Sample Weekly Meal Plan

Nutrition & Good Eats

The truth is, in our family, the only way to be successful at eating healthy, is to PLAN AHEAD! Not every week do we actually get a full game plan of meals laid out, because lately, it seems every week’s schedule is a little different from the week before, leaving holes to fill and arrangements to be made. Most of the time, we manage to figure out four days at a time, and then make a new game-plan when the time comes.

Having a meal plan not only helps you eat healthy, but it also helps save money, makes less grocery trips, and eases your mind. When it comes time for dinner, you can feel prepared rather than anxious and guilty about boiling up mac’n’cheese for the second night in a row.

I’ve had so many people in the past ask me for advice and guidance when it comes to planning meals, so I decided to throw together what a week of meals looks like in our crazy world.

sample weekly meal plan-1 copy

I am a creature of habit, so the only thing that we do that isn’t 100% accurate on this chart, is most mornings, breakfast is the same. And most days, our first big snack/early lunch is always eggs of some variety. For the sake of giving you ideas, I added in a few other options.

NOTES:

-My body responds well with eating the majority of my carbs in the morning and early afternoon. When dinner comes around, I tend to stick with protein and vegetables.

-A lot of days, Greek yogurt becomes my dessert, instead of a snack during the day. 

-I try not to forget my probiotic drinks, and usually have coffee in the morning. About four nights a week I enjoy a small glass of cabernet, organic if I have it. if you’re trying to find balance, or lose weight, drinks should be included in your meal plans because most people don’t realize the significance of whats in most beverages. 

-An after dinner snack/ dessert option I did not list is popcorn. We pop our own on the stove top. A little bit of coconut oil, heat, and a tiny pinch of stevia, and you’ve got a delicious and light snack. 

-Javin almost always takes leftovers for his lunch to work, so the kids and I may not always get leftovers. 

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Zouppa My Way

Nutrition & Good Eats

zouppa

Zouppa.

You know, the Italian sausage, kale soup you can find at Olive Garden and other Italian restaurants? The one that is savory and warm and fitting for a rainy day? Well, we’ve been experiencing our fair share (and then some) of rainy days here on the southern Oregon coast, so this soup sounded particularly good yesterday.

After posting a preview into my dinner plans yesterday, I had a handful of people asking about how I made my version of this soup.

So here it is, Zouppa, my way!

Bear with me, I don’t follow recipes or directions well, so if you’re looking for precise measurements, you should find another recipe.

I begin by deciding on organic, clean ingredients. 

You will need:

  1. a large yellow onion
  2. 2-3 garlic cloves
  3. a package of uncured bacon (I chose turkey bacon this time because it’s what I had in my freezer)
  4. two packages of Italian, chicken sausage links (I prefer links over ground meat)
  5. a package of frozen, whole green beans
  6. about 6-8 red potatoes, depending on size (diced into about 1 inch cubes)
  7. a bunch of kale (don’t purchase pre-cut because the stems are woody and hard to pick out. You can break the leaves off the stems yourself when you buy a bunch)
  8. home canned chicken broth (or an organic free-range version…2-3 cartons)
  9. 1/2 and 1/2 (I prefer half and half over full, heavy cream)

First, chop up both the bacon and the sausage into little bite-size piece. Dice up the onion and mince the garlic. Throw those all into a big soup pan. Lid them, and let them simmer and begin to mesh together.

Once the base of the soup starts smelling delicious, and before you overcook the onion and garlic, add the broth. At this point, I bring the soup the a boil. (If you’re in a hurry, from here you can continue to finish the soup, or you can chose to let the soup simmer instead of boil and let the spices come together a little longer.)

Add the potatoes and green beans.

After the potatoes have softened, but not completely fallen apart, add the kale.

Allow your soup to stop boiling before you add the half and half. You don’t want your milk products to curdle, so this step in important. However, I have had this happen, and I will tell you from experience, the soup still tasted great! The looks of it wasn’t as pleasing though.

I don’t add many spices because the Italian sausage and bacon bring a lot of flavor, however I do add cracked pepper.

And viola! You may serve your soup!

If you’d like, top with a light shaving of hard parmesan cheese and dig in!

I think what I love about this soup most, besides how easy it is, is having it for lunch the next day. ALWAYS make an extra large batch because it heats up well.

(Below are the two meat products I used, but there are many other brands I would trust as well. We have tried this recipe with our homemade elk Italian sausage, and though I love our homemade sausage, it wasn’t my favorite in this soup.)

sausageturkey bacon