Most of my previous meal plan suggestions have started with a “Sunday” roast and then stretched the meat and other leftovers over the rest of the week.
This one is a little different, in that it’s pretty meat-lite, and doesn’t start with a roast at all! In fact, this menu is extremely hot-weather friendly; if you have a grill, you never need to turn on your oven at all. Enjoy!
Day 1: Greek Salad with Grilled Shrimp
A traditional Greek salad doesn’t have much more than cucumber, tomatoes, feta, and black olives (no lettuce!). We’ll add roasted red peppers (packed in water are best for the waistline) and fresh dill that we’ll use in another recipe, but you can also use any or all of the following in addition: pepperocini peppers, lettuce, onion, and croutons. I like to use reduced fat feta, because it’s an excellent calorie bargain, and the taste is very similar to full-fat when mixed in the salad.
Make a vinaigrette with two parts red wine vinegar, one part olive oil, and a little salt and pepper. I also sometimes add oregano, and even minced preserved lemon and garlic are nice. Don’t dress the salad until you’re ready to eat.
Heat your grill, grill pan, or regular saute pan over high heat. Rinse your shrimp and pat them dry, then spray lightly with spray oil and sprinkle with salt. Cook just until they’re opaque—the more you cook them, the chewier they get. A pound of shrimp will feed 3–4 people; or you can skip it entirely. Add some chickpeas or white beans for protein if you forgo the shrimp.
Toss the salad with the dressing and put the shrimp on top. You can serve this with (or in!) warm, whole-wheat pita breads if you choose.
Save the remaining roasted red peppers, dill, and feta for later in the week.
Day 2: Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken
Put a pound and a half of boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs (thighs are generally the cheaper choice) in your crock pot with 1 celery stalk, 1/2 an onion diced, 1 clove of garlic and 16 oz of chicken broth, and poach the chicken on high for 4 hours or on low for 6–8 hours. Remove the chicken and keep the broth for later in the week. Shred chicken and return to the crock pot with 1/2 a cup of Buffalo wing sauce and cook until heated through.
You can serve this on buns with blue cheese and coleslaw, or put it on a salad with blue cheese dressing. Either way, it’s pretty awesome.
[NOTE: If you are vegetarian or want an even meat-lighter week, skip this recipe and make a more traditional vegetarian pizza on day 4.]
Day 3: Spinach Feta Pie
Loving this crustless spinach feta pie from Skinnytaste. Use the dill and feta leftover from day 1. I like to serve this with a big fruit salad. Delicious!
P.S. Frozen organic spinach is one of the cheapest organic foods you can buy, with great nutritional value for your buck. Free-range eggs can be expensive, but still less expensive than meats, so this is also a budget-friendly choice!
You can make this pie gluten-free by substituting gluten-free flour for the all purpose in the recipe.
Day 4: Flatout Buffalo Chicken Pizzas
Have you tried Flatout wraps? I really like them. I get the light wheat variety, and they’re awesome for making lunch wraps, but they also do pizzas really well! You can substitute burrito-size tortillas if you can’t find Flatout wraps in your area—or if you prefer an organic choice, as Flatout wraps are not organic. Or, swap a gluten-free tortilla or wrap.
Assemble your pizzas with a little Buffalo sauce as the base, leftover shredded chicken, shredded carrots and cabbage, and a mixture of mozzarella and blue cheese. You can cook these in your broiler or on the grill! Check out the Flatout website for more ideas for pizzas on the grill.
[NOTE: If you skipped the chicken on day 2, make a more traditional pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and whatever veggies your family likes: mushrooms, olives, artichoke hearts, peppers, onions, etc.]
Day 5: Clean-out-the-Fridge Mexican Soup
I really like this Mexican-inspired version of the classic Weight Watchers veggie soup. Use the leftover roasted red peppers from day 1, and the chicken broth from day 2, and throw in whatever veggies you have in your fridge. Be sure to keep the tomatillos, chiles in adobo, and the poblano pepper (and jalapeno, if using) to keep the Mexican flavor of the soup, but all the other veggies are fair game.
I like to serve this with chunks of avocado for garnish, but you can also add black beans, corn, cheese, sour cream—whatever your heart desires. Serve with cheese quesadillas or tortilla chips.