Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What IS on my Grocery List?

Thanks, Jana, for bringing attention to this question. It reminded me that the point of my blog isn't to boast my accomplishments but to help others on the path to living healthier and greener :)

Grocery shopping has been tough for me. I stay at home with our one year old, and Michael works from home...that means three meals a day (and snacks!) for three people. That's a lot of cooking! For obvious reasons, I was tempted by "convenience foods." I've remedied that situation by planning and preparing ahead as much as possible. My freezer is my sous chef (at least until I get the energy star deep freezer I'm pining for).

  • It's filled with pre-measured quantities of chopped vegetables, purees, broths and wine. For easy freezing, use these tools: An ice cube tray (1 cube = approx. 2Tbs), a muffin tin (each "muffin" = 1/2 cup) and/or mini muffin tin (1/4 cup). Freeze, pop 'em out, store in freezer bags (which you wash and reuse...right?)
  • I also cook once for two meals...Last night's beef stew recipe was doubled, then half of it frozen.
  • Another favorite shortcut: Prepare batter for muffins, quick breads, etc. Pour into loaf pan or muffin cups and freeze. When frozen, wrap unbaked bread and store unbaked muffins in freezer bags. When you want a batch, drop them back in the proper pan and bake.
  • A similar trick works for casseroles, etc. line the dish you'll use to bake with foil, leaving plenty of excess. Pour in your leftovers (like my stew) or assemble your casserole. Wrap your excess foil over the top and freeze. When your dinner is frozen, remove your "brick." Now your dish/pan is free for use. Just unwrap your brick and drop it back in when you're ready to resurrect it.

To answer your question and prove it CAN be done, here's this week's menu (Monday-Friday) :

(note: I am currently obsessed with tweaking the recipes in the Deceptively Delicious cookbook)

Breakfasts:

1. Scrambled eggs with "hidden" cauliflower, toast, fruit
2. Oatmeal flavored with your choice of fruit puree
3. Pumkin french toast, fruit
4. Oatmeal again
5. Green (read: spinach puree) Eggs, toast, fruit

Lunches:

1. Sanwiches, Veggie chips (had these already), fruit
2. Vegetarian Rice Balls
3. Meatball Soup
4. Homemad Mac N Cheese with butternut squash puree
5. Chili

Dinners:

1. Spaghetti and Salad
2. Beef Stew over Brown Rice
3. Turkey Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus
4. Black Bean Burgers, Corn, Salad
5. Chicken Quesadillas

Snacks:
Carrot Applesauce muffins
Zucchini Bread
Fresh Fruit and Cheese
Whole Wheat Crackers with Almond Butter
Plain yogurt flavored with fruit puree

You can do it! It takes some getting used to, and I still fall off the wagon, but I don't feel bad about the occaisional Chick-Fil-A when I know I feed my family well 99% of the time!

3 comments:

Mandi said...

wow...you're so together:)

Baby Vagabond said...

I found you through my daughter. I never knew you could freeze muffin batter like that. What a great idea for a last minute desert with fruit ..... freshly warm from the oven :-)

charlie&gracie said...

what great tips! come visit my monday menu thread and please feel free to share your link!! awesome menus, I am inspired to go cook something now!!!