I’ve gotten lots of requests to share our weekly meal plans, so HERE YOU GO! I’m going to share what I planned on us eating for the week, what we actually ate, and any lessons I learned in that week of FOOD.
My meal planning basics are HERE. If you’re not planning your meals for the week, you absolutely should be. It’s a great way to save a ton of money (especially if you shop for that meal plan at Aldi!) and eat with intention (you know, not buying a random sandwich at 1:45 PM since you didn’t think about lunch).
I know how it is, at least for me! I get home late after sitting in traffic for an hour and being awake for 14 hours, and it’s super easy to grab Chinese food from Hy-Vee. And sometimes I totally do that! But if I’ve planned a delicious meal and all of the ingredients are waiting for me, I’m way more likely to make dinner.
In our two-person household, I usually make four meals each week, and we have leftovers or sandwiches on the other nights. This feels like the perfect middle-ground for me: we eat plenty of delicious, homemade meals, but I also get several nights off from cooking.
I never plan anything for Friday. I know that I will be WAY too tired come Friday evening to make a meal, so I just plan to not do it. An exception: if we have company! Last Friday, our friends came over for dinner after work, and it was a great way to kick off the long weekend. 💜
MEAL PLAN May 26-31, 2018
Breakfasts and lunches:
Unless we have something special going on, these are almost always the same. I have a green smoothie (recipe in the highlights here), eggs with vegetables, or toast and nut butter. G will have toast or cereal. For lunches, G eats leftovers, and I eat a combination of leftovers, salads, and deli meat roll-ups.
grilled, marinated chicken thighs, summer succotash, basmati rice, cilantro vinaigrette, salad, lemon cake and raspberry sorbet for dessert
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The best and easiest dinner for friends: Marinated and grilled chicken thighs, succotash, basmati rice, salad, and cilantro vinaigrette on everything ✨✨✨ And, oh yeah, every single ingredient came from @aldiusa. #wgccookbook #aldilove #aldihaul #aldifinds #wallacedeckdinner @whatsgabycookin
I knew that hosting on a Friday meant that I needed to prep some food in advance and pick easy dishes. I chose the chicken, succotash, and vinaigrette from my current fave cookbook, What’s Gaby Cooking, and I chose the rice because it was easy.
Steps I took to prep ahead of time: trimmed and marinated the chicken, chopped the veggies (bell pepper, red onion, cherry tomatoes) for the succotash, made the vinaigrette, made the salad (romaine, green onions, yellow bell pepper)
Things I made after work: Mixed and dressed the succotash, made the lemon cake (obviously could have made that ahead of time, but I didn’t), grilled the chicken, made the rice in my rice cooker, made salad dressing
It was perfect, summery, EASY, and felt relaxed. It also didn’t all need to be piping hot, which is perfect for greeting guests and enjoying a cocktail or two while the meat rests. (My friend made awesome sangria with La Croix in it, so the fruit got carbonated. It was amazing.)
WEDDING RECEPTION, so no cooking
grilled Italian chicken sausages, grilled bell peppers, romesco sauce, buns, balsamic pasta salad, lemon-dressed green beans, fruit, and vegan chocolate chip cookies for dessert
Another meal with company! I really wanted to make the romesco sauce from What’s Gaby Cooking (basically roasted red pepper pesto), so I planned a meal around that. We layered Italian sausages, grilled peppers, and the romesco sauce on buns, and it was SO delicious.
Prep steps: made romesco, made pasta salad (boiled orecchiette, sliced cherry tomatoes, made balsamic vinaigrette, folded together with salt and pepper), made green beans (marinated diced red onion and minced garlic in lemon juice, lemon zest, and olive oil, then tossed with two pounds of defrosted frozen green beans), made cookies
In the half-hour or so before our friends arrived, I grilled the peppers, let the sides come to room temp, and grilled the sausages after they showed up (with champagne AND flowers 🎆).
Tuesday: I planned to make this sesame chicken fried rice from Iowa Girl Eats. I ended up making an invented cabbage and chickpea stir fry. It was delicious and super-quick.
Made jasmine rice. Sauteed two cans chickpeas with green onions and ginger, and removed from pan when browned. Added a bag of coleslaw cabbage, sauteed until wilted. Added frozen peas. Added the chickpeas back in, and stirred in sauce: equal parts mirin and soy sauce, splashes of maple syrup and sesame oil, and a big dash of white pepper. Serve stir fry on top of rice.
Very ugly and really satisfying.
book club night, leftovers or a sandwich for G
OK, that’s it! Let me know how I could make this more helpful. If you’d like to see more of a food journal, let me know. xoxo!
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