Meals! Meals! Meals!

A few days ago, after this post on my various social media accounts, I had several of you ask me to consider writing a “meal planning” post. So here we are!

Now, truthfully, you should know that I don’t technically plan my meals out for the week. For the most part, I just keep specific foods on hand and a bevy of various meals already in my arsenal. So I thought I’d share with you the foods we keep on hand regularly, the foods we buy occasionally, and the meals that occupy my rotation. If you’ve found yourself stuck in a food rut, I hope you find this helpful and maybe even inspiring!

groceries

 

My “Keep on Hand” Foods:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Berries (raspberries are my personal favorite)
  • Cheese (sliced and shredded)
  • Green Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Russet Potatoes
  • Ground Beef
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Brown Eggs
  • Avocados
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Baby Carrots
  • Salsa
  • Green Onions
  • Red Onions
  • Minced Garlic
  • Olive 0il
  • Coconut Oil
  • Spinach
  • Frozen Fruits and Veggies (to make Nora’s food/my green drinks)
  • Bread (also for Nora)
  • Almond Milk
  • Whole Milk
  • Raw Nuts
  • Bell Peppers
  • Forbidden (black) Rice
  • Hot Sauce
  • Romaine Hearts
  • Dark Chocolate (70% or higher)
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Turkey Bacon
  • Turkey Kielbasa
  • Real Butter
  • Guacamole
  • Black Beans
  • Chicken Broth
  • Aidell’s Chicken Apple Sausage
  • Fair Trade Coffee
  • Hot Tea

My “Less Common” Foods:

*A note about my less common foods: these are less common for us due to the season, cost, amount of sugar, or I just forget about them.berriesWe do our best to buy grass fed, organic, non GMO foods with the cleanest ingredients. However, unfortunately sometimes our budget just doesn’t allow for it, so we do the best we can with what we have. For example, I’d much rather buy Applegate Turkey Bacon, but right now we have to use Jennie-O because that’s what works for our budget. We try to keep our meals full of protein and veggies, and sparse on grains. I’m not against grains, per se, but since I’m personally trying to lose some extra weight, making grains a rarity in our meals helps me a lot. I also use herbs and spices in everything. They add so much flare and flavor to meals and make them so much more enjoyable.

Now onto the meals I keep in our regular rotation. I like these meals the most because they’re delicious, first of all, but also because their prep doesn’t tend to drain what little energy I have left at the end of the day. eggs and avo

 

  • Fried Eggs (in olive oil spray): paired with sliced avocado or leftover potatoes (sweet or russet). For “Southwest Style”, I add cumin, chili powder, paprika, cilantro, green onions and hot sauce. Or you can have them all by themselves with just some sea salt and pepper!
  • Scramble Bowls: eggs scrambled with a mix of any of the following: minced garlic, fresh spinach, chicken apple sausage, avocado, green onions, sliced cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, shredded cheese, goat cheese, salsa, hot sauce. Possibilities are limitless, be creative!Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset
  • Baked Drumsticks with Oven Roasted Green Beans: chicken legs seasoned with seasoned salt or sea salt, garlic powder, paprika, topped with pats of butter or ghee; green beans tossed in olive oil and seasoned with s&p. I personally like to bake my chicken legs until the outside is nice and crispy! burritobowl
  • Burrito Bowls: our version of Chipotle’s Naked Burrito; grilled chicken or southwest style seasoned ground beef or ground chicken, chopped romaine hearts, cooked black beans, chopped green onions, sauteed veggies of choice (we like bell peppers and zucchini/squash), and forbidden rice topped with a sprinkle of monterey jack or cheddar cheese and a dollop of Greek yogurt.
  • Turkey Kielbasa, Bell Pepper and Potato Skillet: pretty much exactly that; I pull out my big electric skillet and cook those three ingredients (sometimes four, if I add red onions) in real butter and minced garlic, season with s&p, and it’s good to go! greendrink
  • Green Drink: two handfuls of spinach, a cup or so of coconut water, two handfuls of frozen tropical fruit, two or three tablespoons of pure lime juice, a sprinkle of unsweetened shredded coconut, blended to perfection.
  • Bunless Burgers with Fries: ground beef seasoned with s&p, ground sage, and minced garlic, topped with either a slice of cheese or a dollop of guacamole (or both if you like), with a side of either baked sweet or russet potato fries. Sometimes if I’m feeling too tired, instead of hand slicing the fries, I’ll use a bag of Alexia fries because they have a pretty clean list of ingredients. salad
  • Salads: chopped romaine hearts or spinach, topped with whatever the hell you want; turkey bacon, cherry tomatoes, hardboiled egg, sunflower seeds, goat cheese, shredded cheese, red onions, green onions, bell peppers, berries, nuts, grilled chicken, dressing (but not too much now), oil and vinegar. We don’t eat salads for dinner a whole lot during the winter because we usually want something nice and hot, but they’re a big hit during the summer! Occasionally if I’m craving the green crunch, I’ll make a nice, big salad for lunch.Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset
  • Hearty Vegetable Stoup: you can actually find the entire recipe in this recent post of mine.
  • Chili: I make a version of Ree Drummond’s recipe; I use all dark red kidney beans.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
  • Grilled Chicken with Juli Bauer’s Spicy Sweet Potatoes: that pretty much sums it up; simple and delicious!
  • Baked Potatoes: we don’t have them terribly often, but if we’re in need of something easy and filling; baked russet potatoes topped with a reasonable amount of real butter or ghee, green onions, s&p, shredded cheese and Greek yogurt.
  • Chicken Fajitas: sliced chicken, bell peppers and red onions, either cooked in the skillet or baked in the oven; topped with a little shredded cheese and a bit of Greek yogurt, no tortillas needed!
  • pancakesBreakfast or Brinner: also a very diverse meal; eggs any way you like, turkey bacon, potatoes, chicken apple sausage, fresh fruit, pancakes – take your pick! We keep pancakes as a very special treat, but when I make them, I either use an almond flour recipe, or Kodiak Cakes because I also trust their ingredients, and just a drizzle of real maple syrup.charcuterie
  • Charcuterie: another special occasion meal (i.e. we are having this tonight while we watch the Golden Globes), because putting a great charcuterie tray together can get expensive, but totally worth it; choose from any of the following (or all of it!): sliced cheese (my favorites are havarti, sharp cheddar, provolone and muenster), sliced deli meats (turkey breast, hard salami, pepperoni, pastrami, etc), a variety of crackers (water crackers wth cracked pepper are my fave), dips or spreads including sweet and spicy mustard, goat cheese, yellow mustard or sriracha, maybe some fruits (I love Granny Smith apples on my platter), but some stone fruits such as plums or peaches would work also. You can always add some fun extras like raw nuts, baby pickles, or olives.

I’m sure I could think of so many more meals to share with you, but I’ll keep it to these for now. My list of “keep on hand” foods provides me with such a wide variety of options and ideas, that I almost don’t have to write out a weekly menu, which I don’t do anyway. Because the ingredients are fresh and simple, they also provide me with lovely, healthy snack when the mood strikes me. I love having a nice snack of fresh raspberries. I eat one small piece of dark chocolate each night, you know, “for the antioxidants”.

I hope that this was helpful to you and maybe you’ll be inspired to try some new meals! I’d love to hear your thoughts or any of your recipe ideas as well!

 

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