Meal Plan Monday: Weekend Getaway Edition

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Me and my best friends on a day trip to Rockport, MA this spring. They’ll be joining me on most of my weekend getaways this summer!

Vermont, Portsmouth, Portland, Newport, Portland, Nantucket, Vermont, Old Orchard Beach. That’s a summary of my weekend getaway schedule this summer (so far). Mind you, the summer consists of only 15 weekends (inclusive of Memorial Day and Labor Day) – so I’m keeping myself pretty busy. That seems to be the norm of New England summers – everyone escapes the city for a different destination. I guess we’re lucky that Boston is close to so many exciting places to visit – mountains, lakes, ponds, islands, oceans – everything you could want!

As much as I love to get away for the weekend, it does through a wrench in my meal planning. A weekend getaway leaves you with less time to grocery shop, plan your meals, and prep for the week. The last thing I want is to feel stressed coming back from a weekend away, so I put together a few tips to help with meal planning when you’re spending a weekend away from home.

Before you leave:

1. Freeze your leftovers so they won’t go bad over the weekend. Pay close attention to veggies and fruits that are most susceptible to going mushy while you’re away. Most vegetables will freeze well once lightly cooked.

2. Decide what you’ll eat on Monday. You might even go so far as to pack your breakfast or lunch in advance. It will alleviate the stress of transitioning back to your week after a fun summer weekend. My goal is to only eat out for one meal on Monday’s after a weekend trip – only if necessary!

Once you get back:

3. Grocery shop as soon as you can. If you can, stop at the grocery story on your way home. If that’s not possible, hit it up on Monday after work (after all, you already planned your meals for Monday anyway!)

4. Cut your budget by 30%. Since you’re only planning for Monday-Thursday/Friday, spend less on groceries so you have extra money for your trip. Cheaper items that still keep you full: beans, tofu, and brown rice.

5. Aim for 30 minutes or less. Since you won’t have much weekend time to prep, stick with meals that take less than 30 minutes to get ready. Quick to prep meals: salad, pasta, shrimp, and quinoa.

Enjoy your weekend getaways! Where are you most excited to visit this summer?

Meal Plan Monday: May 12, 2014

DSC_0290I have to be honest – this week’s meal plan is a little weak. I’m coming off of a week of being sick (flu-like symptoms: chills, aches, cough, and extremely tired) so I’m not on my A game (I didn’t even make it to the grocery store this weekend!). My meal plan last week was completely thrown off, so I have a lot of leftovers in the fridge to try to salvage. So what I’m trying to say is, take this with a grain of salt.

Last night I made a one pot pasta, inspired by my girl Madde at The Collegiate Vegan. It is exactly what it sounds like – throw a pound of uncooked pasta, a bunch of ingredients (in this case, garlic, tomato paste, cherry tomatoes, onion, spinach, and olive oil) in a huge pot with 4 cups of water (I also used 1 cup of white wine) and let it cook away for 15 minutes. At the end – voila – you have a delicious pasta dish and only one pot to clean.

Tonight I’m going to make some sort of Greek-inspired dish with shrimp, artichokes, and feta cheese. These are all ingredients that were supposed to go into a salad last week that I never got around to making (due to the aforementioned flu-like symptoms). I might throw them all on top of some Israeli couscous or quinoa. I have some leftover green onions that I’m going to roast in the oven for some added texture.

Wednesday I’m digging some frozen spinach gnocchi out of the freezer, and then Friday I’m on my own. I might try to pull together some other leftovers from my fridge, or just give in and treat myself to a meal out!

 

Sunday

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
B English muffin w/ peanut butter Blueberry banana bread Blueberry banana bread Blueberry banana bread Blueberry banana bread Blueberry banana bread Scrambled eggs
L Egg salad sandwich One pot pasta Coworker’s going away lunch Greek dish with shrimp and artichokes Greek dish with shrimp and artichokes Leftovers or out Leftovers or out
D One pot pasta Greek dish with shrimp and artichokes Greek dish with shrimp and artichokes Pan fried spinach gnocchi Pan fried spinach gnocchi Leftovers or out

Leftovers or out

 

Snacks this week: Apples, yogurt protein shakes, popcorn

Grocery list: Nothing! All leftovers from last week

From the pantry, fridge, & freezer: Pasta, tomato paste, cherry tomatoes, onion, white wine, garlic, olive oil, shrimp, canned artichokes, couscous, feta cheese, green onions, spinach gnocchi, banana, blueberries

What’s on your menu this week?