3/8 thru 3/14 #mealplanning what do you eat when you are #glutenfree and #losingthewheatbelly ? Come in and I'll tell you! #cooking #kids #motherhood

Brand new to Meal Planning?

Start by reading all about Meal Planning (Link at the topin order to familiarize yourself with the steps! There, you will find also find a link to a detailed example from start to finish of my own weekly meal planning where I walk you through step-by-step. I perform the same steps every week as I have outlined below.

Are you following me along in my gluten-free healthy lifestyle journey? If not, I encourage you to read it HERE as it will effect my meal planning, though not by much surprisingly. :)

I'm still cooking my family's favorite meals, I'm simply substituting gluten-free and/or healthier options in place of those wheat products that contain gluten. I've been reading the book Wheat Belly along with assessing my own health and have decided that a gluten-free life is really what's best for me and my family. I'm doing my best to get my whole family involved though I'm practically dragging my garlic-bread-loving husband along at this point. haha!
The first thing I do each week is look back over the week to see if we did indeed eat everything on my meal plan (I write down each night's meal on our family calendar) and adjust my inventory, reducing it by what we ate and increasing it by anything I purchased and/or made-ahead. 99% of the time if a meal that was planned for wasn't eaten it's automatically added to the next week's plan.


1 portions ground sirloin
2 portions pork tenderloin
1 portions stew meat
5 portions ground turkey
11 portions boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 portions pre-formed turkey patties for burgers
2 portions made-ahead brisket chili
3 portions Brats

1 portion Italian sausage

"Portions" for my family typically mean 1/2lb to 3/4lb of meat and it feeds all four of us at one meal. To keep my freezers organized and make things easier on myself, I divide up my bulk purchases into portions and label everything before freezing it. For example: meatloaf requires 1lb of ground beef where Goulash only requires 1/2lb so, I package 1lb of ground beef and write "meatloaf" on the outside of the bag to ensure I don't accidentally thaw out an entire pound of meat for a recipe where I only need half. You could also write "1lb" on the bag. 

Next, I shop my pantry, freezer and fridge for ingredients to come up with some meals off our Master Meal List. As I mentioned above, I write down each night's meal on our calendar so, I look at it first to sort of rule out meals we've recently eaten to cut down on monotony. Then, I read the weekly and and look through the coupons and Just4U deals from Safeway via the iPhone app to see what is on sale that might complement and/or substitute for what I came up with. I also jot down the price of things I plan to buy that I can frequently find cheaper at my local farmer's market (Dan's) or at Trader Joe's. On shopping day, I stop at Dan's first and buy whatever is cheaper than Safeway; next, I stop at Trader Joe's; and then, I purchase everything left on my list at Safeway. Lastly, I determine how I can stretch ingredients, specifically fresh produce and expensive items over enough meals to use them up to prevent waste. 

Weekly Meal Plan

Going gluten-free isn't for everyone and like I've said before, I'm not going to force my husband or child to give up their favorite, familiar foods; however, I am swapping out as much as I can for gluten-free alternatives. 

Peach-BBQ glazed chicken with gluten-free macaroni 'n cheese and grilled asparagus
I saw asparagus was only $0.99/lb and just had to have it grilled alongside a meal this week. With apricot preserves and BBQ sauce in my fridge, glazed chicken breasts came to mind and nothing goes better with grilled chicken than macaroni 'n cheese! I have boxes of gluten-free quinoa elbow noodles in my pantry and a fridge full of cheeses so, I'll whip up the cheese sauce with my gluten-free all purpose flour so it will truly be gluten-free!

Pad Thai
There aren't many weeks that go by that this meal doesn't appear on our menu - it's just that good, easy, and gluten-free! I have brown rice noodles, all the ingredients to make the sauce, roasted peanuts, and will use 90% egg whites and 10% ground turkey. I only needed to purchase limes (3@$1) and cilantro ($0.49).

Calzones - hold the pizza dough for me!
I have frozen pizza dough in the freezer plus Italian sausage, mozzarella cheese, onion and garlic so I can easily whip up calzones for a busy weeknight. I will only make a calzone for David and I'll have my Italian sausage sauteed whole and serve it next to leftover gluten-free macaroni 'n cheese and grilled asparagus. I love leftovers and someone needs to eat them so they don't go to waste! I did need to purchase marinara sauce, which I got from Costco for $6.99 for 3 jars.


Gluten-free Goulash and a salad with herb vinaigrette
Needing to use up the remaining package of ground turkey and leftover organic Romaine lettuce, I thought of this meal. I have tomato sauce, all the spices, onion and garlic, sour cream, and a box of gluten-free quinoa elbows. I also have croutons and dried cherries to serve on our salad.

David loves breakfast for dinner and I actually do, too as it's super easy to throw together in a casserole and just bake for 40 minutes. I'll do a hash brown, egg, bacon, cheddar casserole this week. I scored eggs at Costco for only $3.59 for 24ct.

Gluten-free Chicken Parmesan and a salad with herb vinaigrette
By now, you know I HATE WASTE so, needing to use up the rest of the jar of marinara sauce (it doesn't keep as well or as long as you'd think!) and the last of the organic Romaine and dressing I made, I decided to make this meal. I will use my gluten-free all purpose flour to dredge the chicken and will pan fry it in butter before dolloping on marinara sauce and thick slices of fresh mozzarella I have in my fridge. I'll serve a salad to go with it.

What did I purchase?

Between Costco and Safeway, I spent $158.90.

This doesn't include some of the items above that I purchased for upcoming PTA functions and Staff Luncheons which were: pork shoulder, quiche, Jarlsburg cheese, half 'n half, and 12pk Pellegrino.

I purchased the following things at Costco:
  • Honey nut Gluten-free Chex 2pk, $4.99
  • 2 - 24ct eggs, $3.59
  • 8lbs organic Fuji apples, $7.99
  • 3pk Marinara sauce, $6.99
  • 2 - 3pk Dove bodywash, $6.99
  • Cliff and Kidz bars, $10.99 each
  • 60ct. Cheesesticks, $10.99
  • 32oz organic maple syrup, $13.99 
  • 18oz blackberries, $3.99
  • 18oz blueberries, $5.99
I purchased the following things at Safeway:
  •  6pk Lucerne yogurt, $2.19
  • 2% milk, $4.59 - WHAT THE HELL, why is milk so expensive this week?!?
  • 2lbs carrots, $1.50
  • Danimals smoothies 2@$4
  • Pizza dough, $0.99
  • Limes, 3@$1
  • Bananas, $0.59/lb
  • Tostitos tortilla chips, 2@$5
  • Campbells Tomato soup, 4@$3
  • 2 - Texas toast loaves, $2.00
  • Seedless grapes, $1.99/lb
  • Organic strawberries, $3.99
  • Raspberries, $2.99
  • Pears, $1.49/lb
  • Deli ham, $3.99/lb


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