Meal Plan Monday: April 28, 2014

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Happy Monday! This week I’m trying out a new trend from Plated, which is essentially a meal delivery service. They send a box of ingredients right to your doorstep to make “chef-inspired” recipes that you choose from their menu. The box includes just enough of everything you need and has instructions for how to cook the meal.

I have been so intrigued by this concept (Plated recently struck a deal on Shark Tank) and couldn’t resist when I saw they were running a promo for two free meals this week. So I took the plunge! I only had to pay for shipping which made it very affordable (just $20!). Based on the portions I received, I think I can make three meals out of each recipe – an even better deal. I’ll follow up later this week in a comment to let you know how I like it (follow me on Instagram @cooklikekayla for photos)!

Sunday

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Saturday

B

Banana & peanut butter

Cheerios with strawberries Cheerios with strawberries Cheerios with strawberries Cheerios with strawberries Cheerios with strawberries Scrambled eggs
L Brunch with the girls Plated Meal 1 Leftovers Plated Meal 2 Leftovers Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai Leftovers – TBD!
D Plated: Spice-Rubbed Steak & Roasted Carrots Plated: Mushroom & Gruyere Toasts Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai Plated Meal 1 Leftovers Plated Meal 2 Leftovers Cookout with friends (bringing kale salad)

Out with friends

Snacks this week: Bananas, apples, peanut butter energy bites, yogurt protein shakes, popcorn

Grocery list

  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Kale
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Carrots
  • Green onion
  • Cilantro
  • Bean sprouts
  • Lime
  • Peanut butter
  • Oats
  • Milk
  • Total bill: $29 (Including Plated = $49)

From the pantry, fridge, & freezer: Honey, shredded coconut, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, eggs, sriracha, peanuts, chicken

What’s on your menu this week?

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Meal Plan Monday: April 14, 2014

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I’m happy to introduce my new blog feature: Meal Plan Monday! Twice a month, I’ll post my meal plan and grocery list for the week. I chose to post this on Mondays because 1) alliteration and 2) I usually grocery shop on Sunday (giving me time to prep and write the post). If any of these meals or ingredients intrigues you, let me know in a comment and I’ll try to post them on the blog or explain in a response. 

My meal plan for this week is below – I’m super excited to try to recreate a take-out favorite, Orange Chicken. I picked up some really great looking organic bok choy at the grocery store to serve it with. I’m also looking forward to spending some quality time with my roommates, catch up with a few friends from college, and see my Mom and sister this weekend.

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
B Bagel with cream cheese Cheerios with sliced strawberries Cheerios with sliced strawberries Cheerios with sliced strawberries Cheerios with sliced strawberries Cheerios with sliced strawberries Bagel & scrambled eggs
L Sandwich  Spinach salad with roasted asparagus, beets, and goat cheese Spinach salad with roasted asparagus, beets, and goat cheese Spinach salad with roasted asparagus, beets, and goat cheese Orange chicken with quinoa and bok choy Orange chicken with quinoa and bok choy Mom & sister visiting
D Chicken pot pie Chicken pot pie Out with the roomies Orange chicken with quinoa and bok choy Leftovers Dinner with friends from college Mom & sister visiting

Snacks this week

  • Banana
  • Yogurt
  • Goldfish
  • Blueberry Kind Bars

Grocery list

  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  • Bok choy
  • Spinach salad blend
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Goat cheese
  • Chicken
  • Quinoa
  • Honey
  • Frozen vegetable mix
  • Chicken broth
  • Milk
  • Total bill: $46

What’s on your menu this week?

4 Tips for Soup Season

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It’s just about soup season and I’m pretty excited about it – for a couple of reasons. First of all, soup can be one of the healthiest meals you can eat, especially if it is vegetable based. It’s true that soup can also be very unhealthy – by using lots of butter, using cream as a base, or loading your bowl with cheese – but everything is good in moderation. Soup is also very affordable. The main ingredients are vegetables, stock, and beans, all of which you can find at very low prices in your grocery store (especially when buying in bulk). And finally, despite popular opinion, soup is really, really easy to make.

Healthy, cheap, and easy – sounds perfect for CLK! So, as we embark on soup season, here are four tips to help you make the most of it!

1. Buy storage containers with twist on lids. These are essential for transporting soup for lunch. Snap on lids are too risky and may result in soup spilled all over your bag. It’s also preferable if these are freezer safe (see tip number 3).

2. Stock up on stock, broth, or bouillon. Healthy soups use these as a base rather than cream. When you’re at the grocery store, check to see if anything of these are on sale. Before you decide what to use, check out this article from Real Simple magazine about the difference between the three options. I used to buy bouillon cubes but now stick to reduced-sodium chicken broth.

3. Break out (or invest in) your blender. Having a blender opens up a lot of possibilities when it comes to soups. You can blend pretty much any vegetable into a soup very easily. If you don’t already have one, I suggest purchasing a hand blender. They are perfect for blending soups and save you from having to transfer the soup from the pot to the blender.  

4. For every soup you make, freeze at least one portion. This is my favorite part of soup season. I usually make one soup per week, freezing at least one portion each week. In the coldest, darkest week of winter – when it’s dark at 4PM, freezing cold, and the last thing I want to do is go to the grocery store – I have a soup week. All week I eat the soups that I have in my freezer. I might pick up some cheese to top it off or bread to dip in, but generally I save myself a trip to the grocery store!