I have been putting my grocery list together for the last, oh, four hours… this is mostly because I do my meal planning in advance, and then make a grocery list based on what I haven’t made yet each trip. I usually go every other week. That’s about how long I can buy in advance for. I hate buying in advance, but it is really difficult to try and fit a trip to the store in every day. If I go more than once in a week, that’s pretty good, for me. I have finally put together my menu, and I wanted to share it! I’m pretty excited about these menus, and I can’t wait to make them… I do not buy the ingredients for all of these on one trip, or even in one week – due to spoilage. Some things I already have in my freezer, or in my pantry, as well. If the recipe is online, I have included the link.
- Balsamic Onion Pot Roast, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Grilled Sweet Potatoes
- Molasses-Bourbon Short Ribs (freezer meal – I was supposed to make this 3 weeks ago!), Twice-Baked Potato Casserole, Caesar Salad
- Honey-Lime Chicken Skewers, Grilled Artichokes with Garlic and Cheese, Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes with Blackberry Salsa
- Chipotle-Crusted Pork Tenderloin, Brie and Apple Tarts, Balsamic Roasted Zucchini and Mushrooms
- Black Bean Fiesta Burgers with Cilantro-Jicama Fiesta Slaw, Grilled Corn with Cayenne, Lime and Cotija, Bacon Guacamole and Tortilla Chips
- Steak Fajitas, Platanos, Grilled Corn with Lime
- Pork Sandwich with Spicy Cucumber Mango Slaw, Pineapple Fried Quinoa, Oven-Baked Zucchini Fries
- Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Alfredo, Sweet and Sour Green Beans, Salad of Romaine Hearts with Dijon Vinaigrette, Goat Cheese, Dried Cherries and Green Apples
This many recipes should last 3-4 weeks, depending on how long we eat the leftovers, how much is left over, and how often we eat out or prepare “grazing” meals in between. When I go grocery shopping, I often buy foods that can be zapped or popped in the toaster oven (my favorite kitchen electric besides my Kitchenaid) so in case we are super busy, we have some kind of backup meal. Of course we do eat out too, and for the last week (I was supposed to go grocery shopping LAST Monday but last week was ridiculous!) we have been eating out for pretty much every meal! I hate that. Now that my couponing is all caught up, all my expired coupons are thrown out, all my new coupons are organized, and I have my meal plan for the next few weeks, I can make my grocery list and head out tomorrow evening. Neil and Chris will most likely go with me. It’s kinda tough these days, being so preggers, because I can’t really lift a lot, and I get so tired after walking for so long. Neil is a good sport, and helps out a ton. Chris likes going with us, and actually doesn’t get too bored until the very end usually. Tomorrow I will be going to both Kroger and Whole Foods. Thankfully, they are right around the corner from each other (I’m super lucky like that!) and I really, really REALLY want to buy my meat from Whole Foods. I am trying to be completely done buying meat that is not grass-fed/free-range… etc etc… Whole Foods can be expensive, but I am definitely interested in trying to get into one of their Savvy Shopper classes. I still plan on buying the following products there, so I can be certain of the source:
- Chicken, Beef, Pork
- Eggs (when I don’t get them or can’t get them from my friends Kierra and Seth, who have chickens)
- Some organic veggies – depends what it is
The other part of my plan is to continue to remove processed/refined foods from our diet. We already don’t buy anything with HFCS in it, but the next step is to eliminate all foods that have ingredients that we cannot recognize, that aren’t natural. Of course, I will never give up junk food completely… that would be a futile task in this house. It’s all good in moderation, though, and we do eat a good amount of fruits and veggies, and I obviously prepare a lot of our meals. When I cook, I try to use only whole foods, even though I add a lot of fat and sometimes sugar, I am more concerned about not using processed foods than maybe with having something too rich, or too sweet. Living is tasting, to me. After the baby, though, I will be going back on my normal calorie restrictions, and will go back to preparing more low-calorie meals. I feel like I am armed with more tools than ever to cook that way again, and I will probably resort to Hungry Girl for myself… but at least I have increased my knowledge of good substitutions. One thing I am proud of is my vast knowledge of food, and of how many calories are in what I eat. I read labels, more than most people, because I wanted to lose weight. I understand the importance of maintaining a healthy weight, and even if I don’t get as much exercise as I should, I do at least reduce my calorie intake accordingly.
Now, Neil on the other hand… he pretty much eats the same whether he works out or not… which I don’t think I have seen him “work out” ever… though to his credit we have only known each other a few years… haha… I’m working on him, though. Since he eats whatever I cook, I try to sneak some healthy stuff in. I could probably do more when I go back to my old diet after the baby, but he already kinda balked at the black bean burgers! Yikes! I’ll post my grocery store haul highlights tomorrow!