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I need to make 8 lunch and 8 dinner menus and I am having a hard time creating varied menus. What is a good way to do this?

asked by foodasaurus over 5 years ago
6 answers 743 views
Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

added over 5 years ago

I'd start with the dinners by making 2 lists -- 8 main course foods (for instance, leg of lamb, pasta, cod, shrimp, etc.) and a list of in-season vegetables (tomatoes, beets, zucchini, etc). Then I'd focus on the mains making sure you mix up the styles of the cuts of meats, so that you have a mix of dishes that are seared, braised, grilled, etc (and you might want to throw in an entire main course dish like paella, for fun, one night). Then mix and match vegetable dishes with the main meats.
For the lunches, I'd see if there were any way to utilize some of the leftovers/byproducts of the main courses -- ie. using the bones from roasted chicken to make a broth for a lunch soup, or the beet greens for dinner and the beets in a lunch salad. And I'd try to mix up the lunch offerings -- salad, soup, frittata, grilled sandwich, etc.
Hope this is helpful -- good luck!

added over 5 years ago

I had to do a similar thing by coming up with 2 weeks of menus with lunch and dinner according to a low fat/low salt diet and including the foods the client likes. I have attached what I came up with if this helps.


added over 5 years ago

Sorry, I didn't save it as a webpage first...hope this shows up this time.



pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 5 years ago

That's a really broad question. I would follow Amanda's advice and add that if your lunch course is going to be meat then I wouldn't include it in the dinner menu and vice versa. And yes, when you read that instuction in a recipe "set aside for another use" it's worthwhile considering when you are preparing a week's worth of meals. A very versatile ingredient is quinoa (we had a big dinnertime conversation about this last night), as it is both a grain and a complete protein.


Meg is a trusted home cook.

added over 5 years ago

Can you refine your question a little bit? I don't know if that's an acceptable answer, but I think it would be helpful.