Meal planning/Lists/etc?

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VG, I would like to know more about your turkey chili and enchilada recipes! Both of those sound good.

LL, I will check out the Flickr gallery as well!

Yeah, meal planning definitely helps with the budget since I can see how to use ingredients throughout the week instead if using something once and then letting it go bad in the fridge.

carl agatha, Tuesday, 3 December 2013 03:55 (seven years ago) link

LL's flickr gallery is good stuff. I don't even like half the ingredients she uses (vegetables again?) but it a) is beautiful, and b) is super inspiring.

Tottenham Heelspur (in orbit), Tuesday, 3 December 2013 04:11 (seven years ago) link

And she's amazing at side-dishes! I'm good with mains but less so with coordinating like two sauces, a salad, a roasted side, this and that.

Tottenham Heelspur (in orbit), Tuesday, 3 December 2013 04:12 (seven years ago) link

Since we have a toddler and both work we pretty much have to do some kind of planning. We don't so much sketch out a day-by-day plan, but we have certain standard dishes that we can make in large quantities on the weekend (with variations), like meatballs, roast chicken, stir fries, stews, casseroles, etc. One or both of us will cook one or two of these dishes on a Sunday, and then we'll supplement during the week with quick meals like super-thin fish fillets in the oven. We always keep some kind of chicken, some kind of beef or pork, and some kind of fish stocked in the freezer, as well as things like turkey burgers, hot dogs and sausages that can be made quickly in an emergency.

This weekend I made a huge thing of meatballs, for example, like maybe 2.5-3lbs worth of ground beef. I'd say that gave me, H, and K each at least 2-3 lunches and dinners each plus a good amount of surplus was frozen for future lunches. Then H also made a chicken casserole, so that we're not just stuck eating one dish three days in a row lunch and dinner.

For veggies we basically buy a large amount of lettuce or a large bagged salad, plus certain standards like tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, and one or two fresh cookable veggies (like a leafy green, asparagus, etc.) that can be easily sauteed or steamed quickly. We also pretty much always have frozen green beans and frozen broccoli, which are easy to make quickly.

We do nearly all shopping at Costco, and the way we've found to make this work is just to buy fewer different kinds of produce, buy things that are shelf stable or freezable, and know what you will and won't use. For example, their apples come in like 16-packs, but you can keep apples pretty long in the fridge. So maybe we buy one of those every 2-3 weeks. Strawberries otoh go bad pretty fast, but it's easy to finish a big box of strawberries in a week. But you don't buy like strawberries and blueberries and raspberries all at once.

signed, J.P. Morgan CEO (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 3 December 2013 04:20 (seven years ago) link

having a lot of glass snapware is really helpful for freezing (another thing you can get at costco)

signed, J.P. Morgan CEO (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 3 December 2013 04:21 (seven years ago) link

When I looked at that "What the World Eats" thing I felt proud that we spent considerably less per week than most of the families (albeit larger ones) in the developed world. Part of it is Costco and planning, part of it is not buying all the extras like chips and drinks.

signed, J.P. Morgan CEO (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 3 December 2013 04:22 (seven years ago) link

Hmmm meatballs is a good addition to the Sunday dinner rotation.

carl agatha, Tuesday, 3 December 2013 04:59 (seven years ago) link

carl here's the turkey chili recipe for u

it's ww, but that is by the bye - i *swear* on my own mother that it's delicious.

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 3 December 2013 04:59 (seven years ago) link

Naw girl, it's cool. I still make a few WW recipes, too. Twice baked sweet potatoes are killer ('cept now I use regular cheese instead of low fat nonsense).

Goes like this:

Microwave a couple of sweet potatoes. Scoop out the insides. Mash with sour cream, salt and pepper, cubed Canadian bacon, and if you feel like it, a chipotle pepper in adobo (my brilliant addition). Fill the tater skins with the filling, top with cheese, and stick them under the broiler for a minute. Fast and filling.

Anyway, thanks for the link!

carl agatha, Tuesday, 3 December 2013 05:04 (seven years ago) link

Oh yeah I've been killing the baked potatoes lately. Bake, split open, add cheese, bacon or shredded chicken, chives or scallions, and some Tofutti sour cream and they're the best meal. Yours are more sophisticated, though!

Tottenham Heelspur (in orbit), Tuesday, 3 December 2013 05:50 (seven years ago) link

I always bake extras and then slice & skillet brown them the next day, toss in the pan with seasoning and shredded cheese, top with fried egg. Sometimes I crisp up broccoli and/or bell peppers w them too.

