A new week and guess what? It's my birthday next week! Even though on Tuesday there will be a date night going on but I am going to splurge a little with my cooking calories and make a few of my favorite things, like shrimp and grits, copycat Joe's Crab Shack Harvest Bay Mahi Mahi, and Springfield Style Cashew Chicken. At the very top of that list is my very favorite birthday dinner: My Mom's Chicken Chow Mein. When we were kids we always got to pick the meal and that was my favorite. It's a simple stir fry-ish dish (not authentic at all, seriously) of chicken and vegetables over rice or noodles. Mom always served it over rice but by definition it should be noodles. Either work great for me. It's the tasty walk down memory lane that serves me the best.
Happy Almost Birthday to me!
THE WAY IT WORKS:
The way I work my plans is the opposite of most meal plans. This is not a concrete day by day, meal by meal, snack by snack down to the minute food plan. What works for me is to prepare for the week a pot of soup, bread from scratch, a sweet of some kind, and have readily and easily available the ingredients for a specific salad, breakfast, snack foods, and six dinner menus for the week. I add the salad and/or soup to many meals each night to add veggies to our day. I have shopped for the groceries and prepared any veggies I need to like washing and cutting up carrots and celery for snacks, greens washed for the salad and its components in baggies in the crisper so that grabbing and throwing these items together is a snap. My meal plans for dinner can be made on any night of the upcoming week as we want them and have time to prepare them. Having soup, salad, homemade bread, and a sweet made in advance round out nightly dinners, make great lunches, and don't leave me scratching my head wondering what to pull together each day and ordering a pizza instead of eating in. My goal is to have a variety of from scratch "clean" foods easily fixable so we don’t get bored, and also to make the most of nutrients, without specific calorie counts, but including good oils, quality protein, and plenty of fiber from complex carbs.
Because of my job, I work 12 hour overnights and those are usually clustered around the weekend so I look at the grocery ads on Wednesday, shop Wednesday or Thursday, and prep Thursday or Friday. But that's just because of the way my work days fall. Anyone else following this idea would want to shop/prep/cook more heavily around their days off, whether that's mid-week or the weekend.
(Recipes that are here on my blog that I will be using have links.)
Breakfasts: Cheerios, Oatmeal, Scrambled Eggs with Mushrooms and Green Onions
Salad: Cut up Veggies with Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Snacks: Clementines, apples
Lunches: Leftovers, Soup of the Week
Breads: Beer Bread (Can also use a can of any flavor soda in place of beer)
Sweets: Apple Crostada
Vodka Marinated Pork Roast
Buttered Egg Noodles
Steamed Frozen Vegetable Medley
Sautéed Fresh Mushrooms