My mom was a Home Economics teacher for years. She will tell you that I didn't learn to cook by watching her, but I beg to differ. I learned a lot from the things she put on the table: casseroles are a great way to stretch a dollar (even if I wouldn't touch them when I was a kid), salad is a healthy accompaniment to almost every meal (even though I used to DRINK the extra Italian dressing from the bottom of my bowl), a plate should have a variety of colors (because you eat with your eyes first, and you get a variety of nutrients that way), and every meal should feature the (formerly known as) four food groups. I try to abide by all of these strictures, but I do get tripped up by my use of starches; that is, I include them, and I love them, but I have a hard time using a variety of them. I'd choose potatoes almost any day of the week.
When I make my menu plans, you can always assume there will be some sort of casserole, quite a few salads, a variety of colors and flavors, and it will be mostly balanced, but it is sometimes challenging for me to space out my potato usage ("...oh, man, we can't have potatoes three days in a row! But what the heck else can I fix?"). This week, however, I wrote out my menu plan as I felt led to do, and it all fell into line quite nicely. I am especially proud of my use of starches this week. I think my mom would give me a gold star.
Shepherd's Pie Skillet
Maple Roast Chicken
Salad with Grapes and Toasted Almonds
Authentic Garlic Bread
Chicken Stir Fry with Ginger, Broccoli, Carrots, Water Chestnuts, Red Peppers, and Mushrooms
Pancake Wraps with Sausage, Eggs, Cheese, Onions, and Green Peppers
Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup