I thought it would be fun to do a post on “how my #mealplan actually went this week” to show you some of how my brain works, and perhaps help you think through using what you have on hand to be both creative and flexible in the kitchen! I am not super great at sticking to any set plan, and some weeks it can be comical how different our meals end up than I expected. I do have another post on meal planning you can read here: Meal Planning 101 if you would like. I will warn you again…sticking to plans is not my strong suit!
- I tend to think through the amount of meals I need to make (determined by the number of meals we are having out, dates, leftovers, etc.), but I don’t assign them to a day. This allows me to remain flexible with my energy level and where any afternoon adventures take us.
- In my current phase of pregnancy, I am not doing a lot of recipe creating. Instead, I stick with tried and true things I love to make life easier.
- Nate needed a lunch only two days this week. I normally make him a turkey sandwich with a side salad, a small little tupperware of peanuts, and a Daily Green smoothie.
- We went into this week with a well stocked pantry/freezer. Lots of cans, grains, meat, etc.
WHAT I KNEW I HAD ALREADY: (we had much more than this in the pantry, but these are things I knew I could base meals around)
- 1 pack of chicken breasts in the freezer
- venison sausage in the freezer
- whole-grain rotini for pasta
- half and half
- a jar of roasted red peppers
- homemade chicken broth in the freezer
- black bean soup in the freezer
- frozen organic broccoli
- canned tuna
WHAT I BOUGHT: (along with the normal staple items like peanut butter, milk, etc)
- 2 white onions
- pack of 3 peppers (1 red, 1 yellow, 1 orange)
- 3 sweet potatoes
- fruit for the week
- large container of salad mix
- Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
- Breakfast Casserole with sausage, peppers, and onion
- BBQ chicken, rice/quinoa cooked in broth, roasted green beans
- Black bean soup with cheese quesadlilas
WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED:
- decided on the plan and took the venison sausage out of the freezer to defrost in the fridge
- took a quart of homemade chicken stock out of the freezer to defrost in the fridge for the roasted red pepper sauce
- I bought a large container of @organicgirl power greens to throw in with all the meals because I love salad!
Monday: planned to have Roasted Red Pepper Pasta; actually had Breakfast Hash
- went ahead and chopped onion for the pasta sauce, breakfast casserole, and BBQ chicken so that would be done and stuck it in the fridge in a tupperware; also chopped the peppers while I was at it
- made the sauce, but then realized that since the sauce was made I could keep it for another day in the week when energy was lower and we needed something fast
- realized we didn’t have any of my mom’s bread and I really wanted it in the breakfast casserole, but then I realized we had sweet potatoes and so switched the meal to Breakfast Hash
- got to chopping sweet potatoes, then roasted them in the oven
- sautéed the onions and peppers and sausage for the hash
- made a batch of the Daily Green
- mom came over and peeled apples for us to have the most delicious and easy baked apples (“recipe” to come but it’s so easy you just peel and slice apples, let them cook down on the stove, then add some cinnamon. truly that simple!)
- LUNCH: whipped up a super fast curried tuna salad and ate it over lettuce
- decided we would have the pasta for dinner so we could go to the park and play all afternoon!
- served it with a super simple salad topped with pine nuts, Mom’s Maple Mustard Dressing, and shredded carrots
- took the chicken out of the freezer to defrost in the fridge for later in the week
- LUNCH: went out to lunch with Nate’s Aunt Deb who came to visit us!
- wasn’t dying to have BBQ chicken and still had some diced peppers and onions leftover, so opted to add them to my Greek-ish crockpot chicken
- had leftover chicken broth, so used it to make the Ginger-Turmeric Quinoa
- quickly steamed some broccoli, which takes 6 minutes in my Pampered Chef Steamer (my mom gave it to me like 10 years ago, and I am mildly obsessed with this thing!)
- LUNCH: Mary Ellen came over and we both had leftover tuna salad (I actually made a second batch at this time because I had an extra can) over greens with diced peppers and shredded carrots
- went to see my parents yesterday and my mom sent me home with frozen vegetable soup and I accidentally left it out on the counter and it defrosted…sad! But was still cold in the morning, so decided that would be dinner that night with cheese toast (I didn’t want to refreeze because there is some meat in the soup, but also didn’t feel a need to toss it because it was still cold; it basically defrosted over night)
- I had the cheese leftover because I planned to make a breakfast casserole, which calls for cheese but didn’t end up making one so this was perfect!
- LUNCH: had leftover breakfast hash with the last of the greens and that amazing Garden Goddess Dressing I posted about in my feed
- we are headed to the beach!
- LUNCH: I packed the last of the tuna salad, the tiny bit of breakfast hash still left, made PB&Js for the kids, and packed some of the leftover fruit, hummus, etc. for them
- **I was not concerned about the amount of tuna eaten as 2 cans total is only 10 ounces, and Mary Ellen enjoyed it with me on Wednesday. I bet I had around 7 ounces over the course of the week.
Prepped food still left going into the weekend:
- tiny bit of the Greek-ish chicken, which I will eat for lunch on Saturday
- quinoa, which I will pair with the chicken for lunch, and also roll into another meal if there’s enough left
What was consumed and how:
- all the peppers (hash, salads)
- all the lettuce (salads all week long!)
- all the onions (pasta sauce, hash, crockpot chicken)
- all the avocados (I put these with the kids meals all the time)
- all the breakfast hash (dinner one night and lunch another)
- all the tuna salad (lunch 3x)
Now, going into making a grocery list for next week, I will start by surveying the fridge, freezer, and pantry to see what we have and go from there! Hope this was helpful for some of you to see how it played out. It was fun for me to do!
Have a wonderful weekend, friends!