And on to February! I planned this out super early because I knew that the last thing I'd want to do the weekend we were moving was handle a massive grocery list. I did, however, manage to convince myself to hit the grocery store on February 1st for our big shop and I was pretty impressed with myself because what I wanted to do was lie in bed and order take out (full disclosure - we did go out with friends on Monday and then order take out with them on Tuesday, so we're not exactly starting this month off strong but when your dear friend is only in town for a few days, you take advantage).
I stuck with my basic formula for this month, with weekly lentils and crock pot meals and I'm still hitting the sweet potato bolognese pretty hard. I keep thinking one week I'll realize I'm sick of it but it hasn't happened yet.
Recipes for this month:
Lentil and garlic sausage cassoulet - new to me recipe, only making a 1/2 batch because otherwise we'd be eating it forever. I couldn't find slab bacon so I got a small piece of pork belly instead. Maybe that's the same thing, now that I think about it?
Cashew nut chicken - Using the other half of the sauce that I froze last month (next time I might make a triple batch of sauce - it was so lovely to just dump everything together in the morning).
Spiced butternut squash, lentil and goat cheese salad - new to me, looks so good.
Crockpot beef stew - just realized I don't have the recipe for this posted anywhere. My mom always made it growing up and it's super easy. 1 lb beef stew meat, a couple potatoes, some carrots, some celery, all roughly chunked, 1 can of V8, 1 tbsp of sugar, 2 tbsp minute tapioca, ~ 2 tsp salt, cooked in the crockpot on low for 8 hours. I always consider looking for a fancier recipe, but this one never fails and it is so easy.
Canal house lentils - new to me, looks simple and delicious. Skeptical about the eight servings, though. In my experience, a cup of dried lentils usually equals four servings. Maybe it's meant to be a side dish?
Chicken enchilada soup - always.
Black lentils with caramelized onions - but just once this month.
Sweet potato and black bean chili - again, using up the odds and ends of the spiralized sweet potatoes. Last month I couldn't find ground chipotle so I just used some canned chipotles in adobo sauce (not a whole can! they are spicy) and it was delicious. I froze the other half of the can so I can do it again this time around.
Sweet potato bolognese - again, no real recipe. It's just 1/2 lb ground beef, 1/2 lb hot sausage, 1 jar marinara and 2 large sweet potatoes that have been spiralized. (spiralizer post is here).
The worst part of this for me is figuring out the grocery list with this many meals in the mix, but I assume I'll get better with that. I just jot down the ingredients for every meal, then consolidate them on a single page, keeping them roughly divided into categories (produce, meat, canned goods, etc). I check the pantry to see what I have and cross those things off. I usually then split the list into what I need from each store, but this month I lost energy at that point and it was fairly well divided anyways. I get my produce from Jons (best produce prices + selection around here) or the farmer's market, meat from Whole Foods, odds and ends from TJs or the regular grocery store. What surprises me is that once I get it all boiled down and consolidated, the major shopping trip really isn't that huge or that expensive! With perishable produce I also note down the week I need it (and make a note on my actual meal planning sheet), so that I can just get it that week.
I don't know - is my scribbled out grocery list the weirdest thing I've ever posted? Maybe next month I'll remember to take a picture before I write all over it and wad it up in my bag to take it out to multiple stores.
Previous once a month meal planning posts - January planning and January execution.