That One Mom’s November Menu Plan
My goodness, but these months keep flying by! Since it’s already November, it’s time for the November Menu Plan. The focus this month is on eating a little healthier before all of the holiday dinners and parties start. My thought is that if we do a few days a week with less carbs, we can consume a few more on Thanksgiving!
November Menu Planning Tips:
- Shop the freezer, fridge, and pantry first. Use what you have before you run out and buy more.
- Make a grocery list for the entire month, including Thanksgiving dinner, and shop the sales. (Again, take your list to the kitchen and “shop” there first. Mark off anything you already have before you go to the store!) Inflation has got us all and prices have definitely gone up. Some grocery items may also be hard to come by. It’s not necessary to buy everything in one trip, but if you stock up as things go on sale, it will save you time and money in the long run. The only exception for this is fresh produce. Don’t buy produce that you won’t need for several weeks unless it’s something hardy that won’t wilt or go bad. Basically, root vegetables last longer. Everything else…well, its a crap shoot whether it will mold or rot before you need it.
- Don’t forget to account for days you won’t be home to cook, days you need a quick meal, and days you need to cook food to take elsewhere. Keep a short list of fast and easy recipes that can be done in 15-30 minutes and pull from that as needed.
- Don’t be afraid to move menu items around as often as needed. So many times I’ve started to cook a recipe only to realize I had already used my ingredients. It’s pretty simple to look through the menu, choose something else, and then switch those days out.
- Focus on at least one healthy eating habit to make up for the possible over-eating we are getting ready to do! November and December are hard on the diet, but there are ways to make it a little less taxing on the body. The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving are a great time to add more veggies and eat less sugar or processed foods.
November Menu Plan
Tuesday/1: Hibachi Chicken and Rice with Vegetables, Yum Yum Sauce. I’ll be cutting the butter and soy sauce in my recipe to make it slightly healthier. I prefer Basmati rice, but you could substitute brown rice or even riced cauliflower.
Wednesday/2: Tuscan Chicken and Spaghetti Squash. This recipe has been on my “need to try” list for a while now. I just happened to find some spaghetti squash on sale and put it in the freezer. I’m hoping that won’t make too big of a difference in the texture. I’ll also be adding a small amount of bacon to this dish.
Thursday/3: Leftovers. (Tip: Always make a night just for leftovers each week and freeze what you still don’t eat!)
Friday/4: Chopped Thai Salad with Sesame Garlic Dressing, Baked Lemon Salmon. This salad recipe sounds fabulous, although we don’t particularly care for edamame. I’ll most likely substitute sugar snap peas or just leave it out altogether. I don’t have a real recipe for the salmon–just throw some butter, lemon, salt, and pepper on it and then bake!
Saturday/5: Angel Chicken, Beans, Potato Salad, Slaw, Texas Toast. Spizzie comes home from college every weekend to work and I try to make food I know she likes. This is one of her top three favorite meals! We grill the chicken, so it’s fairly healthy. The rest–not so much. I’ll just watch my portions and maybe throw in an extra workout!
Sunday/6: Family Dinner. (We rarely eat dinner at home on Sundays and if we do, it’s usually leftovers.)
Monday/7: Brazilian Steak and Grilled Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowls . There is nothing about this that doesn’t sound amazing! Totally reminds me that eating healthy doesn’t have to mean flavorless!
Tuesday/8: Oven Baked Chicken and Roasted Root Vegetables. I love roasted root vegetables, but rutabaga is my absolutely favorite! I use rutabaga, potatoes, onions, sweet potato, parsnips, carrots, and turnips for my roasted root vegetable recipe. Add sea salt, pepper, a head of garlic (roasted whole with the veggies), some herbs, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Yum!
Wednesday/9: Chicken with Lemon Couscous, Roasted Butternut Squash. Don’t forget to check the pre-cut section of the produce department. I found tubs of butternut squash for 99 cents one day. The “sell by” date was the following day, so I brought them home and popped them in the freezer. I do the same with cilantro. It’s perfect for sauces!
