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This week we’re sharing another 7-day menu, as part of our DINING IN series. As a reminder, our family is 100% vegan, and mostly whole foods plant-based and gluten-free.
Feel free to try our menu or adjust as you need!
Here is our breakfast menu for the upcoming week:
This line-up will give us a full 7 days of breakfasts - the french toast casserole makes enough for 2 days worth, the sweet potato baked oatmeal makes enough for 2 days worth, and the yogurt and berries is usually about 2-3 days worth. I always keep a loaf of GF bread and frozen fruit in the freezer for emergency avocado toast and smoothies in case we run out of prepped breakfasts before the end of the week.
PRO-TIP: Our homemade almond milk is made using an Almond Cow. Use discount code URBANOREGANICS for $15 off. By making our own plant milk, we can control what ingredients are in there, avoid added fillers and sweeteners, and this method is zero waste. We even use the pulp (this is the stuff that is leftover) in other recipes, like cookies, bars, pancakes, granola, and more!
Those of you who have been following along for awhile know that we meal prep a little different than most. On Saturdays, we sit down as a family and choose 5 different recipes for the week (we used to choose 7, but now we account for 1 meal of emptying the fridge and 1 meal out). These are usually a combination of 3-4 of our faves plus 1-2 new recipes - we like to switch it up a little bit each week so we don’t get bored! We make approximately six servings of each of these recipes for our family of 4 (1 serving per adult, 1/2 serving per kiddo, for two meals) - for dinner, and then the leftovers are portioned out for lunch the next day. If your recipe allows, consider making extra servings and freezing for future weeks that you might be too busy to prep for. We always have a backup meal in the freezer in case we need extra food.
PRO-TIP: We try to plan meals around what will be ripe and ready to harvest in our garden the following week.
Meals out are planned ahead before we grocery shop for the week - we very rarely impulsively go out to eat - since we have food prepped and ready to cook in the fridge. This helps us eat healthier, save money, and waste less food.
If we happen to have extra leftovers (after dinner + lunch), we typically freeze them or give them to a neighbor or friend.
PRO-TIP: We try to eat more raw meals in the warmer months. They typically require less time (allows us to spend more fun time with family), and by not using the oven/stove it will keep our home cooler. Or consider utilizing an outdoor grill or BBQ if you have one.
Here is our dinner/lunch menu for the upcoming week:
- summer rice noodle bowl
- cauliflower shawarma buddha bowl
- spaghetti with lentil bolognese (we use GF noodles)
- curried cauliflower grape lentil salad
- kung pao tofu
We adapt our recipes slightly for the kids; for example, we turn salads into wraps for them and leave any spicy ingredients out of their portions. I also adjust recipes as needed based on extra ingredients that are leftover from another recipe (for example, if a recipe calls for carrots, but I know we have extra sweet potatoes from another recipe, I'll just use those instead of the carrots).
We also keep some Daily Harvest smoothie cups ready to go in the freezer as backup. Use our discount code URBANOREGANICS for for $25 off your first delivery.
Now that our week is planned, it is time to shop! First, I write down all the ingredients I need for each recipe. Since we began meal planning and prepping, we don't have a lot of extra ingredients laying around (we typically only buy what we need for each week), but I still always "shop" my pantry, fridge, and garden before going to the store for the rest of the ingredients. Once I have my final list, I enter it on the AnyList app - it organizes my grocery list by department, and also allows me to plan meals for the week. This helps me shop efficiently and fast, plus makes sure I don't accidentally skip anything.
We try to shop seasonally and locally as much as possible. Farmer’s markets are a great way to do this! By shopping local, you are supporting your farmers (small, family-run businesses), reducing your carbon footprint, and it can be a fun family activity. Whether you are headed to the market or your grocery store, don’t forget to bring your own bags and containers.
We get most of our produce at the Farmer’s market on Saturdays, then go to the grocery store on Sundays for the rest of our grocery list. We try to shop package-free as much as possible. If we can’t find a certain fruit or veggie without packaging, we try to substitute something else. For example, if we can only find blueberries in the plastic clamshells, we will buy package-free strawberries for the recipe instead. Also, depending on the recipe, we usually choose only 1-2 leafy greens to use for all meals (arugula, kale, spinach, or romaine), one color of cabbage, one color of bell peppers, etc. This way we cut down on the amount we have to buy, thus preventing any food spoilage and excess costs. The list below includes ALL produce needed for the meals planned above, but I'll alter our recipes slightly so we won’t actually end up needing to purchase all of these items.
Depending on your store, a lot of these items may need to be purchased on the shelf instead. Check our zero waste grocery blog post for tips. When purchasing bulk ingredients I fill up my reusable jars with staples (instead of just buying what I need for that week), so I already have quite a few of these in my pantry.
DRY (SHELF) & COLD:
When shopping, we try to avoid the middle aisles as much as possible - 90% of our groceries are from the produce department and bulk bins. There are occasionally some items we need to grab pre-packaged (shelf or cold).
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By using this method and only buying what we need each week, our family saves hundreds of dollars each month on groceries. The next step is to prep the food! Check out all our tips and tricks with our Meal Prepping post here.