Two Week Meal Plan, Revisited

We’ve written about our two-week meal plan before, but I’m here to sing its praises again and to share our revised meal plan and a few recipes. On Mondays and Tuesdays, I pick up the kids and get home around 5:15 or 5:30. From there I start dinner, get food on the table by 6:15 or so, and pack the kids off to bed around 7 or 7:15. On Thursdays, neither of us is home until about 6pm and we still eat and have the same early bedtime. So our meal routines have to be tight. We also have the complication that I don’t eat either wheat or corn, which means that our choices are a bit more limited. Our meal plan means that I rarely have to think about what’s for dinner, and I’m always ready to hit the ground running when I get home. I also love the fact that we have grocery shopping down to a science and are able to shop just every two weeks using this meal plan, although we do occasionally do a short trip near the end of the second week. We do have the advantage that I take a day home on Wednesday and Nathan is home on Friday, so that we can use those days to make a more time-intensive dinner or do some extra cooking tasks.

The mean plan below has a few gaps in it — meals that don’t work well for us that we haven’t yet changed — but by and large it serves us well. We also fit fresh or frozen veggies into these meals on the basis of what we have available. If you have any super-easy recipes, especially if they are vegetarian and wheat/corn free, please share them!

Week 1

(B=Breakfast, D=Dinner)

Sunday
B:Special breakfast — eggs or pancakes usually
D: Beanies and wienies and spinach salad with an Asian-inspired dressing
Task: Chop veggies

Monday
B: Oatmeal
D: Baked potatoes

Tuesday
B: Potato/Chickpea hash (now defunct — this breakfast isn’t working!)
D: Chef salad
Task: Cook rice for morning

Wednesday
B: Rice pudding
D: Lentil-rice pulao (ours is a simpler spin on this recipe from Laurel’s Kitchen, done in pressure cooker)
Task: Make granola, soak black beans

Thursday
B: Granola or cereal
D: Caribbean black bean soup w/ rice (sort of an adaptation of this recipe from Shortcut Vegetarian by Lorna Sass but done in pressure cooker with real beans)
Task: Soak chickpeas

Friday
B: Yogurt
D: Chickpea curry with rice. We’ve adapted this recipe from Shortcut Vegetarian by Lorna Sass. We usually add coconut milk and just do it with diced tomatoes.
Task: Prep for shabbat meals or guests

Saturday
B: Special breakfast like eggs or pancakes
D: Take-out

Week 2

Sunday
B: Special breakfast
D: Stir Fry

Monday
B: Oatmeal
D: Quick carrot soup (see recipe below)

Tuesday
B: Potato/Chickpea hash (not a working breakfast — if you have breakfast ideas that don’t involve wheat or corn, I’m all ears — please!)
D: Omelet, eggs and noodles, or fritatta

Wednesday
B: Rice pudding
D: Red lentil soup (our adaptation of this Lorna Sass recipe)
Task: Make granola, make rice for thur/fri dinner

Thursday
B: Granola or cereal
D: BBQ tofu, rice and cheese, veggie
Task: Defrost fish

Friday
B: Yogurt
D: Fish, rice, veggie
Task: Prep for shabbat meals or guests

Saturday
B: Special breakfast
D: Take-out

Quick carrot soup

(this is also a Lorna Sass adaptation as well!)
2 lb bag baby carrots
broth
coconut milk
2-3 potatoes
chopped onions (optional)

Put everything in the pressure cooker for 8 minutes or so. Then blend up with an immersion blender.

About Angela

Angela is an associate professor of mathematics and enjoys writing, reading, and talking to people about her bike. She's the proud mother of two cute kids, H and R.
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10 Responses to Two Week Meal Plan, Revisited

  1. Nat says:

    It seems to me that quinoa fulfills your requirements: it is a cereal with a lot of proteins. I cook it in 20mn in boiling water (if you use 300g of quinoa for 800g of water you don’t even have to drain it) . You can eat it warm with olive oil and grated cheddar for example. Or cold in a salad or tabbouleh. From my experience children love it!

  2. Angela says:

    You are right — we should eat more quinoa! We seem to go through phases where we eat it for a while and then it falls off our radar. It’s so much faster than brown rice, even in a pressure cooker! Thanks for the suggestion :)

  3. abracadabra says:

    Bittman has a great potatoes & lentils recipe in his “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.” It takes about 30 minutes to cook – mostly unattended and it is really great as a leftover.

