It’s the weekend again—the time for my inevitable meal planning for the upcoming week. I enjoy meal planning: it’s pleasurable to pull together which foods, recipes, and menus I plan to serve in a given week. But sometimes I feel a bit drained from meal planning because with my food restrictions and the goal of eating healthfully and in season, it can take me quite a while to plan our meals and make my grocery list. Fortunately, starting this week, I’ve made my meal planning a bit easier. All week, as I’ve come across recipes that I’m interested in using soon, I’ve added a short description and link to them (or a description with a cookbook title and page number) in a blog entry titled with the upcoming week. Today, all I had to do for this coming week was look through my saved list of inspirations to see what I might want to cook this week. (For people without a blog, you could try doing something similar with a Del.icio.us page or by creating bookmarks under a weekly heading.) Over the course of the past week, I had saved more recipes/ideas than we have meals this coming week. Based on what we just received from our CSA, what we already have on hand, how busy our different nights look, and which recipes look particularly appealing to me today, I planned a tasty, mostly healthy menu that varies the starches, proteins, etc., so that we are not using the same foods over and over. (For people with multiple food allergies, it can be very important to rotate foods to avoid developing additional allergies from overconsumption.) Then I took the rest of the recipe ideas and moved them to a new blog post for next weekend’s meal planning. Adding this scheme to my meal planning has saved me at least two hours today!
Here is my meal plan for Jan. 27th to Feb. 2nd–a meal plan that is, as always, casein-free, gluten-free, egg-free, and soy-free . . . plus heavy on the veggies, light on the processed food, moderate on the fat and calories, and overall pretty healthy.
(We won’t be having a 3R meal this week because my husband has—eek!—a research study to finish running, a paper to finish and submit for publication, and his proposal meeting for his Ph.D. thesis in the next two weeks.)
Brunch: Reheated gluten-free, egg-free waffles (microwaved to thaw, baked at 375 to crisp) with sauteed apple/cinnamon/ginger topping and toasted pecans
Snack: Celery sticks with ~2 T peanut butter
Dinner: Moist meatballs (altered to be gluten-free and egg-free)—I’m using venison— in homemade marinara sauce (add a dash of fennel) over roasted spaghetti squash with oranges for dessert (These oranges are so sweet and delicious they need nothing added to them.)
Make Ahead: the muffins and quick breads I keep putting on my list but have not had the time/energy to make! I’ve been able to put it off so far, but I’m running low on previously made breakfast goods now.
To Do: Pick up CSA order!
Dinner: Ginger-carrot soup with cashew cream and apple-pecan salad with poppyseed dressing
Dinner: Sally works till 9–eat dinner out before meeting
Dinner: Pizza & Movie Night: Easy, homemade crust from The Gluten-Free Vegan. (Look for a review of the recipe in the next couple of days.) Use leftover venison meatballs with marinara as a pizza topping, along with spinach, onions, carrots, and pecorino or other sheep cheese.
Lunch: Big Greek salad (lettuce, kalamata olives, shredded carrots, sundried tomatoes, feta, red onion, oregano red wine vinaigrette) with gluten-free breadsticks
Make ahead: Meyer lemon & vanilla bean marmalade (Have you tried Meyer lemons before? They are in season right now, which doesn’t happen for long, and they are incredible.)
Dinner: Black bean mini vegan burgers, baked kale, and some gluten-free, casein-free, egg-free combination of the concepts of 3-cheese mini macs and mac & cheese cupcakes with butternut squash added (I’ll post the recipe if it’s a success.)
As usual, I’ll be submitting this meal plan to Gluten-Free Mommy’s Gluten-Free Menu Swap, which I will also be hosting next weekend.