Thursday, March 3, 2016

Once a month meal planning - March

March is a little wonky because we'll be taking a short trip and the way the calendar works out for my system it's actually five weeks instead of four. I'm trying to add in more side dishes this month so that we're getting more veg. I'm normally really lazy about sides other than salads but now that I have the bigger kitchen there's no excuse. I guess I'm still being lazy because mostly what I'm doing this month is adding a big side of saag to our crockpot meals. I love cooked spinach and since I'm not doing any cooking on crockpot nights anyways, it won't feel like I'm adding too much extra work. Baby steps, right?

March meal planning

Recipes for this month:

Spicy tuna cakes + arugula salad (thinking I'll improvise a Meyer lemon and olive oil dressing for this) - I love this simple recipe and I haven't made it in a few months. I do NOT use the muffin pan because I find they stick like crazy and cleaning a muffin pan is annoying in the best of circumstances. I just form patties and bake them on the Silpat.

Braised cabbage + poached eggs - a perennial favorite. I always like to add some thinly sliced fennel and extra carrots.

Sweet potato dirty rice - another good spiralizer recipe.

Brown rice noodle and vegetable bowls - planning to increase the veg:noodle ratio by getting some large carrots so that I can spiralize them and have carrot noodles. Hope the recipe is good, since I haven't tried it before and I'm using it twice this month!

Crockpot chicken tikka masala + saag (using that recipe minus the paneer) + cauliflower rice (I get it frozen from Trader Joe's) - I haven't tried this recipe yet but I'm hoping it will be a keeper.

Dal nirvana + saag + naan (frozen from Trader Joe's) - Another new to me recipe, recommended by a kind reader!

Roasted root vegetables with soft polenta - Not really using a recipe for this, but similar to this one (+ some mushrooms, probably) except that I like polenta soft rather than sliced, so the polenta will be more like this.

Cashew nut chicken + saag + cauliflower rice - Making a triple batch of sauce this time, freezing the other two portions for future months.

Sweet potato bolognese + salad - 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).

And the grocery list for the month. The top left corner is where I write down pantry items that I'm pretty sure I have but I need to check. I get all of my meat for the month at Whole Foods and then divide it up and freeze it. For veg, I decide which items I can get at the beginning of the month (onions, garlic, etc, usually last fine, bell peppers and fennel and the like will hold up a couple weeks) and which items I have to get week by week (salad greens, mushrooms, etc). For the most part, it's been going pretty smoothly and I feel like I spend a lot less time at the store.

March grocery shopping


  1. Wow, these all sound great. Esp. the tuna one. Totally trying that. I also have a package of chicken thighs sitting in the fridge and this post inspired me. Love love love when you blog about meal planning. Thank you!

    1. The tuna cakes are pretty simple and so good. You can freeze them, but we always end up eating them pretty quickly!

  2. I get so many great ideas from these posts. Thank you!

  3. Love these posts because they give me meal ideas. Going to try to tuna cakes with canned salmon, but I need to figure out a sweet potato substitute if I don't buy any this weekend...

    I think I might start buying the cauli rice at TJs if it's cheap. I've been processing it myself because I figure it's more cost effective... but it's quite time consuming and messy (cauliflower bits!). Sometimes I do several heads at a time and freeze, but still...

    1. Hmmmmm ... I'm not sure what you could use as a sweet potato sub in that recipe. It sort of binds everything together, so you'd need something similar to sub. Another type of mash would work (regular potatoes, mashed parsnip, probably) but I'm not sure how the flavor would be.

      I buy the cauli rice anytime I can find it at TJs! They are out almost all the time here, sadly. It's $1.99 per bag and you get 2 - 3 good sized servings out of it. So it isn't super cheap, but it's so easy and I think the texture is better than when I make it myself. Apparently they make it using the stems of the cauliflower (because they have so many leftover after packaging the florets) so it's a bit sturdier than when I use a whole head to make it. I highly recommend it, if you can track it down!

  4. I've made that OSG recipe and the sauce wasn't my favorite...FYI!

    1. Thanks for the heads up! I might just use that to justify my laziness and use some of the soyaki marinade I have sitting in the fridge instead...

  5. Good luck with the saag! I'm making some this weekend as well. :)

  6. FYI - I've made the chicken tikka masala twice now and it's fab! Very easy, too.


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