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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Woman with a Plan

Eating 20-30 lbs of organic fruits and vegetables every two weeks takes some planning. However, just like scrapbooking, I am the woman with a plan when it comes to meals.

I grew up watching my mom make a list on Saturday morning of all of the meals she planned to prepare for the following week. That meal plan led to a grocery list which then accompanied us to the store.

When I left for university, I tossed the meal plan, um, plan out the window and shopped for whatever I felt like buying at the time.

Lots of money and even more spoiled food later, I realized that perhaps my mom was on to something!!! By thinking through what you intend to make, and to a certain extent when you intend to make it, you can take control at the grocery store. Buy what you need! Buy when you need it! Ignore the over-marketed products and overcome impulse shopping!!

I actually plan for two weeks worth of meals because 1. our co-op provides us with veggies and fruit every two weeks and 2. I hate grocery shopping. I wish that meant I went to the grocery store once every two weeks, but I still average about once a week as I run to pick up supplemental (or "buy it later") items that we would prefer to have fresh. 

The co-op facilitates my planning by emailing an upcoming delivery notice on off-weeks so we know what will be in our next pick-up. I plan what we will eat around this list. I also keep a set of staple items on hand for meals when nothing on the list sounds good at dinner time. These items include:
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Frozen shrimp
  • Frozen chicken
  • Various marinades
  • Canned tuna
From these items I can make everything from a simple salad to a stir fry to a grilled main dish. Delicious!

So what's for dinner on co-op day? We have a lot of fresh and tasty items in this week's delivery, plus it is extraordinarily hot outside, so I opted to make Taco Salad.

The Hayley's Taco Salad

  • Azteca taco salad shells
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef, seasoned with taco seasoning
  • 1 can fat-free refried beans
  • 2 ears of organic corn on the cob, steamed and stripped
  • Chopped organic lettuce
  • 1 organic tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 organic red onion, chopped
  • Black olives, to taste
  • Organic cilantro, to taste
  • Pickled jalapenos, to taste
  • Mexi-cheese blend, to taste
Bake the salad shells according to package instructions. Fill with beans, meat, corn and a hint of cheese. Add lettuce, tomato, olives, cilantro, jalapenos and cheese. Enjoy! (Serves 4)


  1. this is the way I feed a family of 4 (2 being boys) for no more than $90 for 2 weeks ... and w/o using coupons

  2. hahahahhaa!!!! I saw you making it at lunch!!!

  3. Very true! I love leftovers - we had servings 1 and 2 at home. Servings 3 and 4 were lunch the next day. Too bad you can't have the margaritas with servings 3 and 4...