Meal Plan Monday: Under the Weather

We have been a little under the weather here which you may know if you follow My Plant-Based Family on Facebook. We had a nice little discussion going on this weekend, many people left their favorite tips for beating the flu. While we are mostly better we will stay quarantined as much as possible, especially the kids. My husband and boys were hardest hit by illness, I’m hopeful that I wont get as sick as them, but I do have some cold symptoms.

Since I’m not really sure how we will be feeling I’m not making a formal Meal Plan but I’ll share a little of what we will be eating.

Meal Plan

Breakfast will likely be oatmeal, toast, and fruit or some combination of those. I’ve been feeding my boys a pint of blueberries a day, they love them.

Lunch will likely be leftovers as we have quite a bit. Two new delicious soups, nachos, hummus and veggie sandwiches, beans, and Chickpea Salad (I’ll post this recipe this week).

Snacks will be fruit and veggies. I’m trying to keep things easy.

Dinner will be a lot of soups. They are so easy you really should be making them too. We have a ton of broccoli we need to eat so I foresee Potato and Broccoli Soup, Taco Soup, and probably a Chickpea (GF)Noodle Soup. I may work in some more interesting meals if we are all feeling better later this week. We have so many leftovers though I’m not worried about cooking much.

There are a lot of great things about this Meal Plan; its frugal, it’s easy, it’s gluten-free, and it will be very nourishing as we recover. I’m so happy I made a new batch of my Dry Broth Mix last week. It will come in very handy. I have a lot of basic ingredients ready in the refrigerator including: pinto beans, lentils, quinoa, chickpeas, and plenty of fresh fruit and veggies.

What is your favorite thing to eat when recovering from illness?

 

Meal Plan Monday: How I Plan

I sit here a fully admit I don’t know what we are eating this week. At the end of the week half of our household will be going on a trip to see family. I did not buy much at the grocery store because I did not want to leave a bunch of food that would go bad.

I thought that this would be a good opportunity to walk you through how I Meal Plan. First I take all of the food we have into consideration:

  • Carrots*
  • Potatoes*
  • A little Spinach
  • Sprouted grain bread
  • Oatmeal*
  • Cooked quinoa**
  • Cooked pinto beans**
  • Several vats of hummus
  • 7 cups of cooked chickpeas**
  • Fresh (but going downhill) Strawberries**
  • Several Gluten Free Cereals*

At the store I picked up:

  • Almond Milk
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Broccoli**
  • Freeze-dried Veggies I wanted to try (Bleck…not a fan!)*

Item with * will be fine when I return from traveling and do not need to be used immediately. Items with ** can be frozen and used another time. I have a well stocked pantry and freezer so I have other options available. When my fridge is empty I plan meals based on what produce is the best value while also balancing nutrition and taste.

The Meal Plan

Breakfast will be oatmeal, Breakfast Quinoa, cereal and smoothies.

Lunches will be leftovers, Nachos made with Pinto Beans, PB&J or AB&J, Not So Tuna Salad sandwiches or wraps, and my favorite Spinach, carrot and hummus Wrap.

Snacks will be hummus with fresh veggies, smoothies, chickpeas, and fruit with nut butter.  

Dinner will not be completely planned because I want to focus on using up everything the will not last while I travel. A few of the things that we may eat are:

  • Bean Burrtios
  • Quinoa Tacos
  • Veggie Soup with Chickpeas
  • Steamed Spinach with Chickpeas (I had this yesterday and it was tasty)
  • Nachos
  • Baked Potatoes
  • Potato and Broccoli Soup
Each evening I’ll decide what needs to be eaten and focus on that food type. Some things can be combined like the beans and quinoa to make nachos, or everything thrown together for soup. Most of these things are already cooked so I’ll just have to throw it together and warm it up, or throw it in a pot to simmer. 
 
I also try to eat several different colors of food throughout the day. If I feel like we are missing out on something I’ll make a smoothie because I can throw in spinach, blueberries, pineapple, mango, cherries, or strawberries and feel like we are covering all of or bases. We typically eat a lot of whole grains and carrots so we are rarely missing out on those. 
Do you Meal Plan? It saves me money and frustration each week, give it a try.

How To Get It Done

I’m very fortunate and thankful to be a stay-at-home-mom. I love being home with my kids. Occasionally I miss the working world, usually it is when my kids are driving me crazy. My boys do keep me busy during the day, I can’t just stand in the kitchen for hours at a time.

Using this weeks Meal Plan I’m going to give you examples of how I prepare our dinners. I’ll give you a day by day run down of what I’ve done and how it works for us. We primarily use dried beans and grains. If that doesn’t work for you feel free to use canned beans. Dried beans are less expensive so I prefer them. I do keep canned beans in the pantry for those days I don’t plan ahead. Sometimes I do all of the soaking and cooking on the weekend; that approach may work better if you work full time during the week.

