) Cover, cook on medium heat until the potatoes and carrots are soft.
Stir the pot every 10 minutes so that the ham juice coats the veggies. Do not salt until it is done because the ham is naturally salty. Serve in bowls with crusty bread and butter. Add a green salad or a cucumber and red bell pepper salad dressed with rice or apple cider vinegar. This dish, in my family, will make a couple of meals and it is more flavorful each time it is reheated.
Saturday — Tacos, refried beans, Spanish Rice, lettuce, tomatoes, grated cheddar cheese
Saute some onions, add a pound of hamburger, half of package of dried taco mix, and cook until the meat is done. Drain on a paper towel that is on top of a layer of newspaper. Coat the bottom of a cast iron skillet with 1 T. olive oil. Add a can of refried beans, the other half of the taco mix and 2 T. salsa. Cook and stir to keep the beans from burning.
Spray the corn tortillas with olive oil and put in toaster oven or regular oven. Toast, bake, or broil them on the toaster shelf until they start to brown. Watch these very carefully because it is a very short time from brown to burned. Make enough for everyone to have at least two of these flat toasted tortillas.
I will also sometimes serve this with scrambled eggs which can also be put on the tortillas
Sunday — Soup and sandwiches, green salads
- Cabbage and tomatoes, add peanuts, Chow Mein noodles and dress with rice vinegar and olive oil. If you add chicken you have a whole meal.
- Candied nuts with dried cranberries and blue cheese sprinkled over chopped lettuce
- Roasted beets sliced over lettuce, blue cheese, bacon bits, dressed with olive oil, orange juice and balsamic vinegar.
- Lettuce, nuts, and raisins dressed with a light vinaigrette (2 T. vinegar, 2-4 T. olive oil, 1/2 t. mustard, a dollop of honey to taste, a couple T of orange juice (optional).
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What are you making for dinner this week? Be sure to leave a link to any recipes in the comments!
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