Monday, February 28, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Okay, my lovelies, here's the deal.  It's been so long since I've cooked for one person that I am a wee bit overwhelmed by the idea.  I actually told G I should be able to drop 10 lbs. these next couple of weeks simply from not wanting to make the effort to eat.  He was not encouraged by this idea.  So I've decided that perhaps I need to make a meal plan in order to survive.

I have the makings for quiche.  I also have the marrow bones that I boiled in a pot of beef broth to thicken it.  The dogs will be rewarded for giving up their daddy for 6 months with the bones, and the broth/stock is going to be used to make my first ever pot of french onion soup.  G really wanted this while he was home, but I see this as an opportunity to perfect it and surprise him with it this fall.  So my meal plan for this week looks like this:

  • Breakfast: Coffee, an orange and a slice of banana bread.
  • Lunch: Probably going to be nothing more than coffee and some beef jerky...I ate a late breakfast.
  • Dinner: Quiche with an arugula salad.
  • Breakfast: Coffee and oatmeal with an orange.
  • Lunch: Quiche with salad.
  • Dinner: French onion soup and salad.
  • Breakfast:  Cereal with blueberries and a banana, coffee.
  • Lunch: Quiche with salad.
  • Dinner: French onion soup and salad.
  • Breakfast: Cereal with blueberries and a banana, coffee.
  • Lunch: French onion soup with a salad.
  • Dinner: Roasted salmon, asparagus with mushrooms, roasted potatoes, and a salad.
  • Breakfast: Yogurt with blueberries, banana and pecans, 1/2 croissant, coffee.
  • Lunch:  Roasted salmon, asparagus with mushrooms, roasted potatoes, and a salad.
  • Dinner:  Time for bubbly!   Champagne chicken with mushrooms, asparagus, and roasted potatoes.  A glass of champagne as well!
  • Brunch:  Orange zest pecan french toast with bowl of blueberries and banana, and a mimosa.
  • Dinner:  Champagne chicken with mushrooms, asparagus, and roasted potatoes. 
  • Breakfast:  1/2 croissant with some fruit, yogurt, and a coffee.
  • Lunch:  I have a massage this afternoon, so if I eat anything it will be a simple salad. 
  • Early Dinner:  Roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, roasted beets, and a salad with tomatoes, cold asparagus and mushrooms.  Glass of champagne. 
I am trying very hard to think of things that have me making some effort so that I don't get in a slump.  1/2 of the quiche will be frozen (in 4 single servings) for the next couple of weeks for the days when I feel a little down or am busy.  The reality is that there have been many days this past year when I skipped lunch or only ate a tiny bit because I wasn't hungry enough to feel like going down a couple flights, fixing lunch and then bringing it back up to eat (it was cold so I was eating in bed, sitting next to the electric fireplace).  I think this meal plan will be easy to follow through on, and I am headed to the store tomorrow morning (basically as a way to move the car for a few hours while they do street cleaning).  The oatmeal will actually be at Starbucks because I have a little thing for a free oatmeal!  Then I can head next door to Whole Foods and pick up food for a couple days.

So, for those who cook for themselves (or just for two....even with G I was always cooking at least a couple days worth of portions), any tips?  Any way you make a meal special, even when you're only with your best company (yourself of course!)?  Please do share!


  1. Even when I'm only cooking and eating for myself, I make it an event. I set the table, use real dishes and glassware, and sometimes have a glass of wine. That way it feels like a real meal instead of something I snuck in while standing in the kitchen in front of the dishwasher.

  2. It'll be fun to follow your meal plans!! I don't really understand why people think it's so different/difficult to cook for one, seems like you just treat the extra as leftovers and it makes it easier to eat well during the week . . . but that's just my take. Thanks for sharing, and best wishes on your getting off to a good start during this solo journey!!

  3. Gosh, I don't think there is an easy answer to this except that you will probably have leftovers (as your meal plan wisely takes into account). But I actually like leftovers and making them into something else sometimes. Continue to set the table, play relaxing music and make it nice. But you always do that anyway :)

  4. First, I want to say that I admire that you're keeping your chin up and being so positive. I have been thinking about you lots these past couple of days.

    I am really bad about over doing it in the volume department when I cook. For years, when the kids were little, I was cooking for 5 and I wanted leftovers to make my life easier. Now, there is just three of us and I get easily bored with leftovers. So I guess I'm not much help :)

    But I do like to make a hearty vegetable soup and eat that throughout the week. I just made a big pot yesterday. Soup is always so filling.



    P.S. I am giving away a pretty ring on my blog. I would love it if you'd pop over and enter!

  5. Marisa, I had to laugh. Your comment brought up the image of the main character in Must Love Dogs after her divorce eating chicken over the sink. I hope I don't become aggressive towards the meat counter guys! The only thing we own is real dishes, and I enjoy using them, so that part should be a breeze! We even eat frozen pizza on china!

    Rose, I think for the average person they don't want a bunch of leftover, but it's less expensive to buy several chicken breasts versus one, for example. It also sometimes seems like so much effort for just yourself because we can tend to undervalue ourselves. I personally think you should treat yourself at least as well as you would treat your favorite people.

    Stephanie, I do think eating at the table will help tremendously. Although I never really play music. I should probably start doing that so it's not so quiet!

    Adrienne, Thank you, I've been keeping you and your family in my thoughts as well. Soup is always a great answer to making something simple to last all week. And I have been craving leek and potato!

  6. I've been thinking of you as well this week, Kalee. My husband travels a lot, though never for long periods of time, so I feel for you. Best wishes to you and G!

    I agree with other suggestions. Try to treat dinner for one just the same as you would for the two of you. It sounds like you have everything in place - proper meals, setting the table, and making it as special as possible. Whenever I'm tempted to skip a meal (or call an apple and a glass of wine dinner), I summon my inner French girl and think about what she would do. I'm never as satisfied with a faux meal (it actually makes me miss my husband more) and I'm always happy after I sit and enjoy a real dinner. Your menu sounds fantastic - I love homemade French onion soup.

  7. Kalee, I may be overstepping my boundaries here a bit, but I think you need to be upbeat and positive every time you communicate with your husband. Don't ever tell him you're having a hard time or have been crying and not eating, etc. He knows it's hard. The best way you can support him through the next six months while he does hard work in one of the crappiest parts of the planet is to make him think you're holding up just fine. Don't give him another thing to worry about while he's there. Afghanistan SUCKS. It sucks beyond belief. Do NOT lean on him to get yourself through this; let HIM lean on YOU. You, my dear, will lean on your friends, your family, your church, your blog peeps, and whomever else you like. But you must be strong for him so he can do what he needs to do.

    One of my dearest friends is in the Foreign Service and has spent extended periods in all of the 'stans, Iraq, and other assorted hellholes since 9/11, doing God knows what, but literally being responsible for the lives of dozens of men at a time. For a multitude of reasons, he is now divorced, but while he was married, he needed his wife to be constant and steady. She wasn't, and it made every part of his day and night that much more difficult.

    Men need us to be strong for them. So be strong and be well. You are both in my thoughts.

  8. Kalee: As with everyone else's comments, I think it is so great you are determined to not be a puddle on the floor during your husband's deployment. This is a pivotal moment in your adult life, and you will look back on this time as one of your finest hours. Finest hours can only occur where there is great personal challenge in uncomfortable situations.

    As for the eating for one, my favorite thing is to turn on classical music and light candles. I also dress for dinner, which is very old-fashioned and completely in-line with how I would live if I were mistress of my own manor with a wait-staff. And when you think about it, this is exactly who you are -- it's just that you have to multi-task as your own wait-staff!