Meal Plan - May Recipes

Posted on May 08, 2019 by Jack McCann
Tags: MealPlans

Overall Goal

Our goals of setting up a meal plan were to:

  • Eat healthier & tastier
  • Spend less time cooking
  • Save money (eat out less often)

You can modify our schedule below, but keep in mind some of the key benefits of the plan are:

  • Focused prep time only once or twice a week
  • Making extra food to use in future weeks


Jump to the meal plan for each week:

  • Week 1 5/11 - Lemon olive chicken, roasted veggies, squash cashew taco, sweet Korean beef and more.
  • Week 2 5/18 - Pulled pork with avocado and egg, burger variations, oven fries, Thai pasta, egg and tortilla scramble, roasted Brussels sprouts and more
  • Week 3 5/25 - Betsy's deconstructed meatballs, egg bake, bacon and pea pasta, Jack's famous fried bread and cheese spread
  • Week 4 6/1 - Pizza night using Jack's fried bread, eggs Benedict, spaghetti, pizza potatoes, salad

Prep - Week 1

The key goals of the weekend are to:

  1. Make a double or triple batch of the Korean Beef Bowl using the Maitake mushrooms. Put half of this away for a future week
  2. If you want to save some mushrooms for later, you can dry them or saute' them in butter then freeze them
  3. Prep as much of the kids lunches and dinner veggies for the week as we can
  4. Prep the vegetarian taco dish
  5. Relax on Mothers day

Shopping List

Here is a link to an online shopping list

Or download this PDF.

Prep Veggies

Doing one or two prep sessions per week is a big time-saver

  • Consolidated prep work makes you faster
  • Less clean up and dishes per meal
  • Quick easy weekday meals and lunches

Don't try to peel or cut everything perfectly - the goal here is speedy prep.

Put everything away in large containers and then pull out for the recipes lunches or snacks during the week.

​For this week, wash and chop the following

For lunches and snacks we use

  • 2-3 cucumbers
  • 2-3 bell peppers
  • 1 lbs carrot
  • 2 pints of strawberries
  • 2 pints of cherry tomatoes (wash only)

For Korean beef:

  • 1 lbs broccoli florets (net)
  • 1 red bell pepper & 1 serrano pepper

For roasted veggie sides

  • 2 lbs carrot
  • 1-2 lb of broccoli
  • 1lb Brussel sprouts
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • Other veggies you want to add to the "Roasted Vegetables" dish

For squash cashew taco prep

  • Peel and chop 1 butternut squash
  • Chop the kale
  • Toast the cumin and make the sauce
  • Toast the pumpkin seeds (plus extras for snacks!)

See the full recipe for details.

Recipes - Week 1

Korean Beef Bowl

We will make this for Sunday dinner so we have leftovers for the week.

We also want to freeze some extras for a future week, so we're going to make a double or triple batch.

We like to use our Instant Pot to make rice, but will freeze the extras without rice and make the rice fresh in a week or two.

Note: We skip the serrano pepper in this recipe - our kids don't like it spicy. Also, if tomatillos are unavailable, substitute a red bell pepper.

Click the image to see the recipe

Lemon Olive Chicken

This was one of our first newsletter recipes. We just loved how tasty the potatoes turned out when they roasted under our heritage chicken.

We will use six thighs and about 3lbs of potatoes to get a few leftover meals.

When saving for leftovers, we try to cut the meat off the bone, chop it, and package in lunch-sized portions for quick meals.

Mushroom Risotto

This makes great leftovers and is one of the recipes where we like having our pre-made broth on hand.

We'll use the black poplar mushrooms for this. I included two recipes figuring if you prep an extra squash on the weekend, you can make the recipe with the squash variation.

Remember to click the images to get the recipes

Cashew and Butternut Squash Taco

Hopefully you were able to do the prep work on this ahead of time, but it is still fairly quick to make from scratch on a weeknight.

Click image to view the recipie

Ground Beef and Veggies

This is for that weeknight when you realize: 'shoot there is nothing for dinner and all our meat is frozen.'

Or frankly: 'I don't feel like cooking.'

I was able to make this in about 40 minutes, including filming for the video and making way more veggies than needed. I am sure you could get it down to 30 if you were focused or had prepped the veggies on the weekend as suggested above.

It is important to realize that cooking doesn't have to be a fancy meal. If you have good ingredients, just serve them together and it will be healthy and tasty!

Ingredients used:

  • Carrot, Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli
  • Pine nuts
  • Butter, Coconut oil
  • Ground beef
  • Paprika, garlic & onion powder, thyme
  • Sea salt

We made this meal starting with the beef frozen - the first thing I did was to get it thawing fast and then prepped the veggies:

Then I cooked everything and made tons of extra veggies. Check out this video for some tips:

Pork Chops 

We are going to cook our coppa steak pork chops this week to serve with our leftover fried veggies.

Honestly just searing them in a pan or on a grill with some salt makes this a fast easy weeknight meal.

Here is a link to our overall pork chop cooking tips and I linked to some recipes below (or to the right).

I think we probably will plan ahead enough to do the herb marinated chops in the recipe, I'll just pull the chops out of the freezer the night before and marinate them overnight in the fridge while they thaw.


I love that our kids eat a healthy lunch everyday.

If a lunch isn't finished when they come home, they know that everything has to be eaten up before we'll make a snacks or serve dinner. That way we ensure they get enough veggies and healthy fats each day.

