I started a tradition at Budget for Health by sharing various meals I’ve made and loved each month. This has been a fun post to write and it’s been a form of accountability because I want to lead by example when it comes to meal planning that is easy, budget friendly, and healthy. Be sure to check out what we ate in prior months.
Meals at home
Our grass-fed cow has been named Frank by friends who have enjoyed our share with us. We had steak twice this month and it was marvelous both times. We also grilled burgers with friends and made enough to have leftovers the next day and made homemade crockpot barbacoa again. Seriously, you need to make it if you haven’t yet.
Aldi usually has wild-caught salmon for a good deal so I keep a bag of individually-frozen 4oz filets in my freezer. They thaw in minutes when you run cold water over the packaging and only take 2-3 minutes per side to cook in a frying pan with some coconut oil. I mixed some black bean garlic sauce (Lee Kum Kee brand) with a little apricot preserves and we served it alongside roasted asparagus and beets.
Breakfast bowls & taco bowls
I shredded sweet potatoes in the food processor and fried them up with other veggies we had. As for the breakfast bowl; I mixed a little rice with ground meat seasoned with homemade taco seasoning then topped it with a fried egg and some avocado.
Stir fry with rotisserie chicken
I make the easiest crockpot rotisserie chicken, shred it, and keep it in the freezer for days when we need an easy and quick meal. I cooked veggies we had on hand (bok choy, various peppers, and broccoli) in sesame oil, fried a few eggs to mix with a little rice, and added the shredded chicken.
Pancakes & eggs
We’ve been using this recipe for homemade pancakes when we decide to make them. I skip the added sugar, use gluten free flour mix, and I add plain whey protein powder because I’ll make extra for Nora to enjoy. Most of the pancakes get blueberries but I always make a handful of chocolate chip pancakes because they’re so delicious with peanut butter on top.
We tried hot pot last month with some friends but we had it again with a friend who is from Beijing and apparently that’s where hot pot is famously known. This dinner was so fun because we got a history lesson and learned so much about our friends’ culture while enjoying the meal together. In the background is big pot of boiling broth and you eat the meal in stages: first meat (we had lamb and beef), then veggies, then noodles. I passed on the noodles because I was full by the time we finished the meat and veggies.
Dave loves Mexican and gets so geeked when I make this. It’s ridiculously easy and takes little time to put together.
Meals away from home
We made a spontaneous trip to Nashville to visit my sister and brother-in-law with my parents, sister, and grandma. Nora did so well in the car and we only stopped one time both ways (a 9-hour drive!). We did a big grocery trip when we got there so we wouldn’t be eating out the whole time. One dinner was homemade pizza with my mom’s crust recipe and another night we packed our own picnic to enjoy with some wine at Arrington vineyards.
We didn’t eat out much but we did try two new restaurants I hadn’t been to before. Mcdougalls near Vanderbilt’s campus had some great chicken tenders; they were so moist and tender. Warning: it’s not a healthy choice so go for the experience and avoid it if you don’t want fried everything. We went to Loveless Cafe for breakfast and I got an omelette with all sorts of veggies and their homemade biscuits topped with homemade fruit preserves.
Our awesome neighbors were on Nora duty so Dave and I could sneak away for a date. We tried out a Korean restaurant and loved it! I got bibimpop (rice, lots of veggies, steak) and Dave got something similar to sweet and sour pork. We got a handful of sides that came with our meal like kimchi, marinated cucumbers and asparagus, edamame, and spicy eggplant.
This restaurant is a great way to get a healthy meal with guaranteed leftovers. Since the fajita veggies and guac are included at Qdoba, I make sure my burrito bowl is loaded!
We attended a spaghetti dinner fund raiser for a friend’s husband who is going through chemo. I can’t remember the last time we ate pasta but it was for a good cause. To avoid a blood sugar roller coaster I passed on the dinner roll, grabbed a salad, and only took a little pasta and corn which was shared with Nora.
What are some fall dishes you’re looking forward to making?