Grain-free, junk-free, two-week meal plan with grocery list Feb 25- March 10th

Week 3 and 4 of junk-free eating and my mom started the Whole 30 program last week and quit smoking, too! This household has really been working hard to eat healthy and exercise; as I type this, I am delightfully sore from working out.

I bought a 3 pound bag of almonds and finally made almond butter in the food processor. SO. EASY. Plus it was 1/3 of the cost! I will also use the almond for snacking and making almond flour. I bought a bag of pistachios (because I LOVE pistachios) and oranges for snacks.

February 25th-March 3rd

Monday:
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and bacon
Lunch: Protein shake with coconut and almond milk and almond butter or leftovers
Dinner: Roasted chicken and steamed broccoli

Tuesday:
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and bacon
Lunch: Protein Shake with coconut and almond milk, almond butter, half a banana or leftovers
Dinner: Fajita meat salad with baby spinach, lime juice, and salsa

Wednesday:
Breakfast:  Eggs and Bacon and an orange
Lunch: El Pollo chicken and protein shake with almond milk or leftovers
Dinner: Paleo pizzas, sauteed asparagus and baby spinach

Thursday:
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and bacon
Lunch: Leftover paleo pizzas and salad greens
Dinner:(dinner at my dads) – bunless burgers

Friday:
Breakfast: Eggs
Lunch: Protein Shake with coconut and almond milk, almond butter, half a banana
Dinner: Salad with dressing, cheese, salsa, beans

Saturday:
Breakfast: Chicken-fried steak (grain-free) and fried eggs
Lunch: Protein Shake
Dinner: Ham, green-beans, sweet-potato fries

Sunday:
Breakfast: Skipped breakfast
Lunch: with in-laws – chicken enchiladas, salad greens
Dinner: BBQ chicken and brussel sprouts (also made paleo cookies)

March 4-10

Monday:
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and bacon
Lunch: Leftover chicken and vegetables
Dinner: Taco Salad

Tuesday:
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and bacon
Lunch: protein shake
Dinner: Spicy BBQ chicken, asparagus

Wednesday:
Breakfast: Eggs and bacon
Lunch: leftover chicken and salad
Dinner: pork loin in crock-pot, green beans

Thursday:
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and bacon
Lunch: pork-loin and salad
Dinner: (Take-out at my dad’s house) chile verde and vegetables

Friday:
Breakfast: eggs with salsa verde
Lunch: Protein Shake with coconut and almond milk, almond butter, half an avocado
Dinner: Avocado tuna cakes with dipping sauce and salad greens

Saturday:
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and bacon
Lunch: protein shake
Dinner: Out for a birthday party

Sunday:
Breakfast: protein shake
Lunch: (at in-laws) a Portuguese pork dish with green beans and yams
Dinner: Roasted chicken from Costco

2 week food list and cost breakdown:

*This is incomplete, but I figured I should post it now, and fill in the blanks later*

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Two-week, grain-free meal plan and cost breakdown Feb 11-24

This post is a couple days late, but I’ve had a sick baby on my hands and an over-worked husband!

I’ve been following a pretty strict primal/paleo diet these last few week and it’s going great. I’ve lost a few pounds without trying very hard and I’m feeling pretty good. We aren’t doing a diet as strict as the Whole30 program, but trying to do about 90/10.

Usually I post meal plans for the week coming up, but I’ve decided to start posting meals, shopping lists, and cost breakdown for two weeks at a time, since a lot of what we buy is in 1 or 2 week cycles.

The Lenten season has begun and I will admit, the start of Lent was not very self-sacrificing. I thought Lent was the following week and did not plan very well. I am breast-feeding my baby, so I am not fasting, but I am replacing breakfast with a shake that has lower calories than my typical cooked breakfast.

