Planning Ahead and Meals

The Market

I stopped at my favorite grocery store, The Market, on my way home from another appointment yesterday. I really like this smaller, more personalized store for a number of reasons. They have a nice selection of specialty foods, their deli is extensive with an area of gourmet cheeses, and they have a wide variety in their meat department. The Market isn’t in my neighborhood, so I usually only go there once or twice a month. While I was there there yesterday, I mentally planned the rest of the meals for the week and purchased what I needed. I like to plan my meals and shop based on that, but for some reason I have gotten out of that habit lately. I’ll admit that I was pleased when I was able to put up a list of this week’s meals on my fridge yesterday!

So, I’m sharing this week’s meals with you.

Tonight’s Meal

I started prepping for tonight’s meal, Black Bean and Kale Soup, last night by soaking the beans overnight. This morning, I put them in the crockpot, along with chicken stock, smoked ham shanks, carrots, shallots, lime zest and juice, and spices. They’ll stay in the crockpot all day. This afternoon I’ll add the kale, a little more lime juice, and check on the seasoning.


Black Bean and Kale Soup

  • 1 bag of dried black beans, soaked overnight
  • 500 ml of chicken stock
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 shallots or 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup of carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1-2 smoked ham shanks
  • 7 oz. can of mild diced green chilies, drained
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (add more if you like it spicy)
  • A bunch of kale, chopped or ribboned

For garnish: Cilantro, diced tomato, hot sauce, grated cheese, sour cream

After rinsing the beans that soaked overnight, place the beans in a crockpot and add 500ml of chicken stock and 2 cups of water. Add diced vegetables, smoked ham shanks, green chilies, lime zest and 1/2 of the lime juice, and spices. Cook on low for 8 hours. Check for seasoning and adjust as needed. Remove ham shanks, cut off the meat and discard the bones. Add the kale and let cook about 1 more hour. For a thicker soup, use an immersion blender. Just before serving, add the last of the lime juice. Place in bowls with your choice of garnishes, and serve.

This Week’s Meals

So, what do I have scheduled the rest of the week? Here’s what’s on my list:

Wednesday: Pasta Bolognese, Green Beans, Garlic Bread

Thursday: Stuffed Pork Chops, Farmhouse Salad, and French Bread

Friday: Skirt Steak, Baked Potato, and BBQ Ranch Salad

Saturday: Grilled Chicken Breasts, Rice, and Green Beans

I know our veggies look awfully redundant. Sadly, salad and green beans are usually the only “greens” we eat around here, though I did add kale to our bean soup. I try to sneak kale and spinach in where I can. Eating better and healthier is always a work in progress in my house.

How do you meal plan? Plan then shop, just shop then cook from that, or plan on the fly? Share in the comments below.