Two weeks ago my poor Aunt drove three people to 22 different doctor's appointments. Last week she had 4-5 appointments scheduled each day, plus the dog got sick. As you can imagine, this doesn't leave much time for menu planning or cooking. (And I thought I was busy.)My parents who live in New Hampshire are planning to visit once a month to help out until things settle down, and my Dad was brainstorming about how to prep food for my Grandparents for the days in between visits.I can't do too much to help from Pennsylvania, but I DO now how to menu plan and shop for extended periods of time!So here we go.
This menu plan has to be:
B) Heart Healthy
C) Follow the guidelines for a medically prescribed "Bland Diet"
At first I thought, no way this was going to work. BUT then I found the FDA's Bland Diet guidelines and the Mayo Clinic's Heart Healthy recipe index and spent an evening cross referencing ingredients. I gathered all of the recipes onto one Pinterest Board to make it easy for my family to find and reference.
Once again, I am not a dietician, and this is not medical/dietary advice, but, if you need to feed someone with dietary concerns, know that it is possible. This plan is for two weeks worth of health dinners, breakfasts and lunches tend to be very casual for my family, so it's easier just to stock healthy choices and let people fend for themselves.
"The foods included are limited to non-stimulating, non-irritating and mildly seasoned products. This diet should be individualized according to your appetite and food tolerance. With time and recovery, you may be able to expand this diet to you tolerances."
Two Week/Two Person Fall Menu featuring Salads and Squash
Sunday-Herbed Cod with Cauliflower Mash
Monday-Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Apple Slaw (We are not on the bland diet here, so I served it with tomato slices and baked beans. It was lovely.)
Tuesday-White Bean Tuna Salad (At my house I served it with tomatoes and cheeses garlic bread over spinach.)
Wednesday-Pasta with grilled chicken and beans
Thursday-Pittsburgh Chicken Salad (Light)
Friday-Honey Crusted Chicken and steamed veggies
Saturday-Spinach and Acorn Squash Salad
Sunday-Pasta with grilled chicken and beans
Monday-Chicken and Biscuits
Tuesday-Pittsburgh Chicken Salad (Light)
Wednesday-Herbed Cod with Cauliflower Mash
Thursday-Honey Crusted Chicken and steamed veggies
Friday-Baked Chicken with Wild Rice
Week 1 Shopping List
Chicken; 16 breasts/portions (If breasts are very large, get only 8 and fillet to proper portion)
4 Boneless, Skinless Cod fillets
2 oz. semi soft cheese
Garlic - 1 head
Spinach, 2 bags
Potatoes 1 small bag
Acorn Squash 3
Country style or Italian bread
2 15 oz cans cannelli beans
2 5 oz cans white tuna in water
1 can low sodium chicken broth
Saltines (low sodium)
Italian dressing (cheap)
2 Steam in Bag Veggies
Sweet Potato Fries
Week 2 Shopping List (Monday)
(This trip is just to restock a few fresh items)
Canned Biscuits (low fat)
The Prep Plan
1. Marinade 10 servings of chicken in Italian dressing for a few hours or over night. Grill, cool then freeze 6 portions individually on cookie sheet. Bag and label.
2. Prepare Apple Slaw for Grilled Chicken Sandwiches. Label and place in fridge.
3. Prepare White Bean Tuna Salad. Label and place in fridge.
4. Herb Crusted Cod with Cauliflower Mash. Prep and divide veggies into two quart bags. Label and freeze. Prep cod and freeze individually on cookie sheet. Bag and Label.
5. Baked Chicken with Wild Rice. Prep and freeze in baking dish
6. Honey Crusted Chicken. Double recipe and freeze chicken portions individually. Bag and label.
7. Pasta with Grilled Chicken, white beans and mushrooms. Chop and freeze 2 portions of grilled chicken, plus mushrooms, onions, garlic, basil and beans. Divide between two bags. Label and freeze.
8. Make and freeze Onion Thyme Gravy.
The Day of Plan
Sunday-Herbed Cod with Cauliflower Mash: Thaw and cook fish and veggies according to recipe.
Monday-Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Apple Slaw: Reheat (optional) 2 grilled chicken portions. Top with slaw and serve on country bread
Tuesday-White Bean Tuna Salad: Eat
Wednesday-Pasta with grilled chicken and beans: Thaw and sauté chicken and veg mix in a pan with olive oil. Cook Pasta. Toss pasta and chicken mix with parmesan cheese.
Thursday-Pittsburgh Chicken Salad (Light): Thaw 2 portions of grilled chicken. Make a chopped salad. Top with chicken (reheat optional) and baked sweet potato fries. Serve with favorite light dressing.
Friday-Honey Crusted Chicken and steamed veggies: Thaw and bake chicken at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Steam veggies in microwave.
Saturday-Spinach and Acorn Squash Salad: Make fresh and eat (5 minute microwave meal!)
Sunday-Pasta with grilled chicken and beans: Thaw and sauté chicken and veg mix in a pan with olive oil. Cook Pasta. Toss pasta and chicken mix with parmesan cheese.
Monday-Chicken and Biscuits: Thaw gravy. Cook Biscuits. Serve with Rotisserie Chicken.
Tuesday-Pittsburgh Chicken Salad (Light): Thaw 2 portions of grilled chicken. Make a chopped salad. Top with chicken (reheat optional) and baked sweet potato fries. Serve with favorite light dressing.
Wednesday-Herbed Cod with Cauliflower Mash: Thaw and cook fish and veggies according to recipe.
Thursday-Honey Crusted Chicken and steamed veggies: Thaw and bake chicken at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Steam veggies in microwave.
Friday-Baked Chicken with Wild Rice: Thaw and bake at 300 for 60 minutes
The meal plan is not quite drop-it-in the crock pot easy, but it is pretty darn close. It is however, low fat, low sodium, high fiber, and flavorful while complying with the "Bland Diet" guidelines. Whew. While I was working on this, we found out that the personal assistant must go off all dairy for the next month. Since only 2 of the dishes in this plan call for dairy, I think this will be our plan too. I will update this post with pictures of the dishes when I can.