My husband eats dinner leftovers for lunch, but I have started enjoying protein shakes as meal replacements because it is quick and easy (which is necessary with my 9 month old!) and it ensures I get plenty of protein. We try and order the cleanest protein we can. We aren’t perfect, we aren’t nutritionists, we are just trying to figure out what works best for us.

two week meal plan 1

We eat a little cheese here and there, so I guess you can say we eat more primal than paleo. There are places to get paleo-friendly protein powder so if you are more strict in your diet, you can certainly find it. We could use more veggies in our diet (especially for breakfast), but we are a work in progress 😉

Meal plan, grocery list, and price breakdown after the jump.

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Prosciutto-basil chicken and Brussel sprouts recipe

My friend Jen is a great cook. She likes trying new things and we sometimes get lucky and are invited over for dinner! I’m not a huge fan of prosciutto and my husband isn’t a huge fan of basil, but in this dish, this prosciutto-basil chicken, it tastes amazing! Jen got this recipe from a friend who got it somewhere online. It’s been altered a bit here and there along the way. I don’t think mine came out quite as good as Jen’s, but that could be because I didn’t have to cook it the first time!

basil and prosciutto chicken Ingredients

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This week’s meal plan (1/21- 1/25)

This last week I added delicious Strauss milk back into my diet… and then removed it because it caused a rash (allergic reaction) all over my little guy’s face. I also over-cooked the grass-fed sirloins.

Also, the starter on our second vehicle died and Marc is working long hours. I think I might be able to bribe my dad into taking me grocery shopping! I better make sure my grocery list is extremely thorough. We really should have gone grocery shopping yesterday, but it was my husbands only day off and the championship game was the only priority (this is 49er Country, just don’t tell the Raider fans)!

Despite all of that, we managed to really clean up our diets this week and rid our body of all that sugar and junk. So that’s a win!

This week’s grocery list:

  • Monday: Chicken with basil and prosciutto, salad greens and snap peas
  • Tuesday: Taco salad (with no tortillas or with sprouted corn tortillas, over mixed greens instead of lettuce)
  • Wednesday: Oven baked pork chops with green beans and onions
  • Thursday: Crock-pot whole chicken with garlic broccoli
  • Friday: Roast, carrots, and sweet potato

Lunches: Leftover dinner from the night before, almond butter and protein smoothies

Breakfast: Eggs and bacon, cheese omelet, eggs and linguica

When do all of you go grocery shopping? What’s on your meal plan?

My new favorite: Chicken in tomato and basil cream sauce

We have been in kind of a food slump lately; nothing seems to sound very good and we needed a bit more variety. I needed to eat something new and different! I also didn’t want to be prepping and cooking food all evening when I want and need to spend more time with my baby and husband. I looked around on Pinterest (which makes me mostly just want to bake) and was inspired by a photo on The Big Oven. I wasn’t a fan of all the ingredients so I came up with my own version and used tomatoes instead of pimentos and left out a few ingredients. The result? DELICIOUSNESS. I’m making this chicken again, soon!

Ingredients:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (we used 5)
  • Fat of your choice for cooking chicken
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasoning, or to taste
  • 2 tsp garlic powder, or to taste
  • 2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I used the kind with oregano and other herbs) or 1-2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1/3-1/2 cup fresh basil, diced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or asiago cheese

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Chicken and Broccoli in Creamy Pesto Sauce

We had my mother and father-in-law over for dinner Saturday night and served them one of my favorite dishes: Chicken and broccoli in creamy pesto sauce. For convenience, this recipe utilizes cream sauce and pesto that is already made, feel free to make your own sauce for this recipe.

This meal is usually a treat for us because of the cream sauce. This meal also isn’t the cheapest, but there are ways to save. I wish I was able to take pictures of this lovely dish, but we were busy entertaining and busy eating and there was none left afterwards!