Tottenham Heelspur (in orbit), Tuesday, 3 December 2013 05:52 (seven years ago) link

It seems too simple to be called "meal planning," but if I have potatoes and broccoli and cheese, some eggs maybe, and the cumin and cayenne and adobo peppers in the cupboard or freezer, I'm always going to get fed.

Tottenham Heelspur (in orbit), Tuesday, 3 December 2013 05:54 (seven years ago) link

i can't go to the supermarket without
a. planning exactly what we'll be eating for the coming week
b. making a list of everything i need
c. rewriting the list so it's grouped by location in the supermarket

(and i still always forget at least one thing)

i hate cooking, lack imagination, and would eat frozen meals/chips/chocolate/cereal only, otherwise. i really can't deal with thinking about what to cook when i get home from work, i need to know in advance.

just1n3, Tuesday, 3 December 2013 06:34 (seven years ago) link

lol, I do the grouping on shopping list by location thing, it's one of the more anal things I do. I get annoyed if H makes the list and doesn't group by location. I like to make my circuit around Costco in a specific order, and I can do the whole shop and be out in like 20 mins if I set it up properly.

signed, J.P. Morgan CEO (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 3 December 2013 06:37 (seven years ago) link

omg yes location grouping

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 3 December 2013 07:05 (seven years ago) link

Hahahaha yes OTM and also OTM re: partners not grouping the list correctly and ruining my flow. Precision efficiency is key to my grocery shopping happiness.

carl agatha, Tuesday, 3 December 2013 13:10 (seven years ago) link

Oh we have baked potatoes for dinner a lot, and I have included breakfast for dinner one night thus week and I am totally going to bake extra potatoes for eggs a la in orbit! That's a great idea.

carl agatha, Tuesday, 3 December 2013 13:12 (seven years ago) link

count me in with all of you fusspots. xp

estela, Tuesday, 3 December 2013 13:13 (seven years ago) link

i've been baking little baby potatoes lately, they look very appealing swaddled in foil and you get a higher skin to potato inside ratio which goes well with butter and sour cream. obviously you have to eat them in multiples.

estela, Tuesday, 3 December 2013 13:20 (seven years ago) link

one year passes...

I've leveled up on meal planning and spent most of yesterday, along with Jeff, making "freezer meals" to toss in the crockpot. We managed to bag up ten of them, two each of Apricot Ginger Chicken, Turkey and Black Bean Chili, Spicy Sausage Soup, Ginger Garlic Chicken, and Beef Stew. Nothing super exotic but solid, Midwestern Mom-style slow cooker fare.

I have spent a good portion of the morning looking for some more interesting options, and some vegetarian meals.

Anyway, it's a lot of prep and labor but if we only have to do that once/month I think it could be worth it.

about a dozen duck supporters (carl agatha), Monday, 26 January 2015 15:30 (six years ago) link


difficult-difficult lemon-difficult (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 26 January 2015 23:02 (six years ago) link

recipe for apricot ginger chicken, pls

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Monday, 26 January 2015 23:04 (six years ago) link

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into pieces
1 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into the size of green bean pieces you like
1 inch ginger root (I think it needs more)
3 gloves garlic, minced
2/3 c. Apricot jam
2 T soy sauce

Put it all in the slow cooker and cook for 6 - 8 hours on low.

OR put it in a freezer bag and freeze it and sometime in the next three months, thaw it out overnight in the fridge, then slow cooker it.

about a dozen duck supporters (carl agatha), Tuesday, 27 January 2015 01:04 (six years ago) link

Thanks! Gonna make this week.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Tuesday, 27 January 2015 13:40 (six years ago) link

oooh yum

difficult-difficult lemon-difficult (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 27 January 2015 20:07 (six years ago) link

one month passes...

Have you continued w/ freezer meals?

a girl with colitis (Je55e), Saturday, 28 February 2015 17:54 (six years ago) link

I've got beef stew cooking in the slow cooker right now.

We're still eating the ones we made and froze the first time but we'll definitely do it again. I've compiled a spreadsheet of potential recipes.

from batman to balloon dog (carl agatha), Saturday, 28 February 2015 21:47 (six years ago) link

Note: I didn't care much for the apricot ginger chicken. Too dry, not enough apricot or ginger.

from batman to balloon dog (carl agatha), Saturday, 28 February 2015 21:48 (six years ago) link


difficult-difficult lemon-difficult (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 28 February 2015 23:14 (six years ago) link

It didn't sound that great. I actually printed the recipe book and I think I will make some this week since school is on break. Which are your favorites so far?

a girl with colitis (Je55e), Sunday, 1 March 2015 19:02 (six years ago) link

Spicy sausage soup. It calls for spicy Italian sausage but we used andouille and I think that was much better.