Saturday: I put about 3 cups of rinsed quinoa in 6 cups of water to soak over night. You do not have to soak your quinoa but we prefer it this way.  If you don’t know how to cook quinoa check out this link from The Kitchn.

Sunday: I rinsed the quinoa, again you don’t have to do this step but I prefer it this way. I put it in a sauce pan and with new water and cooked it for about 15 minutes. Once it cooled we put some away for my husband to take to work and the rest is stored for meals throughout the week.

On Sunday night I rinsed 2 cups of white beans and 2 cups of red beans and left them both to soak in 4 cups of water each.

Monday: I cooked both set’s of beans in the morning. It will be hard to resist those come lunch time. They could be combined and cooked in a slow cooker as well. This evening I’ll throw the red and white beans into a large pot with all of the other ingredients for Minestrone Soup. While I’m cutting veggies for this soup I may cut extra for tomorrow nights soup as well.

Tuesday: Cook Potato and Broccoli Soup, this could be done in a slow cooker before you left for work. No prep work unless I want to cut veggies for tomorrow nights meal.

Wednesday: I’ll cook a Veggie Noodle Soup. While it is cooking I will rinse black beans and soak them in water over night.

Thursday: I’ll soak beans to use in Friday night’s Chili. I may have enough leftover beans and not need to cook any new beans.

Friday: I’ll cook Chili. Depending on our leftover situation I may start something new soaking. I try to use up all our leftovers over the weekend so I can shop for groceries and plan a new week of meals.

This works for us but may not work for you. Some nights we just grab bean burritos from a drive thou or eat a PB&J.

If you’ve planned your meals for this week try thinking ahead. What can you do now to save time later?

 

Meal Plan Monday: Soup Week

Potato Soup

My household is a little under the weather this week. I want to pack as much wholesome nutrition into our meals as I can, hopefully we will recover quickly. With that in mind, I have proclaimed that this is Soup Week. And no, it has nothing to do with the Super Bowl.

For the next few weeks I will not have any rice or rice products (rice milk, rice noodles, etc.) in the Meal Plan. My 1 year old has eczema. It has gotten much better since I removed dairy from my diet (he is still nursing). Sometimes I notice reactions to rice products so I’ve decided to eliminate all rice for a few weeks to see if his eczema gets better. Instead of rice I’ll be adding plenty of other grains like quinoa, millet, and maybe even amaranth. 

This week’s Meal Plan

Breakfast will be oatmeal or toast with a nut butter and fruit.

Snack will be fresh fruit, smoothies, or raw veggies with Jalapeno hummus.

Lunch is typically leftovers or sometimes a sandwich or a wrap. My favorite lunch is throwing together leftover grains, beans, and seasonings or salsa.

Dinner

Monday: Minestrone Soup

TuesdayPotato and Broccoli Soup

Wednesday: Veggie Noodle Soup

Thursday: Black Bean Soup

Friday: Chili

The Best Chili Ever

Last week was much less hectic since I had a meal plan, click here to see it. I had already done the shopping and planning, there was no reason to dread the question, “what’s for dinner.” I didn’t stick to it the plan perfectly but I didn’t plan to. On Thursday night we ended up having bean burritos instead of the black bean burgers. We went out to eat on Friday so there was no planning involved.

Have you planned your menu for the week?

Food Waste Friday: Tomatoes

Tomatoes

This week I’ve really focused on not wasting food, despite the icky stir-fry I posted about yesterday. We still had a lot of veggies and rice that we DID NOT want to eat. I actually wanted to dump the whole thing. So yesterday I made a quick breakfast using leftover brown rice, almond milk, cinnamon and raisins.

Left Over Stir-Fry and Potato Soup

For lunch I used most of the remaining veggies plus two potatoes, some leftover veggie broth, and left over sauce from the Monday night’s pasta dish and made a delightful soup. It was almost as good as the Enchilada Soup, a.k.a. Soup of Awesomeness.

One day for lunch I made bagel pizza’s using the leftover Black Bean Burgers that didn’t quite make the cut. They were too crumbly for burgers but perfect for pizza bagels.

Bagel Pizza

Bagel Pizza with Cheeze Sauce

These are not as good as regular pizza BUT I can’t eat regular pizza AND this saved me from wasting the black bean burgers, some marinara sauce, and bell pepper!

I just cooked about two pounds of fresh green beans, most of them will go in the freezer. I just couldn’t pass up that 99¢ per pound sale.

All in all I’m pretty pleased with only wasting some tomatoes this week.

Food Waste Friday is hosted at The Frugal Girl every Friday. 

FoodWasteFriday

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