So, after some health issues and tips from my crunchy healthcare provider, plus having made a decision to cut some of the massive time commitments in my life, I’ve finally decided to become more responsible for our family meals (goodbye fast food circuit!), and go “clean” while we’re at it. And to give myself some accountability, I’ve decided to share my meal plans with you, dear internet! Plus, they may be useful to anyone trying to eat less processed foods, fewer carbs, more veggies, or just get on the ball and plan some meals.
I also recently “contributed” to (not “purchased” or “ordered,” they insist) a giant basket of fruits and veggies from a co-op in my area, Bountiful Baskets. They’re in a lot of states all over the U.S., so if you’re interested at all, I’d encourage you to check them out and “contribute to” a basket. There’s no weekly commitment–you just have to jump on the “contribution” site the second they go up (Monday mornings) so you can get the good ones before they run out–so it’s easy to try. You get a TON of fruits and veggies for a grand total of …. wait for it … $15.00. Such a steal! And if we’re ever more flush (haha), I’ll pay an extra $10 for organics.
What I love about the co-op (I swear I’m not a paid advertiser! In fact, no one’s paid; it’s entirely volunteer-run) is that 1) it’s cheap!, 2) it gives me a set number of healthy fruits & veggies to plan meals around and easily force good foods into my diet, 3) the co-op orders as local as it can, from small farmers rather than giant conglomerates, and skims all the supermarket-overhead off the whole business, and 4) it cuts out all the big-company drama to put the transactions (and food!) back in the hands of consumers and farmers! :)
And did I mention cheap? For $15 I got a laundry basket-full of: 1 Romain lettuce head (bunch? I’m so veggie-ignorant), 1 bunch of spinach, 1 bunch asparagus, 1 bunch broccoli, 3 hugely long cucumbers, 1 bag of peppers (multi-colored? no idea what kind), 1 box mini organic heirloom tomatoes (SOOO delicious!), 4 giant pears, 7 oranges, 9 apples, 1 bunch bananas, and 1 acorn squash. I also paid $12 for an “add-on” of 5 loaves of organic multi-grain bread (which tastes like a nutty little slice of heaven!).
Of course, Thing 1 and Thing 2 had consumed all the apples and bananas by the next day! But then I made a list, and this morning I sat down to the computer (pinterest, mostly, of course!) and made a meal plan for the week. I only planned the dinners, except for when I’ll have to remember to pack sandwiches; mostly the tater tots and I will just eat leftovers or something scrambled up from the fridge.
I used my Weekly Meal Plan sheet that I made and printed out: first I filled in the “groceries” side with my Bountiful Basket bounty, plus whatever meats and grains I had on hand. Then I hit the internets to find recipes that fit the bill. Not easy, with set ingredients and a “clean eating” requirement!
If you’d like to whip up your own meal plan from what you have on hand, go ahead and download my free Weekly Meal Plan. The sites I mainly browsed are my pinterest “Clean Eating” board, The Gracious Pantry, and He and She Eat Clean.
Sooo, without further ado, here’s my dinner plan for the week:
Thursday: Fromage burgers and Salad from mixed greens and mini heirloom tomatoes
Friday: Cheese tortellini (already in fridge) with zucchini or spinach (whatever’s left by then!) and herby creamy sauce (improv-style)
Saturday: Parmesan chicken with Romaine lettuce
Sunday: Taco [and Quinoa] stuffed acorn squash with oven-roasted asparagus
Snacks: oranges (sliced)
pears (fresh, sliced and dipped like french fries, or oven-baked with cinnamon sprinkled on top)
cucumber slices and hummus
That’s it! Hope you (and my fam) enjoy!