Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sample Menu - A Year To A Better You

Sample Menu for Eating Healthy

Now that we have had a chance to look through some recipes, let's put together a menu. What and how we cook it is the most important thing. Instead of covering our foods with sauces and gravy, let's see how we can come up with some creative ideas. And here we get to change up on how we cook. Put the Crisco aside and grab your Olive and Grapeseed Oils.

To begin, we need to take a look at our list. Here we need to have more vegetables than we do meat. We can have meat, but it needs to be more like a side dish than the main. Now, I’m not saying we can't have meat as a main course, but we will need to look at ways that we can fix it.

Now for me, I'm the only one home during the day. So I don't have to get up and fix breakfast, lunch and dinner for my husband and kids every single day. So a lot of my menu/shopping is done for our main meal. As for breakfast, we can make our own breakfast burritos, bran/whole grain muffins, etc. I can fix those during the day while everyone Is gone and have those wrapped and ready for the week. Then in the mornings all they have to do is grab one and go. And, we also have our Shaklee shakes but that comes later in our journey.

So what do we need to cook, Well, like I have been saying.. lots and lots of vegetables. The more the better. Now does this mean I’m cooking tons at one time, no, just what we need for that meal.

Menu for one week:
Monday- Stir fry
Load up on veggies. Here you can do all the vegetables you like and you can use smaller amounts because you will be using several.
Snow peas, broccoli, carrots, bok choy cabbage, fresh string beans, baby corn, mushrooms, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, red bell pepper, green onions, celery. You get the idea here. Just play with your veggies.
Brown Rice or Wild Rice
Dipping sauce. - not from a jar, you can make this.
If you just have to put in meat, the take one boneless/skinless chicken breast and chop it up. You want it to be like the veggies.. not the main thing in the stir-fry

Tuesday – Baked Fish Packets
Here I use Tilapia fish (you can use others if you like, but I do not recommend catfish). These are very easy to do. I place one piece of fish on parchment/foil. Then we top it with veggies such as broccoli, string beans, asparagus, roasted bell pepper,herbs, olive oil. Once again, this is one of those dishes you can play with. Try new vegetables. Ones that are fast at roasting. These only take like 20 min cooked in the oven.

Wednesday - Vegetable Rice Soup -(Wednesday is my busy day with church, so I try to make fast dishes)
If you have left over rice, use this to make soup. Add fresh vegetables just like you did in the stirfry and add them to vegetable broth. Cook them until just tender and then add in your left over rice until it's warmed with the food. Only takes a few min.
Once again, if you just have to have meat, only use one chicken breast cut up into chunks. We don't want this to be the main part of the meal, just part of.

Thursday - Italian Wedding Soup
My family loves this so I never have a problem with leftovers.
For this I use chicken broth
tiny bowtie noodles
and I make my own meat balls
For meat balls, I use ½ pkg of ground Italian sausage and ½ lb of good ground chuck.
To that I add some bread crumbs, grated parm cheese, crushed garlic. Mix this well and make into tiny meat balls.
To get rid of the fat that comes from the meat while cooking, start a big pot of water to boiling, once boiling, drop your meatballs into water and let them cook till almost done. Then strain the meatballs

In another pot, start your broth and carrots. Carrots need to be cooking as they take a little longer to cook than everything else. Once carrots are about half done, add meatballs, cook meatballs for about 5 min in the broth and add the noodles. When noodles are about half done, add your fresh spinach and cook till wilted. Salt and pepper to taste.
With this you can have a large salad and go crazy on the veggies. And make your own dressing with olive oil, lemon juice, herbs.

Friday – Beans, Rice, Vegetables
Cook a pot of your favorite beans and season how you like
Cook a pot of brown rice
Vegetables I like to cook are sauted squash and zucchini with onions and garlic
And here they like a pan of cornbread

Saturday - Taco night
load up on your lettuce, tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, avocado
Refried beans
Black beans – drained
Here you can also use shredded chicken or good ground chuck.
Brown your meat and drain very well. Then add your taco seasonings
for the bread you can use corn tortilla, but a great way to cut down on the bread is use pita bread cut in half. Open the pocket and load up on veggies and sauces
For me, I like using just large lettuce leaves and I don't put meat on mine. I use a swipe of refried beans, black beans, veggies, and sliced avocado.
Make your own fresh guacamole sauce or your own salsa. Very simple in food processor with tomato, onions, bell pepper, cilantro and spices.

Sunday – Roasted chicken and vegetables
Whole chicken roasted with slices of lemon and Rosemary inside
Take parsnips, carrots, small new potatoes and roast them in oven. Cut up into bite size and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, sprigs of thyme
and some steamed asparagus. Drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice

As you see, it's not hard to change up your cooking. Very little has even been fried and you have added tons of vegetables to your diet.
Now, pick up some fresh and frozen fruit. You can make a simple drizzle sauce with Greek yogurt, honey and a little grated ginger. Eat fruits with your breakfast and throughout the day.

My shopping list for this week:
Bag of chicken breasts
1 whole chicken
Ground Italian Sausage ( will only use half of it)
1 lb pkg of hamburger (I buy good ground chuck)
tomatoes, onions, lettuce, avocado, squash, zucchini, bell pepper, frozen snow peas, baby carrots, bean sprouts, bok choy, asparagus,
brown rice
broth (non MSG and low sodium)
dry beans
corn meal
Pita bread
black beans
refried beans

This is just a sample of what you can do. Play with it, try new things, think outside the box and have fun!


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