Since deciding last Tuesday, sort of on a whim, to try being grain-free for a month, I’ve been fumbling in the dark as far as what to cook.
Basically I’ve been eating a lot of vegetables and fruits, some cheese (like feta or parmesan on my salads), and grilled chicken.
Well in just five days, we blew thru almost $125 worth of produce and chicken from Costco. Oops! I’m thinking this grain-free thing might be a bit more expensive than the carby ways of yore, but I’ll fill you in as I figure it out.
I finally sat down today to make a detailed menu plan for the week, including breakfast, lunch and snacks (as well as dinner, of course).
Here’s what we’ll be hopefully eating this week. And note that since I’m not ready to turn grain-free cooking into a full-time profession, I’m sticking to simple 30-minute or less type dinners. Each week, I’ll experiment with one new recipe – which this will be these crackers from Elana’s Pantry.
:: 3x Fruit smoothies (like my strawberry banana smoothie – hold the oatmeal; or my orange creamsicle smoothie) with a handful of spinach tossed in for good measure (I can’t quite stomach green smoothies yet, so I’m taking baby steps)
:: 2x 2-Egg & Veggie Omelettes, cooked in coconut oil
:: 2x Quinoa “cereal” (my friend Anne shared this recipe – and told me it lasts for several days, so my plan is to have this Friday and again on Saturday for breakfast)
3 tbsp chia seeds
1/3 cup dry quinoa
1 cup almond milk (add more if needed)
1 tsp vanilla
stevia to taste
1 chopped banana
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 tbsp cacao nibs
1 tbsp goji berries
Mix the chia seeds, quinoa flakes, almond milk, stevia if using, and vanilla in a bowl and set in the fridge overnight. Add more almond milk in the morning if it’s too thick or pasty.
Top with fruit and nibs, and enjoy!
:: 4x Huge salads with avocados, hard boiled eggs, feta cheese, steamed salmon, or grilled chicken. Lots of fresh veggies, olive oil, red wine vinegar and a smattering of walnuts
:: 3x Left-overs “stir-fried” up with a big batch of quinoa and any veggies I have in the fridge
:: raw or roasted nuts
:: fresh strawberries & blueberries
:: carrots & hummus
:: apples (with peanut butter for an extra pick-me-up)
:: Spaghetti (Squash) & Meatballs, big green salad (If you don’t know how to cook spaghetti squash, here’s a great tutorial – just ignore the butter & garlic part at the end)
:: Grain Free Burrito Bowl, ‘cuz I can’t live without Mexican!
:: Asian Turkey Burgers with mashed sweet potatoes and pickled vegetables
:: Cauliflower Pizza (Thursdays are pizza night and that’s sacred in our house!) topped with tons of veggies and mozzarella cheese
:: Unstuffed Cabbage, served over mashed cauliflower
:: Lemon chicken, roasted potatoes (for my kids & guests), tabouleh made with “cauliflower rice”, homemade hummus, cilantro pesto, grain-free crackers for dipping
Grain-Free Menu Plan Shopping List
If you are interested in replicating this menu plan, I’ve put together a comprehensive shopping list. You probably already have a lot of these ingredients on hand, so just cross those off the list.
Shopping list based on feeding 2-3 people
(Increase quantities as necessary for your family)
Bananas – at least 7
Blueberries – fresh or frozen (at least a pint’s worth)
Strawberries – fresh or frozen (at least two pint’s worth)
Oranges – at least 6
Apples – enough for snacking
Mango – fresh or frozen
Pineapple – fresh or frozen
Lemons (or lemon juice)
Mixed Greens (I always give the big container at organic mixed greens Costco)
Fresh spinach (I always get the big container of organic spinach at Costco)
Cauliflower – at least 2-3 large heads, fresh
Broccoli – fresh or frozen
Spaghetti Squash – at least 1 large one
Cilantro – 2 large heads
Yellow or White Onions – at least 5
Green Cabbage – 1 large head
Tomatoes – for flavor, I like the grape tomatoes at Costco
Dairy & Eggs
Eggs – at least 1 dozen
Hummus (Sabra brand is definitely gluten-free, and probably others are as well)
Meat & Chicken
Chicken breasts – at least 4 (grill these up at the beginning of the week, and then put them away in your fridge to slice up for salads)
Ground beef – at least 2 pounds
Ground turkey – 1 pound
Roaster Chicken (whole chicken)
Macadamia nuts (1/2 cup worth)
Almonds, roasted or raw, and walnuts for snacking and salads
Pumpkin Seeds (1/4 cup worth)
Jarred Marinara Sauce (read your labels), or make your own LINK
Almond Flour (I got mine from Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program ; with my 20% off for having 5 active subscriptions it worked out to be $7.65/16 oz – $4 cheaper than at Vitacost)
Hemp Seeds (I bought them from Vitacost – they don’t need a hechsher)
Golden Flaxmeal (I got a huge bag at Costco, but you can get a one pound bag at Vitacost on sale for $3.31)
Chia Seeds (I got a huge bag at Costco)
Quinoa (Again, Costco)
Almond Milk (I bought them from Vitacost, but Trader Joe’s has their brand for under $2/carton and there are often coupons for almond milk)
Cacao Nibs (I bought from Vitacost)
Dried Beans (pinto, black, kidney or white – buy them early in the week, so you can cook them in advance in your slow cooker)
Dried Chickpeas (ditto cooking them in your slow cooker)
Crushed Tomatoes, 1 large can (2 if you’ll be making salsa)
Tomato Paste, 1 small can (you’ll have leftovers)
Spices, Oils & Condiments
Honey (Dr. Davis says no to honey, so you can sub in stevia)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Red Wine Vinegar
Chicken Broth (I usually use Osem, but I’ll have to read the label before doing that)
So, tell me: What’s on your menu plan this week?