Menu Plan Monday – March 17, 2013 or how I came to eat beans

We seem to be eating a lot of bean dishes lately.  I’m not complaining.  Just making an observation.  My younger self would be completely shocked.  For the longest time I did NOT eat beans.  Memories come back of me sitting at the table an hour after everyone else got up because I still had three butter bean on my plate that I would not eat.  Eventually I would choke them down, but I did not like them.  I’m pretty sure my friend and her parents didn’t know this as I was very polite and ate what they served for dinner one night, chili with beans.  I was raised better than to be rude, even if it meant eating only one serving of something I didn’t like. It made its impact though, as I still remember what was served for supper that night over 15 years ago.

As I got older I started to realize why I didn’t like beans.  In college I liked the taste of hummus but couldn’t stand the texture.  I would eat it, but only if the thing I was eating it on was between my tongue and the hummus.  So why did I keep eating it?  Because my frugal self knew it had good protein, even if I didn’t know what was in it.  My frugality won out over my preference for food.  The nearest dorm cafeteria that allowed you to do to-go food served a lot of salad items, along with their main dish for the day.  You were allowed to fill certain containers with food to take with you.  Often I would fill them up with veggies, as you could snack on them during class or save them to eat between classes.  Hummus was on the salad bar, so I started eating it.

Once I learned what hummus was actually made of I realized that I did like beans (a very limited number of them) but didn’t like the texture on my tongue.  Then I got married.  Listening to  Dave Ramsey while driving for work must have rubbed off, in more ways than one, as I realized that adding beans to our diet would help cut our grocery bill.  They were also good for you, healthy.  At that time, I was working 8 hours and commuting for 2+ hours every day.  When it was time for me to leave home, the sun wasn’t up yet.  By the time I got home from work, it was supper time.  I wish I knew then what I know now about meal plans, crock pots, and easy recipe.  That wasn’t to come for a few more years into our marriage.  But this was my beginning of trying to be healthier.  I faced myself and said, “Even if you don’t like them, they are good for you.  You are responsible for the food this family eats and it needs to be healthy.  Get over yourself and eat beans.”  After a few recipes and talking with my husband I was so happy to find out that he also didn’t like most beans out there.  One thing we could agree on is that we liked black beans. These are often substituted in for other kinds of beans.  Obviously not for hummus or other sorts of recipes.  However, in chili’s  stews, etc. they easily make the substitution.  More importantly, we will then eat those dishes.

So, if you find yourself declining a recipe because there is something in there you don’t like.  Don’t give up so easily.  Look for a substitution that may work and try it.  You never know what recipes you will come to love.

Earlier this month I posted our monthly menu plan.  Here is this week’s part.

Breakfast:

  1. Crepes, fruit, juice and coffee
  2. Cereal
  3. Eggs, toast, juice
  4. Zucchini bread
  5. Shakes
  6. Oatmeal
  7. Eggs, toast, meat, fruit
Lunch:
  1. Eat out
  2. Greek beef and lentil stew, biscuits
  3. Salad
  4. Dad’s Meatloaf with Tomato Relish, glazed fingerling potatoes, orange glazed baby carrots
  5. Breaded pork chops, potato gratin
  6. Beef curry, rice
  7. Sticky blackberry barbecue pork ribs, potato salad

 Supper:
  1. Wine-braised beef stew, biscuits/cornbread muffins
  2. To Be Determined
  3. Sweat potato chicken stew
  4. Toast, fruit, tea
  5. Leftovers
  6. Tomato soup, croutons, grilled cheese
  7. To Be Determined
 Yes, there are two suppers that I have yet to decide on.  Seeing as this is the end of the month, there are usually meals that did not get eaten along the way.  For whatever reason, it seems to happen every month.  So I plan for it.  If for some reason this does not happen, then I have enough in the freezer or pantry to put something together the morning of or the day before.
Update: Exactly as planned, we have several meals that were not made through the month – sweet and sour chicken and cowboy kabobs being two of them.  These are likely to be the ones made this week as I believe I have the ingredients for them.

Linked up with Healthy Branscoms OrgJunkie

For more ideas also check out This Week For Dinner.

Also check out Confessions of a Homeschooler’s March’s Monthly Meal Plan.  If this is a new concept to you, take some time to think it over.  Imagine only having to sit down once a month to menu plan, rather than 4 or 5 times.  It worked for me, perhaps it will do the same for you.

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