I wrote about Meal Planning earlier and thought that showing a bit of an example would help clarify some points. Now, when you’re making your meal plan there are things to consider: what do you currently have on hand and what do you need from the store? Some people meal plan and then shop but I tend to be the other way around, or a combo, and consider what we have in the kitchen and what can I create with it.
This Saturday I went to the Greenville Saturday Market, a local farmer’s marketing open May – October. I love it. I had an idea of items that I wanted/needed and here is what I got:
- Fresh pasta (ravioli that is great to freeze) from a new pasta vendor – I’m a big fan of the usual vendor but their lines are always so long. 2 flavors that will go into freezer for future meals.
- A huge head of lettuce, a Romaine variety. I always have some kind of salad greens on hand and this was too beautiful to pass up.
- Two loaves of Great Harvest bread. I almost never buy bread from GH because of the expense but we have some great fancy cheese on hand so I wanted fancy grilled cheese and also a nice twist on P’s lunch sandwiches.
- Local honey – needed a bottle for home and work (for tea).
- Kale – I’m obsessed.
- 2 jars of fresh salsa – some of the best I’ve ever had. This will last us!
I spent roughly $60 which is a little more than I normally spend weekly but I think it is worth it to support local industry and for good quality product. This is an example of my just stocking the fridge with no real, clear idea what I wanted to cook. I also had items left over from my last grocery trip a couple of weeks ago that helped inspire some meals:
- Blocks of fancy cheese P bought when he went shopping last week – he almost never shops but surprised me with a nice grilled dinner one night.
- Spaghetti squash.
- Pork chops in the freezer.
- Frozen butternut squash ravioli (from Trader Joe’s) and frozen pumpkin gnocchi (from Farmer’s Market).
- Publix pizza dough in freezer.
- Spaghetti sauce in pantry.
- Potatoes, onions, and corn on the cob in fridge leftover from other trips.
- Broccoli/cauliflower in freezer.
- Leftover BBQ crock pot chicken and cabbage/apple slaw from Saturday night.
- Italian sausage in fridge leftover from P’s shopping trip.
- Lunch meat in fridge: turkey and salami.
So here is my meal plan for the current week – some already eaten and enjoyed.
Lunch – Sweet potato gnocchi topped with a cheesy sauce I made from fancy cheese and milk. Broccoli & cauliflower. P had leftover sausage on his.
Dinner – Leftover BBQ chicken and slaw sandwiches.
Lunch – For me, romaine salad topped with apples, carrots, hard-boiled eggs and feta cheese. For P, a turkey/salami sandwich with romaine lettuce, mustard, horseradish.
Dinner – Spaghetti squash with spaghetti sauce. P had the last of the sausage.
Lunch – For me, romaine salad topped with apples, avocado, eggs, carrots and feta cheese. For P, the last of the BBQ chicken and the rest of the cabbage as a slaw.
Dinner – Grilled pizza (tomato sauce, cheese, mushroom, salami) and grilled romaine.
Lunch – For me and P, the rest of the cheese sauce over butternut squash ravioli, broccoli and cauliflower.
Dinner – Pork chops with onion, mushroom & kale saute.
Lunch – For me, grilled cheese sandwich. For P, leftover pork chop and veggies.
Dinner – Friends over for dinner. They are bringing meat for grill. We will grill romaine, corn on the cob, and roast potatoes with fresh rosemary.
Lunch - For me, caprese salad (tomato/mozzarella). For P, either leftovers or a turkey sandwich or both.
Dinner – Fried egg sandwiches with cheese, avocado, bacon, and tomato.
As you can see, by the end of the week we are eating leftovers or throwing together quick meals with whatever else is on hand. This week is heavy on the sandwiches because we have the Great Harvest bread and it really doesn’t taste as great once it has to be refrigerated or frozen. It was also heavy on the pasta which is not normal for us, but a cheese sauce recipe from Pinterest inspired me to use the “I don’t know what to do with you” pastas waiting in the freezer. I’ll have to watch the carbs!
For breakfasts, I made some baked oatmeal with strawberries that needed to be used and apples that I send with P and also bring with me to the office. I also purchased a lot of Greek yogurt because they were 10 for $10 at BI-LO.
Over the weekend, I’m pretty loose with planning because who knows what we will be up to! And who knows what will inspire me at the market. I hope this helps with the meal planning process and how to make it work. It’s just natural for me now, sometimes I don’t even write it down!