Thinking ahead saves time. Thinking ahead saves money. Thinking ahead saves energy. These are all good reasons why I am enjoying sharing our Loose Meal Planning. Life doesn’t always allow me to think ahead as we travel along it’s vast trails, twists and turns, 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, yet remaining flexible to the unknown.
You will find the actual food in bold if you want to skip all of the musings.
The March 27th episode of Dr. Oz featured two authors: Dr. Don Colbert (What Would Jesus Eat), and A.J. Jacobs (The Year of Living Biblically). The episode was intriguing as these two authors were talking about what Jesus may have eaten. So I thought I would highlight a few of the main points and principles talked about in the show.
Jesus ate primarily a plant-based diet and fish and drank water and wine. This doesn’t mean He was vegan or even vegetarian. Jesus did eat a passover lamb once a year and they would feast and eat a fatted calf. These days the SAD (Standard American Diet) “mandates” that we are supposed have our daily portions of meat. With this our society has become so accustomed to an abundance of meat that we now eat it nearly as daily as we eat bread. Maybe we should reconsider….
So from the show:
- God designed our jaws to eat mostly plants. 2/3 of our teeth are made for plant-eating. Our jaws move up and down and sideways. A meat eater like a canine, a wolf, or a lion chews up and down. Interesting…
- Our saliva is designed to break down plants. Digestion starts in the mouth, and when we chew we create an enzyme, amylase, that starts the digestion process. This just makes sense! As a society, we eat way too fast. We would do well to slow down and give a few extra chews. You end up eating less this way and shedding a few pounds over time.
- Our intestines are approximately 4 times longer than we are tall. Woah!! The intestines are designed to extract the nutrients from our foods. There are toxins in animal proteins. Animals intelligently designed as carnivores only have intestines that are twice as long as their bodies. This way the rotting meat that was just eaten stays in their bodies less. There are not as many nutrients to extract out of the meat.
So hear that I am not saying we all need to be vegetarians or vegans. On the contrary we should rejoice and feast when consuming meat. Maybe we just shouldn’t expect it with every meal….
Whatever you believe about meat, I think we can all agree that we need to eat more vegetables. We still eat a lot of meat, just not as much as we used to. My family and I are eating a lot more beans and nuts these days.
What do you think? How much meat should we eat?
Re-capping Our Menu the Last Couple of Weeks:
As I shared in my 4 Tips on Saving $ with Groceries, I am really concentrating on eating out of our refrigerator, not letting food go to waste. I think I waste more than 10% of our food. Hard to tell each week. I have also started going through my freezer. Okay, confession time. This is awful, but we have food in our freezer from 2009 buried in the depths. I am lowering my head and covering my eyes now in great shame. So what do I do with it? Should we attempt to eat some old frozen, yet cooked chicken? What would you do? Right now I am ignoring it. I have ignored it for the last four years. What’s a couple of more weeks. I do want to do something with it soon, though. We already threw away a “new” sorbet that expired in 2011. I HATE throwing away food, but sometimes it has to be done! I also threw away some old taco seasoning today that who knows how many years old it is. I am still feeling the spring cleaning urge.
So for the few weeks here are my plans.
- Saturday Morning Special Waffles: Since I was too tired to soak the sourdough waffle batter for Friday morning (we were at a blessed wedding Thursday night-military), I made these Waffles with 100% white whole wheat flour. I wanted those sourdough waffles though, so I started preparing sourdough waffles last night for our Saturday morning special today. Yum! Recipe coming next week!
- Granola & Cereal: I am planning on making a quadruple batch of Homemade Granola: Monday I plan on making a quadruple batch using two crock-pots. We’ve been able to stretch the quadruple batch of this recipe out for close to three or four weeks! We haven’t had as many commercial cereals like Mom’s Best and Kroger’s new Simple Truth Organic Cereal these days.
- Steel Cut Oats: frugal and fiber-filled, with fruit, nuts, cinnamon, honey, and Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother mixed for many immune boosting and health benefits. We have this every Tuesday with leftovers Wednesday.
- Smoothies or sorbets: We are either having them as part of breakfast, as our mid-morning snack, or as an after-school snack. It depends on the day of the week, but we usually have them at least five days a week. They really are such an easy way to get more greens and fresh produce into our
- Nacho Salad: (nachos-my #1 go-to lunch meal has morphed into a nacho salad) I can use a no-cheese cheese for me, and real cheese for the fam. I am more and more convinced we need to eat salads for lunch. I coat the nacho chips 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
- Crock-pot yogurt: for the family with honey and walnuts. No yogurt for me, though:(
- Scrambled eggs with lots of veggies
- Tuna Lettuce Wraps
- I crock-potted a chicken on Thursday for the meat so tonight we just had Homemade $0.61 Sourdough Bread, and Chicken Salad. I will make some more bread as a side in the next two weeks.
- I will make some Chicken Noodle Soup, subbing the noodles for rice or quinoa.
- We enjoyed the Barbecue Chicken Pizza using sourdough pizza crust so much a few weeks ago, we’ll make some more with homemade barbecue sauce and more chicken leftovers.
- I know the family would love some Chicken Pot Pie since it’s been awhile.
- We’ve got lime, cilantro, and tortillas to use also, hence on the menu is Chicken Taquitos.
- Homemade Refried Bean Burritos: I am learning to thin the beans with water and olive oil so they are more restaurant style.
- Lemon Olive Oil Noodles: I want to experiment more with the noodles getting a good balance of lemon, garlic, and olive oil adding fresh tomatoes.
- Cilantro Lime Pesto: We have four or five small batches of cilantro lime pesto in the freezer. Time to thaw and serve with rice and black beans. I’ll make some fresh without cheese for myself, and I’ll crock-pot the rice because it’s so easy to make in the slow cooker!
- Salad: We have salad with almost every meal.
SNACKS & DESSERT:
- I am eating less of those big $5 Plus Pound Dark Chocolate Bars from Trader Joe’s, since I have been making more blueberry muffins lately. I am trying blueberry muffin recipes with whole wheat flour and almond flour. If you have any favorite blueberry muffin recipes using either of those flours as the base, I’d love for you to post a link in a comment, and I’ll check them out.
- I am using the Lara Bar-Inspired Ball Recipe as a base for a more nutrient dense energy bar packed with dried tart cherries, dried blueberries, nuts, pepitas, chia seeds, flax seeds and some chocolates of course!
- Apples with Nut Butter: Currently Trader Joe’s sells the perfect small little size of organic apples for the tiny people who like to eat them in our family, so almost everyday this is part of the routine. If we don’t have them during the day, we have them for dessert.
- Granola Bars: We are in need of more 4 ingredients peanut butter granola bars and 4 ingredient almond butter granola bars. I love having baking days, and Monday is looking like a good time to be in the kitchen, especially with rain in the forecast.
Do you menu plan? What are you planning to make in the next couple of weeks? I’d love to hear!! See other menu plans here.