Thursday/10: Leftovers. My husband and I also eat leftovers for lunch through the week. It saves money and keeps us from grabbing fast food.
Friday/11: Greek Herb Roasted Chicken Thighs, Tzatziki, Greek Rice, Feta Lemon Coleslaw. We really like Greek flavors, but I rarely cook any of it. That coleslaw sounds so refreshing!
Saturday/12: Dinner out. It’s possible that we’ll make homemade pizzas this night, but I’m trying to leave a few days open just in case we need to socialize!
Sunday/13: Family Dinner/Leftovers.
Monday/14: Bloody Mary Chili and Mexican Cornbread. A friend of a friend made this and I fell in love. I didn’t have a recipe so I combined a few that I found online and came up with my own version of Bloody Mary Chili. I’ll definitely share the recipe soon!
Tuesday/15: Pork and Vegetable Fried Rice, Hot & Sour Soup. There are dozens of recipes online, but I actually start my Hot & Sour Soup with a seasoning packet mix and then I load it down with vegetables and use broth instead of the water the mix calls for. I also add vinegar and red pepper flakes, because the mix isn’t nearly hot or sour enough.
Wednesday/16: Chicken Curry with Lentils. I’m pretty sure I could eat food with curry spice every day. It’s just such a warm flavor. I may have to make my own red curry paste though, because I’m not sure they carry it anywhere locally. That’s what Pinterest is for though!
Friday/18: Pan Roasted Chicken and Cauliflower, “Make Your Own Salad” Bar. We all love a good salad bar and it’s really not that hard to make at home. In addition to all the veggies, I’ll include extras like bacon, cheese, croutons, ham or chicken, cranberries, and potato sticks. Just like the steak houses used to do!
Saturday/19: Cassoulet and Cornbread. This is my mom’s recipe. It’s hearty and full of flavor. Perfect for a cold day!
Sunday/20: Family Dinner/Leftovers
Monday/21: Mojo Pork Bowl. I’ll be substituting sweet potatoes for the plantains because that’s what I have.
Tuesday/22: Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Wings, Blue Cheese Coleslaw. We love our air fryer and make wings quite a bit. An easy Buffalo sauce is just hot sauce, butter, and garlic powder. I’ve never actually eaten blue cheese coleslaw, but it seems like the perfect side for Buffalo wings so we’re going to give it whirl.
Wednesday/23: Taco Salad. Keep Thanksgiving Eve cooking as simple as possible.
Friday/25: Leftovers. Assuming there are any!
Saturday/26: Possible Second Thanksgiving (Super Trooper’s Family). If they decide not to do dinner this day, we’ll eat more leftovers or I’ll raid the freezer.
Sunday/27: Pork Loin with Jezebel Sauce, Spinach Salad, Homemade Crackers.
Monday/28: Creamy Wild Rice Turkey Soup, Colonial Brown Bread. I generally use the turkey bones to make a broth for turkey and noodles, but this year I’m going to use them for soup. This recipe doesn’t call for meat at all, but I thought it would taste fabulous with some turkey in it!
Tuesday/29: Thai Peanut Chicken Crunch Salad. This sounds fabulous. And easy. And healthy. What more could we want?!?
Wednesday/30: Spicy Bean and Rice Burritos, Guacamole, Chips and Salsa. This burrito recipe is amazing! It doesn’t have meat, but the beans make it hardy enough that you don’t really notice. Don’t skip out on guacamole or avocados, at least. It’s a fabulous combination with the beans and rice!
November will be a busy month, but not nearly as busy as December. Even though it’s more cost-effective to cook at home most of the time, try to give yourself a break every now and then. While we are focusing more on healthy eating this month than normal, that doesn’t mean it can’t be simple. Eat veggies, utilize those slow cookers and air fryers, and don’t be afraid to substitute if you don’t have specific recipe items on hand!
As always, check out my Meal Planning Tips if you need more help and don’t forget to sign up for the That One Mom Subscriber Library to get the November Menu Plan printable and lots of other freebies!