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Last week I posted our menu plan for the first time in…maybe ever in the almost 7 year history of this blog. My usual M.O. is to just keep ingredients on hand and have a basic idea of what to make and decide each day what to do. Even though on Friday I scrapped the planned meal and opted for grilled cheese (topped with my favorite guac), it was still so helpful for the week to have a specific plan for each day.
So this week I wanted to continue that, both as a way to help make my own life easier and a way to share recipe ideas for anyone who thinks eating 100% vegan and mostly plant-based might be too complicated.
This week at the farmer’s market I found a few great deals (broccoli 2/$1, salad 2/$1, organic strawberries 2/$3.80), which allowed me to splurge a bit on a few other treats. The cherries cost almost $8 for 2 lbs. And I finally got to the market early enough to get to the mushroom stand before they were sold out. I bought the “Adventure box” for $10, which included pink oyster mushrooms, blue oyster mushrooms, king oyster mushrooms, and enoki mushrooms. I have definitely become a regular.
Yesterday I battered and fried all the pink and blue oyster mushrooms and we ate them like fried chicken. I have no idea what I’m doing with the enoki yet, but I am making a fancy “date night” meal with the King Oyster mushrooms since it’s been…oh…six years since I’ve been out to a nicer restaurant, I’m going to make a nice restaurant-quality meal and cook them up as scallops.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the boys have dinner with their dad, so I’m on my own for food. I basically get home from work in time to pack up the boys and take them over, so my dinners are usually pretty quick and made out of whatever I can grab quickly on my way out the door. Sometimes I skip dinner, sometimes I eat a larabar, sometimes I eat an entire pint of vegan ice cream from Aldi, and most of the time I just end up grabbing chips and salsa. I’m trying to actually eat a decent meal, but it’s not as fun eating alone.
This week Tristan, my 5-year-old, asked if he could make dinner for the family one night. He offered to make either avocado toast or peanut butter and jelly. I’m going to leave that up to Tristan on that day. I’m just so proud of him for wanting to take ownership and start creating in the kitchen. He melts my heart daily; I just love watching him grow and getting to be his mama.
Weekly Grocery Budget Update:
Between the farmer’s market and my weekly trip to Aldi, we came in at $95 for the week. My budget is $100, so I was pretty happy to be under budget. That’s not accounting for the $2 we tip the market musician, so I have $3 in cash left over. I’ll be stashing that in my spare change jar. I don’t know what I’m saving for yet, but I’m saving for something.
I don’t “meal prep” in the traditional sense of mass-producing meals for the freezer, but I do take a few minutes to process some foods when I get home. I soak our berries in a 10:1 water:vinegar soak for about 10 minutes, then rinse them and put them in jars with fresh paper at the bottom (leave the lids off the jars). This is supposed to kill the mold spores and make the berries last longer. I also chop up the cantaloupe for the week and freeze the bananas.
Our Meal Plan This Week:
Sunday: Sunday dinner with my family
Monday: King Oyster mushroom “scallops” with salad and roasted red potatoes.
Tuesday: Leftover fried oyster mushrooms and fruit
Wednesday: Tristan’s choice
Thursday: Chips and salsa with guac (old habits die hard)
Friday: Vegan salisbury steak with mashed potatoes and killer mushroom gravy
Saturday: Breakfast for Dinner: Tofu scramble, fruit
Do you menu plan? Do you prep too or just plan? If you have any tips for me for menu planning more efficiently, let me know in the comments!