Meal Planning 101 + 43 Paleo and Low Carb Blogs

22 Oct

It’s Musical Monday! This week I want to suggest an album that is part of my fall playlist. I seriously cannot get enough of all Bon Iver’s stuff but this album is a cold weather classic as far as I’m concerned. I hope you love it even half as much as I do.

Alright, so it’s been a while since I shared a food-filled post and that’s mostly due to my lack of meal planning lately. I would literally spend hours in the kitchen daily when I first started eating Paleo and doing the Whole30 but the past couple weeks I haven’t been as organized. Last week I wasn’t really feeling well so I hardly cooked at all. This week I decided to get back in the groove and get hardcore about meal planning.

OK so I am so excited!! I planned my meals for the week, went grocery shopping, pre-made my breakfast and lunch for the week AND cleaned up my kitchen in just 2.5 hours!!  As I’ve said before, when it comes to me and cooking I have three criteria that must be met:

  1. It has to be delicious
  2. It must be easy to make (if I can drop everything in a crock pot, bonus points.)
  3. The recipe must have 8 ingredients or less.

The first key to this week’s meal prep success? Two words: Slow Cooker.

I’m going to try to make a lot more meals in my crock pot because it is seriously an amazing time-saver. I even found out how to convert traditional recipes into slow cooker recipes! Click here for slow cooker tips.

Here are the steps I took that resulted in meal planning b-l-i-s-s:

  1. Use this site to quickly pick your meals. Each recipe has a picture and you can pick from the Whole30 approved meals if you’re doing that or you can pick any of the others since they are Paleo. This site is the BOMB. You create a log-in and then add recipes to your “grocery cart.” Once there, the site will make a grocery list for you and adjust the serving size for you based on your family size. Also, check out this list of 43 Paleo and Low-Carb Blogs for more recipe ideas (Guess who made the list?)
  2. Make a list. This can be a list, calendar or schedule to ensure that your meals are accounted for throughout the week. NOTE: Make sure you account for leftovers. These can easily carry over into lunches or a quick snacks or even another dinner. Plan on 1-2 servings of protein per person and 2-3 veggies.
  3. Grab your grocery list and get shopping. Did you ever watch the show, Super Market Sweep? I loved that show! I try to think of it when I’m shopping and I usually buzz around the store to see how fast I can get out of there. I come up with a game plan before I start too. Last week I went shopping with Daniel and we raced to see who could finish their list and get to the check-out line first (I won of course.) It was fun and it made shopping a snap.
  4. Get your slow cooker out. Tip: Often your slow cooker comes with a little recipe book full of recipes that you can easily Paleo-ify.
  5. Time yourself. This idea came from the Well Fed Paleo cookbook where Melissa does a weekly cook up and times herself. She basically uses every inch of space in her kitchen and crams her cooking into an hour. I’m not quite there yet … She gets way more done in that amount of time then I do but she also has a grill outside her door that she uses. I did cook my Quiche for the week in my oven and bake bacon in my broiler at the same time. I also started one of my slow cooker recipes and prepped the food I was going to throw in it in the AM for dinner.

So what did I make?

Breakfast: Quiche with Bacon – I used my Quiche recipe as a base. The veggies I used were: Baby Bella mushrooms, red peppers, onions and mixed ground beef. The only seasoning I used was Mrs. Dash Garlic seasoning, although I would definitely add salt and pepper in the future.

Lunch: “Creamy” Tomato Chicken Soup for my lunches …

Dinner: Easy-peasy. I spent 10 minutes prepping for dinner by throwing everything in my slow cooker. When I get home, I’ll toss a sweet potato and a baked potato (for D) in the oven and saute some veggies. I’ll share pictures as I go so you can see what glorious creations I cook up in my trusty crock pot!

Two new recipes that I’m going to try this week are Easy Shredded Beef with sweet potatoes for dinner tomorrow (I’ll start it in the crock pot tomorrow AM) and I Crock-pot Carnitas.
~ Kate

P.S. I’m also going for a run after work today as part of the 30 Days of Fitness (#GetFit30). I was totally encouraged by all the Columbus Marathon runners that ran by my house yesterday! Great job everyone!! Here’s a pic of my view:


hey! that creamy chicken soups looks good and comforting. I want to try it this week, but I was curious could you use chicken breast that aren't frozen? Maybe just have to adjust the time a little or something?


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