Weekly Meals

Weekly Menu Planning

March 19, 2012

How was everyone’s weekend? Did you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? I usually don’t go all out with this holiday, however we were invited over for dinner that night and I decided to get creative and bring a green dish. I made deviled eggs, tinted green, along with some green veggies and my new favourite brownie recipe, with some drizzled white chocolate, also tinted green on top. It was really good, and the Canucks won that night. Win-win.

A green smoothie also made an appearance. My current fav. Almond milk, ice, spinach, banana. Blend well.

So here we are again, another Monday. I’m counting down the minutes until class is over, and I’m starving. I had some overnight oats for breakfast, first time trying them. I can’t decide if I love them yet, but they aren’t bad. I’ll try them again with different flavour combos.

I had to have an early lunch because I was heading up to the university early to get work done on a presentation, so I had a small bowl of leftover Turkey, Black Bean & Sweet potato Chili.

I had seen this recipe quite a few times and never thought about adding sweet potatoes/yam to chili ( still not sure which term is correct for that vegetable! ). It was really quite simple, I went with my usual throw together recipe, I just browned some ground turkey with onion, added my regular veggies (mushrooms, red peppers, celery etc) a can of rinsed & drained black beans, and chopped up a medium sized yam/sweet potato along with two cans of pureed plum tomatoes. I let it sit for about an hour simmering until the potatoes were cooked and the veggies tender. Adam and I both really liked this! The sweet potato/yam with the chli spices was really delicious and it was really hearty. Packed with veggies and nutrients. We both had leftovers for lunch today.

Now, it’s 5 pm and I’m starving. I only brought a couple peach cups with me for a snack and regret not bringing a small bag of granola I made last night (supposed to be granola bars..but turned out more like granola. Still tastes good!) My class is four hours long so I get a little hungry in the middle.

Lately I’ve been trying to plan ahead meals for the week. I’ve seen many other blogs create templates or give tips on meal planning and grocery shopping. When it comes to grocery shopping I usually get the same things every time, aside from special/specific ingredients for a meal I know I’ll want to make. Sometime’s I’ll make whatever we feel like, but this way is much more structured.

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Every time we shop its mostly veggies, fruit, lunch meat for Adam’s sandwiches, cereal and milk (for Adam) and other staples we might need like Almond milk for me. I think we’ve (read: I ) have only ever bought one package of frozen pizzas since I moved in. I do 90% of the grocery shopping, since I do 100% of the cooking. I never buy frozen meals mainly because I love to cook and its easy to buy fresh. We really never venture into the frozen foods aisle, I can’t eat ice cream due to an allergy so the dessert section is also out, and we don’t buy many chips or packaged snacks aside from crackers for Adam (he loves Cheeze-its). Neither of us drink Pop, aside from carbonated water.   I mentioned before that we’ve never ordered in. Ever. No take out menus here. The only thing we will pick up is Sushi, as I can’t make it, and it’s cheaper to buy it than all the ingredients you need to make it yourself. And it tastes better! We also never get fast food, no drive-thrus (aside from a burger in a food court for Adam occasionally, and Tim Horton’s snack wraps in the summer on a long drive). We hardly ever eat out, both because I like to cook and also we don’t have lots of money to spend eating out as we are both students right now. If we want pizza for dinner, I’ll make the dough and we’ll make our own pizzas. Cheaper than ordering in, and healthier. Also, it’s delicious ;)

On night’s that I don’t feel like cooking, which is rare but it happens, Adam will open up a can of soup, make a grilled cheese sandwich, a salad or something else that doesn’t really require much ‘cooking.’ He’s the dishwasher of our relationship, I’m the cook. It works for us and I think we’re both pretty happy. Adam gets delicious food, I don’t have to worry about the usually large mess that I leave behind me once dinner is ready. (I’m a messy cook!) I don’t love doing the dishes, and Adam really doesn’t like to cook, aside from grilling.

(Plus, he’s a cute helper!)

I’m not saying buying pre-made food is bad, and if you really don’t have the time or love of cooking I completely understand. I however really do love cooking and looking up recipes and meal planning so I choose to make most of our meals from scratch.

