Meal Plan Monday: finding my groove

This week’s meal plan included some incredibly delicious meals! I focused on easy meals that would create lots of leftovers and they turned out amazing.

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Sunday: Zucchini Lasagna

Monday: Chicken Foil Packets

Tuesday: Potato Salad and Hard Boiled Eggs

Wednesday: Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Thursday: Chicken Sausage with Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

Friday: Cauliflower Sweet Potato Burgers with roasted broccoli Leftovers

Sunday– this was one of the few meals that took a bit of preparation. Alex was home and helped me slice the zucchini and brown the meat so I could make the tofu ricotta. Once all the components were prepped I assembled this lasagna by layering sliced zucchini, pasta sauce, ground beef and tofu ricotta in layers. This recipe would work, only I used store bought sauce and tofu ricotta instead of cashew ricotta.

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Monday– This was probably one of the easiest meals I have made in a long time. I threw the chicken in the foil packet with artichokes and Italian dressing and prepared brown rice on the side. Let it all cook and voila! Foil Packets for the win.

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Tuesday– I felt like a cheater not making a “main dish” to accompany the potato salad but then I decided I didn’t care and served everyone some of our Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs with the salad. We all loved the pickles in this recipe!

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WednesdayThis recipe took a little work to make the dressing but it was totally worth it. Homemade Caesar dressing > store bought! At the last minute I decided not to toss in the Romaine lettuce and added roasted broccoli instead. Because roasted broccoli is > Romaine! We had tons of leftovers of this meal which is awesome for lunches. And both the girls totally chowed down. Given they haven’t had pasta in months I am not surprised!

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Thursday– Our go to week night meal. I worked an extra shift Thursday night so Alex was on his own to make dinner and feed the girls. Chicken sausage with sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts is one of our favorite 30 minute or less meals and the girls love it! We use Aidell’s Chicken Sausage in this meal. The apple flavor is especially good with sweet potatoes.

Friday– I really didn’t want to cook at all but resisted the urge to go out to eat. This is why having a meal plan is so key. Having everything I need in the fridge ready to go helps motivate me to stick to the plan. I pulled myself off the couch and tossed in all the veggies to roast in preparation for these veggie burgers and then my oven malfunctioned. I still have no idea what happened although the landlord claims it is fixed. In 10 minutes in the oven my vegetables looked like this. Not burned so much as smoked with toxic gas and fumes. Dinner fail. So instead we ate all the leftovers and carrots and guac and some pickles on the side. I was upset we wasted food, but even more upset that I wasted the energy to wash, peel and chop all the veggies!

Here is my weekly grocery list for the week including everything I needed to make these meals plus all the extras we use for breakfasts, lunches and snacks.

  • 1 lb Organic grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 packages Aidell’s Smoked Apple Chicken Sausage
  • 4 lbs Organic chicken breast (split between two meals)
  • bacon
  • 2 18 pack eggs
  • 2 lbs baby red potatoes
  • 6 lbs sweet potatoes
  • 2 ears of corn
  • basil
  • Brussels sprouts
  • ~4 lbs broccoli
  • 6 lbs bananas (we eat a ton of bananas!)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • extra light tasting olive oil (for mayo/Caesar dressing)
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • Romaine
  • baby carrots (2 lbs)
  • tomatoes
  • celery
  • red bell pepper
  • cucumber
  • lemons
  • 3 avocado
  • 1 lime
  • bread and butter pickles
  • dill pickle spears
  • anchovies
  • artichoke hearts quartered
  • walnuts
  • Italian dressing
  • gluten free pasta
  • frozen sweet peas
  • frozen fruit (for smoothies)
  • cashew milk
  • dishwasher soap

Our shopping total this week through Walmart online was $144. I am proud to say that we only ventured into Publix once this week and that was for a box of cereal, more milk, and a bottle of wine. I think staying out of the grocery store is going to be my number one way to stick to the budget in the coming weeks! Especially with fall approaching and all the pumpkin flavored everything!

 

Meal Plan Monday: I’m tired of cooking

I’m worn out with meal planning, grocery shopping, prepping and cooking. I’m not sure if it’s this terrible heat, lack of inspiration or just simple laziness. I have been reaching for easy and quick meals lately to get us through this spell. Here is a quick look at last week’s meal planning.

Sunday: Sweet potato and turkey sausage hash with eggs

Monday: Spaghetti squash casserole

Tuesday: Hamburgers and roasted potatoes

Wednesday: Crockpot BBQ chicken stuffed sweet potatoes

Thursday: Greek Chicken Salads

Friday: Burgers and Fumi Salad with friends

Saturday: Birthday party

Our menu is lacking in vegetables! I have been counting potatoes as vegetables a few too many times this summer. I justify it by packing the girls’ smoothies full of spinach and carrots. Honestly summer should feature a bounty of vegetables in the meal plan but despite the abundance available I am lacking inspiration. To me it is just one more thing that I must prep and cook. Maybe I will try to mix it up a bit next week.

Sunday I planned to make a giant frittata with a side of hash but wound up taking the easy way out by just frying eggs and topping the sweet potato and ground turkey sausage hash. It is a quick and easy breakfast-for-dinner kind of meal. We don’t use any recipe but just season the potatoes and turkey with fennel seed, salt, pepper and garlic.

Monday I once again changed my plan. I intended to make meatballs but ended up mixing the ground beef and tomato sauce and cooked spaghetti squash with a couple eggs and baked as a casserole ala this recipe.

Tuesday we made simple burgers with a side of roasted potatoes. I chose to cut the potatoes a little different to make them a bit more crispy and it was perfect!

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On Wednesday morning I loaded the crockpot with our favorite BBQ sauce and chicken breasts and let it cook all morning before shredding the chicken and topping baked sweet potatoes for dinner.

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Thursday I marinated chicken breasts in this Greek marinade and cooked on the stove top then sliced and topped salads of romaine, olives, artichoke hearts and cucumbers. The girls had a deconstructed salad with all the ingredients minus the romaine.

Friday we had an impromptu dinner with our friends. I had originally planned to make lasagna but instead we brought the ground beef to grill burgers. I ran out to grab the ingredients for Fumi salad and tossed together right before heading to our friend’s house. We also had a delicious corn salad and an ice cream bar for dessert that night.

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I didn’t have to plan dinner on Saturday since we had a fun Olympics themed birthday party to attend. We ate burgers and hotdogs and all the party sides. We definitely had a burger-heavy week but I’m ok with that. It’s summer food.

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We spent $134 on groceries at Walmart this week but we also popped into grocery stories throughout the week to pick up odds and ends like deli meat and bananas. We probably spent upwards of $175 on groceries this week. I mentioned it last week but we’d really like to start eating more vegetarian meals but I’m nervous about what we can add to the girls’ diets right now. We finally had Eleanor allergy tested and are hoping that we will have a better idea after we receive the results. If it turns out she isn’t allergic to anything then we will begin adding in more foods like beans and soy.

Here is our Walmart grocery list: Grocery List 8-15

What are your go to summer meals? Where do you reach for inspiration when you grow weary of cooking and meal planning?