A Literary Feast -- disclosure policy

A Literary Feast -- weekly meal planWe are on a roll! Week three, man. If it takes 18 days to make or break a habit, will it take that many weeks if you only plan once a week? Hmmm… We’ve got a few months to go, then, before I can really celebrate, so keep up your kind words and share with your friends! Suggestions? Comment below. I want to give you what will be most helpful to YOU. I’m working on a few meal planning tools that I hope you’ll love, and should have that info for you by the end of the week, yay!

I made a Costco trip today. What is it about that store that I can’t leave without spending $300? It’s my magic number. Whether I’m there for a lot or a little, it always totals $300. Good thing it’s a 30 min drive away or I’d have to work a lot more hours. I freakin’ love Costco, though! Maybe I should write about my Costco techniques. Besides spending $300. You probably already know that one.

You know– just three weeks into this, and I’m already seeing a definite perk: although I’m giving you a pretty full meal plan, I haven’t had to use it all every week because of extra leftovers, etc. So, I’m building up a stockpile of meals ready to shop for (or already have the ingredients for) without putting any extra thought into it. Bonus!¬†Anyway, let’s plan!

Sunday: Three Bean Salad. Sensing a theme? I do love my salads, and rarely make a “green” salad these days. The greens wilt so quickly, and it’s best if you make it immediately before serving. These bean and/or grain salads have most of the same ingredients, plus added protein. And you can make them ahead of time. Convinced yet? This recipe is pretty close to what I would make, although I like to add green beans as well. Add or subtract ingredients of your choice, of course!

Monday: Slow Cooker Pulled Pork. This is a recipe that was suggested to me for the blog by a friend. Oh, boy, is it good! I did use my crockpot for this, but I’m sure it would turn out wonderfully in the Instant Pot, too. I didn’t figure out the cooking time conversion, and the crockpot just worked better for my schedule that day. I prepped this the night before, so the pork marinated in the dry rub all night. Amazing! I’ll repost the barbecue sauce from last week, too, because it would go great with this.

Terry Blackstone’s famous BBQ sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 T + 1 t Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 t Liquid Smoke (mesquite)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 t Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper

Blend together and increase any of the ingredients to taste.

Tuesday: Holy Yum Chicken. It’s pretty yum, if you like mustard. The recipe is adamant that you use an 8×8 pan for best results, FYI. Bonus: that’s the perfect size pan for brownies.

Wednesday: Mushroom Risotto. This is decidedly a pressure cooker recipe, unless you like stirring a pot for 1.5 million hours, like I did for the picture on the right in my review of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. Cooked in a pressure cooker, it’s completely hands-off, and sooooooo good! (I left out the fennel, because I can’t stand it.)

Thursday: Cheeseburger Gnocchi. Sounds really weird, but it ends up tasting like a cheeseburger with a buttery, toasted bun… especially if you add in the pickles! It’s a one-skillet meal and very easy prep.

Friday: Red Curry Lentils. One of my favorite meals. It makes enough to feed an army, and I’ve often given it with some pre-packaged naan to a new mom. Freezer-friendly, too. I think I use more of the tomato puree (pure puree, not sauce) than the recipe states, and forget about that coconut milk. Go for the coconut cream¬†and use the whole can. You’ll thank me. If your crockpot is the same size as mine (whatever size that is… standard red Rival?) it will fill it to. the. brim.

Saturday: Leftovers. Because you’ll have them. See above meal. Take it easy today and read a book or binge some Netflix or something. You earned it with all of your home cooking this week. Yay, you!

Dessert! Chocolate pudding, as seen in Friday Night Dinner #4: Pudding, Pate, and …(?). I’m in a chocolate mood this week. I haven’t yet tried any desserts in the Instant Pot, so I think I’ll start with this Guilt-Free Chocolate Pudding Cake. Ooh, la la. If they say it’s guilt-free, it must be true, right?

A Literary Feast -- chocolate pudding

Have a great week, and be on the lookout for my meal-planning freebies!

Your meal-planning diva,