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I’m trying to plan each week’s meals so that for one, we don’t have to figure it out last minute, and two we can plan ahead and change it up a bit instead of having the same three or four options every week. Some days, like Monday’s, Adam is home before me and can take out ingredients we need if they need to thaw or cook for a little while before I get home. With both of us in school, most nights and weekends are filled with homework, studying and writing essays. It’s nice to plan out meals one day each week, leaving the rest of the time free instead of answering the old question of..

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It’s also a good way to make sure you’re getting a variety of veggies, meats and seafood each week.

So here is the potential meal plan for this week including links to the recipes I’ll be making:

Monday:

One-pan roasted chicken breasts with veggies and potatoes along with salad

Tuesday:

Spinach pesto pasta 
(this is actually a recipe for spinach pesto pizza, but I used the pesto sauce for pasta after seeing other spinach pesto pasta recipes, and this one was really good!)

Wednesday:

Ribollita Soup
(as per Adam’s request!)

Thursday:

Shrimp stir fry with rice noodles

Friday:

Homemade Turkey Burgers
(
these are so good!! Moist and super easy to make)

 

So, do you meal plan? Do you use an online program or template? 

If you don’t meal plan, do you think you might start?

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10 Comments

  • Reply Adam March 19, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    Its pretty funny that I get to come on here to find out what I will be eating for the week, on the other hand, I get to eat some pretty delicious stuff this week :)

  • Reply Sonja March 19, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    Great advice Alicia! I have been meal planning for fifteen years. It’s the only way I could survive working full time with two young children. My husband is an excellent cook so we share cooking but I do all the planning and grocery shopping. Meal planning ensures you use the groceries you buy, a healthy balance of foods and less eating out. At 5:30 we are not stressing out about what to make with whatever food we have in the house. Frequently we use the left overs for a new meal. For example, if we have a large roast chicken we will use the leftovers for chicken quesadillas for the kids and chicken on a salad for us. On Sunday’s I often make a large veggie/bean soup for my work lunches and I may make another meal to have and then freeze. I also wash my veggies and lettuce on Sundays. All this Sunday preparing makes meal times much less stessful after working all day. I also try to make muffins to put in my kids lunch and really want to learn how to make granola bars to put in their lunch, as I do not like the ingredient lists on the granola bars in the supermarkets.

    • Reply Alicia March 20, 2012 at 8:11 AM

      @Sonja Thanks! I think that over time it will become easier, and make each week’s dinner ideas easier too! I agree it definitely helps you stick to healthy foods and keeps your budget down as well. As I said we hardly ever eat out! As I do love food, and do love the occasional date night out we really rarely think about going out. It’s more cost efficient for us right now to stay in, and we both enjoy it! I love that you use the leftovers to make two different meals for you and the kids as well! That way you can both enjoy it! I can’t wait til we move into our new home and buy a small deep freezer. Our fridge freezer is much too small, so it’s usually filled with some frozen chicken breasts and loafs of bread for Adam’s lunches. I would love to make meals ahead and freeze in batches! I’ll send you some granola bar recipes I have tried!

  • Reply Andrea March 19, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    You never stop Amazeing Me !!

    • Reply Alicia March 20, 2012 at 8:07 AM

      Thanks Mom! haha =) @Andrea

  • Reply Auntie Heas March 20, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    Well as you know I do ALL the cooking and meal planning! A tip for you is one that I still do; I look through all the Grocery store flyers and decide what I am cooking for the week by what is on sale (also which store I will go to based on the sales). Also stocking up on the things I use regularly when on sale. I Always check my reciept when I get home because Often stores charge the wrong price or not the sale price! If I see an error I take the receipt next time I go and get a refund, If the item is scanned wrong you will get it FREE! upto $10.00! I never eat fast food either! Chris calls the dinners I freeze for another day my “Tired Dinners” for when I am too tired to cook from scratch ha ha!!

  • Reply Deanna March 21, 2012 at 8:32 AM

    Alicia, are you using a online template? Are you going to post your weekly meal plans and receipes every week? I am not a good or creative cook and when I was working always felt rushed just to get somthing on the table. Looking forward to being off with the bambino and learning new quick, healthy recipes from you! :D

    • Reply Alicia March 21, 2012 at 9:01 AM

      Deanna: I will definitely make it a habit to post my weekly menus! I will post them on Sundays, along with a shopping list perhaps! I have seen online templates but I’m not sure how I will sort mine out! Something I will look into for sure! Hope they can help you out once the little one arrives!!! Can’t wait to meet him!!

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