I almost fell asleep in church and J has a cold. We’ve entered the “I just want a nap” phase.
The boys have started having dreams about donuts and chocolate cake. Little One had a major win at a baseball double header when he walked away from his team eating greasy yummy pizza between games. We didn’t force any of the kids to come on this journey with us, they all decided on their own. I’m super proud of them when they stick to their decisions, even when it’s difficult.
After cobbling together last week’s menu and making a LOT of trips to the grocery store, I really want to be more prepared for the week ahead. I also really really really really really want to stay on budget. I’m also headed out of town Tuesday night for a week and I want to leave the menfolk in good standing to stay the course while I’m away.
In that spirit, yesterday, J and I sat down and made a meal plan. Then we made a Costco run and a Walmart Grocery order and came in under budget for the week, after J selflessly sacrificed dried plums for marinara sauce. 😉
Day 8: Spiralized Zuccini with Chicken Sausage and Marinara is actually a meal we eat with semi-regularity anyway, though usually with cheese on top. J got me a spiralizer for Christmas, but you can also find the noodles precut in the freezer section. A compliant bottled marinara and some frozen chicken sausages and it’s as easy as that.
Day 9: Aloha Smash Burgers with Spicy Aioli based on this recipe from Primal Gourmet. The burger has sweet pineapple and spicy aioli and is served on an iceberg lettuce. As a side, Sweet Potato Hummus (also inspired by Primal Gourmet) and veggies
Day 10: Ranch Chicken Skewers with Asparagus and Roasted Potatoes from First and Full (recipe here). Whole30 compliant ranch dressing acts as a marinade and dip in this dish. I conquered homemade mayo this week (super easy if you have an immersion blender) and homemade ranch dressing comes together in a similar way. Asparagus and Roasted Potatoes are naturally compliant.
Day 11: Taco Stuffed Peppers (from Whole30). The original recipe calls for sticking the filled peppers in the crock-pot, but J is going to grill them for some yummy charred flavor.
Day 12: Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps are compliant with a couple swaps from normal tuna. Besides checking the ingredients when purchasing tuna to make sure that there are no additives, homemade mayo and diced celery replace the usual mayo and relish. While most pickles are compliant, the sweet relish I would usually use has sugar in it. The celery gives it the same crunch. I also dice up a hard-boiled egg and some avocado to make it creamier and give a variety of flavors. My boys will add mustard to theirs, which I skip because I’m allergic. Wrapped in lettuce instead of on a sandwich is one way, but I also like to use slices of cucumber as “chips” to shovel the goodness into my mouth.
Day 13: Grilled Chicken, Roasted Potatoes and Broccoli is another simple meal that wouldn’t be uncommon on a non Whole30 night. Avocado oil, salt, and pepper are all the seasonings you need to make these absolutely sing, though we’ve been enjoying Montreal Seasoning on meat and veggies alike. Roasted broccoli is among my kids’ favorite things and there are rarely any leftovers when I make it.
Day 14: Pulled Pork Bowls are a family favorite on any given night. Pork loin is so easy in the crock-pot and we’ll swap out our usual beans and corn for roasted butternut squash and avocado. I ordered some Whole30 compliant barbecue sauce from Thrive Market, and this will be a great application for it.
I hope that with a plan in place, and restocked on snacks (almonds are a life-saver) we’ll have a slightly less stressful Week 2. I also hope that my this time next week, we can start repeating some of our favorite recipes.