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Weekly Meal Plan

Posted: January 28th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Meal Planning | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

For the past two weeks, I’ve been working full-time in a new office, so my meals have been shaken up slightly. (Also why I’m posting this at the end of two weeks, rather than the beginning). I’ve made it a goal to eat in at least four nights a week, and the key to my success has been batch cooking on the weekend.

Each Sunday, I hard boiled 10 eggs (two for each weekday), boiled a pot of Rancho Gordo beans, and prepped two of our weeknight dinners. I made a large salad for my weekly lunches, and took leftovers several days of the week for lunch.

Some of the highlights:

Black Bean Soup with Pork Tenderloin: I used a can of Goya black bean soup, and mixed it with a batch of freshly cooked black beans that I had made. To accompany, a pork tenderloin, crusted in cumin, salt and chile powder, and oven roasted.

Turkey BBQ Burgers with Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Broccoli: The ratio of these burgers was off – I prefer using lamb for these. I simply pour some bbq sauce into the meat, add an egg, and form into patties. They bake in the oven into meatloaf-like burgers.

Lasagna Soup: Adapted from this recipe at A Farm Girl Dabbles, from a recipe from Kowalksi’s markets. I scaled it down to two people, and blew the budget on this relatively inexpensive dish using Calabro ricotta, Maplebrook mozzarella, and some aged parmigiano. Excellent.

Coconut-Chile Braised Chicken Thighs: Adapted from Melissa Clark’s recipe for shortribs in her new cookbook ‘Cook This Now‘. This was one of the recipes I cooked on a Sunday night, and served several days later. It only made the flavors better!

Chicken Posole Stew: Inspired by Jenna’s Chicken Tortilla Soup over at Eat Live Run. Used cooked black beans from the batch cooking. Another recipe made on Sunday night. Made for great lunches as well.

Mashed Potatoes with Bolognese, Ricotta, and Parmigiano: I wasn’t quite going for health food when I made this bowl – mashed potatoes, topped with some grass fed ground beef cooked in a rustic tomato sauce. Add a spoonful of ricotta and a grating of parmigiano – the ultimate comfort!

What is on your dinner table this week?

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Weekly Meal Plan 1/9/12

Posted: January 9th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Meal Planning | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Last week’s meal plan was a good one – the Turkey chili verde, Jamie’s Asian Noodle Salad and the Lemony Chicken Gyros (which I served with some marinated carrots) were winners! Sunday we skipped the teriyaki, and instead had an easy chicken tikka masala (Trader Joe’s) from the freezer with pinto beans and naan. We ate home cooked dinners six out of the seven days this week, which was good for both the waist and the wallet!

This week we are going to be a little bit busy, so dinners are going to have to be easy and quick most days. (Also, our favorite spicy italian chicken sausage are on sale this week at Whole foods, so we are going to stock up, and they might end up on the menu again this week.)

Monday: Jaden’s Coconut Shrimp with black pepper pasta. Mango Sorbet.

Tuesday: Grass-fed sirloin steaks, topped with home made guacamole, and served with roasted broccoli with garlic oil.

Wednesday: Refried beans with pepperjack cheese and tomatillo salsa from the Homesick Texan Cookbook. (It was so good that I’m making another batch). Topped with a fried egg and avocado. Warm tortillas.

Thursday: Takeout night!

Friday: Work Dinner

Saturday: Turkey Chili with more of the leftover tomatillo salsa. Special dessert from Russo’s. (Either a fruit tart or a cannoli).

Sunday: BBQ pulled chicken (likely from Trader Joe’s), with pinto beans, and roasted broccoli. Sorbet for dessert.

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Weekly Meal Plan 1/2/12

Posted: January 2nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Meal Planning | Tags: , | No Comments »

Spiffing up my meal planning was one of my top Kitchen Resolutions this year. I do a fair bit of meal planning already, but I’m always looking to improve! Sharing my meal plan is another good excuse to actually get them done by Monday!

January is a great time for soups and stews, so two are featured this week. I’m also trying to keep things light and fresh to make up for holiday overkill, but this isn’t diet food! For this week:

Monday: Turkey and vegetable chili (no recipe!) with tomatillo salsa (from the Homesick Texan Cookbook), topped with pepper jack and yogurt. Side of spinach, either under the chili, or steamed with some garlic.

Tuesday: Jamie Oliver’s Fresh Asian Noodle Salad with cucumbers, carrots, and five spice turkey.

Wednesday: Nigel Slater’s Main Course Soup for a Winter’s Day from Appetite. With beans, carrots, celery, leeks, garlic, parsley, butter, and a ham hock. (Or parmesan rind if I decide to do veg.)

Thursday: Lemony Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki and Feta from Can You Stay For Dinner with cucumber and tomato salad.

Friday: Turkey sausage, mashed potato, and roasted brussels sprouts.

Saturday: Take-out. (Most likely Japanese, possibly pizza.)

Sunday: Chicken teriyaki stir fry with ginger-sesame broccoli. (Although, possibly something lighter as we are brunching around noon.)

What are you cooking this week?

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What the Heck is Meal Planning?

Posted: August 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Balanced Lunch, Meal Planning | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

How many times a week do you enter the grocery store, with nothing in mind, and have to come up with dinner on the fly? How many times a week do you end up spending double what you think you will at the grocery store?

Enter Meal Planning, Your New Best Friend.

You’ve heard of it. It’s something that obsessively organized people do. Right? No! Meal planning is something that everyone should do. Whether you are running a busy household and need to plan school lunches and meals for your kids, or are accommodating a family member with a health concern such as diabetes or a gluten allergy, or even if you just want to feel a little calmer before you step into the kitchen, a meal plan is an ideal solution for making your life easier!

Planning your meals can be as simple as writing down a few ideas before you head to the supermarket, or as complex as making dedicated lists of each item that you want to eat, attaching recipes, and coming up with a detailed shopping list. The good thing is that either way will help you achieve these goals:

1. You save money: when you shop once a week with a list of meals in mind, you save money on groceries. If you need further proof of this, go ahead and shop at your normal rate and tally up your  receipts at the end of the week. The next week, plan out five meals, and shop once. Or even twice. It will be cheaper, and sometimes by a huge chunk of change.

2. You save time: when you have a few meals planned out for the week, you will save time grocery shopping, and likely, you will save time cooking as well.

3. There are added health benefits: when you plan your meals ahead of time, you minimize food cravings and overeating, by having something to look forward to. You also are planning for a specific portion size, which will reduce the chances that you cook double what you need just because you are starving.

Your homework: sit down sometime this week and jot down five possible meals for the rest of the week. This doesn’t have to be complex, it can be as simple as: “pasta, meatloaf, chili, salmon, pancakes for dinner”. Or, if you’d like something a little bit different, you might consider choosing a theme for the week or for each night: “Mexican, Italian, French, Moroccan, Country-style”.

This is the first post in a series about Meal Planning. We’ll be getting into the nitty gritty in the future, with ideas for kitchen novices and meal planning pros alike!!

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