Over the summer and leading into the fall, my husband and I would go out to eat A LOT. Buying food in general on this island is costly . . . going OUT for it is even worse. A casual dinner out for 2 usually costs about $60-$80 not including adult beverages. This doesn’t include quick lunches or trips or our many Whole Foods hot bar nights.
Before Mike left for a long underway, I made the mistake of calculating how much we spent on meals out in a month’s time and the results were TERRIFYING! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE going out to eat and trying new places, but I can’t help but think about how better that money could be spent and how it’s such a shame that I am wasting precious creativity as cooking random meals is one of my favorite things to do. (chef-hello!)
I want to write a post about how I meal plan in more detail, but in a nut shell it goes like this. I write down all ingredients we have on hand already. This usually consists of frozen animal proteins (chicken, ground beef, turkey) and then I hit up the pantry where all of the grains I’ve had for great ideas that never came to fruition live.
Once that list is complete, I stumble upon the Pinterest gods and type in ideas based on what I have. For instance, if I have a package of ground turkey I will put something like “healthy ground turkey dinners” in the search bar and see what comes up. This usually avalanches to other posts and other ideas to the point where I nail down at least 2 ideas based on 1 protein or grain. I like using one meals ingredients to roll into another meal as there is only two and a half of us (roommate).
After organizing my lists and shopping for ingredients, I plan out the week based on our schedules. Even if my husband is “home” he still has 2 days a week where he is at work for 24 hours. One of those nights I choose my 24 hour fast as I want to enjoy as we want to enjoy as many dinners together as possible.
I get some wild things cooked up and love testing my limits. Other times I stick with the same staples which is ok too. The whole point of this post was to show you what I’ve been cooking up lately so here we go.
Stuffed mushroom caps with a side salad and sweet potato rounds
Spaghetti Squash with cranberry turkey meatballs and gluten free garlic bread
Random Salads (chicken, goat cheese, avocado, romaine)
Sauteed Kale +Mushrooms with Sweet Potato Mash and Organic Chicken Breast
And when we finally had time for a date night, we tried out a new amazing Mexican place and feasted on indulgent food and a pitcher of pomegranate margaritas.
Tonight we are going to pull back a bit as we are both feeling bloated and out of sorts even though it was well worth it! I have enough stuff to make a shrimp caesar salad with gluten free croutons.
As for the rest of the week, dinner is only needed to be cooked for 2 days out of the week, one of them being Christmas eve. Mike works tomorrow and Christmas day *tear* , but after that we are indulging in a 3 day juice cleanse! We’re both excited to feel like superheros again.