Whole Foods in a Hurry: Week 2–The Menu

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Tricia‘s done such a good job outlining how to make a once-a-month-cooking menu there’s no way I need to repeat her here! I used many of her steps in creating my Whole Foods in a Hurry Menu.

Here’s what I took into consideration, though, that she doesn’t: I wanted as much as possible to be fresh and unprocessed. No cream of mushroom soup. No canned crescent rolls or jarred pasta sauces. (Not that Tricia uses a ton of recipes with these. Many of her menu recipes are whole-food happy!)

Once I got into it, I found the hardest part was picking meals that would not be too labor-intensive on your Big Day for cooking. I wanted to bake too many things. Have too many pots on the stove.

So you will probably notice there is a lot of ground beef and chicken in this menu. That’s for two reasons: it’s just easier to brown a LOT of ground beef at one time and split it up, and those are things that most people like. Like I mentioned before, I probably won’t be using grass-fed beef or free-range chicken unless I can find a great deal on it. But you’re welcome to do so!

So without further ado, here’s the menu I’ll be cooking at the end of the month! And I hope you’ll be right in there with me, cooking up a storm.

Breakfasts:
Apricot Breakfast Bars
Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake (Blueberry or Raspberry)
Christmas Eggs

Lunches:
Sloppy Joes
Make-Ahead Wraps
Pizza Pockets
Baked Chicken Burgers

Dinners:
Gnocchi with Sausage and Swiss Chard (Rachael Ray 365)
Taco Bake
Italian Cream Cheese Chicken Casserole
Sweet Aromatic Chicken
Tuscan Lemon Chicken
Pork BBQ with Lexington Red Sauce
Unstuffed Cabbage
Tilapia and Pepper Packets

Some of these recipes will have slight adjustments for ease in the kitchen, but that gives you the basic idea! And if you want to start shopping, here’s the grocery list I’ve compiled.

Stay tuned next week for how I’m going to budget this … dun-dun-duh!!

For the first post in the series, see Week 1–Why?

Added to 4 Moms Freezer Meal Recipe Link-Up at Raising Olives.

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25 thoughts on “Whole Foods in a Hurry: Week 2–The Menu

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog; hopefully we will meet next year at Blissdom. :-)

    I love this once-a-month concept. I can barely menu plan for a week at a time. (Okay, two days.)

  2. nice work on your list — I'm off to check out the other yummy-sounding recipes you've linked!

    thank you for including my links — I hope you enjoy the recipes!!

    happy cooking :)

  3. Ok, I was getting nervous. I saw the Pizza Pockets from HH (Laura) and those are on my OAMM contest menu. Whew….thankfully nothing else from your menu is on mine. I have spent a good chunk of time coming up with a menu and the Pizza Pockets were the first item I selected. They are SO good!

  4. Visiting from MSM – great looking menu!

    Our family made the switch last year to whole foods. We've been able to incorporate local, organic/organically-grown fresh fruits and vegetables and local, grass-fed and pastured meats and eggs. Can't wait till our farmers market opens in the Spring!

    Good luck!

    Mary Ellen
    The Working Home Keeper

  5. Thanks for linking to some of my recipes! Yay for your shout out at MSM! Wish I could have met you at Blissdom. (Wish I could have GONE to Blissdom!!)

  6. Great job! I eat all organic, unprocessed, gluten free, mostly vegan, and mainly raw foods. I just started juicing as well. It is so worth it!

  7. I found your blog from Money Saving Mom. What an aweseom idea. I have a blog for working parents, would you mind if I forward a link to your blog on mine?

    What an awesome idea!

  8. I need to get back to bulk cooking! I always freeze up my uncooked meats into meal size portions, but it's been a while since I've done a good bulk cooking round for the freezer. Those wraps look really good, and perfect for a quick snack.

  9. This is a fantastic menu Jessie! I just may have to use yours this month. Too bad we're not in the same city anymore. I need to find a cooking partner!!

  10. I am so grateful for this post. Starting February 1st, my hubby and myself(and our two under 2) started this “diet”(more of a life change) called Manna from Heaven. Basically, _only_ fresh & cooked veggies, fresh fruits, meats and proteins and whole wheats. no processed foods whatsoever! no drinks, no sugars(except the occasional allnatural sweetener!) and it is not easy with this country so focused on convenience and artificial tastes!

  11. Jessie,

    You done a terrific job bringing all the components of OAMC cooking together. It's refreshing to find ingredients that are "real." And as it is suggested, even our great-grandparents would recognize these as foods!

    Good job :-)

  12. I'm also participating in the oamc contest. We have a nonprofit cooking group that cooks with whole foods. We usually do about 6 menu items, not 15 so this will be a challenge I'm looking forward to. I don't have all our recipes downloaded on the website yet, but I hope to do it soon with some help and organization. Great job on your menu

  13. I too struggle with feeding the fam whole foods on a budget. (Although I hadn't thought to feel guilty about graham crackers!)

    I did manage to switch to (mostly) grass-fed, hormone-free, antibiotic-free beef, though. We bought a freezer this year and split a half with my parents. It cost us over $400 up front, but it worked out to about $3 a pound and that includes not just ground beef but steaks and everything else.

    Whenever I don't spend my whole $80 grocery budget, I put the extra towards paying off that beef purchase.

  14. hi there – am curious how you freeze the eggs, reheat, etc. do you divide them into two 8×8 pans since it makes such a large serving?
    they sound delicious!

  15. @Meredith–I wish you would drive to Chatty! Still no luck on me finding a partner here and I'm getting worried!

    @Julie–I've never tried the pizza pockets so I'm excited to hear they are great!

    @Working Home Keeper–that is what I am hoping to transition our family to. Looking forward to seeing what the farmer's market is like here!

    @Beth F–So glad it's helpful to you. :)

    @Jean–Thanks for the compliments!

    @Jackie Brown–I can't wait to see what everyone's come up with for the contest. Best of luck!

    @Carrie Kirby–Oh goodness, please don't feel guilty because of me!! We all have to do what we can. I'd love to try to do that with the beef sometime. Right now we ONLY have an over-the-fridge freezer so it would be a struggle! And no garage!

    @Aimee–I will quadruple the egg recipe, then divide it among 4 deep dish 8×8 pans. They will be about 6-8 servings each, I imagine. I probably could have just doubled the recipe, but it will be an easy thing to take to church breakfast or to someone's house for brunch.

  16. I'm pretty skittish about freezer cooking, but this menu looks fantastic! I especially love the Tilapia packets. What a lot of work you put into this – Thank you!

  17. I posted earlier and forgot to mention that the Italian Cream Chicken casserole sounds delicious! Looking forward to a review on that and all the other yummy fixin's you have planned!

  18. This is GREAT! if you're in the nashville area you can get some yummy grass-fed beef and chicken from our farm: topoftheworldarm.com
    Blessings!

  19. I was going to make some of the recipes now, since I can't set aside a full day to cook. I noticed your shopping list left out the buttermilk needed for the Apricot Breakfast bars. Just thought you'd like to adjust the list before you go shopping!

  20. Ditto the Working home keeper:
    Cooking on Sundays for the rest of the week since my husband and I both work and I usually plan all the meals and we’re switching to all whole foods. We have been mostly organic, whole foods except for lunches but now I’m looking forward to the challenge of no convenience foods. Going to start with your make ahead burritos for lunch toss up and found a 18th century turnip soup recipe and we’ll have a plank of salmon from Sam’s for a couple days and end on a deer tenderloin that I have left in the deep freeze. Should carry us into the weekend. Thanks for you blog and can’t wait to dig in the rest of your recipe’s.

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