Hi everyone! Hope you had a nice week despite all this crazy weather. I’m really hoping we have a spring season and it doesn’t jump straight to the hot, hot, omigod it’s so hot Texas weather.
This week we found a great infographic on HuffPostTaste and I love it! It sums up the benefits of planning a weekly menu and really hits home why we started doing it years ago – to reduce stress figuring out what to eat (especially because I had to eat gluten-free), reduce food waste, spend less and get healthier! Plus it’s adjustable. We can still go out to eat or switch meals around, but it helps me keep track of what might go bad if we don’t use it soon.
So here is the method to my madness… I typically buy either a 1.25 or 3 pound package of lean ground turkey and/or 2 to 4 bone-in split chicken breasts and use them in several dishes. We usually use 0.5lb or 0.75lb of turkey per recipe and 1 bone-in chicken breast (or 1 1/2 boneless) per recipe then add in a bunch of veggies and sometimes grains. If I’m not roasting the chicken breast, I’ll cut the chicken off the bone and freeze the bones to eventually make homemade chicken stock. This week, I have about a pound of ground turkey left from last week to make the turkey meatballs on Sunday (we won’t eat them all). I’ll end up with an extra pound this week, too which I can freeze so that we don’t have to eat ground turkey every day. 😉
Most of the food we buy at the grocery store is fresh produce and I walk around with my little list of how many onions, peppers or tomatoes I need that week. Carrots, celery, lettuce, Persian cucumbers, shallots and cabbage are staples we always have on hand. The Brussels sprouts come in a 1 pound bag and I’ll use a handful on Monday and the remainder on Saturday because they keep pretty well (I usually throw a few in my lunch salads, too).
We keep our favorite gluten-free pastas, Basmati rice, dried beans, GF flours, nuts, spices, vinegars and certain condiments (Thai red curry paste, GF soy sauce, Worcestershire…) in stock that get replaced when they run out. I’ve got a case of coconut flakes I use to make coconut milk, which is pretty much our milk of choice these days in most recipes. We use a high smoke point extra virgin olive oil, bacon fat and ghee for most of our fats.
I’ve also frozen cubes of lemon juice, lime juice, tomato paste, cilantro and parsley to make prep easier. I make a large batch of cooked black beans from dried beans and then freeze various sizes to pull out, thaw and use in recipes. I’ve got 2 cups of frozen black beans in the freezer so we’ll split those up between the chili and the taco bowls.
I know that is probably way more information than you need and I hope it makes some sense. It really has helped us save money and we very rarely throw out any food. And it’s still a learning process.
We are usually much heavier handed with vegetables, but this week is about highlighting some of our ground turkey recipes. Most of these recipes feed two people with a little leftover for lunch. And I’ll attach a PDF of my shopping list at the end. So here is the gluten-free, casein-free (except for the Parmesan cheese) weekly menu for March 9:
MeatlessMonday – Rice Noodles Tossed in Chili Oil with Italian Herb Roasted Veggies (Eggplant & Brussels sprouts)
Tuesday – Turkey Meatball Sandwiches (using half of the meatball recipe and freezing the meatballs we don’t eat; also remember Parmesan cheese is not casein-free, but I did find a casein-free vegan cheese at Whole Foods that melted well and tasted great and would be perfect on top of the meat sauce and melted under the broiler)
Wednesday – Turkey & Veggie Chili (from the The Weekly Menu I & Cookbook)
Thursday – Cajun Chicken & Carrot Rice (The Weekly Menu II & Cookbook)
Friday – Spicy Turkey & Black Bean Taco Bowls (leftovers will make a delicious taco salad for lunch)
Saturday – Turkey Meatloaf Stuffed Red Peppers & Parmesan Brussels Sprouts (both of these recipes are adapted from Deliciously G-Free by Elisabeth Hasselbeck & in The Weekly Menu I)
Sunday – Grass-fed Steaks with Roasted Veggies & Potatoes; Vegan Banana Oat Muffins
Here isThe shopping list for March 8. Have a happy healthy week! 🙂