Two Week Meal Plan: How to Stretch What You Have



As we step into another week of our new life in quarantine, I thought it might be helpful to share our two-week meal plan with some tips for how we make our food (and money) stretch.

I'm trying to figure out how to make both this meal plan and grocery list printable. If you're interested in a printable (free, of course) please comment here or on social media, or you can email me at sisdidyouknow1@gmail.com. :)

I typically meal plan on Wednesday evenings and shop and prep on Thursdays. This "plan" starts on a Friday but obviously use it how you'd like. I feel like we eat simply, but with lots of vegetables and healthy grains and proteins. Of course switch things out for your dietary needs

THE MEAL PLAN

DINNERS

1. Grilled Pizzas (Link for Crust. Link for Pizza

Double and make an additional dough (unrisen) to freeze for next week. Freeze half jar of pasta sauce, too.

Homemade pizzas are a regular (almost weekly) thing at our house. Fun fact: Andrew used to work as a cook at Mellow Mushroom and is a killer pizza maker! We use this recipe for our crust - it makes one large or two medium pizzas. He uses a thin layer of corn meal to spread out the dough then adds a melted butter/garlic/parmesan spread on top for that extra mellow feel.

You can bake the pizzas or if you're also having amazing weather like us, they are delicious grilled! Maggie loves adding her favorite toppings to a personal pizza!

2. Salmon Sushi Bowls (General recipe here) (GF/DF)
Freeze half of (uncooked) salmon for next week
Double the rice to use for Monday, if you'd like

I feel like that annoying person who comments on a recipe with all of their changes, but I couldn't really find a recipe to link for this. I did use this recipe for inspiration, but our bowls look like-

Brown rice topped with grilled salmon pieces, carrots, cucumber, avocado, soy sauce, diced cream cheese, sesame seeds, and sriracha. That's it. It's almost too easy and you can use whatever you have!

3. Lemon Lentil Soup with Fresh Salad (Recipe)(V/DF/GF)

Double the recipe and freeze half for later

Simple salad dressing - 1/2 cup oil + 1/4 cup vinegar + + 1tbp. mustard + salt and pepper


4. Roast Chicken and Vegetables (Recipe)(GF)

Serve with extra brown rice from Meal #2 if you need a carb source


Once again, I don't really have a recipe, but we roast chicken at least once per week. This week, I'm doubling the amount to have frozen cooked chicken for next week and chicken salad for lunches. Here is a recipe for a whole chicken and you could always do chicken pieces, too. I just pat the chicken dry, rub down with coarse salt/pepper/chili powder, place in pan, roast on 425 until done (an hour for whole bird - 30 minutes for pieces, flipping halfway)

I throw in frozen vegetables halfway through the cooking process (in the same pan) to roast in the chicken juices (trust me on this). Broccoli, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes are amazing.

*If you can't stand dark meat or bone-in chicken, use your favorite crockpot recipe. Then put extra chicken in freezer for next week

*Save the bones to make overnight chicken stock in your crockpot! Use stock to make a simple chicken soup for your lunches, or add broth to jars in the morning and freeze or keep in fridge

*Freeze two quart jars/bags with shredded chicken for #9 and #13

*Use any extra leftovers to make chicken salad

5.  Meatballs and a Large Salad (DF/GF) (Recipe - I cut in half)

Brown extra beef or make extra meatballs and freeze for next week

By day five, some of your salad greens may be looking a little wimpy. Make everyone a big salad- then serve with meatballs or tiny burgers to make a "burger bowl"!

If your kale or spinach look particularly sad, throw them in jars or bags and place them in the freezer. You can use them in soups or smoothies at a later time. They freeze easily with no extra effort needed.

6. Beans and Rice (V/DF/GF)

Option- cook a bag of dried beans. Use half for this recipe and freeze the rest (with liquid)


Ah, a newlywed favorite that we still love to make. We fell in love with beans and rice during our trips to the Dominican Republic. I use my instantpot to make brown rice and my slow cooker to cook dry beans (you can totally use cans). Then we top with cilantro, lime, avocado, grilled peppers/onions and various other "burrito bowl" style toppings

7. Fridge Cleanout/Pantry Staples/Leftovers


Place frozen pizza dough and sauce in fridge to thaw for tomorrow night

Get creative and use up what you have on hand! Here are some ideas:

 Make a quick pesto using dying greens, roast sad vegetables, and throw it all in a pot with leftover chicken and pasta.
Make a quiche or frittata
Use chicken stock to make a simple soup and serve with drop biscuits
Have popcorn and sandwiches while watching a movie!

8. Friday Night Pizza Night! (see #1 for recipes)

Place frozen chicken from roasted chicken in fridge to thaw for tomorrow night 

Use your prep from last week to make this a breeze! You can also use the dough to make calzones or "pizza pockets" with extra vegetables

9. Coconut Chicken Curry (Recipe)(GF/DF)

Man do we love this recipe and it couldn't be easier. To keep it even easier, I'll be using already cooked chicken from the freezer. Saute vegetables (even frozen) in a large pot on the stove with curry paste and garlic. Add in chicken. Add one cup of broth and a can of (FULL FAT) coconut milk. Simmer for about 15 minutes and then serve over rice or noodles. ITS SO GOOD.

10. Leftovers, Snacky board, or Breakfast for dinner

We take it easy on Sunday nights!

Thaw salmon in the fridge for tomorrow night

11. Skillet Salmon with Sweet Potatoes Vegetables

Use the frozen salmon! 

Cook the salmon in a skillet or your oven
Serve with roasted vegetables (you can use frozen or dying vegetables from fridge!)
You can roast the sweet potatoes along with the other vegetables OR "bake" them in your instantpot or crockpot

12. Freezer Pasta

Use the frozen cooked ground beef and greens you saved!

