I don't know if you know this about blogging…but let me just tell ya…it takes a lot of time.
“Not now, Stuart…can't you see I'm typing a post on squash?”
“Georgia, can you please go change your own diaper this time? I'm in the middle of re-configuring my margins.”
I kid. If I ever get to the point when I am ignoring my family to write on my blog, Lord help me.
The truth is, even though it takes time, consistency, and energy – I love this blog. I love hearing from my readers. I love getting comments & emails. I love being able to have a virtual space to connect with others like me and being able to learn new skills. I love the encouragement we can bring to one another. What a cool place the internet is!
That being said, I thought it's be fun to bring a new element to this rad blog.
Weekly menu plans.
I've received lots of comments & emails from readers inquiring as to how to incorporate better foods into their diets. And yes, I am in the process of writing a detailed e-book on this as we speak! But because that will take me a few more months to complete, in the meantime, I thought it might be beneficial if I posted a menu.
Each Thursday, I plan our menu for the next week. Normally, I don't write down breakfasts and lunches, because they are fairly consistent and are usually leftovers. But for your sake, I will try to document three meals per day. Plus snacks, of course. Because this girl loves snacks. Also – please note that I like to cook a lot (as in, big portions!) for dinner. That way, we always have leftovers for lunches. It's hardly any more effort to cook extra…and really pays off the next day!
Obviously, your family may have different taste preferences than mine, which is fine! These menu guides are simply an outline of what our whole-foods diet looks like. Switch 'em up and swap things out as you wish! Would it be helpful if I included our grocery list too?
If you don't already plan a weekly (biweekly, or even monthly!) menu, might I recommend it? Not only does planning a menu keep you from beating your head against a wall as you try to figure out what to cook for dinner, but it also allows you to overlap ingredients and plan out your grocery list. I cannot be trusted going into a grocery store without a list – it's just too dangerous. We have a rule in our home – if it's not on the list, we don't buy it! Period.
Exception is made for red wine and/or artichokes and/or pomegranates. Because I love all of these things and if I see them I buy them. Always.
That being said, let's start this bad boy!:
Breakfast: Fried eggs, soaked whole wheat toast, fruit
Snack: Homemade popcorn
Lunch: Potato goulash (fried potatoes, onions, peppers, eggs, mushrooms, avocado, tomatoes, etc.), corn tortillas, fruit
Dinner: Moroccan chicken, basmati rice, cucumber salad
Breakfast: Kefir smoothies, scrambled eggs
Snack: Dried fruit and almonds
Lunch: Leftover Moroccan chicken & rice, veggie sticks
Dinner: Beef stew, soaked whole wheat bread, roasted beets
Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal with fruit, scrambled eggs
Snack: Cheese sticks, sliced cucumber
Lunch: Leftover beef stew, veggie sticks
Dinner: Scotch eggs and soaked waffles with pear butter
Breakfast: Homemade yogurt & fruit, fried eggs, bacon, and toast
Snack: Homemade popcorn
Lunch: Leftover scotch eggs and waffles, fresh fruit & veggies
Dinner: Beef bourgignon, smooshed potatoes, grilled eggplant
Breakfast: Dutch baby pancake with apples, scrambled eggs
Snack: Fresh fruit and almonds
Lunch: Leftover beef bourgignon, potatoes, and fresh veggies
Dinner: Homemade tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches with avocado on soaked whole wheat bread, cabbage slaw with almonds and miso dressing
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs & toast, kefir smoothies
Snack: Cheese sticks, veggies
Lunch: Leftover tomato soup, leftover cabbage slaw, fresh fruit
Dinner: Mom and Dad's for family dinner!
Breakfast: Homemade fried potatoes, bacon and eggs, homemade yogurt & fruit
Lunch: Moroccan Stuffed Acorn Squash, toasted & salted almonds, green salad or beans
Dinner: Eat up all the leftovers!
Is this set in stone? No way. Sometimes, we'll invite friends over last minute and need to change plans or we decide to have egg sandwiches for dinner. It's flexible – don't worry! The purpose of my menu is (primarily) to make sure I have all the ingredients I need to make meals, but it's also to give me peace of mind. Having a plan, laid out ahead of time, allows me to put my mental-energy into something else. Like blogging. Uhh, hello?!
Ten minutes of planning can replace an hour of standing in front of your refridgerator wondering what the heck you're going to produce out of old celery and a tub of sour cream.
And lastly, planning a menu allows us the luxury of having fun with our food! Slip a few jazzy recipes into your menu! It doesn't have to be boring! When I know that I get to try a fun new recipe, or use a unique ingredient, it gets me excited about cooking dinner. Truly, it does.
Like yesterday morning, when I got to try a new pear dutch baby pancake recipe! Whoop whoop! Girlfriend's on fire!
Simple pleasures, my friends. Simple pleasures.