A Week in Meals (winter edition) + Planning Ahead

Millet Porridge with Lemon Curd and Sunflower Seeds

For the longest time, I wasn’t a meal planner. In fact, I thought it was kind of ridiculous to plan out your entire week of meals because I felt one needed to have leeway to be spontaneous in the kitchen. It wasn’t until I joined the CSA that I started buying into this notion of planning ahead. When I’d get a haul from the farm each week, I’d sketch out a rough draft of what the meals might look like and then head to the store for the supplemental items. Now, I plan the entire week, down to the side dish of each meal and what leftovers M will eat for lunch.

This post could have easily been title ‘5 reasons to make a meal plan’ because that’s what concept I started with and since I have them, it never hurts to share (even if they might be a bit of a ‘no-duh’).

1. Saves money.

I am notorious for going to the store and over buying (I used to love going to the store and buying things at random- whatever sounded good). By the time everything would be tallied, I completely blew my budget for the week. When I use an outline for the week and write down exactly what I need, I can budget almost to the dollar.

2. Reduces food waste.

Going hand in hand with saving money, planning ahead can help you save food. Knowing that I’m buying a pound of Brussels Sprouts for 3 meals helps me know that I’m going to use everything I buy. Food waste is such a major issue and I think an important one to always keep in mind when shopping/eating.

3. Pumps up creativity.

Believe it or not, I get in horrible food ruts (especially when I’m not developing recipes for the site). Planning the meals ahead forces me to sit down and actually gather inspiration from all those magazines, cookbooks, blogs, and items I pin. It takes a bit of time, but helps keep cooking fun and exciting.

4. Negates the ‘what’s for dinner question’.

I love my husband but he does not get excited about food the same way I do (ask him about anything coding/software engineering related and be prepared to sit for hours). So instead of asking him what sounds good for dinner, I already know without any, ‘I don’t knows’ or ‘let’s order pizza’.

5. Saves time (prepping!)

I completely understand that weeks are chaotic and when 7pm rolls around and you haven’t even thought about dinner, it’s definitely not the easiest time to start everything from scratch. I love taking 1-2 hours on the Sunday before (usually when I’m making dinner), and prep items I’ll need throughout the week. I’ll whip up a batch of grains or beans, throw together any condiments, and sometimes I might even be able to prep an entire meal (lasagna and enchiladas make wonderful make-ahead meals).

So now that I’ve told you how madly in love with planning ahead I am, here’s one of my favorite winter week menus!

The produce: Spinach, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Acorn Squash, Broccoli

The star of the week: Lemon Curd

Sunday Prep: Make Curd, Olive Tapenade, Granola, and cook dried chickpeas and black beans


Breakfast: Millet Porridge with Lemon Curd

Lunch: Olive Tapenade + Hummus Pita (using spinach)

Dinner: Spinach and Onion and Lasagna

Three Grain Granola

Breakfast: Yogurt/Granola

Lunch: Spinach and Onion and Lasagna (leftovers)

Dinner: Teriyaki chickpea Sweet Potato

Cumin Braised Carrots

Breakfast: Millet Porridge with Lemon Curd

Lunch: Olive Tapenade + Hummus Pita (leftovers)

Dinner: Cumin Braised Carrots with Chickpeas

Carrot Rice Noodle Bowl with Tahini-Sriracha Sauce
Quick Red Lentil and Spinach Curry


Breakfast: Eggs (scrambled with toast)

Lunch: Carrot and Rice Noodle Bowl

Dinner: Quick Red Lentil Curry


Breakfast: Yogurt/Granola

Lunch: Quick Red Lentil Curry (Leftovers)

Dinner: Mediterranean Flatbread using olive tapenade

Cornbread Pancakes with Maple-Lemon Curd
Broccoli Chickpea Bowl with Homemade Teriyaki Sauce | @naturallyella


Breakfast: Cornbread Pancakes with Lemon Curd

Lunch: Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad

Dinner: Teriyaki Chickpea and Broccoli Bowl

Brussels Sprouts and Eggs | @naturallyella
acorn squash side


Breakfast: Eggs with Brussels Sprouts

Lunch: Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad

Dinner: Honey Roasted Jalapeno Acorn Squash

The post A Week in Meals (winter edition) + Planning Ahead appeared first on Naturally Ella.

SOURCE ARTICLE: : http://naturallyella.com/2015/02/01/a-week-in-meals-winter-edition-planning-ahead/

Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins

Make these healthy chocolate peanut butter muffins for a 100% whole-grain, no refined-sugar added snack or treat! They're gluten-free and 171 calories!

Make these healthy chocolate peanut butter muffins for a 100% whole-grain, no refined-sugar added snack or treat! They’re gluten-free and 171 calories! Happy Sunday Fit Foodie Friends! I’m sure you’ve all gotten your workout in and are ready to watch the big game tonight I’ll probably be surfing Pinterest and watching House Hunters International on…

Read More »

The post Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins appeared first on Fit Foodie Finds.

SOURCE ARTICLE: : http://fitfoodiefinds.com/2015/02/healthy-chocolate-peanut-butter-muffins/

How Many Calories Are You Drinking?


Originally posted 2009-12-10 11:39:22. When I lived in Texas, my girl and I used to hit up the Red Lobster every other weekend. We’d crack jokes, catch up (school kept us very busy, plus my added little bundle of joy) and enjoy a couple of drinks. Namely, the gloriously decadent Lobsterita. A delicious [not-so-] little […]

The post How Many Calories Are You Drinking? appeared first on A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss.

SOURCE ARTICLE: : http://blackgirlsguidetoweightloss.com/what-are-you-eating/how-many-calories-are-you-drinking/

USDA’s farm “typology” report: defines small, midsize, large

The USDA has just posted its enormous—more than 700 pages—2012 Census of Agriculture (Farm Typology) report.

Its definitions and results are impressive. Definitions are based on a metric called Gross Case Farm Income (GCFI):

  • Small <$350,000
  • Midsize >$350,000 but less than $1 million
  • Large >$1 million but less than $5 million
  • Very large >$5 million

Another metric: average number of acres per category (one square mile is 640 acres):

  • Small: GCFI between $150,000 and $350,000: 961 acres
  • Midsize: 1582 acres
  • Large: 2926 acres
  • Very large: 4673 acres

And some basic facts:

  • 88% of farms are Small (GCFI <$350,000).
  • 12% are Midsize and Large, but they account of 80% of agriculture sales.

That’s US agriculture in a snapshot.

SOURCE ARTICLE: : http://www.foodpolitics.com/2015/01/usdas-farm-typology-report-defines-small-midsize-large/