Cook a pot of pasta according to directions

Throw in your frozen greens into food processor with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper
Toss ground beef and your spinach "pesto" into cooked pasta
VOILA


Sweet potatoes kept in your pantry will keep until the end of these two weeks- and the possibilities are endless

I use my instantpot to "bake" them
Then I stuff with quinoa, black beans (from freezer stock), leftover chicken, and/or anything else I can get my hands on!

14. Head to the Grocery Store while your lentil soup from last week thaws

Serve the frozen lentil soup with a fresh salad!

LUNCHES

Salads (prepped during prep time)
Leftovers
Snack plates - hummus, vegetables, cheese, lunchmeat
Chicken Salad

SNACKS
I make these on weekends to have throughout the week

Meredith's Hummus (click on her IGTV and follow along! it makes a lot more than Sabra and tastes so much fresher) with vegetables and pita chips. I use a half a bag of dry chickpeas that I cook in my instantpot. I freeze half of the cooked chickpeas in a mason jar for the next week to make it again!

Peanut Butter Bars (doubled!)

Boiled Eggs
(done in Instantpot.Place eggs on trivet with one cup water. Cook on high for 5 minutes. So so easy and peel like a dream)

Clementines or apples with nuts or cheese cubes

THE GROCERY LIST
This looks like a ton- it will last a family of four two weeks!

Produce


Salad Greens (large container of choice)
Spinach (bag or container of choice)
Kale (bunch! not the bag, which has stems)
Carrots (whole. I buy two pounds)
Sweet peppers (bag of mini is our favorite!)
3 Cucumbers (or a bag of mini- our favorite!)
Bag of Apples
Bunch of Bananas
Bag of clementines
Lemons or lemon juice (for soup and waters)
Several avocados (for beans and rice, sushi bowls,  and salads)
Bag of sweet potatoes (or 4 good sized individual)
Large red onion (or more if you'd use onion on pizzas and salads)
Cilantro (and other fresh herbs of choice. I suggest at least cilantro and basil to throw in soups and salads, on beans and rice and sweet potatoes. If they start to wilt - chop and freeze!)

Meat/Dairy


1 or 2 whole chickens (or two packages of bone-in chicken of choice
Or if bone-in chicken isn't for you, two packages of boneless/skinless. Alter roasted chicken to crockpot chicken recipe)
3 pounds ground beef (or turkey)
1 large plank of wild salmon (or fish of choice)
Choice of meat topping for homemade pizzas
Cheese for pizzas
Milk of choice (for smoothies)
Dozen eggs (or two if your peeps love eggs for breakfast - no pun intended)

Cans/Dry Goods

Old fashioned oats
Brown Rice
Quinoa
Dry or canned black beans (one bag or three cans)
Dry or canned chickpeas (one bag or two cans)
Bag of lentils (any color)
Whole wheat flour
Active dry yeast
Honey
Peanut Butter (large jar) or favorite nut butter
Pasta of choice
Coconut Milk
Curry paste
Soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
Pasta sauce (or ingredients to make your own)
Olive oil
Balsamic or apple cider vinegar (for salad dressings)
Tuna cans -for lunches in a pinch if needed
Nuts of choice (for snacking and salads)

Frozen

Vegetables! At least broccoli and cauliflower. I also buy peas for my girls.
Riced vegetables (add to smoothies or bulk to meals)
Ice cream (optional. kinda)


PREP DAY

I've followed a similar "prep day" for awhile now, but added some additional steps thanks to Sister 'Rona. We typically have leftovers on the day I grocery shop so that I can prep everything but not necessarily worry about that night's dish.

When I get home from the store, I now (#corona) put my reusable bags on the floor instead of the table or counters.

I take everything out of the bags and place on the floor- then throw the reusable bags in the washing machine or a laundry basket. (That's always good practice to do anyways as those things can get pretty grimey!) Maggie helps with this!

Wipe down all grocery items, besides produce, with cleaning wipes (it seems so extra - but makes sense right now) Maggie helps me with this- then we wash our hands!

Take all produce to the sink for a nice bath! I add hot water to the sink with a drop of Dr. Bronner's Castile (I LOVE this stuff. You can do so much with it! A bottle lasts a long time, too)

I wash all fruit and veggies (that includes bananas and avocados now, too. Don't judge me if I was already supposed to be doing that ;)) and then set them on a towel on my large kitchen table to dry.

Move onto greens! Some of our greens (spinach, leaf lettuce) come washed in the bag. So I'll just place those in the fridge after wiping down the package. I also always purchase at least one bunch of kale every grocery trip. I separate the large kale leaves and wash them whole. Then I cut the leaves off the stems. Chop up stems and place in mason jar in freezer to add to smoothies (Just a few at a time! I don't like the stems in salads, but don't want to waste either). Chop up leaf pieces and wash again using salad spinner (Maggie helps). Place on towel on table.

Sit at table while girls craft and play. Chop vegetables for salads, soups, and snacks. Place kale greens into small containers for lunch salads.Place rest of kale (somewhat large batch) in container with a paper towel to keep as fresh as possible. Place paper towels in salad greens containers for same thing.

If you'd like, you can go ahead and separate out your meats- half for the fridge and half for the freezer.

Head over to fridge - throw out anything old and wipe down shelves and outside/inside with cleaning wipe. Place cold items in fridge

Repeat for freezer

Repeat for pantry

HAPPY COOKING! You can eat delicious foods in quarantine on a budget! You got this!

*Pantry Staples to have on hand that can help everything stretch- coming soon*

Comments

Post a Comment