Tag Archives: menu plan

On the Menu: Nov. 12th-16th

This image has nothing to do with this post, I just really want Moroccan Lentil Soup but don’t have time to whip up a batch. Maybe next week…

Monday: Roasted Goat over millet, with baked acorn squash. We have a local goat farmer from whom we buy much of our goat cheese, and he also (unsurprisingly) sells goat meat. I’ve never tried cooking goat meat before, so I looked up a crock pot recipe that seemed simple and straight-forward. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday:  Beef and pinto burritos. Thadd wanted something that gives a lot of leftovers.

Wednesday:  Cannelini Baked Pasta. I know, it’s shocking to see pasta on our menu. We rarely eat it, especially as a planned meal. Why is it on here now? Honestly, because we were tired of thinking. Neither of us have any time the first three days of this week to do much cooking, and we need to keep an eye on our budget.

Thursday:  Catfish with vegetables and quinoa.

Friday: Leftovers.


What Does a Client Menu Look Like?

While I have sample menus on my page, I often get asked what types of food I make for real clients. So, I thought I’d share the current menu for two of my clients.

The first client is a family of three (one parent, two children) with a monthly service of 10 freezer meals, with four of those meals having an extra portion which I pack as a lunch for the parent. They have no food allergies and are fairly adventurous. Their menu for this month:

Meal 1: Indian Chicken.*  Tomato-based curry sauce with chicken and greens, over rice.+

Meal 2:  Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf,  Whipped Potatoes, and Vegetables. * + Ground chicken and vegetable meatloaf, topped with red sauce and mozzarella cheese. Served with whipped potatoes and a seasonal vegetable.

Meal 3: Chana Masala. Northern Indian Chickpea curry, full of warm spices, served over brown rice.

Meal 4:  Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas.  Honey-lime marinated pulled chicken in tortillas, with green enchilada sauce and cheddar cheese.

 Meal 5:  Sweet Potato Chili. Sweet potatoes and red beans in a hearty winter chili.*

 Meal 6:  White House Shrimp over cheddar grits, with seasonal vegetable.  Tender shrimp sautéed with lemon, olive oil, and seasonings, served over cheddar grits. Sided with seasonal vegetable.

 Meal 7: Ginger beef & Broccoli. Chinese ginger beef, with broccoli, over rice.

Meal 8:  Coconut braised chickpeas and kale over sweet potatoes.  Chickpeas, kale, and sundried tomatoes gently braised in a lemon and coconut sauce, served over roasted sweet potatoes.*

The second menu is five dinners for two people, both in their 80s. They have no food allergies, and tend to prefer less International cuisine and more home-style cooking. One of them recently had a heart attack, and the other has diabetes; so, many of the items on the menu are modified to meet those medical needs.


Shrimp Alfredo with Side Salad

Tender shrimp and peas in a creamy Alfredo sauce over whole wheat noodles. Served with side salad.



Rustic Chicken Noodle Soup

A hearty soup with chunks of potato, carrots, and skinless chicken breast in a seasoned chicken broth.     


Chef’s Meatloaf, with Brown Rice and Seasonal Vegetable

Chef’s special meatloaf recipe, served over brown rice with fresh seasonal vegetable.



Baked Chicken with Braised Winter Greens & Chickpeas

Lightly herbed chicken, baked and served with wilted winter greens and chickpeas.



Onion & Broccoli Frittata, with Roasted Sweet Potato

Farm-fresh eggs, cheese, onions and broccoli in a winter frittata. Served with chunked roasted sweet potato.

As you can see, my client’s menus differ pretty dramatically, which is part of the fun of what I do!  So, what goes into each menu, aside from client needs and preference? There’s a lot of logistical stuff that goes into making a menu/  How many items can go in the oven or on the stove at once? How long do each of those dishes need to fully prepare, and will I be able to use that space in the oven/on the stove for a second dish? How well will dishes keep in the refrigerator/freezer?  What fits into the food budget? Can I reasonably expect to get all the ingredients at one store, or will I need to allot extra time for shopping at multiple stores?

Personal Chefs do a lot more than just cook. In fact, as you can see by the above, a pretty hefty portion of our time is spent planning, rather than cooking (which works out much better than the reverse, I assure you).

On the Menu: Sept 1-6th

Because I’ll be gone all weekend at a certification, and Thadd will be working, there’s no set plan for weekend food here. He’ll be eating out of the freezer, and I’ll be doing a cooler with other folks.

On the Menu: Dinners

Sunday: Cajun catfish, with baked garlic fries and sweet corn.

Monday: Thai Coconut Shrimp Curry over Sweet Potatoes.

Tueday: Tofu & Vegetable Szechuan Stir-Fry over Brown Rice.

Wednesday: Anda Masala.

Thursday: Black Bean & Yam Burritos.

What are you eating this week?

