Real Food Challenge Meal Plan

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Happy Tuesday! Today is January the 3 and I know many people are back to the grind after a great deal of holiday festivities. Going back to work and getting back into our routines is something we rarely look forward to but we need to start somewhere if we are going to reach our 2012 goals!

My first order of business this New Year is to complete the 10 Day Real Food Challenge. Yesterday I shared my challenge preparations. Today I will be sharing a list of meal ideas and my grocery list.

The most difficult part of meal planning for me is coming up with ideas of things to make so I am not eating the same thing day in and day out. Below you will find four lists: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. These have helped me to make my meal plan. Feel free to use them in your planning or, if you have other great ideas please share yours with us.

Breakfast                                Lunch                                   Dinner                    Snacks

Oatmeal, Tea                            Chili, Garlic Bread         Edamame Salad         Peanuts

Toast, Grapefruit, Coffee     Black Bean Soup            Tomato Soup               Popcorn

Muffins, Chai Latte                 Quinoa Stir Fry              Homemade Pizza        Fruit

Veggie Omelet                         Pita, Hummus, Fruit     Kale Omelet                 Raisins

Whole Wheat Pancakes        Veggie tossed Pasta      Minestrone Soup  Bread, Oil & Vin.


Once I put together a general list of ideas, I made a meal plan for the week. I make this plan to help me with shopping, but I it is flexible. If I get home and I don’t like what I have planned, I will switch it with something else. I don’t plan weekends very much because schedules are so different and there are typically many leftovers that can be made into something new and delicious. Below is my menu for this week:

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Breakfast Toast, Grapefruit Toast, Grapefruit Oatmeal & Tea Oatmeal & Latte
Lunch Tortilla & Hummus Grilled Cheese Tomato Soup Grilled Cheese Tomato Soup Minestrone Soup
Dinner Veggie Omelet Chili Veggie Omelet Broccoli Pizza Pocket

I expect to have leftover soups, pizza crust, and tortillas. I will freeze these in appropriate meal sizes and defrost them in weeks to come to reduce the amount of cooking I actually have to do. Based on this meal schedule I created a grocery list and stuck to it. When I went to the store I was hungry, so it was really important that I had a list in front of me to stick to. Below is my grocery list for this week:

Produce               Refrigerated/Frozen                      Canned Goods                Bulk

Kale                       Mozzarella Cheese                          Diced Tomatoes                           Tea

Tomatoes            Yogurt                                                  Kidney Beans                  Whole Wheat Flour

Zucchini                Eggs                                                      Great Northern Beans

Shallots                                                                                 Tomato Paste

Broccoli               Pepper Blend                                     Mixed Beans

Celery                   Mushrooms

Bananas               Asparagus


The broccoli was all out, so I decided to substitute frozen mushrooms and asparagus for fresh broccoli. Both will work well in a pizza pocket and can also be used for veggie omelets or for future stir fry recipes.

General Notes: I always pair fruit with my lunches. This helps when I want something sweet and the only thing being passed around is chocolate or cupcakes. I never plan snacks, I can’t predict what type of snack I may be interested in. When buying canned goods, be sure the only ingredients included are salt and the canned item. There is no need for all those other chemicals (or sugar). To speed up breakfast pancakes could be made ahead, frozen, and reheated each morning. Be sure you are using pure maple syrup to sweeten them! There are many recipes for crockpot oatmeal and even frozen reheat-able oatmeal.

My house is fully stocked for the 10 day Real Food Challenge. Today I will be busy making my chili, hummus, and tortillas (tortilla recipe to come). How are you preparing to kick start your new year with simple, healthy foods?

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