An Example of Meal Planning

I’ve written previously about how I plan meals: Buying what looks good and/or is on sale, and then brainstorming what I can turn into full meals when I get home.

I thought I’d give an example of what I came up with after shopping today.

  1. Zucchini noodles, basil and pine nut pesto, sundried tomatoes, and italian sausage
    We had the zucchini in the fridge from last week and we have some Italian sausage in the freezer. I picked up some fresh basil at the store on Wednesday. We intended to make it this weekend, but ended up having other plans. We’ll most likely make it on Monday.
  2. Sous vide pork tenderloin, roasted broccoli, and a side arugula salad
    We have two pork tenderloins in the freezer that I bought last week, spiced and vacuum sealed immediately, and then froze. We picked up some broccoli today and I’ll likely roast it and grate some pecorino romano on top. The arugula salad will be a quick mix of vinegar, oil, and some roasted red peppers we picked up today.
  3. Stuffed Peppers
    We saw some huge green peppers at the store, so I also picked up some ground beef so we can make stuffed peppers. I have a box of Zatarain’s Dirty Rice mix in the pantry, so I’ll probably cook that up with the ground beef and stuff the peppers with it.
  4. Sous vide ribeye with roasted fingerling potatoes and a side arugula salad
    We picked up the ribeye last weekend when it was on sale and vacuum sealed and froze it when we got home. We picked up the fingerling potatoes today and I’ll probably roast them with some oil, garlic, and pepper. I’ll salt them when they come out of the oven. The arugula salad will probably have a dressing of olive oil and lemon juice, then I’ll use a vegetable peeler to shave some hard cheese on top.
  5. Chickpea pasta with cherry tomato sauce, kale, and chicken & spinach sausage 
    The Food Lab’s cherry tomato sauce is one of my favorite quick pasta sauces. We bought a big container of cherry tomatoes just for this. We have two boxes of Banza chickpea rotini, which we love. It is gluten free, has tons of protein, and has a low glycemic index. A chicken and spinach sausage made at a grocery store we like (Stew Leonard’s) was on sale, so we picked up a package to toss with the pasta. The Lacinato kale looked great as we walked by, so I’ll probably put some of that in there, too.
  6. Veggie Frittata or Crustless Quiche
    We picked up some more eggs today and some brussels sprouts, so I’ll probably make a frittata or crustless quiche with it. We also replenished our supply of sugar free bacon today, so a package of that will probably get crisped up and thrown in as well.

Other options:

  • We picked up some beautiful peaches that we’ll probably cut in half and grill with some cinnamon sugar one evening for dessert. We don’t have a grill, but we do have a grill pan, which works just as well for peaches.
  • We picked up a 2lb bag of various shredded vegetables: Golden beets, broccoli stalks, caulifower hearts, brussels sprouts, carrots, kale, and radicchio. It is cheap and the last for well over a week. I’m not sure exactly how we’ll use them, but we always do. They usually end up quickly sauteed with some spices and used as the base of a lunch bowl with leftover meat, an avocado, and hot sauce. Or as the base of a breakfast bowl. Or I could toss some in the frittata or quiche if we decide to use the brussels sprouts another night.
  • We have carrots. They could be snacks or quickly roasted with some cumin for an alternate side dish.

I don’t quite know exactly when we’ll make these meals, except that the zucchini noodles and pesto needs to be Monday so that the basil doesn’t go bad. Other than that, I’ll probably decide around noon each day. Knowing exactly what I can make with what I have on-hand will make deciding a lot easier.

These meal options will take care of lunches for the week, too. I’ll make enough to have leftovers of each that both Amanda and I will eat for lunch.

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