I hope everyone is staying cool and enjoying the last of the summer. It sure has gone by fast.
In getting ready for the school year I thought it would helpful to start offering a Make Ahead Action Plan (MAAP) and sample grocery list with my weekly menu plans. This way if you choose to start preparing meals ahead of time you will be ready once the school year rolls around. I plan on fine tuning this method but here is a sample of what to expect in the weeks to come. I would love to hear your feedback.
Skinny Mom’s Kitchen Menu Plan for the Week of August 7th, 2011
Breakfast Sandwich ~ 295 Calories
- 100 calorie Thomas’ English Muffin
- 1 egg
- 1 slice sharp American Cheese
- 1 slice bacon
Oatmeal with pure maple syrup and brown sugar ~ 345 Calories
Buttermilk Wheat Pancakes with pure maple syrup ~ 304 calories
Baby Spinach Salad ~ 394 calories
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 2 ounces thinly sliced smoked turkey breast
- 1 Roma tomato, sliced
- ½ medium cucumber, sliced
- 1 tablespoon feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing
- 1 mini pita pocket
Chicken Caesar Salad ~ 312 calories
- 2 cups romaine lettuce
- 1 chicken breast, grilled
- 1 teaspoon parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoon Newman’s Own Caesar dressing
- 2 tablespoons croutons
Tuna Salad Wrap ~ 324 calories
- ½ can of tuna
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 slice sharp American cheese
- 1 Flatout Wrap
- ½ cup baby spinach
- Roma tomato slices
Egg Salad Wrap ~ 298 calories
Cheeseburger Wrap ~ 423 calories
Chicken Parmesan Wraps ~ 475 calories ** full recipe coming
Barbecue Turkey Burgers ~ 310 calories ** full recipe coming
Shrimp Fra Diavolo ~ 450 calories per serving
Tacos ~ 462 calories (3 tacos)
Linguini and Clam Sauce ~ 407 calories
1 cheese stick ~ 80 Calories
1 Chobani yogurt ~ 140 – 160 calories
1 medium banana ~ 110 calories
1 cup sliced strawberries ~ 49 calories
1 cup frozen berries ~ 70 calories
Cascadian Farms Organic chocolate chip granola bar ~ 140 calories
Skinny cow ice cream sandwich ~ 140 – 150 calories
Make Ahead Action Plan (MAAP)
- Make breakfast sandwiches, wrap in plastic wrap, and put in the freezer. To reheat take out of freezer and plastic wrap, wrap in a paper towel, and heat in microwave for 45 seconds or until warm.
- Pancakes can be made ahead of time, wrapped in portions of 3, and then placed in freezer bag. To reheat take out of freezer and plastic wrap and warm in microwave for 1 minute or until warm.
- All lunch salads can be put together and stored in the refrigerator.
- Tuna and egg salad can be made and stored in the refrigerator. Wraps, to prevent from getting soggy, should be made morning of.
- Fruit can be washed and trimmed.
- Meat for dinners can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator and/or frozen. If you are not going to use till end of the week I recommend freezing then just take out night before you will use.
- Sauce for the Shrimp Fra Diavolo can be made ahead of time. Shrimp should be added the night you serve to prevent them from overcooking.
- Clam sauce can be completely made ahead of time and frozen. Make linguini night you are serving.
Putting together meals ahead of time can be a huge time and sanity saver during the week. However, don’t completely overwhelm yourself trying to get an entire week’s worth of meals done in one day. Especially if you are just starting out with make ahead meals and freezer cooking. Do what you can because even with the smallest amount of preparations you will see big results.
Sample Grocery List
Once you have a menu plan put together then you must write (or type) your grocery list. Here is my grocery list from this past week. I already had some of the ingredients in my pantry so that cut down on what I had to buy.
This is just to give you an example of a format you can use. It is very basic and I am I working on something a little bit more advance but it gives you an idea.
I hope this is helpful as you put your own menu plans in place. Please feel free to share your own menu plans below along with any other menu planning tips you have.
Skinny Mom’s Kitchen participates in Menu Plan Monday hosted by The Organizing Junkie.