menu plan monday: gf/paleo freezer cooking

Monday

I don’t have a meal plan for this week. We’ve got dinner at a friend’s tonight and then the kids and I will be visiting Grandma, Grandpa and the cousins for the whole weekend.

Instead, I’m sharing the gluten-free and paleo friendly menu plan I put together and prepped last week using Once a Month Meals. I wrote last week about how this site and it’s tools have saved my brain in a season that’s a little crazier than normal. That’s not an overstatement at all.

I was able to prep twelve dinners for four (two of each) and several lunches in single servings, plus four side dishes we’ll be able to eat twice. And because I have the Pro Membership, I was able to swap some meals out for ones I know my family will love and still print out the shopping list, prep plan, cooking day plan and everything else customized exactly how I needed it.

Total cost: about $220, but that included some breakfast items and snacks and special requests from the kids.

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Here are the dinners I made:

  • Paleo Crockpot Meatballs – we’ll be serving with gluten free pasta or spaghetti squash and a salad for a dinner that’s less than 15 minutes hands on.
  • Artichoke Chicken Thighs – throw it all in a baking sheet and add an easy veggies. Sweet.
  • Bacon Wrapped Coconut Chicken Nuggets – confession: I left out the coconut. My people will like it better that way.
  • Spiced Chicken, Kale and Roasted Squash – 10 minutes or so hands on. We had this for dinner Friday night and it was amazing. Next time, I’ll double the squash
  • Spicy Beef and Broccoli – I’ll serve this with white rice cooked with bone broth.
  • Pulled Pork Shoulder Roast – I totally botched this recipe and turned it into bbq pulled pork. Just throw the roast in the slow cooker with salt, pepper, garlic, a diced onion and several tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and cook for about 8 hours. We pulled the pork, added a a paleo friendly bbq sauce. Serve it on slider rolls or on top of shredded cabbage to keep it paleo.

Lunches:

  • Chicken and Zucchini Poppers – I made these into mini patties to ensure they cooked all the way through. A minute in the microwave or in a frying pan to reheat and they’re to throw on a salad or in a lettuce wrap. Next time, I’ll add more seasoning – maybe some pepper sauce or vaudovon or chili paste.
  • Curried Coconut Cauliflower Soup – really good, especially make with bone broth, but also something I will play with the spices with when I make it again. And I will make it again!

Side Dishes:

  • Garlic and Bacon Green Beans – because all veggies are better when roasted with bacon. I used frozen organic green beans instead of fresh.
  • Maple Bacon Acorn Squash – this is sooo good. So good. Perfect with a roast.
  • Roasted Butternut Squash with Rosemary and Balsamic – can’t wait to pair this with some steaks
  • Smashed Loaded Red Potatoes – another recipe I sort of flopped because I wasn’t paying attention. I mashed the potoates, added raw shredded cheese, organic cream, scallions, mashed it all together and froze in an 8×8 baking pan. It’s not paleo, but it’s wholefoods and the family is very excited about it.

 

Shared at Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday and the Real Food Roundup with Musings of  a Housewife and Sassy Moms in the City.

swappable-300x250-logoDisclosure: I am an affiliate of Once A Month Meals and will receive a commission if you sign up through my link. I would have not become an affiliate without 100% belief that this service is worth every penny of the fee and more in making wholesome, healthy dinners easy and doable for everyone.

 

Baby Steps 1: take inventory

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I started making serious dietary changes about five years ago.

It’s been a process with lots of ups and downs, big failures, even bigger successes, some rather crazy experimentation and lots of lessons…some that I’ve had to learn more than once or twice or ten times.

Ultimately, it’s been lots and lots of baby steps.

I was reminded again of that this weekend while reading this post from Being Primal (and if you’re not familiar with Being Primal, you should be).

It’s taken me 3 years of eating gluten-free and 2 years of eating paleo to get to a place of consistency.

I’m not good at big changes all at once. Well…I am for a few days and then I burn out. I think most of us are that way.  For sustainable change and consistency, I’ve got to take baby steps.

I’m sharing some of my favorite baby steps in a new series.

I think most of us know we need to eat better than we do. We just don’t know where to start.

The best place to start is right where you are.

Take an inventory:

  • what do you eat? You don’t have to weigh and measure and be obsessive about it – just make a note of what it is.
  • how much do you eat? Again, keep it simple – a big plate, a handful, palm sized.
  • where do you eat? In the car, at the table, over the sink – wherever.
  • when do you eat? Meal times, in between, before bed, in the middle of the night – all you really want is a sense of when you’re eating.

Make notes for a few days. Be honest with yourself. If you’re serious about change, you need to be aware of where you are. The directions on a map are worthless unless you know where to start.

Once you’ve got the basics down, you might want to add another category:

  • why are you eating? Hungry? That’s good. Bored, stressed, depressed, happy? Not so much.

That’s it.

It seems ridiculously easy, doesn’t it? I truly do believe that it’s one of the most important things we can do as people who want change. Sometimes, it’s hard to realize our days consist of fast food or frozen dinners. Sometimes, we don’t realize that we eat one vegetable a day. Sometimes, we’re shocked to see that we eat that whole box of Little Debbie’s Nutty Bars in a day.

And I’m totally speaking from experience on that one.

Start with a truthful look at the food that regularly comes into your body and add from there.

Next week, we’ll take another step.