Monday Menu Planning: Halloween!

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Lindsey & Colin at Trader Joe’s

Wow, is it Monday again already?! Like I said, this year is flying by! I can’t believe Halloween is just a few days away. It’s one of our favorite holidays, we tend to go all out on the decorating and celebrating. Of course, now that the kids are all grown and gone, the holidays are a little bit different, but we still join in the festivities in our own way. We’ll be dressing up and attending a couple of events this week, should be a spooky good time!

Did anyone join my in my freezer/pantry challenge? How did it go? I had a great week, used up a bunch of items and made some lovely meals. Here are the highlights.

Lobster Rolls

Vegan “Lobster” Rolls

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and “Meat”balls

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Open-Faced Tofu Scramble Sandwich

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Pumpkin. Sausage & Mushroom Pasta

As you can see, I made a few unplanned recipes but still used mostly items I had on hand. A couple of last week’s dishes weren’t photo-worthy, and I never got around to making a couple others. It’s okay to change our minds and allow for some spontaneity and creativity in our meal plans; the point is not to waste food and/or be caught with nothing to eat when dinner time rolls around!

I’ll be continuing with my freezer/pantry challenge this week. Though the cupboards are definitely more bare, I still have a few items to use up. I’m excited about this week’s plan as it contains several Autumn-ish recipes as well as some that are just the colors of Halloween!

What’s on your menu plan this week?

Note: I follow a WFPBNO (whole food, plant-based, no oil) diet 90% of the time, allowing for a bit of oil here & there when dining out or when I just want a little treat.  When the recipe calls for oil, I substitute vegetable broth or plain water when appropriate.

P.S. For other great menu planning bloggers, please visit Organizing Junkie!

Monday Menu Planning: Autumn Pantry Challenge!

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I don’t know about you guys, but this year is really flying by for me! I can’t believe it’s mid-October, seems like just yesterday that I was sitting on the beach soaking up the summer sunshine! Now, even in Florida, it’s windy and the leaves are falling off our northern trees. They look so funny, little naked branches in between the green palms!

Along with cravings for warm comfort food, Autumn also brings a tightening of the budget around here. I’m looking at the calendar and counting down ’til Christmas (9 weeks, 4 days), starting to think about the expense that goes along with all of that Yuletide joy! I’m sure many of you are feeling the pinch as well, maybe still recovering from back-to-school expenses and/or saving for holiday travel. With that in mind, I’m going to be cooking more from my pantry and freezer over the next few weeks, relying on what I have on hand and supplementing with whatever fresh produce is available and on sale. I know that most folks do this sort of challenge in the summer, but I’m suggesting a Fall version. Not only will we put aside a little money, but we’ll be making room for those inevitable holiday goodies!

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I have two pantries, the everyday one shown above along with another in my laundry room. I also have a large stand-up freezer in the garage in addition to the refrigerator version. All of these are chock-full of odds & ends – veggies, beans, grains & canned tomatoes. It’s time to bring all of these ingredients together for some yummy meals!

This week is a hodgepodge of recipes, a little of this & that. We have some traditional southern fare mixed in with international dishes, a little culinary trip around the world! I hope that by the end of the week my pantry and freezer will be as empty as my wallet is full!

How about you? What’s cookin’ at your house this week? Would you like to take the pantry challenge with me?

Note: I follow a WFPBNO (whole food, plant-based, no oil) diet 90% of the time, allowing for a bit of oil here & there when dining out or when I just want a little treat.  When the recipe calls for oil, I substitute vegetable broth or plain water when appropriate. At the moment I am also following the Maximum Weight Loss Diet by John McDougall, M.D.

P.S. For other great menu planning bloggers, please visit Organizing Junkie!