    I love quinoa but I try to use it sparingly… our consumption is really putting pressure on Bolivians for whom it is a staple. Until it is grown widely here and not imported mostly from Bolivia…

    I do use amaranth – very high in protein, iron (60% DRV), and lysine – and as far as I know not quite the staple that quinoa is, is grown here in the US, and is a very efficient grain crop. It makes a hot breakfast cereal similar to cream of wheat – that for some reason my kids will not eat but I mix leftovers in with their oatmeal just because it is just a nutrient powerhouse. You can also pop it like popcorn. I imagine for a pilaf you can just cook it with a bit less water than the cereal. Only complain is those tiny grains can make quite a mess if spilled.

  4. Jesse E-V says:

    I like barley with maple syrup or honey for breakfast. It is a wheat-free grain that leaves me feeling full for quite a while. I stir in a little milk to make it creamy, add almonds and dried fruit.

  5. Devin says:

    Great post. It is funny how things happen in groups. We just started trying to reign in our food spending, so we started making meal plans to coincide with my pay periods of every other Weds to help with that.
    Good luck,
    Devin

  6. Erin B says:

    Have you tried fruit salad or fruit smoothees for breakfast?

    1 banana
    1 cup frozen blueberries
    1 cup OJ (or other fruit juice)
    1 cup yogurt of your choice

    Blend

    feeds four-ish

  7. df says:

    Your meal planning is very inspiring.

    I completely second the smoothie suggestion; these are a staple in our house. I’m not sure how my youngest would do if it weren’t for his berry fetish and the fact that it’s easy to freeze local berries and have them all year long.

    On the wheat thing: can you tolerate spelt, or is it too close a cousin to wheat for you? (I know, it’s an ancient wheat, but apparently a lot of people do well with it who can’t take modern wheat. I use spelt flour all the time instead of regular wheat flour just because the natural fibre is so much greater.

  8. V says:

    I like this idea. I basically make the same thing every other week anyway….. I awhile ago had a group of favorite recipes that I use like shuffle cards and pick one or two to make each week… Our schedule and needs are diff than yours so for us Mon and Tues are the make a real recipe dinner meal. Weds is leftovers for B who works overnight and Eggs for the kids and I ( although I was told that Girlpie no longer likes egg wraps. ) Thursday is pasta night b/c G needs to have pasta to look forward to or she’d ask for it every night. And friday used to be pizza- but the kids hate pizza so now fri is up in the air- often take out. sat and sun B cooks amazing meals taken from the pages of Gourmet and food and wine and I do nothing but eat and gorge. I love meal plans that appear a bit ridgid. There is nothing less fun than trying to figure out what to eat. But once you know -it’s great. Plus the whole shopping thing makes it efficient.

    For breakfast I third smoothies. Or I was going to say boiled eggs and salad ( I recently at a diner had poached eggs and salad and it was soo good and filling.) but I see you have eggs later than night… I hate weekday breakfast and only eat oatmeal.

  9. Olive says:

    I’m behind in my reading, but wanted to say that I’m totally impressed with your two week rotation – I want to try something like this!

    Also, another vote for quinoa. I love this breakfast quinoa recipe – http://delectablyfree.com/2010/09/red-breakfast-quinoa/ (I use agave or honey instead of stevia and usually peanut butter instead of almond).

    We’ve had a lot of success with the cookbook “Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker.” It’s very gluten/corn-free friendly (though I’m more used to looking for gluten than corn) and most of the dishes are delicious and easy to prep.

  10. Lori says:

    Found your blog searching on “chick-pea hash” – I realize it wasn’t successful for your family, but I’d love to hear about it anyway!

    Meanwhile: Easy-peasy weekday breakfast:
    Brown rice cakes with peanut butter and sliced bananas or strawberries or honey or whatever (crunching is popular and addictive for kids and adults.)

    More do-ahead – Rice Congee, aka Jook: Asian rice gruel, garnished with bits of yummies – search on it, and then do it your way. Works great with brown rice, but needs a lot of water and (passive) cooking time, and in the end, my immersian blender helps. But, it is delicious “comfort food” that can incorporate nutrition.

    I once tried a breakfast rice pudding, with brown rice, and adding apples, bulk sausage, maple syrup and eggs – I only made it once, and don’t remember it being great, but there are certainly possibilities there.

    Happy cooking!

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