A Week in Meal Planning
Meal planning takes some time at first, but you will be so thankful for it when you’re full of energy and eating real foods! I plan for 2 people, which I understand is much easier than planning for a family, but I want to share an example of a plan in my household.
I aim for 3-4 meals + something to put in the freezer to be available when in a pinch + a dessert (hello, sweet tooth!) + a snack.
- Sweet Potato Tacos
- 7-Spice Vegetable soup
Freezer: Ground Turkey
Dessert: Chickpea Cookie Dough Balls
Snack: No Bake Granola Bars
I ate leftovers for lunch the next day, sometimes for a few days. I also plan to eat 1-2 meals out each week. Notice there is a cushion day or two, but I find that those we either have extra leftovers to finish up or have eggs or something simple with pantry/fridge staples. All recipes are outlined below.
Meal 1: Sweet Potato Tacos
*Dice all the onion and save extra for other recipes this week.
Recipe adapted from Crop Tops and Kale. I cut out a few ingredients to keep it simple, so check out their site if you’re into the whole shebang!
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 jalapeño
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 4 minced garlic cloves, peeled
- 12 corn tortillas
- 6 cups of sweet potatoes, cubed
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel and dice the red onion. Slice the jalapeño pepper in half lengthwise, discarding the top, inner membrane and seeds. Mince the pepper and use as much as you like, depending on your affinity for heat. Drain the tomatoes. Cut the sweet potato into half inch cubes.
Place sweet potato in medium mixing bowl, drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil and add the cumin, chipotle, cinnamon and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper to taste, toss and spread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Add onions and bake until potatoes are slightly browned and soft, about 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, jalapeño and garlic in a medium bowl. Add cumin and toss well to incorporate. Once potatoes and onions are cooked, add to mixture and combine.
Warm the tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds. Shred some cheese on each tortilla and add sweet potato mixture. Enjoy!
Meal 2: 7-Spice Vegetable Soup
*All veggies can be chopped ahead of time to be thrown together for a fast dinner.
*Use chopped red onion leftover from Sweet Potato Tacos.
*Prep work:: Make sure cashews soak 2 hours or overnight.
Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows.
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked
- 4 cups vegetable broth, divided
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups peeled and chopped sweet potato, regular potato, or butternut squash
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 (28-ounce/796-mL) can diced tomatoes, with their juices
- 1-1 1/2 tablespoons Homemade 10-Spice Blend (recipe follows), to taste
- Fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 to 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup goat cheese
7-Spice Blend Ingredients:
**if you want the full 10 spices, check out the original recipe…again, I had what was on hand!
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Place cashews in a bowl and add enough water to cover. Soak the cashews overnight, or for at least 2 hours. Drain and rinse the cashews. In a blender, combine the soaked and drained cashews with 1 cup of vegetable broth and blend on the highest speed until smooth. Set aside.
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Season with sea salt.Add the carrots, bell pepper, potato, celery, and diced tomatoes with their juices, the remaining 5 cups broth, the cashew cream, and 1-1.5 tablespoons of 10-spice blend. Stir well to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Season with salt and black pepper and add the bay leaves.
Add the carrots, bell pepper, potato, celery, and diced tomatoes with their juices, the remaining 3 cups broth, the cashew cream, and 1-1.5 tablespoons of 10-spice blend. Stir well to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add goat cheese to start melting. Season with salt and black pepper.
Simmer the soup, uncovered, for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. Season with salt and black pepper. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, stir in the spinach and drained beans.
Meal 3: Pizza
*Dough takes longest to prep, but you could use ready-made dough or pita bread instead.
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Pizza Dough Mix
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
- 2 eggs
- 1 and 1/2 cup water
- goat cheese
Make dough according to package instructions, also adding in flax.
Add toppings and bake an additional 7 minutes.
*I used the additional toppings for extra pizzas on pita bread — preheat oven to 400 degrees then cook for 10-12 minutes.
Dessert: Chickpea Cookies
Recipe adapted from Texan Erin.
- 1 1/4 cups canned chickpeas, well-rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel1
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons almond butter – room temperature
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, in a food processor (I just use my mixer) and process until very smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides and the top to get the little chunks of chickpeas and process again until they’re combined.
Put in the chocolate chips and combine. Use a small cookie scoop to easily make about 14 1 1/2″ balls.
Bake for 10 minutes. The dough balls will still be very soft when you take them out of the oven. They will not set like normal cookies, but they are delicious like cookie dough. Always eat warm.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature (or in the fridge) for up to 1 week.
Snack: No Bake Granola Bars
*If used a bowl/mixer for cookies, reuse that while cookies are baking.
Adapted from Peanut Butter Fingers.
- 1/2 cup mixture of natural peanut and almond butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
- 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup dried fruit (I used raisins)
Microwave nut butter and honey until warm, approximately 30 seconds. Stir together. Stir oatmeal into the nut butter and honey. Add coconut and dried fruit. Stir in the ground flaxseed. Press the mixture flat into a pan and freeze for about an hour. Cut into 6-9 bars and store in refrigerator.
Disclaimer: This list does not include everything that I ate last week. Just my main meals at home for lunch and dinner. Things I always have on hand: oats or toast for breakfast, eggs for anytime, frozen fruit + spirulina for smoothies, and popcorn for snacks.
What are your meal planning tips and secrets?!
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