Monday, March 5, 2012

Meal Plan Week 1

I have had several questions recently about what our mostly vegetarian family eats, so I thought I'd share our meal plans for a few weeks.

I wrote a post once at The Conscious Shopper about my meal planning system. What I didn't include in that post is that I'm an obsessively organized person and actually have our meals planned out for 15 weeks at a time, along with a shopping list for each week. I know. It's crazy. Early in our marriage, when I still shopped at Walmart, I also had the shopping list organized by Walmart's shopping aisles. That's really crazy. I used to keep this fact about myself a secret until I knew a person well, but at this point in my life, I'm owning it. I'm a little bit crazy.

This is not to say that we've been eating the same meals for the past ten years. Periodically, I switch up the meals with new recipes or alter the list to fit the needs of particular picky children. Right now, for instance, we're going back to a more vegetarian diet because of budgetary restraints, so many of the meaty meals that I had on the menu are being cut out and replaced.

So this will be a 15-week long peek into the eating habits of the Peters Family Band. Hope you enjoy!

Breakfast Options:
  • oatmeal, granola, toast, grits, or eggs
  • yogurt, smoothies, or milk
  • cold cereal on the weekend
Lunch Options:
  • cheese sandwich, tuna sandwich, egg salad sandwich, peanut butter sandwich, or quesadilla
  • apple, banana, clementine, peaches, or applesauce
  • water or watered down juice
  • chili chimichangas
  • corn
    • frittata with peppers, mushrooms, onions, basil, and cheese
    • toast
    • collard greens
    • stroganoff with "beef" crumbles
    • salad
    • walnut oatmeal burgers
    • mashed potatoes
    • We're having guests over, so I'm not sure yet what we're having. On Saturdays, we often eat leftovers, pancakes, or order take-out.
    • chicken enchiladas
    • salad


    1. I'm a little crazy with menu planning too, so I have to ask questions. When you say 15 week menu plan, does that mean you'll eat this same menu for 15 weeks?? Also, with cutting out meat, do you have any particular method for adding protein in other ways? We have started having meatless meals at least once and up to 3 times a week. Anyway, I guess I can probably talk to you about this in person....I'd love to see your system.

    2. No, I have 15 week-long menus that we rotate through in order. We go through all 15 week-long menus before starting over again with the first menu. Does that make more sense?

      The advantage of my system is that I never have to sit down and plan a menu or write a grocery list. Also, I have it fine-tuned so that I don't waste ingredients - if I use half a block of cream cheese in a recipe, I have another recipe on that same week's menu that uses the rest of the cream cheese. The disadvantage is that no one else in my family gets any say about what we eat. I try to keep their preferences in mind anytime I modify the menus though. For example, we used to eat a lot more rice-based dishes, but it was a big battle with the kids anytime we ate those, so I cut most of them out.

      We eat A LOT of beans. We are huge fans of Mexican food and also eat beans in our pasta or as a burger. We eat an egg-based dinner (like scrambled eggs or omelets) once a week. My boys and I really like tofu, but Michael doesn't. I only buy meat substitutes (like Boca or Morningstar products) if they're on a good sale.

    3. I have a meal plan too but not as precise as yours! I have a list of 50 or so meals I make and and I just pick what I like (or get requested) for two weeks at a time, make a list, shop, cook and then do it again two weeks later. I'll have to try some of your meatless recipes. We could use a few more.

    4. That does make a lot more sense Erin, thanks. Jessica, I also menu plan like you. We have a list of the meals we love and plan for 2 weeks at a time. I try to plan like you do for not wasting ingredients, but I'm sure yours is much more effective because you are so much more organized. We eat a lot of beans too. I add it to almost everything. Almost anytime we have hamburger, I add beans of some kind to it. At least 2x a month we just have beans and rice for dinner. I cook them in big batches in the pressure cooker and freeze them.


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