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So I’ve been kind of doing a complete overhaul on my meal planning lately, which has made me want to revisit all of these posts I’ve written specifically about meal planning in the past.
At the top of the list is my go-to recipe collection which is made up of the tried-and-true favorites that we usually have on a monthly basis (if not more in some cases). When I’m meal planning, if I need to figure out a dish based on a specific category (more on that later), I can load this post and see what I have to choose from. Easy peasy!
Preferences and Allergies
For a little background on how we eat, we’re primarily grain- and dairy-free, and we don’t eat soy or legumes. The grain-free part is mainly because I’ve found that gluten-free (both E and I have been tested to be sensitive to it) is a whole lot easier and convenient when I’m not dealing with a million different flours and expensive mixes, so we just leave grains out entirely. It’s actually been surprisingly easy to make that switch.
We do drink raw milk and get raw cheese for C, but B in particular doesn’t handle dairy well, especially pasteurized dairy, so we skip it (in most cases) for his benefit. There are some situations where we have come up with compromises…. for moussaka, I bake half with cheese on top and half without. For wings, E skips the wing sauce for B and C’s wings and they get a special dipping sauce while E and I have the blue cheese. For anything else that calls for cheese to be sprinkled on top, we just leave it off.
I’ve mentioned before that these meals aren’t particularly quick to make, at least not in the Kraft dinner or Hamburger Helper kind of way. Though speed is definitely a factor as I obviously don’t want to be making a 5-course meal every night, it’s not necessarily my top goal as I’ve found that making things with fewer processed foods does just take more time. The trade-off is worth it to me and I find that most of these recipes take about an hour or less. Of course, you may be a gourmet cook and able to whip them up in 15 minutes. 🙂 If so, I’m jealous and you should come and move in with me. Either way, once I’ve made them a few times, I get faster and more efficient, so I try to give a new recipe a few tries before I dump it because it takes too long.
I’ll be doing another post soon about how I actually do my meal planning from this list, as well as another post revisiting the monthly meal planning technique because I found a better way to do it. I know you’re all terribly excited. 🙂
We usually buy a quarter cow at least once per year from our raw milk dairy, but you can also find them in your neck of the woods through Eat Wild. It’s the cheapest way to get grass-fed beef and to stock our freezer with ground beef, roasts, and steaks without breaking the bank. It’s also quite a bit more convenient to have all that meat sitting in the freezer than having to buy it at the store each week!
I’ve broken this category down even further because that’s how I meal plan for each week. We have ground beef usually twice a month as I have the most of that, then roasts usually once a month, then another week of steaks or stew meat. This makes our stash last as long as possible.
- Beef Tinaktak
- Italian Meatloaf
- Lazy Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
- Meat Sauce (my slightly different version is here – we serve this with roasted spaghetti squash with occasional GF noodles for E and me)
- Moussaka (omit cheese for dairy-free)
- Pan-Fried Burgers (4 patties from 1 pound of ground beef and 1/2 teaspoon salt, fried in ghee – served bunless)
- Nourishing Meat Loaf (from Nourishing Meals)
- Salisbury Steak
- Sloppy Joes (from Nourishing Meals – I usually make the Simple Mills Artisan Bread Mix for buns)
- Swedish Meatballs (I just make a reduction sauce from stock instead of the gravy method she describes)
I used to be part of a local chicken CSA that I really liked and they provided us with a monthly bundle of hens, leg quarters, wings, and necks and we just had to pick them up. Due to various factors (mainly the long drive and cost during a time of no employment), we decided to not renew it, but I’d love to find another good, reasonably priced local source of chicken. Until then, we get Mary’s Chicken at Natural Grocers and Azure Standard.
- Almond Flour Chicken Fingers (from the Nourished Kitchen weekly meal plans)
- One Pan Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies (I make it slightly differently – you can see my version here)
- Sheet Pan Fajitas (served with or without grain-free tortillas which are cheaper at Natural Grocers)
- Sheet Pan Teriyaki Chicken with Vegetables (my slightly different version is here)
I buy canned salmon in bulk from Amazon Subscribe and Save. While not ideal, canned salmon is still nutrient dense and a lot more affordable than fresh or frozen. I also buy Orca Bay frozen cod and salmon at Natural Grocers and try to stock up when they go on sale.
- Baked Cod with Creamy Dill Dressing (from Nourished Kitchen weekly meal plans)
- Twice Laid (from Irish Traditional Cooking)
- Poached Salmon with Irish Butter Sauce (this is also good with just melted butter or ghee – from Irish Traditional Cooking)
- Salmon Cakes (from Practical Paleo)
- One-Pan Healthy Sausage and Veggies (omit cheese for dairy-free and we don’t serve this with rice or quinoa)
- Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Sausage and Kale (omit cheese for dairy-free)
- Sausage and Potato Casserole
- Sausage, Peppers, and Onions
Breakfast for Supper
- Cheesy Sausage with Spinach Baked Ramekin Eggs (from The Breakfast Revolution – omit cheese for dairy-free)
- Denver Scramble (omit cheese for dairy-free)
- Irishman’s Omelet (from Irish Traditional Cooking)
- Spanish Omelet
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Italian Wedding Soup with Meatballs
- Simple Garlic Chicken Soup
- Simple Potato Soup
- Simple Tomato Soup
- Acorn Squash with Maple Butter Sauce (can substitute ghee for butter)
- Carrots Vichy
- French Fries
- Fried Peppers and Onions
- Kale Chips
- Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes (I slice mine in half lengthwise and sprinkle a little sugar to offset the acidity of the tomatoes)
- Roasted Beets and Carrots (or, pretty much any kind of roasted root vegetable can be used here)
- Roasted Herb Sweet Potato Bites
- Rosemary Potatoes
- Sautéed Spinach
- Steamed Broccoli (trim stems and chop broccoli heads, steam for 10 minutes and mix with lots of butter and salt)
- Almost Oatmeal Cookies (and, really, almost anything from Everyday Grain-Free Baking!)
- Apple Sauce & Apple Chips
- Blueberry Muffins
- Pumpkin Pie
- Simple Apple Dip
I keep track of all of these recipes in Plan to Eat, which I also use for meal planning and grocery list creation. They’ll be having their annual sale over Black Friday weekend, so sign up now for the free, 30-day trial and you’ll be able to add on a subscription at the end of that at 50% off!
I will probably be revisiting this list from time to time and adding new recipes or removing recipes we don’t have as much anymore. If you have any recipes your family loves, feel free to leave a comment!