Chicken and Broccoli in Creamy Pesto Sauce
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • About 2 lbs chicken breast (I bought in bulk and on sale, and paid about 81 cents per serving, $3.25 total)
  • 2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets – $3 total
  • 1 container fresh pesto $4.99 (or, save money and buy the pesto flavor packet in the marinade aisle – $1.99)
  • 1 container fresh Alfredo sauce $3.99 (or, buy in a jar, $2.50)

Total – $15.23, or $3.80 pp – using budget shortcuts, $10.74, $2.68 pp

Optional recipe enhancement:

  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into small discs, with heads set aside – 80 cents
  • 3 tbsp butter – 89 cents (and we use butter that is about $7 a pound)
  • 5 cloves garlic, diced – 40 cents

Enhancement cost: $2.09, 52 cents a person (less if you don’t use pastured butter)

Directions:

  • Season chicken breasts with pepper, garlic powder, and anything else you may like
  • Cut asparagus into thin discs, leaving the heads intact
  • Grill chicken breasts in large pan, set aside
  • Add butter, garlic, and asparagus to separate pan and cook on low until garlic starts to brown, set aside (optional step)
  • Meanwhile, cook broccoli until crisp tender
  • To make sauce – combine Alfredo sauce and 2/3-1 whole container (to taste) of pesto (or whole envelope), simmer in small pot until warmed through, may add milk if too thick. Add garlic asparagus mixture if using.
  • Mix broccoli with sauce and serve over chicken (if you are a pasta eater, this tastes great with pasta)
  • Enjoy!

Total meal cost for 4 people: about $10.74-$17.32, depending on ingredients used (prices will also vary with where you buy your ingredients and if they are on sale or not)

Week 2 Grocery Challenge Review + Creamy Crock-Pot Pork Recipe

Click the icon to view shopping lists, total cost, and more

The Meal Plan:

Saturday and Sunday: Out of town – Sunday it will probably be a “free night” dinner and I just may eat a grilled cheese sandwich with sprouted wheat and seed bread.
Monday: Vegetable Curry
Tuesday: Spinach and pepper stuffed chicken breasts with asparagus and dessert
Wednesday: Mom request: Creamy pork chops over rice + green beans  (slow-cooker)
Thursday: Beef Verde Chili and side salad
Friday: Steaks with potatoes and asparagus

What we actually ate:
Saturday through Tuesday went as planned, as did tonight’s dinner.
Wednesday: Beef tacos with lettuce, spinach, avocado, sour cream and cheese (I was really craving these and they were so satisfying to eat!)
Thursday: Creamy crock-pot pork (recipe at the bottom) with spinach salad

What I have left:

  • A can of cream of mushroom soup (a cheat for most of us, probably)
  • Green sauce
  • green chiles

Creamy Crock-Pot Pork Recipe

(it’s not pretty, but it still tastes good!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs pork chops, pork loin, or pork shoulder
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder or 2 cloves garlic, diced

Directions:

  • Sprinkle pork with pepper and sear in hot pan with olive oil or animal fat
  • Mix soup, milk, garlic, and some more pepper in slow cooker
  • Place pork in slow cooker, making sure to coat with sauce mix
  • Cook on low for 5+ hours (our pork was really thick sirloin chops, and they shredded beautifully after cooking all day)
  • Serve on rice, with a spinach salad, or as a sandwich filling

A Tasty Way to Eat Your Veggies

We finally made vegetable curry tonight for dinner and it was delicious (and quick and easy)! It was just what my body needed after eating so much junk food these last couple of days. I found the recipe from Kidspot Australia and altered it a bit to my liking. I will definitely be making the vegetable curry again, but maybe as a side dish next time since this did not have much protein in it.

Vegetable Curry
Serves 4-6 as a main dish, more if using for a side

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Budget Grocery Challenge Week 1: Review

Here was what I planned for dinner (and leftover lunches):

The reality:

We had so much chicken chili left that I didn’t want to waste, we practically ate it all week (Marc also had a work lunch one day, so he didn’t have to pack lunch on that day). So I now have ingredients for vegetable curry and chicken and lentils for next week.

Total cost: I spent about $85-92, but I now have two dinners for next week. I also purchased yogurt and bread at the store later in the week – about $6. So for less than $100, for 3 adults, we ate healthy meals for one week, with two whole meals left over!

We have plenty of butter leftover, but we could have easily gone through more milk. This week I need to buy cheese, olive oil, and almond butter though, so we will see how our budget does when I go grocery shopping today!