Meal Planning over Tea`d Oats
25 Mon, 2010 § 9 Comments
Scouring the pantry, scrutinizing fruit & vegetables & eying Christine’s garden.
This is how I began “meal planning” for the week. What do we have that needs to be used before it goes bad? [I hate wasting food.] What else do we have on hand that could be used?
Need To Use:
- bell peppers! [from my mom’s garden]
- pumpkin puree
- whole spaghetti squash
- pealed, raw butternut squash section [I cut & froze this over the weekend because I was afraid we would not use it in time.]
- artichoke hearts, canned
- fava beans, canned
- bulk beans & lentils [dried]
- greens from the garden
- carrots from the garden
As I am brainstorming & coming across recipes I would like to make, I also ask the “household” if there is anything specific they would like [or like to make] this week — which is World Go Vegan Week by the way.
Christine wants to make homemade pasta this week.
Dave would like sausage [not “vegan” I’m sure ;)].
Then using my “menu”, I start to write in meals for the week, keeping foods, sauces, etc in mind that could be used in multiples meals. Examples: 1. last week I made Angela’s amazing Lentil-Walnut Burgers [a favorite!] to have with dinner salads as well as with fruit [or squash] & nut butter for breakfast. 2. I also cooked plenty of chickpeas for Braised Lebanese Eggplant & had extra legumes for topping salads & roasting as climbing snacks. 3. The rest of the pumpkin puree from Friday’s crepes will be used in my favorite pizza dough this week. 4. “Leftover Lover“, Janetha, is super creative with her leftovers if you want some great ideas.
Dissecting my menu.
The top section is for dinner.
The next space is reserved for notes for the day [like “make pizza dough”, “cook beans”, “Christine to the airport”].
The lines are for ingredients that we need for a meal or the day but do not have, a.k.a., grocery shopping list.
The last space is for lunches & snacks throughout the day.
Here are the dinner “plans” this week.
Sunday: Pesto Quinoa-Millet Stuffed Peppers [tasty, especially topped w/melted “cheese”.]
Monday: Grilled Artichoke Hearts & Spaghetti Squash with Garlic Sauce & Fava Beans
Tuesday: “Pasta Night” a la Christine: Mushroom & Tofu-Ricotta Ravioli with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce & Wilted Chard. [I can’t wait!]
Wednesday: [Veg]Sausages & Roasted Winter Vegetables
Thursday: Christine –> Airport . Dinner out in Phoenix with Dave.
Friday: Butternut Squash & Cashew Cheese Pizza
I do not stress if a day is left open — you have to leave room for life to happen — in case something comes up like an invite out or being at the crag until after dark or coming across a recipe you just have to make NOW. Don’t stress if you have to bump a meal to a following day in the week for some reason. By Saturday, my once pressed & dressed menu looks like a spider web of arrows & markings. Oh, & cross off meals as you make them; there is something oh.so.satisfying about crossing items off a list! 😉
Lunch planning is less structured, but I still have to be conscientious of it or I could easily eat nut butter & Ezekiel cereal all day…oops. Dave & I generally eat quite differently for lunch, which was never a problem when he was at the office. Now that we are both home during the day, we are figuring out how to coordinate day meals. I also eat 5 – 6 small meals during the day [centered around fruit & veggies], rather than 3 substantial ones, which is Dave’s style. Currently, we simply decide on a few things to have around for lunches & snacks [& breakfasts]…like salad & sandwich fixings, fruit, baked tofu, hummus, lentils…this week…& figure on creatively [& sometimes not-so-creatively] consuming some dinner leftovers. One afternoon this week, we are making vegan super nachos…oh yeah. 🙂
The grocery shopping list:
- sweet potatoes
- baby spinach
- seasonal fruit
- “sprouted” tofu [for ricotta]
- “sprouted” baked tofu
- Daiya “cheese”
Pretty short this week, which is good because my cart always seems to fill with more than I had intended — especially when Mr. Impulse[shopper] accompanies me. 😉
I generally try to limit paper waste, but with some things, it just helps for me to have it down on paper. At least I double print, flip chart-style for easy flippage, & use recycled paper when I can get my hands on it.
Here is a pdf of my blank menu. Simply click on “menu” below, print, write in the month at the top as well as the dates that coordinate to the day of the week & begin planning a delicious week!
As I was attempting to articulate my meal planning process, I wanted something warm for breakfast. It is cold today. Oats might do…but not just any old boring oats.
[Honeybush]Brewed Blueberry Oatmeal
I had thought to infuse rice with tea but somehow completely brushed past the brilliance of cooking oatmeal with it. Thank you Ashley for realizing tea is for more than just sipping on these cool mornings.
- 1 C of a favorite tea, brewed according to directions
- ½ C Oats
- dash of salt
- ½ C Blueberries
- ½ T Chia seeds