I mentioned last week that Zack and I are taking meal planning and preparation to the next level. Now that I’m back to work, we want to make weekday nights more automated and spend less time in the kitchen. Our solution? We’ve created a monthly meal plan, or a series of four weekly meal plans that will be repeated on a monthly basis.
We’ve divided each week up into three categories: Big Meals, Easy Meals, and Zack and Jessica Meals. To recap, a “Big Meal” embodies the principle of “cook once, eat twice.” We’ll be doubling two of our favorite recipes each week, making sure each big meal provides us both with two dinners and two lunches. “Easy Meals” are just that: simple and quick. That leaves us with one meal per week to prepare together, or a “Zack and Jessica Meal.” We’re lame, and not creative when it comes to titles. Ha.
The three cookbooks that really embody my pegan (paleo + vegan hybrid) diet are all the works of Dr. Mark Hyman, the director of the Cleveland Clinic Functional Medicine Center. All of the recipes referenced are either from the 10-Day Detox Diet, the 10-Day Detox Diet Cookbook, or Eat Fat, Get Thin. I highly recommend them all! Here’s the monthly meal breakdown:
- Caribbean Spiced Tempeh Stew (Eat Fat, Get Thin; 322)
- Beef Chili (10-Day Detox Diet Cookbook; 217)
- Asian-Style Beef Stew (10-Day Detox Diet Cookbook; 221)
- Beef & Veggie Stuffed Peppers (Eat Fat, Get Thin; 305)
- Moroccan Chicken & Vegetable Stew (10-Day Detox Diet Cookbook; 175)
- Whole Roasted Chicken
- Greek Chicken Thighs with Artichokes & Olives (Eat Fat, Get Thin; 300)
- Salmon Burgers with Pickled Radishes & Avocado (10-Day Detox Diet Cookbook; 154)
- Grilled Salmon with Onion Marmalade over Greens (10-Day Detox Diet; 277)
- Taco Bowls with Cauliflower Rice & Smashed Avocado
- Omelette Day!
- Tofu Scramble
“Zack & Jessica Meals”
- Baked Meatballs with Cauliflower Puree (10-Day Detox Diet Cookbook; 222)
- Slow-Cooked Short Ribs with Celery Root Puree (10-Day Detox Diet Cookbook; 231)
- Pizza Night!
- Any other random recipe we decide to make together!
We’ve purposefully planned flexibility within these meals because we subscribe to Fresh Fork Market, a farm-share buying program, and never really know what our refrigerator is going to fill up with! Even though “burgers” seem like a very vague easy meal, this gives us the opportunity to make beef burgers, turkey burgers, chorizo burgers, etc. and pair with any of the veggies we receive each week!
I’m really excited to put this plan into practice and I hope that it cuts down on kitchen time on a regular basis! Plus, the idea of not having to think about a meal plan for a while sounds lovely. I’ll share each weekly plan and our successes / failures as we try to implement this automated style; here’s to our first week!
Monthly Meal Planning – Week One:
Do you have any meal planning tips to share? I really think we’re onto something here!
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