Wow. Busy weekend…soon to become a busy week.
If you’re like us, all that busyness can be a recipe for meal-planning disasters.
So today, we’re sharing another (better) option. When it comes to meal planning, this is our Recipe for an Easy Week.
3 animal proteins, at least 2 lbs each (serving size = 2 people);
1 soup or broth;
Loads of veggies;
Berries, 85% dark chocolate & full-fat coconut milk or coconut butter;
Stand-bys, snacks & staples
Details & Instructions
This week, we’ll be going with these 3 animal proteins: 100% grass-fed ground beef, organic chicken breasts, fresh fish.
Don’t like our choices? You could totally switch it up. The idea is to pick 3 proteins needing minimal prep.
We don’t buy all 3 at once. Rather, we’ll buy and cook ground beef (protein #1) and eat that for 2 days; then buy and cook whole chicken breasts (protein #2) and eat that for 2 days; then buy and cook fresh fish (protein #3) and eat that for 2 days.
Don’t like eating the same thing 2 days in a row? You can always buy the first 2 proteins at once, then alternate back and forth.
This week, we’ll be doing a super-simple apple-carrot-ginger soup.
This is actually my favorite soup “we” make, mainly because Randy makes it (giving me a glorious break from kitchen duty). Want the recipe? Check with him—I just eat it, say Mmmm and don’t ask questions.
Another solid option is bone broth (very easy and great for eating throughout the week). We generally don’t use a recipe for this, but you can find a link to one in our Nom Nom Paleo post here.
These are for eating as is, sautéing and roasting.
We have some favorites but usually just go with whatever’s local and fresh.
Organic is ideal…unless it’s from remote locations, in which case best to just pick something else. (Nutrient value drops dramatically with early picking, long transit times, long sitting times, etc.). Farmer’s markets are an excellent option if you can get yourself to one.
This week, we’ve stocked up on fresh lettuce, peppers, heirloom tomatoes and red onions for eating raw; cremini mushrooms and beets for roasting with cumin and coconut oil; and collard greens for sautéing in coconut oil or ghee with garlic and ginger.
4. Berries, dark chocolate & full-fat coconut milk or coconut butter
These make for a perfect after-dinner treat. You could also add a spoonful of almond butter (like Randy) and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
We may end up making avocado-banana-chocolate cookies too (so quick and easy; find the recipe link in our Paleo Leap post here).
5. Stand-bys, snacks & staples
We always make sure to have some “basics” on hand. Hard-boiled, pasture-raised eggs are a must. So are a least one variety of nut. (Check out Mark Sisson’s Definitive Guide to Nuts here.)
This week, we also bought avocados, apples, smoked salmon, EPIC bars and a butternut squash for quick roasting and mashing (either for the paleo “oatmeal” featured in our Primal Comfort post here, or a more savory version we’ll make up as we go along).
We should probably throw some “pantry staples” in this section too.
Let’s just say, for starters, we are never without: coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut butter, Kerrygold butter, ghee, extra-virgin olive oil, spices, sea salt, fresh ginger, fresh garlic and almond butter.
For a more extensive list of items to stock, see Mark’s Top 50 Essential Paleo Pantry Foods here.
There you have it. A Recipe for an Easy Week.
(***See below for a Starter Shopping List…and Bonus Lunchtime pics!)
Have any easy-week recipes or strategies to share? Please post them in the comments!
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Starter Shopping List (for 2 people)
2 lbs ground meat (grass-fed beef/bison/lamb)
2 whole organic chicken breasts (if they’re small, get 4)
2 lbs fresh fish (look for what’s small, fresh, local)
Marrow bones, oxtails or bone-in meat of choice for bone broth (pasture-raised, local and/or organic; stay away from conventionally raised meat—especially for bone broth)
2 lbs carrots (organic; for carrot soup)
5 large beets (organic)
1-2 heads of lettuce (organic)
Collards (organic; can sub kale or other greens)
2-3 bell peppers (organic or at least local)
4 tomatos (organic or at least local, not remote)
1 large cucumber (organic or at least local)
1 large red onion (organic)
1 large white/yellow onion (organic)
1 lb mushrooms (organic)
4 avocados (conventional is fine)
1 butternut squash (organic; can sub other squash of choice..or go with yams or sweet potatoes)
Large piece of raw ginger (organic)
Head of raw garlic (organic)
4 apples (organic)
2-3 containers of berries (organic, not remote)
Almond butter (pick one without sugar or other additives, organic if possible)
85% cacao dark chocolate (Green & Blacks is good; see our post for others)
2 doz. pasture-raised eggs
1 pkg. smoked salmon (Whole Foods brand is sugar-free)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Coconut oil (organic)
Coconut butter (organic)
Coconut milk (organic, full-fat, no sugar)
Apple-cider vinegar (add a capful to bone broth, if making)
Spices (cumin, cinnamon, garlic salt, seat salt, pepper, etc.)
Oh, as you can see from the Bonus pics below, we buy a few extras “on-site” to have with our packed lunches.
Fage full-fat Greek yoghurt is a big one (“primal” but not strictly “paleo”).
Full-fat, high-quality yoghurt is okay for some people—but not for others. It’s not okay (at least temporarily) for most people doing the Phase 2 “elimination diet” part of Alchemist Eating.
GT’s Kombucha is another lunchtime staple.
Some brands and flavors have far more sugar than others (and some are alcohol-free)—check your labels. GT’s has fairly low sugar content, but the amount varies depending on flavor (and their regular line does contain a trace amount of alcohol). The Gingerade one shown here is my favorite has 4 grams of sugar per bottle (as a natural result of the tea fermentation process used to make kombucha—not from adding extra sugars or juices afterwards).
Many other flavors are decent but add fruit juice, which I avoid. Randy’s favorite is Gingerberry, in GT’s alcohol-free “Enlightened Synergy” line.