Since I’ve started talking about my new adventure in planning and shopping for a month of meals all at once, I’ve had a couple of friends ask me for help in getting their own meal planning organized. I’m still very much a newbie at this, but am happy to share what I’m learning.
I thought I might start by listing the meals that I’ve planned for this month with links to the recipes. Also, each of the recipes are GERD-friendly if you or someone you love (like my husband) suffers from acid reflux. Here goes…
Sunday – Crockpot Chicken Lettuce Wraps served with edamame and jasmine rice- I use ground chicken instead of chicken breasts. I also omit the onion and add a can of chopped water chestnuts.
Monday – Middle Eastern Sliders served with pita chips and hummus- I bought frozen naan bread at Trader Joe’s instead of pita bread and I make my own hummus without tahini (similar to this recipe without cayenne and adding 1/4 cup water).
Tuesday – Crusted Chicken served with baked potatoes and steamed corn – I use plain bread crumbs from a jar and light mayo. I opted for frozen corn this time, but corn on the cob would also work since it’s early in the month.
Wednesday – Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage served with Buttery Rolls – Trader Joe’s pesto is hands-down the best jarred pesto in my opinion! The rolls recipe makes a lot, so I always freeze at least half of them for later. You could also buy frozen rolls if you don’t have a bread machine or aren’t into making your own bread.
Thursday – Orange Chicken served with rice and steamed green beans – ALDI has frozen extra fine green beans that steam really nicely.
Friday – Leftovers
Saturday – Chicken Caesar Wraps served with fresh fruit.
Monday – Turkey Meatballs served with mashed potatoes and steamed peas.
Tuesday – Greek Chicken served with rice and salad – I omit the onion and use plain breadcrumbs instead of panko because I usually already have them in the pantry.
Wednesday – Shepherd’s Pie served with leftover rolls – A lot of times I cheat and use instant mashed potatoes for this recipe to save time. I also make life easier by steaming a bag of frozen peas and carrots and substituting that for mashed carrots. Oh, and I omit the onion and add 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce.
Friday – Marinated Grilled Chicken served with salad, baked beans, and Corn Bread Muffins - I just buy a bottle of 30-minute marinade at ALDI for the chicken and have my husband throw it on the grill. I haven’t tried this corn muffin recipe yet, but they look yummy.
Saturday – Eat out.
Sunday – Crockpot Meatloaf served with mashed potatoes and steamed corn – I omit the onion. I’ve also tried this with ground turkey instead of beef and it is also really good.
Monday – Leftovers.
Tuesday – Chicken Parmesan served with pasta and green beans – Instead of putting the tomato sauce on the bottom of the baking dish, I just spray it with cooking spray since my husband can’t do tomatoes. I serve jarred marinara sauce on the side for those of us who do like it. :)
Wednesday – Beef Not-Potpies - Minus the bacon and shallots, using 2% milk instead of heavy cream.
Thursday – Cheese Omelets served with whole-wheat toast and fruit – I won’t be home for dinner that night, so this is an easy meal for my husband to prepare. We usually do one breakfast-for-dinner meal a month anyway.
Friday – Baked Tilapia served with rice and steamed broccoli – I use a lemon-pepper seasoning blend from Trader Joe’s instead of the lime juice.
Saturday – Leftovers.
Sunday – Crockpot French Dip Sandwiches served with chips – This one isn’t as GERD-friendly, but we’re eating it for lunch which usually is safer than for dinner. I plan to make French Bread in the bread maker for the sandwiches.
Monday – Trader Joe’s Gyoza frozen pot stickers served with rice and edamame – Because there are some nights when I just need the meal to be something really easy. And these pot stickers are so yummy served with a little teriyaki sauce.
Wednesday – Turkey Meatloaf served with baked potatoes and steamed peas – I omit the leeks and substitute shredded mozzarella cheese in place of fontina and just use plain breadcrumbs from the can.
Thursday – Chickpea Tacos served with black beans and corn – Thanks to our vegan friends for giving us a reason to try this yummy recipe! :) I modify this Taco Seasoning Recipe, omitting the chili powder, onion powder, and crushed red pepper flakes.
Friday – Leftovers.
As you can see, we eat pretty simple meals and have to stick with things that our 2-year-old will eat like rice and simple veggies. I am sure there are ways to eat more frugally than this. I spent a total of $450 on food for the month – including stuff for breakfasts, lunches, snacks, drinks – everything. I bought stuff for making one dessert per week and some extra stuff in case we have people over or take a meal to someone this month. And I think that a lot of this food will also carry over into next month. So considering how little we eat out (like twice a month), I think it is still not too bad.
So have you made your meal plan yet?