Meal Planning Monday

I just finished making my meals (lunches/dinners) for the week and had some questions on it.  So, I figured I would share on here what I made and how (it’s a fairly simple menu since I don’t really like to cook).

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Grocery list:

  • Chicken Breast (3)
  • Ground Beef (93% lean if possible) or Ground Turkey
  • 2 Spaghetti Squash (small)
  • 1 Large Sweet Potato
  • 1 bag of mini carrots
  • 1 jar of Spaghetti Sauce (Prego Light Smart Traditional is what I get)

Menu:

  • Spaghetti squash with ground beef (or turkey) and spaghetti sauce
  • Grilled chicken with sweet potato and carrots

Preparing:

Chicken:

  • Grab a gallon ziplock bag and put the chicken breast in them
  • Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • Add spices to your taste (I use whatever we have on hand, Mrs Dash, Northwoods Seasoning, etc)
  • Shake up the ziplock bag and roll everything around inside of it until everything is fully covered.
  • Line a small pan (I use a 9×9 baking pan) with aluminum foil (strictly because it’s easier to clean) and dump your chicken from the ziplock bag into the pan.
  • Set aside.

Sweet Potato:

  • Rinse off the sweet potato
  • Cut off the ends and cut in half
  • Cut into strips for fries (try to make them all the same-ish size
  • Grab a gallon ziplock bag and put the sweet potato in them
  • Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • Add spices to your taste (I use whatever we have on hand, Mrs Dash, Northwoods Seasoning, etc)
  • Shake up the ziplock bag and roll everything around inside of it until everything is fully covered.
  • Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil (strictly because it’s easier to clean) and add the sweet potatoes.
  • Set aside.

Carrots:

  • Depending on the size of the carrots, cut them in half
  • Grab a gallon ziplock bag and put the carrots in them
  • Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • Add spices to your taste (I use whatever we have on hand, Mrs Dash, Northwoods Seasoning, etc)
  • Shake up the ziplock bag and roll everything around inside of it until everything is fully covered.
  • Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil (strictly because it’s easier to clean) and add the carrots. — you can share this cookie sheet with the spaghetti squash if there is space.
  • Set aside.

Spaghetti Squash:

  • Cut the spaghetti squash in half
    • PS – this step horrifies my husband when I do it myself because I’m kinda clutzy.  So he does it for me most of the time.  He uses a long knife which works better than the small cleavers I was using to hack away.
  • Use a big spoon to scoop out the seeds from the middle of the squash.
  • ** Optional ** Some people put extra seasoning inside their spaghetti squash.  I just put some pepper in it and sometimes put garlic powder (since I usually use it for spaghetti).
  • Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil (strictly because it’s easier to clean) and add the spaghetti squash.  — you can share this cookie sheet with the carrots if you want.
  • Place the spaghetti squash halves with the cut-side down on the pan (so it looks like boobs – childish but true).
  • Set aside.
Ground Beef (or Ground Turkey):
  • I really don’t do anything to “prep” for this – just wanted you to know I hadn’t forgotten about it :)

Actual Cooking Stuff: (approx. 70 minutes)

  • The oven should be preheated to 450 degrees by now, put in the sweet potatoes and set the time for 30 minutes.
  • Set a separate timer for 12 minutes – once the 12 minutes is up, add the chicken to the mix (at 450 degrees, they only need to cook for 18 minutes).
  • While waiting for these things to cook, start browning the ground beef (or ground turkey) on the stove top.  I don’t put much in the meat, just brown it… you know… till it’s brown, turn down the heat and add 1 cup of spaghetti sauce and let it simmer.
  • Once the 30 minute timer goes off, remove the chicken.  Leaving the sweet potato in the oven.
  • Turn on the broiler for 2-3 minutes (seriously… watch the sweet potato and check every 30 seconds) — unless burnt little crispy flakes are your kind of fry… take them out after a couple minutes.
  • Turn down the oven to 350 degrees and put in the carrots and the spaghetti squash and set the timer for 35 minutes.

Breaking down the portions:

Once all the above is done cooking, I start to portion it out for the week:

Spaghetti squash with ground beef (or turkey) and spaghetti sauce

4 servings made total with the above recipe.  1 serving of this meal =

  • 1/2 (1 cup) spaghetti squash = 1 green
  • 1/4 pound (3/4 cup) ground beef = 1 red
  • 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce = 1/4 purple (spaghetti sauce is considered a fruit because of the extra sugar, etc added)

Grilled chicken with sweet potato and carrots

3 servings made total with the above recipe.  1 serving of this meal =

  • 1 chicken breast (3/4 cup) = 1 red (depends on size of chicken breast)
  • 1 cup carrots = 1 green
  • 1/2 cup sweet potato = 1 yellow

enjoy!

** Notes ** I have shakeology for breakfast every day.  I also have snacks during the day and my filler meal is usually a couple hard boiled eggs, english muffin, and fruit on days that I’m not having the sweet potatoes.  I’ll make another post regarding the “in between” eating that happens :)

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