Friday, August 1, 2014

What We Eat: A Whole, Natural Foods, Clean-Eating Weekly Meal Plan on a Budget

In my last post, Courtney asked about our weekly meal plan and what we eat on a weekly basis.

Well, I aim to I thought I'd do a post about what we eat on a regular basis. 

1. How We Eat

We try to eat a whole, natural, unprocessed foods diet...on a (tight) budget.

I eat gluten-free, but the rest of the family does not.  Which means, I only make gluten-free baked goods and cook with gluten-free pasta, but everyone else does eat whole-wheat bread. 

While, I'm a fan of organics...about the only organic foods we eat are the ones we grow ourselves (or my parents grow and give us....which means mostly yellow squash or zucchini right now).  I only very rarely buy organic because we simply can't afford it.  I wish we could, but I figure it's better to at least eat unprocessed, whole, natural foods....even if they aren't organic.

2. What I Buy

I do buy a few "ready-made foods" (bread, ice cream, peanut butter, chocolate chips, jelly, corn tortillas, tomato sauce and corn chips). Most of what I buy is relatively unprocessed however. 

So, this is what you'll find in my weekly shopping cart (or trip to the farmer's market or Amazon shopping cart).

-whole milk
-assorted vegetables (broccoli, beans, kale, lettuce, spinach, onions, garlic, tomatoes, carrots, asparagus, spinach)...generally whatever is on sale.
-assorted fruits (again...whatever is on sale) but I ALWAYS buy bananas.  Always.  I never go to the store without buying bananas.
-potatoes (red or white)
-rice (I like jasmine rice)
-meat (usually chicken or beef or turkey...whatever is on sale).  Occasionally all-natural sausage (the kind without BHT, or MSG),  Rarely, I do buy pork, but it's not something we often eat. 
-gluten-free pasta (I prefer rice pasta because I try to limit corn)
-oatmeal (old-fashioned oats)
-chocolate chips (gotta have some treat..right!)
-nuts and seeds (walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds)
-peanut butter
-jelly (I do try to buy only the all-natural kind without high-fructose corn syrup)
-cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss, provolone, Parmesan)
-beans (black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, lentils)
-bread (the "healthiest" whole-wheat bread I can buy that isn't too expensive)
-ice cream ( gotta have your treats)
-corn tortillas
-frozen vegetables (usually broccoli or beans)
-olive oil
-coconut oil
-maple syrup
-gluten-free flour blend 
-corn chips (occasionally)
-tomato sauce (I try to buy the least processed kind without high fructose corn syrup)
-gluten free flour blend

I don't buy all these things every week..but these are pretty much the only things I ever do buy.  Occasionally I buy a treat like gluten-free cookies or potato chips...but that is usually only when we have a trip or a party or something.

So, that's what I is what we eat.   

3. Breakfast:

homemade Greek Yogurt (here is a great tutorial on making homemade Greek yogurt in your crockpot) with honey and nuts/seeds/chocolate chips (I do nuts/seeds...the kids do chocolate chips).
peanut butter toast or buttered toast

4. Lunch:

peanut butter sandwich
frozen veggies
grilled cheese
cheese/bean quesadillas (made with corn tortillas)
cheese/bean nachos (with corn chips...this is more a treat" lunch)
corn chips with homemade guacamole or hummus or salsa (occasionally..more of a "treat" thing)

5. Snacks:

homemade muffins or cookies (occasionally)
-healthy chocolate bars (made with coconut oil, honey and cocoa)

6. Dinner:

Crock pot macaroni and cheese (made with gluten free pasta)/ vegetables
Homemade pizza (with gluten-free crust)/ vegetables
Roast chicken/baked potato/vegetable
Chicken/rice/vegetable curry/stir-fry
man-pleasing chicken/mashed potato/vegetable
baked fish/roasted potato/vegetable
curried ground beef/rice/vegetable
gluten-free pasta/meatballs/vegetable
beef/bean tacos/vegetable
curried sausage/rice/vegetable
soup (made with homemade stock)
gluten free pancakes/eggs/fruit/vegetables
hamburgers/homemade "fries"/vegetables

7. My Cooking Style

I apologize for not having more recipes.  Most of the things I make, I don't actually use a recipe.  I just throw ingredients together. For example. for a curried stir-fry I just throw in spices like curry powder, ginger along with onions, garlic and olive oil.  For tacos I don't use a seasoning mix, I just brown ground beef or turkey and then throw in some beans, onions, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. For soup, I use homemade stock and then just throw in a veggies, pasta, meat, potatoes, rice, whatever strikes my fancy. 

I put onions, garlic, salt and olive oil in just about everything (why, yes..I am Italian). Sometimes I use mustard. Usually, it tastes pretty good.

For vegetables, I usually roast whatever vegetables I have.  This works for just about everything (with the exception of spinach and lettuce)...broccoli, green beans, zucchini, kale, collards, mustard green, asparagus, Brussels sprouts. eggplant, etc.  I just toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and whatever else I feel like and bake it in the over at 350-400 degrees (depending on how fast I want it to cook) for 10-30 minutes (greens take less time....things like broccoli, zucchini, eggplant take more like 30 minutes.)

I'm not a very precise cook so I can't be real precise in my instructions.  Sorry.

That's how we eat.  I'd love to hear about how YOU eat.  I'm always looking for new ideas.  It definitely feels like we get stuck eating the same things over and over again. 

(Since there are 7 headings and it's Friday...I'll call it 7 Quick Takes Friday and link up with Jen)

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  1. We eat mostly the same way. I always buy bananas too. And blueberries :)

  2. This is just how we eat too, except we have a little line item in the budget for a box of wine and a few beers each month.

    I buy so many bananas every time I go to the store that someone almost always asks me if I have a pet monkey at home.

  3. you could just do my grocery shopping for me!
    I buy almost the exact same things and we even eat a lot of the same meals.
    thank you for putting this together. I'm always looking for new ideas. we've never tried curry before. I will have to look into that.
    and I love your list of what homeschoolers do not need. I have no desire for a classroom either, I don't have anything educational on my walls and my boys are all way smarter than me!
    have a blessed day!


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