Preston and I both had today off and were swamped yesterday. And we have a super short week. So that whole meal planning thing kind of fell by the wayside. We stopped by the grocery store today, flung a bunch of random stuff in the cart, and said we’ll see if that works for us this week!
But he had a great idea:I should make a standard go-to grocery list for weeks when we just don’t feel like doing a real meal plan. Just the basic supplies that will make a few easy meals. And I loved that idea!
I do feel like I already have a few default items I buy on weeks like that anyway. And it usually works out. But I wanted to write a more thoughtful plan. So I made a little menu along with the grocery list so you can see how it plays out! So here it is!
This list is very Trader Joe’s-inspired because that’s where we typically do our shopping. But you should be able to adapt this to any major grocery store. And this is designed for two people, so make sure you multiply ingredients if you’re serving more!
I’m only including six dinners since we often go out to eat or get takeout about once in a week. If we don’t, then we do tend to have enough food in our fridge and pantry to throw something random together. The first six items listed below are our dinners for the week.
- Veggie burgers + sweet potato fries
- Frozen cauliflower pizza + salad
- Rice + fish (fish for me, chicken for Preston. Hopefully you and your partner aren’t as high-maintenance as us.) + salad
- Stuffed bell peppers
- Tofurkey sausage + gnocchi + salad
- Roasted sweet potatoes + vegetarian chili
- Breakfasts: yogurt for Preston, smoothies for me
- Lunches: something store-bought and already prepared for Preston, falafal w/greens and tzatziki in pita for me
THE GROCERY LIST:
- Frozen veggie burgers
- 1 large + 2 medium sweet potatoes
- Frozen cauliflower pizza
- Bag of romaine hearts
- Box of microwaveable brown rice packets
- Protein of your choice for that third menu item (or just have veggie burgers again to keep it easy!)
- Jar of sauce for the third menu item if you so choose
- 3 bell peppers
- 2 onions
- Jar of sauce for third dish and bell peppers
- Frozen or boxed gnocchi
- Can of vegetarian chili
- Individual yogurts – for as many days as you need them
- 2 bags frozen fruit
- Almond milk
- Store-bought lunches
- Frozen falafel
- Spring green mix
- Tzatziki sauce
- Whole wheat pitas
A TINY BIT OF PREP:
Below I’ve written the “recipes” but here are a few tips before we get to that!.
- The romaine hearts are for simple side salads for us. Note that I’ve got three side salads listed. I almost always have jars of olives, sun dried tomatoes, pickles, bags of nuts, and an absurd number of salad dressings at home. So I don’t need to buy much for salads each week. But make sure you add to the list whatever you like in a salad!
- One of the bell peppers will be chopped up. A little will go in the stuffed peppers and the rest can be used on salads.
- The fruit and almond milk are for my smoothies. I always have protein powder at home, and those three ingredients are pretty much all I need in a smoothie.
- We like excessive onions, so I’ve listed two. “Normal” people might just need one. We’ll put them on top of salads, in the stuffed peppers, and on veggie burgers.
- The falafel is the only thing that could be hard to find at other grocery stores. If you can’t find it, you can just have veggie burgers in some pitas for lunch!
Obviously, these are all very quick meals that mostly just require assembly. But here are a few more details about each of them.
- Veggie burgers:So simple! Just heat up frozen veggie burgers, top with whatever you like, and roast some sweet potato wedges for fries. We always have to have some onion on burgers, and often lettuce (we should have enough romaine to spare a leaf or two!) I’ll season the sweet potatoes with a simple seasoning mix.
- Cauliflower pizza:Even simpler. We’re obsessed with TJ’s cauliflower pizza. Plus a simple salad.
- Rice dish:Microwave a packet of rice. Cook fish and chicken fairly plain and just pour a bit of sauce on top! I’d recommend picking a sauce that will also be good on top of stuffed bell peppers and save enough for that
- Bell peppers:Stuffed bell peppers can actually be so simple. Microwave a packet of rice. Tear up a couple Tofurkey sausages and stir in. Add onions and bell peppers if using. Stir in some leftover sauce from the previous meal if you’re doing that. If not, mix in whatever dried herbs and spices you like best. Stuff peppers and cook about 45 minutes to an hour at 375 degrees, or until the peppers are as soft as you like (I like mine very soft.)
- Tofurkey sausage + gnocchi:If you bought frozen gnocchi from TJ’s with the sauce included, this is super easy – just heat according to package directions, and then stir in sausage at the end until hot! If you bought boxed gnocchi, then just boil according to the package, make sure to pick up a jar of sauce, and stir in the sausage. Make your side salad.
- Sweet potatoes:在烤箱烤番薯,片打开,and top with canned chili! A sprinkle of cheese and scallions would be awesome too, but since we don’t need them for any other recipes this week I didn’t want to add them to the grocery list.
THAT’S IT! A pretty simple meal plan. And actually, there should be supplies for another night of veggie burgers if you wind up wanting a full 7 dinners.