Sundays: It's the one family day that I take time to cook. Perhaps that's from my own Italian background, but Sundays were all about food and family (sorry not football-which my husband can't believe!). I roast 1-2 pans of vegetables using spray olive oil and a little sea salt and black pepper (all the parts of the vegetables that I can't use I store in the freezer for broth, which enables me to save all the nutrition of the produce). I cook what ever vegetables that are in season, my favorite right now is cauliflower, garlic, onions, broccoli and sweet potatoes. Once this cools I wrap tightly in the fridge, it stays good until Wednesday. Last week, I took the cauliflower and garlic put it in a food processor and made soup. It made 4 cups of soup (all under 60 calories) which I froze and had for lunch with my salads and sandwiches.
I made turkey meatballs and tofu sausage in the crock pot, which were ready later in the day. I also have 2 servings frozen for later in the month which I will add to whole grain pasta and vegetables when I need a quick meal.
Last, I prepped all my veggies and lightly breaded the halibut for fish tacos the next day.
Mondays: I have barely an hour in the evening with my family on these days, which stinks, so I want to spend as much time as I can with them. I make the tacos which takes 6 minutes on top of the stove. Berries and sugar free pudding are for dessert.
Tuesdays: This is actually my "test kitchen" day which I experiment with. It's actually not cooking for the family, since you never know what product I will end up with! This week it was flax seed walnut pumpkin muffins made with whole wheat flour and pureed spinach. Actually pretty fantastic, since they were delicious, high in fiber and low in fat. We had them for breakfast with our milk the next day!Even the little ones begged for more!
Wednesdays: I'm working in the AM with young kids at a daycare, then in the community running a federal project and later at the University. I'm done when I get home. I hit a grocery store, get a rotisserie chicken and heat up my veggie mix. Dinner is done! I always end up steaming green beans with this too. As long as you do not eat the skin, its a really healthy meal. I save the leftover chicken, if any, and all the parts of the chicken go in the freezer to make broth when I have time.
Thursdays: Thursdays are actually like my Saturdays, I'm always off from having to be somewhere. I make broth from the rotisserie chicken and veggie parts, skim the fat off, add celery, carrots, escarole and whole grain pasta (abc's right now from Wegmans mostly due to the 2 and 4 year olds). Once in a while I add the Goya small white beans in it with the chicken. My kids don't seem to notice the beans when they are small, so its a way I get the beans in! If you use canned beans, please make sure you rinse them off so you do not eat the sodium.
While this is happening I'm taking chickpeas or soybeans and roasting in a oven at 425 for about 35-45 minutes until crisp. I save these for the week, throwing them on salads or just to eat as a post workout snack. Soup gets served this day with whole grain crackers.
Fridays: Easy! Whole wheat nan bread, low fat cheese, sauce and veggie pizza. Sometimes I saute onions, garlic, artichokes, kalmata olives and red peppers and add this with shrimp on my pizza (under 400 calories for the whole thing and its a big piece).
Saturdays: Take out! We are human! My favorite places are Amani's BYOB in Downingtown and Harvest in Glen Mills.But if we are saving our dollars or the kids are not acceptable in public we will grill a flank steak or tuna and have a salad (with wine of course!).
So that's the fall version of my meal plan. I change it up as much as I can, keeping different recipe books and magazines in rotation. Additionally, I always let the kids pick a new fruit or veggie to try for the week. It keeps them engaged at the store and brings them in the kitchen to help!
That was just dinners, lunches are either left overs, salads with the roasted nuts, yogurt and fruit, soups, and veggie based sandwiches with hummus.
Hope this gives you at least one idea towards eating healthy this fall!
The Dieting Dietitian