On the Menu: A Change of Diet

Regular readers will probably notice a few oddities in the next few weeks, both on the OtM features and the “What I Eat” features. I don’t really want to get into why, but you’ll see kind of a cyclical eating paradigm going. The big changes will be that for some weeks in a row, I’ll be totally off meat (fish will still appear) and dairy. Peanuts will also no longer make an appearance (that’s not cyclical, it’ll be ongoing).  I’m not going to be all crazy about these things, but it will make things look a bit different around here.  Since my activity level will remain high,  I still need to make sure I am getting good quantities of proteins and complex carbohydrates. You can read this as: legumes, legumes, legumes!

The changes should mean a lot of new, creative recipes, too, because I am easily bored.


Monday: Falafel with mujadara. We need to do this more often, it just kind of gets put to the side. Later in the summer, when cucumbers and tomatoes are in, you’ll likely see side dishes such as fatoush or tabouli, as well. We’ll be eating this with pita bread, and I’ll be skipping the yogurt sauce.

Tuesday: Sardines and avacado in lemon sauce, over udon noodles.  Thadd is out at a work function, so I’ll be having a  for-one dinner tonight. This is easy, quick, and full of protein and good Omegas.

Wednesday: Coconut braised spinach & chickpeas over sweet potatoes. An Indian-inspired dish.  Despite the cut in meat and dairy, we don’t intend on adding a lot of simple carbs back into our diet. We still do rice, potatoes, and pasta once in a while, but we don’t want to make it more frequent. So, we’re using sweet potatoes here instead!

Thursday: Bean & butternut squash burritos. We’ll be using guacamole and salsa as condiments, and I’ll skip the raw-milk cheese this round.

Friday: Leftovers, as always.

Saturday: Black bean & banana empanadas. There’ll be a double-batch of these so we can put some in the freezer!

On the Menu: June 4th-10th

Monday: Salisbury steak with garlic-flower whipped potatoes and buttered peas.  Garlic flowers are a culinary win any way you look at it.

Tuesday: Grilled Mojo pork loin, with fennel & snap pea salad and charred sweet potatoes. We’ve got lots of snap peas (Seed Savers was not kidding when they said “prolific producers” on the English peas description), and I love fennel. Hopefully, I’ll get pictures of this. We’re using the grill tonight, and we always stack on stuff for later in the week to make the most of the charcoal.

Wednesday: Catfish with seasoned brown rice and steamed butternut squash. This is the perfect way to use the leftover squash from the Moroccan stew I made. Squash keeps great in the refrigerator produce drawer.

Thursday: Fajitas. These will be made with the grilled steak, peppers, and onions from Tuesday’s grilling marathon.

Friday: Leftovers. Cleaning out the refrigerator.

Saturday: Thai salmon patties with beluga lentils. I’ve been dying to use these lentils, which I’ll be braising in coconut milk and spices.

Sunday: Sauerkraut and sausage. One of Thadd’s favorite go-to meals.

Menu Plan: May 28-June 2nd

Monday: Vegetable stir fry over rice. We had an abundance of snap peas in the garden, which were perfect in a stir fry!

Tuesday: Charred eggplant, red pepper, and portobello mushroom sandwiches with hummus and greens on jalapeno bread. The hummus was made fresh with lots of garlic, and will be a great replacement for dressing on the sandwiches. Making hummus is easy, and so much cheaper than buying it pre-made. Also, I get to control what’s in it, from extra flavors (this one’s roasted garlic!) to ingredients (I like to use a mix of extra-virgin olive oil and grape seed oil). The greens are the last from the garden, at least for now, as the weather has just gotten too warm for them.

Wednesday:  Chard and Spinach Frittata with roasted red pepper soup. The final bits of chard and spinach from the garden will bulk up the frittata.

Thursday: BBQ beans with sausage and squash, with snap peas. We needed an easy crock-pot meal.

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Thai drunken noodles and beluga lentil coconut soup. Both of these are pretty spicy dishes, but they’re light for summer. I’ve been wanting to do the beluga lentil soup for quite a while!

On the Menu: May 20th Edition

A short post today!

The menu plan for this week looks like this:

Sunday: Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf with baby peas. This was just okay. It was a new recipe that sounded fairly tasty on paper (well, on the internet).  The idea is good, but I am going to make some changes and try it again.

Monday: Anda Masala (egg curry).

Tuesday: Philly Steak Sloppy Joes with slow cooked beans and green salad. The salad will be picked direct from the garden! This is also a new recipe trial.

Wednesday: Moroccan Butternut Squash and Chickpea Stew with Spinach. This is a new recipe trial, so you’ll likely see the results here early next week.

Thursday: Ethiopian Feast. We have lots of Ethiopian leftovers in the freezer, so Thadd will whip up some injera and voila! Dinner.

Friday: Leftovers, as always.

Saturday: Creamy chicken and vegetable casserole. Another new recipe, but this one I am making a bit healthier. Hopefully, it’ll end up being a great, fresher take on a traditional comfort food.

What, you ask, is with all the new recipes and a menu plan that is a bit more “American comfort food” than it normally is? A lot of the clients I work with want to eat healthier, but have a fairly limited selection of what they would prefer to eat. I’m taking some of those recipes and working on my own variants and tweaks to make them flavorful while cutting out a lot of the processed stuff. No worries, our more eclectic plan will be back soon.