The key things to pulling this off are:

  1. Prepping the food ahead of time (see above)
  2. The right gear (see article)
  3. Quality ingredients
  4. Consistency

The other benefit of this is that once the routine is in place and the kids' expectations change to just eating simple foods, meals aren't as much of a challenge. If everyone has the expectation that meals are simple (plain produce and simple proteins/fats) then it is OK for dinner to be simple and healthy too.

I get it might take a while to wean the kids (or your spouse, in Betsy's case) off of having so much sugar and refined/processed foods, but after a month of consistently healthy food, you'll find mealtime is easier and a plate of veggies and deli meats make a great lunch.

Going zero sugar for a period is a LOT easier than trying to 'eat less'... trust me.

I really enjoy having all of the gear listed in this article. The silicone bags are the best! They are so easy to clean in the dishwasher and I love not having all the plastic bags!

Week 2

Prep - Week 2

Week 2 prep is a bit more than last week, but it will make the weekday meals super easy

The key goals of the weekend are to:

  1. Make a triple batch of our favorite peanut pasta for a meal and leftovers in the future
  2. Prep veggies for lunches and sides
  3. Make a meal of burgers and fries with some extra fries
  4. Make the pulled pork, rice and bean dish

If you can't do all of this over the weekend, I'd recommend dropping #4 as that can be made during the week fairly easily.

Shopping List

Here is the link to this week's shopping list.

Feel free to copy/edit for your own use.

Collect Spruce Tips Now

NOW is the time to collect spruce tips.

Use them as a garnish, as part of any salad, in place of rosemary (use in the Lemon Olive Chicken recipe above)

You also can make spruce tip soda or... yeah... just add vodka.

See video:

Recipes - Week 2

Burger Variations

It's tough to choose a favorite variation ... this can be a good recipe to make for a group so you can make a couple batches with different additions! We like to eat these burgers with our oven fries and aioli as well as any salad or green vegetable on the side.

(remember to click images to get to the recipes)

Thai Peanut Pasta with Ground Pork

This recipe has been a staple in our family ever since we started cooking. It takes minimal extra work to make a big batch and the left-overs are delicious, so we'll make a triple batch and have one dinner plus lots of lunches!

Note: this is also a great dish with chicken, tofu, or vegetables; you can use whatever you have on hand if you don't have (or don't eat) ground pork.

(remember to click images to get to the recipes)

Pulled Pork with Rice and Beans

We slow cooked a pork shoulder roast for this recipe; this just involves starting the crock pot in the morning and taking the meat out just before dinner. You could skip this step by using our pre-cooked pulled pork, available in June!

Note: if you do not eat pork, shred our Chicken Drumsticks Sous Vide for this recipe - it's a perfect alternative!

(remember to click images to get to the recipes)

Egg and Tortilla Chip Scramble

This is our "we have neither time nor energy to cook tonight" recipe for the week. It is a fun and versatile twist on scrambled eggs that we'll often use as a breakfast, lunch, or dinner meal when we're in a pinch. Remember, cooking at home doesn't have to mean loads of work!

Brats and Brussels

Warm weather is here - time for grilling! Put your favorite TC Farm brats or hot dogs on the grill, make the brussels sprouts on the stove, and use left over aioli from your burger/fries night for a dip.

Week 3

Prep - Week 3

This week's prep is pretty easy now that we've got a bit of food built up from last week:

The key goals of the weekend are to:

  1. Make a double or triple batch of Betsy's amazing deconstructed meatballs
  2. Prep veggies for lunches and sides
  3. Make the egg and brat bake dish

If you can't do all of this over the weekend, I'd recommend dropping #3 as that can be made during the week fairly easily.

Shopping List

Here is the link to this week's shopping list

Recipes - Week 3 

Deconstructed Meatballs

This dish is great with ground pork, chicken, or beef. It is excellent for entertaining on the weekend or for a weeknight meal!

(remember to click images to get to the recipes)

Egg Bake

This is a great dish, use breakfast sausages, the rosemary brats or any of your favorite sausages in the dish. Perfect for making over the weekend to have lunches ready for the week.

Bacon and Pea Pasta

This is a great dish featuring our sugar free herb bacon. It brings us back to when we first tasted that style of bacon visiting a small organic farm in Bend, OR. The owner there made his own bacon based on the style he remembered growing up in the Netherlands. If you haven't, be sure to try our Euro style herb bacon. Currently available at Seward Coop and online directly from us.

Remember according to this 109 year old woman, bacon is part of the secret to a good long life.

(Remember to click image to view recipe)

Jack's Famous Fried Bread

Jack perfected this bread when Betsy was getting her master's at Northwestern in Chicago. He refused to write down a recipe much to the chagrin of the more disciplined Betsy and our beloved roommate Alicia.

Fortunately Alicia won out and documented this recipe for everyone to now enjoy a decade later.

We will make this on Friday for a fantastic cheese, deli meat and olive spread... and then the extras will be used the following day for pizza (in week 4's recipes).

(Click the image above to view recipe)

Leftovers & Repeats

Here is where our previous planning really worked out well for us! We will pull out some of the Korean Beef bowl from week 1 and also make up some more of the random roasted veggies and ground beef the kids loved a couple of weeks ago too.

With the nicer weather, we're also roasting veggies and grilling brats -- but with the busy week, I suspect we'll just pan fry the brats to save time.

If you haven't already made these, check out the info in Week 1 above.

Comments? Ideas? Requests?

We would really like to hear your comments and ideas on how to make this more useful for you.

  • What part of cooking is frustrating for you?
  • What kind of food should we incorporate next?
  • Any of your favorite recipes you'd like to share with the group?

Comment below or shoot us an email

-Jack & Betsy

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