Crazy Schedules and Crazy Meals

My schedule is a bit crazy right now, as I juggle clients, writing, volunteering, and a home life. My fiance’s schedule has also picked up, and now we’re officially in the “We have to find a hood for your car, NOW!” phase. (For those of you who didn’t know, a deer ran into my car a while ago. Since it’s an older model, finding a hood in good condition less than several hours away has been a challenge; but, it’s looking like we might make the trip to grab one at this point). The car’s not drivable as it is, because the deer broke the hood latch and did some other other damage that means it cannot be safely closed.  With the way things are settling out, it’s gone from inconvenient to undoable; so, this week is focused on finding and replacing the hood.

This is all leading into the crazy food. We meal plan pretty rigorously, and it’s gotten even more important as things get more and more hectic. We need to stay healthy, we don’t like eating out, we want to keep our grocery budget under control. This can get difficult, but we realize that it’s times like these when you have to plan more time to cook, not less. You just have to plan it differently! To that end, here’s our meal plan for the next while:

This week

Groceries for 7 days: $50.00

Tonight: Chickpea saag. Made with local greens, saag is a wonderful Indian dish eaten over rice. The chickpeas (which were cooked up from dried) cominbed with brown rice and yogurt provide excellent protein, while the spinach and rice provide lots of fiber. This was made yesterday, because it’s always better when it has time to sit in the refrigerator overnight!

Friday: Beer-roasted chicken, with EVOO glazed potatoes and vegetable. This whole chicken will provide meals for us one night, and lunches/sandwiches for a few days. We’ve got lots of yummy local potatoes in our bin, and we’ll pull out some frozen veggies. To round things off, we’ll have a big green salad with balsamic vinegar and oil.

Saturday: Banana & Black Bean Empanadas. This is a dry-run test for the crust recipe I’ll be using for one of my clients later this week. Healthy, full of protein, fiber, and potassium (which we both need more of with our current levels of activity), these will be served with a spicy yogurt sauce and green salad. A few will go in the freezer for lunches later.

Sunday: Clay pot miso chicken, served with vegetables. I’ve wanted to try this recipe for a while, and becaues it’s largely hands-off, this is a great time. It’s got over a pound of mushrooms in it! I even have a clay pot! This will give us some more leftovers for the coming week.

Monday: Indian Chicken. Yes, it’s a lot of chicken in the menu, but it’s the easiest thing we’ve got right now. Healthy options we can deal with are outweight variety in meats at the moment. And, we love this dish’s spice and freshness. Lots of green peppers and onions!

Tuesday: Sweet potato and black bean burritos. This is a revamp of a favorite from a great restaurant in Ann Arbor called Seva. They do a squash and black bean version; but, since we have more sweet potatoes than we have any idea what to do with, we’re using those.

Wednesday: Leftovers. Neither of us is really home this day at the same time, so we’ve planned things to give us leftovers for lunches and dinners.

Thursday: Shape-It-Up Meatloaf, served with whipped sweet potatoes and veggie. This is a super-healthy meatloaf, with spinach, black beans, oats, and TVP.  We love whipped sweet potaotes, and we’ll see what’s fresh at the market for a vegetable

Friday: chili. I’m going to be cooking all day, and need something that can just be tossed into a crock pot.

The reality of this meal plan remains to be seen. There are several things going on that could easily change some or all of it, but we’ve hopefully arranged it so that we’ll have enough leftovers in the ‘fridge of freezer that it won’t end in us eating out.

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