Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Just Add Salad: 1 week of AIP meals for 1



How do you decide what to eat for a week? Menu planning and cooking is a challenge for anyone, but in some ways can be even more of a challenge for singles (or if you're the only one eating this diet in your home). I promise I'm not trying to say that cooking for a family is easy...I know it's not...but the challenge of cooking for one is unique (unless you like eating the same thing over and over and over and over and over and...) Which thankfully I don't have a problem with. I went to boarding school and grew up with the swahili saying "NYAMA NI NYAMA" - food is food - meat is meat. But, for the rest of us, meal plans with variety can be very helpful!







If you're not ready to set up your own meal plan, check out 'Real Plans' a flexible meal plan service with tons of great AIP & Paleo recipes, including many from some of your favorite AIP bloggers like 'the Paleo mom' and 'AutoImmune Paleo.' 



So, here's a typical week in my cooking and meal prepping. For reference sake, I'm home 2 evenings a week (none this week, but usually 2) and usually home for a couple of hours on Saturday. So, ALL of my cooking and prepping has to take place during those times. I usually try to cook 2-3 things each time I'm cooking and mix and match the leftovers.

My suggestion is to get yourself organized and shop in advance, or eat whatever foods you have at home for breakfast on day 1 and hit the stores early. My 'day 1' is usually Saturday. Day 1 is your shopping & cooking Day. Cook all of day 1 foods, plus a batch of Breakfast Stoup.

For shopping you'll need all the ingredients for the recipes, plus some salad fixings and fruit (if you eat fruit- I generally keep 1-2 servings per day to have with meals or for the occasional snack). The chicken you cook on day 1 will make a nice broth that you can enjoy during the week.

Each day below you'll see the foods I'd plan on eating for the day. Anything highlighted in yellow needs to be cooked on that day. Sometimes, like day 2, it's VERY simple 'cooking' - prepping a salad to have for lunch. I tend to do that while my breakfast heats up. Day 5 has absolutely no cooking and days 3 & 4 involve some cooking, but generally quick things. I try to spend as little time as possible in the kitchen when I am at home.

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Day 1:

B - Tuna Bites (cook the night before if possible & freeze 1/2) & a simple salad (spinach & avocado & berries)
L - Lamb & Apricot Curry (optional - chapati) ~ freeze 1 portion of curry for next week
D - Crock Pot Chicken (let cook all day) & Potluck Broccoli Salad & 1/2 of a baked sweet potato


Day 2:
 
B - Breakfast Stoup + a clementine (or other fruit)
L - Green Chicken Salad + plantain chips
D - Lamb & Apricot Curry & leftover 1/2 of baked sweet potato
NOTE ~ freeze remaining chicken in portion size bags... one bag will be needed on day 6


Day 3:
 
B - Breakfast Stoup + a simple salad (spinach & avocado)
L - Tuna Bites & a simple salad (spinach & avocado & berries)
D - Burger (make 4 patties - or make 6 & freeze some...consider mixing in liver for added nutrition) & Potluck Broccoli Salad


Day 4:
 
B - Breakfast Stoup  + a clementine (or other fruit)
L - Burger & Potluck Broccoli Salad
D -  Greek Pesto Salmon & roasted asparagus & side salad
COOK ~  Spiced Carrot Soup - freeze 1/2 for next week


Day 5:
  
B - Spiced Carrot Soup with leftover salmon to the side or crumbled in
L - Burger & Potluck Broccoli Salad
D - Lamb & Apricot Curry
NOTE - thaw a bag of chicken for tomorrow's salad


Day 6:

B - LEFTOVERS - MIX & MATCH.... or a Breakfast stuffed sweet potato with bacon & berries
L - Green Chicken Salad + plantain chips
D -  Greek Pesto Salmon and a salad


Day 7:
 
B - Spiced Carrot Soup with burger patty crumbled up in it
L - EAT OUT - maybe while grocery shopping for next week :)
D - Greek Lamb Skillet (this will be leftovers for next week)
NOTE ~ probably a good idea to put on a batch of broth tonight


Printable meal plan- with recipe links


Hope you've enjoyed this look as my food prep for the week.

Now it's your turn to create your own meal plan.
Here are some tips to help you out in the process:
(1) Think about when you have time to cook and prep.
(2) List out the quick meals you need to have ready - breakfasts, lunches to pack, nights you'll be working late, etc.
(3) Don't like "carrot soup", sub a different soup. Don't like lamb curry, sub a stew or casserole.
(4) Try to spread out various protein sources. The key to eating lots of leftovers is to make it so you don't feel like you're eating the same thing every day.
(5) If you're doing a major cooking day, get everything prepped (chopped, measured, set out in order - mis en place) before you start cooking. That way you'll be able to do several things at once.

Blank chart for you to fill in :)