I live by meal planning. In my opinion, it is the most useful resource for eating well. Meal planning can help you eat healthier and save money. Winning.
There are a lot of meal services out there today, like Blue Apron and HelloFresh, but I’m sticking by doing my own meal planning and grocery shopping. I know it’s not feasible for everyone but if you can meal plan, shop, and prep yourself, you will be creating less waste – which is important for our globe’s health.
I’ve been planning weekday dinners for so long now, I have my system down pat (you can read about it here) but I wanted to post something that could help others who have never planned a weekly dinner menu.
I think starting with a simple base of ingredients is helpful. I’ve created 3 NOM meals with just 15 ingredients. Literally everything you need for these dinners is included below. How simple is that?!
I purchased mostly everything at my local Trader Joe’s but there aren’t really any specific ingredients that can’t be found another grocery store. And odds are, you’ll probably have a few things in your kitchen already.
I bought enough for 2 people for 3 unique meals + one “leftovers meal.” If you’re flyin’ solo or have a bigger household, you’ll have to adjust the quantities.
Now, without further ado, your shopping list:
- Loaf of sourdough bread (or something else crusty and good for toast)
- Garlic (to mince)
- Bag of spinach
- Package of zucchini (2-3 big zucs or 7-8 small ones)
- Peas (I bought frozen)
- Box of mushrooms (about one cup)
- 8 – 10 small tomatoes
- Small bag of farro (mine had 8.8 ounces in it)
- Veg broth
- One container ricotta cheese
- One container parmesan cheese (I got big hunks of it)
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
Below are the 3 recipes I made with the above 15 ingredients. Check back soon for all of the recipes. 🙂
Summer Style Zucchini Lasagna and toast
A lighter twist on the traditional comforting lasagna. This recipe is packed with veggies so it doesn’t call for much cheese. The noodles are replaced with zucchini. Additionally, I didn’t use a jarred sauce to save on sodium intake. Talk about a great summer dish!
Pea and Parmesan Farro with side of roasted veg
This recipe is quick and satisfying! Plus, it makes a lot so half of it can be saved and used for another meal. It looks and tastes fancier than it is; with the nutty farro and decadent parmesan, plus the peas give it a nice splash of green.
Smashed Pea Bruschetta with sautéed spinach and mushrooms
This dish! All of the nom and flavor and perfection. The flavors burst. It’s creamy with a perfect crunch. It is probably my favorite creation. And, bonus points, it’s easy-peasy (pun intended).