5 Meals: 1 List

Last week I was looking through my first ever copy of Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazine. I had never really taken the time to look at it because honestly, I often find food magazines to be pretentious and out of reach for the average cook (ahem, me). I mean it’s not that I can’t follow a fancy recipe, but that would be on a special occasion. What I need is every day food…wait! There’s a magazine for that? (this is me coming out from under my rock)

So, I found their 5 meals: 1 list feature and liked the looks of ALL 5 recipes. Not only that, there is a pre-printed shopping list that just tears right out! Genius! Can you tell it doesn’t take much to please me? And if you really know me, you will instantly understand how excited I got when I saw that the list had boxes for me to check off! Double win!

I decided to take on this 5 meals challenge not only for the ease, but also to see if it REALLY made enough for 4 people as it claimed (it did), AND to see if it would break the bank (it didn’t). Unfortunately, despite my efforts to find these exact meals online, I came up empty. But if you want a recipe, just let me know and I will be happy to email it to you! Here is a link to some other Grocery Bag Meal Plans that I can’t wait to try! These meals came from the Jul/Aug 2010 issue. I loved them so much that I immediately bought the September issue and plan to do the 5 meals challenge with this month’s menu!

Monday: Sesame Chicken Salad

(main ingredients Chicken, Bok Choy, Cucumber, Sesame Seeds, Sesame Oil)

This was probably the most complicated meal out of the 5, but it was SO worth it. I had never cooked with Toasted Sesame Oil or Bok Choy before and just those 2 things really made this dish amazing. Will definitely make it again!

Tuesday: Summer Pasta Salad with Shrimp

(main ingredients, shrimp, pasta, spinach, squash)

Another winner, this one was really yummy! Oscar liked it (other than the shrimp) which was a plus. This made a LOT of food. Plenty for leftovers!

Wednesday: Steak and Egg Salad

(main ingredients, thinly sliced steak, eggs, raddichio, romaine, red onion)

This meal was definitely a stretch for me and I honestly didn’t expect to care for it all that much. But, I loved it! The combination of flavors was really yummy. Next time I would definitely half the recipe because we had WAY too many leftovers!

Thursday: CousCous Salad with Black Beans, Mushrooms, and Corn

(main ingredients listed plus avocado)

OH ok. This is where we couldn’t get enough. We ate THE. WHOLE. BOWL between the 2 of us. Oscar didn’t care for this one but we didn’t mind. We loved it. And I mean LOVED it. Definitely going into heavy rotation at the Updyke ranch. I am really excited about this one because I feel like it is a really healthy meatless option.

Next step, portion control.

Friday: Tomato Panzanella with Ricotta

(main ingredients, bread, tomatoes, basil, red onion, ricotta)

This was delicious but I really should have made a half recipe because it doesn’t really store well. I was able to eat leftovers the next day for lunch but that was pushing it as the bread got a little soggy. We used our own bread that Jerry had baked earlier in the week so that was really fun! This recipe is basically Bruschetta in a bowl. Or as I like to call it, heaven.

And finally I just want to give a shout out to my awesome husband! A couple months ago he decided he was going to start baking bread. He found a starter recipe and got to work making his own starter from scratch. He’s been tending to it and growing it over the weeks and we have had fresh bread ever since! I LOVE that he does this and seriously, who could resist a slice of this goodness?