Sunday, January 2, 2011

Weekly Menu Planning 1/2/2011-1/9/2011

WMP... It's one of those things that sounds easy. I think about it while drifting off to sleep, riding on the bus, or walking to the gym. Each idea is followed with thoughts of, "yeah, I could totally make that" and "that could totally be frozen for future lunches" Yet, when it comes to putting pen to paper and actually writing it all out I blank out.

Well, now that it's a new year, I would like to actually make this happen. We've tried in the past, and some weeks are more successful that others, and sometimes plans change when we've been invited out at the last minute, or we realize we're going to be out of town for the weekend so we have to use up those veggies sitting in the fridge.

One of my goals for menu planning is be more cost effective. I'll plan meals around what's on sale at the supermarket. The other goal is for health. We're booked to go to Vegas in February, and I'm determined to spend some time at the hotel pool. My body has not touched water (except for showers) for way too long. Even if it's chlorinated water, I think some sun and pool-time will cure the winter blahs of February. By having the ingredients on hand and a clear idea of what I'm making, I hope there will not be the impulse to say "screw it!" and head off to our local pub or some other place.

I'm going to try to eat as cleanly as possible, and to follow the advice of Naturopath Dr. J. Matsen. I learned so much about digestion by reading his book and visiting his office. I also learned my sensitivities, and by avoiding them, I saw so many improvements in my weight and complexion.

Snacks between meals will be hummus with tortilla chips or wheat-free crackers, fruit, and nuts. The husband's line of work doesn't really allow for "snack time" during the day, but having these available around the kitchen will hopefully curb the urges to grab and inhale a whole bag of chips.

So here is what I have so far, for the week of 1/2/2011 - 1/9/2011

Sunday: B-Oatmeal; L-Leftover breakfast links (1 for me, 2 for the husband), 1 boiled egg each, and 1 slice of yeast-free spelt bread; D-Pureed cabbage soup with pork sausage.

Monday: B-Oatmeal; L-Leftover cabbage soup, 1 slice spelt bread; D-Baked salmon (salt, lemon and wheat-free soy), broccoli, carrots and peas.

Tuesday: B-Oatmeal; L-Leftover salmon, veggies and brown rice; D-Japanese hotpot.

Wednesday: B-Oatmeal; L-Leftover hotpot; D:More leftover hotpot.

Thursday: B-Oatmeal; L-Leftover hotpot; D-Beer can chicken with roasted root vegetables

Friday: B-Oatmeal; L-Leftover chicken; D-Chicken salad with spelt bread

Saturday: B-Oatmeal; L-Detox FAIL (met up with friends in the city, had calamari and beer!), ; D-FAIL again (had dinner in the city as well. Veggie burger with fries and another beer!)

OK, so you can see that we started out well but failed miserable at the end. It's like once we allow ourselves to eat processed wheat, dairy, meat and alcohol, our body just craves more. *Sigh*

On the leftover front, I'm lucky that the husband has no problems with eating leftovers. I like to change up leftovers by adding something to it, and Japanese hotpot is probably one of the easiest things for that. We add rice, noodles, more tofu, or more meat to make it as light or as hearty as we need. It does get tiring, though and I think the monotony is what made us crave bad food.

As for the whole chicken we made on Thursday, it leaves a plethora of options for leftovers. Here are some of my usual recipes:

WC leftover option 1: Chicken salad
leftover chicken
good mayonnaise (made with real eggs, good oil, and low sugar). I like Spectrum brand.
chopped veggies like carrots, celery, cucumbers, bell peppers, etc.
optional: chopped marinated artichokes, chopped olives, a sharp cheese, a chopped boiled egg
salt and pepper

WC leftover option 2: Chicken soup
This is a pretty obvious one. I like to use these soups to add veggies I don't always know what to do with. Such veggies include kale, chard, and beet tops. I know they are high in nutritional value but don't really like them fried. When they are in soups, they get soft and break down nicely, making them easy to eat.

WC leftover option 3: Fresh salad rolls
Roll up with shredded chicken, matchstick carrots, cucumber, lettuce, thin rice noodles, and a few sprigs of cilantro. I usually make a "lazy" dip with hoisin sauce, peanut butter, and a bit of water to thin it out. If I happen to have thai basil on hand (which I usually don't), that adds a nice flavor to it.

Wish us better luck for next week...

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