I am so excited for this week I can barely contain myself. First it is a short work week. We are taking a few days off to extend this long holiday week, and trust me we NEED it. With our extra time we will get to visit a few of our besties, including FoodRN. We will also get to cuddle with their babies, catch up with family and eat some seriously good food. There really is no other way I want to spend this time.
A notable menu moment for this weeks is that there are two recipes I did not make from last week’s menus. They made their way onto this menu though. One thing I think is crucial for real food budgets and time savings is to be flexible with menu planning and meal prep. We are NOT afraid of eating leftovers. I repurpose our food regularly. It saves so much money and so much time. Last week we had leftover flat iron steak from Father’s Day, so we ate it one night in a huge entrée salad alongside hefty slices of grain free foccaccia bread, and another night in stuffed potatoes. Both meals took less than 30 minutes to prepare and saved us from having to buy a new meat bundle for one more week…win-win for me!
So here is what we are planning for this week:
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Saute 1 pound mushrooms, half large onion diced, 2 small cloves minced garlic and 5 ounces arugula, then dish vegetables into 4 glass, oven-safe dishes.
- Beat 8 eggs and pour equally over vegetable dishes. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
- Put glass dishes into baking pan and fill with water about halfway up glass dish.
- Bake for 40ish minutes or until eggs are completely cooked through
Nathan – high protein, green smoothie
- Beef stew over zucchini noodles, recipe courtesy of Inspiralized
- Freshly sliced bell peppers or carrots
- Fresh fruit
- Organic whole milk yogurt for Nathan
- Dark chocolate for Erin. This week I am trying Theo, and I am loving its rich, bitter flavor
- Larabars for Nathan
- Sunflower seeds for Nathan
- Frozen berries for Erin
- Bone broth for Erin
- Hard boiled egg
- Sunday – grilled polish sausage with grilled asparagus
- Monday – grilled pork steak, roasted smashed potatoes, broccoli salad (I have not selected a recipe for this yet, but know that it will not contain traditional mayo. I will likely make it myself or use a bacon grease and rice vinegar dressing instead.)
- Tuesday – leftover grilled pork stead, roasted plantain (current food obsession) and leftover broccoli salad
- Wednesday – grilled wild caught salmon with cauliflower rice tabbouleh
Even though we are not cooking meals at home beyond Wednesday, we will still honor our real food preferences. While not all of my family makes the same real food choices as I do, they are accepting. There is always a grocery store close to our destinations, which means I have the ability to bring my own dishes for sharing. Here are my top 5 tips for keeping it real away from home:
- Take a real food dish as a contribution to the party.
- Build a plate that has more fresh vegetables than processed foods. This means raiding the relish tray before grabbing a handful of potato chips.
- Select protein carefully. I like to make bunless burgers wrapped in lettuce, and I prefer to eat chicken off the bone rather than gnawing on an overcooked boneless, skinless chicken breast.
- Avoid ewwwy-gooey side dishes with lots of creamy sauces – think potato salad, coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, and baked beans. These items are typically made with condiments that contain vegetable oils (read Confessions of a Real Food Dietitian post for my thoughts on those), added sugars (in about 14 different varieties) and other fake food (powdered cheese, preservatives and food dyes). Consider taking these as a way to follow tip #1 and ensure there is something real to eat.
- Have snacks stashed away in case there is not enough real food from which to choose. A few foods that travel well, oranges, beef jerky (I am loving Epic products right now), kale chips and bars (2 Moms in the Raw, Larabars, Kind bars.
BONUS TIP: When determining if a prepared food or condiment is Grateful Guts worthy I always read the food label. If it contains enriched flour, whole wheat flour, high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, modified food starch, soy sauce, food dyes or alternative sweeteners (acesulfame potassium or acesulfame K, aspartame, saccharin), then I put it back.
With all that in mind have a safe, delicious holiday weekend!