Ok, so I know I'm a novice at meal planning and I've not yet mastered the plan that uses leftovers of one meal for new meals in the coming days, but for me, meal planning is simply having a plan for meals. My objective is to use up the food I have in my freezers, eat the food I have fresh in my fridge, and throw as little away as possible. My progress has actually been quite good. My spreadsheet that I mentioned in an earlier post has come in very handy if for no other reason that it tells me what is in the freezer and available for my meal plan!
The thing I am finding out through sticking with my "eating it until it's gone" or freezing it approach is that food takes you through a lot more meals than you expect. So from last week, I am still working on the last of my curry chicken salad and peanut stew. That will be gone today. But, I'm still working on a large batch of gumbo, which has at least 2 servings left. And, true to my word of thawing something unlabeled in the fridge and eating it, I thawed (wouldn't you know it), gumbo broth! So now this meal that was already stretching into it's fourth day, is now going to stretch another three. Luckily, I still have another pound of frozen shrimp and won't have to buy anything there. Oh, and I have tofu. I have no idea why I bought the tofu or what I should do with it now. Any ideas?
So here's my Meal Plan for this week.
Today, I boiled 6 eggs. I have 4 servings of prepared steel-cut oats in the fridge, a bag of grapefruits, a bag of carrots, and zucchini. Tonight, I'll make hummus and start portioning out the week's food into containers. Oh yeah, I do that, too. It helps with portion control if all you have to do is grab and go.
Grocery List: green grapes, green peppers, other fresh fruits and vegetables, cottage cheese, yogurt, chickpeas, salad greens, tomatoes, butter, walnuts, lime, and oven roasted chicken breast. I hope to keep the bill under $40. If it is on the meal plan and not on the grocery list above, I already have it. Oh, and keep in mind, I'm on a weight-loss diet. This may not sound very interesting, but it will work.
Sunday: Breakfast: grapefruit, cottage cheese and peaches. Lunch: Senegalese peanut chowder and curry chicken salad. Dinner: shrimp gumbo and brown rice. Dessert: yogurt. Snacks: grapes and carrots.
Monday: Breakfast: grapefruit, steel-cut oats. Lunch: hard-boiled egg sandwich with dill-yogurt spread, pretzels, carrots and grapes. Dinner: shrimp gumbo and brown rice. Dessert: yogurt. Snacks: grapes and carrots with hummus.
Tuesday: Breakfast: grapefruit, cottage cheese and peaches. Lunch: hard-boiled egg sandwich with spicy brown mustard, fake peanut butter and wasa crackers, carrots and a pear. Dinner: shrimp gumbo and brown rice. Dessert: fruit. Snacks: carrots and grapes.
Wednesday: Breakfast: grapefruit, steel-cut oats. Lunch: chicken breast (deli-meat) sandwich (or shrimp gumbo if there's any left), carrots, and grapes. Dinner: boca burger with lettuce and tomato on whole wheat bun, baked doritos and salsa, and grilled zucchini. Dessert: Weight Watchers mini bar. Snack: hard-boiled egg, wasa with hummus.
Thursday: Breakfast: grapefruit, steel-cut oats. Lunch: chicken breast (deli-meat) sandwich (or the last of the gumbo if there is any left), carrots, grapes, and cottage cheese with walnuts. Dinner: Curry chicken pizza with onion and bell pepper. Dessert: Weight Watchers mini bar. Snacks: carrots and hummus, and yogurt.
Friday: Breakfast: grapefruit, cottage cheese and peaches. Lunch: chicken breast (deli-meat) sandwich, grilled zucchini, and hard-boiled egg. Dinner: Boca burger smothered in onions and peppers on a whole wheat bun, side salad of tomato and lettuce, baked doritos and salsa. Dessert: Weight Watchers mini bar. Snacks: yogurt and fake peanut butter and wasa cracker.
Saturday: Breakfast: grapefruit, steel-cut oats. Lunch: Boca burger with tomato and lettuce on whole wheat bun, vegetable barley soup. Dinner: Chicken tacos with lettuce, tomato, salsa, bell pepper and lime, baked doritos and salsa, and black beans. Dessert: yogurt. Snacks: pear and cottage cheese.
So yeah, I realize that I have a heavy dependence on carrots as a snack and sometimes as a vegetable source, but the gumbo has a lot of vegetables in it. If anyone has any ideas for spicing up a weight loss diet, I'm all ears.