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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 almost 7 years ago
6 answers 898 views
397bc6d3 46e8 4d02 8a39 ce4a087eb481  2015 0609 amanda portrait 135
Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

added almost 7 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!

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added almost 7 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.

1b32dd22 3a15 44b4 a6f9 d0b1d7b2650d  2 week menus 9 7 2010

4421619e f544 4703 9273 6e95dc123a79  black picture small
added almost 7 years ago

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

D3859765 b78b 474d b919 da2037969415  2 week menus 9 7 2010

79ca7fa3 11e3 4829 beae d200649eab49  walken the walk

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

added almost 7 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.

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added almost 7 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.

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