Monday, August 22, 2011

Meal Planning in Review

A couple of weeks ago I posted my plans to make the following meals.  This meal plan actually lasted us OVER two weeks.  Here are my reviews in green.

  • Cheeseslave's lentil soup -- Makes a ton and is a winner, good for reheating for lunch & dinner, multiple times. It makes enough to freeze, so if you don't think it will be eaten quickly enough I'd freeze some for later! Warning: It is slightly labor-intensive in the beginning, but because it yields SO much, it's worth it.
  • Cheeselave's beef stew -- I modified this recipe because I didn't have all the ingredients, but it was gobbled up within a couple of days. Nice variation for us on the traditional chuck roast.
  • Paleo Por Vida pork tenderloin -- 3.5/5 stars. It was good & really easy, but I personally haven't been much into pork the last little bit! Mia & Greg enjoyed it, and Mia liked the dried cherries.
  • JBB's chicken tacos (crockpot chicken with diced tomatoes/Rotel, 1/2 can water, garlic salt, cook on low; add to tacos with cheese or fix it up however you like!) -- Always a hit, especially with company. I served it with regular taco fixings: taco shells/tortillas, cheese, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and it was devoured!
  • The Nourishing Gourmet's crockpot chicken & quinoa -- I had never made quinoa before, but this entire combination is best likened to a chicken stew, in my opinion. Very good "comfort" food and would probably taste really good when you're sick or in the winter.
  • Nourished Kitchen's hamburger & barley soup -- This is a thick soup which cooks up like a "chunky" soup and is hearty & beefy. Because it's so thick, you can thin it out just by adding more water. Really economical meal. Season as you wish. Click on link for recipe (included in PDF file at the end of post).
  • Cheeseslave's brown rice mac & cheese -- This is just plain satisfying. I made this twice, mostly for me. I think I enjoyed it the most, but Greg likes a good mac & cheese every now and then. (Mia still hasn't really caught on to M&C).
  • Food Renegade's egg drop soup -- Actually never made this! I have a feeling if I did, I'd be the only person who ate it. The rest of my family isn't as into eggs as I am :-{ I do like that this recipe contains ingredients I normally have on hand.
  • Everyday Paleo's Stuffed Zucchini -- Really good! Although, the zucchinis turned out a little bitter after being cooked in the oven, so we mostly ate the stuffing. I omitted the eggplant because I didn't have any and I don't think the flavor was compromised.  I added more seasoning than I initially thought I needed--don't be afraid to do so.
  • Cheeseburgers -- By the point we had cheeseburgers, we had actually hit a ground beef limit, so these were less enjoyed than they normally are. But, it's a relatively quick meal and always good with sweet potato fries!

It only took me an hour or two to come up with this meal plan the last time I made it, and now I'd like a meal plan for the next week and a half. I'm not sure what I'll come up with, but this last batch of meals made a lot of food and unfortunately I ended up throwing some out because the leftovers weren't eaten in time! For shame!

One thing I enjoyed about this meal plan is that some of the meals provided so much food, I didn't need to cook every single night. Many were crockpot meals, so I could throw the ingredients in the crockpot earlier in the day and not worry about it until later. This would be especially helpful this coming fall/winter after the baby is born and I know we need to eat healthy, nourishing food but I don't have the time or energy to stand up in the kitchen cooking it!

If my next meal plans seems any good, I'll share it. It may not be as riveting :P but we'll see what we can find!


The Bigelows said...

Megan, about the zucchini being bitter, I have a tip for you that might help. I know that eggplant tends to do that, too, and since they're similar in texture, I'd imagine this fix would work on zucchini as well. Slice it so that the flesh is exposed and salt it before you prep/cook it. Let it sit for 5-10 mins, and it draws out that bitter note. Hope it helps! I love meal planning in general, and appreciate you sharing new recipes! We're always on the hunt for yummy stuff! Hope you're feeling well- you look FANTASTIC! Pregnancy suits you, girl! :-)

Megan said...

Thanks for the tip! I was really bummed that the zukes were bitter because it meant throwing out some of the best part of the meal -- the vegetables! I will have to try that next time. Thank you for sharing :)

Jenny said...

Thanks for posting this, Megan! I've been in a menu rut and these are some great new ideas. I copied down three recipes. I haven't eaten quinoa since an unfortunate morning sickness incident when pregnant with Anna, but this recipe actually makes me want to give it another chance! :-) And the rice pasta...I once subbed it in a recipe for crock pot mac n cheese, and it, of course, turned into a gooey mess! I told the kids it was cheesy casserole and they absolutely LOVED it, and begged for more. Successful flop!

Megan said...

Hope it helps you, Jenny! I just realized a couple of my links are broken, so I just updated it. If any of you want the lentil soup recipe, let me know & I'll email it to you. I realize that is a closed link & you must have access to see it.

Megan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Megan said...

For some reason, this link won't post correctly for the hamburger & barley soup!! BAH. Let me try this again:

Hamburger & Barley Soup

It is at at the end of the post in a PDF file! So in order to see the recipe you must download the file and there it'll be!