Let's think about this.....what's the most expensive food people buy in the grocery store? It's meat. When eating this way, meat is off our plate. The foods that should take center stage on your plate are the starches--potatoes, rice and beans. And guess what--they are dirt cheap!
When we "re-learn" how to come up with delicious meals using starch as the star, you will absolutely save money on your grocery bills--especially if you are cooking for a family. Potatoes and rice are very filling--starting your meal off with a bowl of vegetable soup (homemade and very inexpensive to make) or salad, then have the entree such as a loaded baked potato, stir-fry vegetables over rice, or rice and beans, you have a healthy, delicious meal which did not take hours to prepare.
I like to have foods prepped and ready to go for week-night dinners--potatoes roasted or baked, veggies chopped and in containers, a pot of soup made, have a sheet pan of roasted vegetables ready to go, etc. When your veggies are prepped and ready to go, you can throw a salad together in no time, you can whip up a stir fry, or just use frozen vegetables, they take less time to cook!
At the end of the week, you can make what I like to call a Buddha bowl, where you put your left-overs in a bowl all together as pictured above, drizzle some kind of sauce over everything and you have a delicious dinner made with all your left-overs. Absolutely delicious!
This does take a little planning--you need to decide what you will be eating for the week, shop for the food, prepare as much as you can ahead of time, and week-night dinners are on the table in no time. By planning ahead, you don't have to come home hungry and tired and wonder what you're going to make for dinner. When you have the healthy foods ready to go, there is no temptation to order out! Fail to plan, plan to fail.......
So, let's come up with a weeks worth of food:
BREAKFAST: Oatmeal sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with fruit, (fresh or frozen)
Banana oat pancakes (make several, put in refrigerator and pop in the toaster to reheat) topped with fruit
Hashbrown veggie stir-fry
Over-night oats (different than cooked oats)
Cream of wheat topped with fruits
Tofu breakfast scramble
LUNCH: Soup (homemade)
Chickpea salad sandwich
Bowl of chili
Air fried potatoes
DINNER: Loaded baked potato
Rice topped with steamed veggies and a sauce
Portabello mushroom pizza
Rice and beans
One pot creamy pasta
Spaghetti and "meat" sauce
And remember, you don't necessarily have to eat "breakfast" food for breakfast or "dinner" food for dinner. When you are eating the right foods, you can eat them any time of day you want to. There are no "rules"! Make extra so you have left-overs, it takes just as much time to make a small portion as it does to make a large portion. Save yourself some time in the kitchen.
Here are the recipes: