the week in food: fall edition

With the start of fall* this week, I’m craving routine. I thought I would bring back my weekly menus after taking a break from even creating them this summer. This week’s menu has two key components:

  1. It’s Whole30 compliant. I’ve found that I really struggle with getting back in my groove after travel. Since we tend to be away from home often, this is becoming a problem. I’m going to try to eat extremely clean (Whole30 guidelines) for three to five days post travel and hope that helps me transition from vacation to everyday eating.
  2. 90% of the menu was made before we left for San Francisco. It never fails that when we get home we continue eating out because there’s no food in the house and nothing is defrosted. With a little planning the week before, and a little extra effort, I have all the meals for the week waiting for us in the freezer.

This is a short week because we’ll be traveling Saturday and Sunday. Also, because it’s all make ahead, there’s very little variety. For breakfast and lunch I picked meals I know I love so I won’t get tired of them on the fourth and fifth days. For dinner, I am trying something new so fingers crossed we like it.

I have a quick shopping list on my phone for the fresh produce I need; in a perfect world we’ll stop at the store on the way home from the airport. There is also a (very) short to do list waiting for me in the kitchen with a list of the remaining prep work. Yes, I’m a freak. But I’m determined to lose my post-wedding weight and need to be this organized to keep myself on track!

Breakfast: southwest frittata or chorizo casserole. Bake, cool, slice (six-ish servings per), wrap each individually in foil, and store in the freezer.  I’ll add a few slices of avocado and a mug of tea.

Lunch: chocolate chili. This freezes so well it’s always my go to when I want a few meals in the freezer. I store individual servings so I don’t have an excuse if I forget to defrost before leaving for work. I eat it over baby spinach (pour the hot chili over the spinach to wilt it just a bit – so good!) and with a small side salad.

Dinner: pizza soup + pumpkin and butternut squash stew (not together). Pizza soup is easy, delicious, and uses freezer and cupboard staples so can always be thrown together. I’m trying a new stew this week because I wanted to find a clean freezer to crockpot meal. I’m hoping this is a good one. It took me maybe 15 minutes to throw together and now it’s sitting in my freezer waiting to be dumped into the crockpot on Tuesday morning. I’l add a side of sautéed spinach to the stew; pizza soup is a stand alone meal. IMG_3207_edited-1I have high hopes for this new-to-me method of meal prep. If it turns out, I’m going to be paleo-fying pretty much every freezer crockpot meal I can find.

Tip of the week: I made a butternut squash soup once years ago. Cubing the squash was a mess and took forever. I’m not exactly sure where I went wrong, but I’ve avoided it since. Before prepping the stew I googled tips; I followed these instructions and it was a breeze.

*While she was visiting recently, I converted my sister to believing that fall starts the day after Labor Day. Now to convert the rest of the six billion people on earth that an arbitrary day in late September is silly. However, I still get to be giddy over the fact that our anniversary is the official globally-recognized first day of fall.

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