Friday, July 24, 2015

Meal Planning 101


LET'S GET ORGANIZED 

Photo Source: Madison & Rayne


A lot has changed for me since moving to Chicago and I've really refined my methods.  With all of these new (and awesome) food delivery services, I took it upon myself to try out all of them to see if I could keep myself paleo and make the headache of meal preparation easier.  What I quickly learned is that while there are some solid options, most of them won't respect your dietary needs completely (they love those grains, man).  And worst of all, they grandfather you into massive portions that this single little lady just can't handle!  I almost lost hope on them, actually.  But then I stumbled upon Madison & Rayne (I am in no way affiliated with them nor have they asked me to endorse them. I'm just a huge fan).  They are special to Chicago only (sorry everyone else!).  So I won't go into huge detail on how their gourmet meals and refined personal service has made my life amazing.  Suffice it to say, when you read some of these fabulous lunch and dinner descriptions - they're not mine.  I will do my best to link accordingly (their recipe cards are not readily available and they haven't figured out how to archive them yet) or even post the recipe instructions if you ask.  But I just wanted to be honest that I rely on these meals to help me keep up and maintain.  Instead of ordering take out or slapping something together from the hot bar at the grocery store, I get Madison and Rayne.  And I'm damn fortunate.

Onto the realities of grocery shopping.  I've come to realize that less is more in the single life.  The ratio is three-two-two-one-eggs.  Three veggies.  Two fruits.  Two proteins. One night shade or root vegetable.  That gets me through the week pretty easily.  Just remember 3-2-2-1-EGGS.  So it will look something like this...

THE LIST:

2 Heads of broccoli
1 Package of leafy greens
2 Artichokes
2 Avocados
2 bananas
1 Bunch of heirloom tomatoes on the vine

3 Chicken breasts
2 tilapia filets
1/2 Dozen eggs


Once you're properly stocked, it's important to prepare.  And aside from the veggies, freeze 1/3.  Wrap 1/3 of your proteins in plastic wrap individually and then pouch them in freezer bags.  All you have to do it put them in the fridge the night before preparation.  Then freeze 1/3 of your fruits.  For bananas, I cut them up into chunks and throw them into a large freezer container.  Fruits that come with central seeds and stems (think peaches, pears, apples, avocado) don't need to be frozen.  This should take you about 10 minutes of your time as you unpack and voila!  All set for the week.  The menu should look something like this..

  

PLAN:

SUNDAY 
MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY    
SATURDAY

Jasmine green tea and Italian scrambled egg with spinach
Espresso and chipotle deviled eggs
Espresso and chipotle deviled eggs
Espresso and spinach, banana, almond butter smoothie
Jasmine green tea and spinach, banana, almond butter smoothie
B

Earl Grey Tea
English Breakfast Tea
Earl Grey Tea
English Breakfast Tea
Earl Grey Tea

S
Artichoke with homemade mayo
Spinach salad with chicken, avocado, tomato, and sunflower seeds with a vinaigrette
Lunch with a friend (pre-determined to order a Caesar salad sans croutons with steak)
Shrimp tacos, chimichurri, kale slaw, and pimento pepper dip (M&R)
Shrimp tacos, chimichurri, kale slaw, and pimento pepper dip (M&R)
Spinach salad with chicken, avocado, tomato, and sunflower seeds with a vinaigrette
Tomato and avocado with balsamic and olive oil
L
Pan roasted tilapia with oven roasted broccoli
Steak frites, crispy duck fat potatoes, haricots verts, sauce au poivre (M&R)
Steak frites, crispy duck fat potatoes, haricots verts, sauce au poivre (M&R)
Pan roasted tilapia with oven roasted broccoli
Out for dinner!  Pre-planned to order simple salad, glass of red wine, and salmon
D
Banana with almond butter
Babybel cheese
Raw broccoli and dip
Babybel cheese
Artichoke with homemade mayo

S

Step by Step

Here's how the day-to-day breaks down 

Saturday prior:
-Shop
-Freeze: 1 tilapia filet and 1 banana

Sunday:
-Make breakfast and lunch
-Meal Prep: 
--Chipotle Deviled Eggs (2 servings)
--Pounded Chicken Breast (2 servings)
--Perfect Chicken Breast (1 serving divided)
---Freeze 1/2 of a breast for your Friday salad
---Combine all ingredients for your Monday salad (dressing on the side)

Monday:
-Make dinner

Tuesday:
-Make breakfast and dinner (refrigerate leftovers)
-Cook Madison and Rayne meals and prepare lunch portions

Wednesday:
-Make breakfast

Thursday:
-Make breakfast
-Put 1/2 frozen chicken breast and frozen tilapia into the fridge for Friday's meals

Friday
-Make breakfast and prep lunch
-Make dinner

Saturday
-Make breakfast and lunch
-Shop for next week!



I'll update the chart with links to the recipes as the week goes!

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