from batman to balloon dog (carl agatha), Sunday, 1 March 2015 20:52 (six years ago) link


difficult-difficult lemon-difficult (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 1 March 2015 21:16 (six years ago) link

1lb ground spicy sausage (subbed sliced andouille. I bet you could use chorizo and black beans and that would be darn good, too.)
8 medium-sized carrots (about one pound), peeled and sliced
2, medium-sized tomatoes, cored, seeds and juice removed, and diced (we used one can of diced tomatoes because it's winter)
1 medium-sized zucchini, ends cut off and chopped (about one cup)
1 medium-sized yellow squash, ends cut off and chopped (about one cup)
1 medium-sized yellow onion, diced (about one cup)
1, 15oz can of cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained
1, 24oz jar of your favorite pasta sauce (this seemed really weird to me but it worked.)
3 cups chicken broth (day of cooking)

Everything in the slow cooker for 8 hours on low.

from batman to balloon dog (carl agatha), Sunday, 1 March 2015 21:24 (six years ago) link

The parenthetical (white kidney beans) was copied from the original recipe. I assume you all know what cannellini beans are. I am not beansplaining.

from batman to balloon dog (carl agatha), Sunday, 1 March 2015 21:25 (six years ago) link

I've got a list of 32 other potential freezer meal recipes in a good docs spreadsheet that I will share with anyone who is interested. Hit me up at carlagathaparty at gmail.

from batman to balloon dog (carl agatha), Sunday, 1 March 2015 21:27 (six years ago) link

Here's the beef stew recipe we used - This one is my second favorite. I added potatoes day of cooking each time.

from batman to balloon dog (carl agatha), Sunday, 1 March 2015 21:27 (six years ago) link

Man this one sounds not quite right

Slow Cooker Party Beef Roast

2-3lb boneless beef chuck shoulder roast
1 cup grape jelly
1 cup Simply Heinz ketchup
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

a girl with colitis (Je55e), Sunday, 8 March 2015 02:04 (six years ago) link

It could be good for meatballs, but with the addition of something spicy maybe to cut through the sweetness of the jelly and ketchup

a girl with colitis (Je55e), Sunday, 8 March 2015 02:05 (six years ago) link

lol is that from a recipe generator like the one crabbits or someone posted a long time ago? with the washing the lemon juice and stuff. also, party beef.

computer champion (harbl), Sunday, 8 March 2015 02:33 (six years ago) link

It's from the "no-cook" recipes book carl agatha has been using. I got that from the PDF, but I noticed the version on the blog is "party pork," which is certainly better than beef, but still sounds way sweet. And weird. Nothing against the book/blogger! Most of the rest sound pretty good.

a girl with colitis (Je55e), Sunday, 8 March 2015 04:41 (six years ago) link

Yeah that one didn't make my list. I'm all about embracing the hot dish-esque cuisine of my flyover foremothers but beef, jelly, and ketchup is so not going to happen. Same way cooking with cream of soups is fine but Mountain Dew is a step to far.

from batman to balloon dog (carl agatha), Sunday, 8 March 2015 12:36 (six years ago) link

two years pass...

working on cooking ahead. i did it a couple weeks ago and was pretty successful. i have been budgeting and realize i spend a hilarious amount of money on food :D

assawoman bay (harbl), Saturday, 26 August 2017 19:33 (four years ago) link

harbl is going to make:
poached chicken, chopped up w/ barbecue-ish sauce
corn salad
cole slaw
roasted beets
roasted potatoes

should work ok

assawoman bay (harbl), Saturday, 26 August 2017 19:35 (four years ago) link

i have a fish and a flank steak in the freezer for protein later in the week

assawoman bay (harbl), Saturday, 26 August 2017 19:36 (four years ago) link

flank steak is bomb

lag∞n, Saturday, 26 August 2017 20:05 (four years ago) link

skirt even better imo

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Saturday, 26 August 2017 20:31 (four years ago) link

I've recently embarked on a "use it up" mission, which means some serious work on freezer/pantry items. Just cooked up some lentils that were purchased maybe 3 years ago? If they are lame I will feed them to the chickens.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Saturday, 26 August 2017 20:48 (four years ago) link

report back - i have some 5 yr lentils I've been eyeing

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 26 August 2017 20:58 (four years ago) link

i've never seen skirt steak in my costco

assawoman bay (harbl), Saturday, 26 August 2017 21:42 (four years ago) link

imo roasted sweet potatoes keep better/reheat better than roasted reg potatoes

just1n3, Sunday, 27 August 2017 02:18 (four years ago) link

Meatballs / bolognese sauce probably freeze the best of all the dishes we can make in large batches. Freezing them in snapware seems to work pretty well.

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