Thinking ahead saves time. Thinking ahead saves money. Thinking ahead saves energy. This is why I am enjoying sharing our Loose Meal Planning. Life doesn’t always allow me to think ahead as we run along life’s trail, but I at least try to think ahead most of the time. The following recipes are all possibilities for these next couple of weeks as I aim to make the best of the resources that God has given me. And yet, I will remain flexible to the possibility of major menu modifications, sudden outings, sickness, dinner dates, potlucks, etc….
So for the next two weeks here are my plans.
- Homemade Granola and commercial cereals like Mom’s Best or EnviroKids for the other days: I haven’t bought any commercial cereal the last couple of weeks. My new limit for buying cereal is one box a week unless it’s on a super sale, and I see that this week Fred Meyer has their new brand Simple Truths Organic Cereal on sale for $2/box. I’ll be stocking up. I also plan to make a quadruple batch of granola on Monday-my baking day this week.
- Steel Cut Oats: frugal and fiber-filled, with fruit, nuts, cinnamon and honey. I am now making this faithfully once a week with leftovers for one more breakfast. I am putting a little Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother mixed with honey in the steel cut oats for many immune boosting and health benefits.
- I didn’t do well adding smoothies or sorbets to our mornings routine the last two weeks. I will try again on our looser days, even if it’s our mid-morning snack. They really are such an easy way to get more greens and fresh produce into our
- Saturday Morning Special: I didn’t make the Waffles with 100% white whole wheat flour (it’s all whole wheat flour) that I modify for me without eggs and dairy because we still had frozen pancakes left. Yay! So maybe next Saturday I’ll double the recipe and freeze some.
- Crock-pot yogurt for the family with honey and walnuts (I will try to test myself on yogurt next week as I am trying to see how my body reacts to different types of dairy)
- Scrambled eggs with lots of veggies
- Tuna Lettuce Wraps
- Nachos (my #1 go-to lunch meal) with my no-cheese cheese for me, and real cheese for the fam (since cheese didn’t go well for me last week:(). I coat them with organic greens and organic salsa. Homemade salsa is something I will only make during tomato season, so I buy the Organic Salsa from Costco during the off-season.
- Leftovers from dinner like soups
DINNER: It’s become very apparent to me that I base meals around meat, and I have been doing it for years. I believe God created meat for us to enjoy, but the SAD Diet (the Standard American Diet) is dominated by meat. We eat way, WAY too much meat as a society and should, as a whole, start adding more nuts and seeds (including nut butters), lentils and beans for other protein sources. Not only is it great to expand our pallets and have variety, but lentils and beans are particularly frugal and are such a great way to cut our grocery bill.
- I made three different batches of Lentil Chili and then tried to hide it in burritos, and threw a little cheese on them for the family, and JSarr said they were better than bean burritos! That’s huge for us, since bean burritos is one of our fallback, quick staples. I will be experimenting with more lentils in the next couple of weeks because I went to a fundraiser and had lentils infused with lemons. Yum! Now I have to go explore.
- I did make my first re-fried beans from scratch this week. They were nice and fresh, but I want to add more kick to them before I share with you, since I think they were kind of bland. We will have some bean burritos for Sunday Supper this week.
- I have some leftover organic chicken from Costco that I crock-potted, but made it with oranges and ginger instead of lemons. I will shred the chicken, and I want to add to a spicy ginger sauce with lots of raw veggies. I am in love with the sauce, as is my whole family! If I think about it, I will crock-pot some quinoa before church, so it’s ready at lunchtime to be topped with all sorts of veggie, chicken, and ginger sauce deliciousness!
- I didn’t get to make Tortilla Soup last week, so that’s on my list for this week since I have broth and chicken.
- I still haven’t made sweet and sour chicken, either (sigh), but we are going to a Chinese Food themed dinner, so maybe then?? We were out to at least 3 different potlucks the last two weeks, along with three dinner dates which is HIGHLY unusual. We haven’t been on a date since the end of last year I want to say. All that to say, I didn’t get to make as many meals as I thought I would.
- I will be making some homemade $0.61 sourdough bread at least a couple of times in the next two weeks.
- We will continue to have salad with almost every meal. I have been experimenting with a dairy-free Caesar Dressing inspired by Dr. Furhman, but it needs a bit more punch.
- We have lots of bell peppers that I accidentally bought yesterday (not knowing we had more at home), so I started exploring stuffing them and serving them as a meal. Maybe it will be our meatless Monday dish?
- Fred Meyer has it’s Boneless Cross Rib Roast on sale for $2.98/lb. I just asked JSarr if that’s good, and he said, “yes”. I haven’t bought a beef roast in ages. Don’t know if I’ll crock-pot it or freeze it. Actually JSarr mentioned getting two, so maybe I’ll do both.
SNACKS & DESSERT:
- We are going through apples like crazy because me and the kids are eating an apple a day with nut butter and those tiny little chocolate chips you see pictured below. Simply sublime.
- I made some sourdough doughnuts in last week and still a little dough left. The kids were so excited when they had freshly baked doughnuts for breakfast and a sorbet as a special treat!
- We are snacking on grapefruit and bananas, too. Ellie is asking for celery with peanut butter, so I need to chop up a bunch. A lot of times Fred Meyer will have their organic celery marked down at the beginning of the week for $1.39 for a bunch that is about 2 pounds. It makes the organic cheaper than the conventional, but you have to eat it right away. Easy when you are making soups and smoothies.
- We always have 4 ingredients peanut butter granola bars and almond butter granola bars on hand. I try to never let these run out, so I am planning to make a batch of each on Monday.