Meal Planning

Posted on February 12, 2020 by prairiemoonquilts in Recipes

Let’s just establish right up front that I suck at meal planning.

I barely have time to cook, let alone plan what I’m cooking, and then we end up eating poorly, and I try to “do better next time”, but I somehow always fail. My heart’s just not in it. But it really needs to be, for the sake of My Cowboy’s heart.

Over the last month, I’ve been trying harder, and doing most of the cooking. My Cowboy needs to be on a low-sodium, low-potassium, low-oxalate diet, because he doesn’t just have heart problems, he has kidney problems, too, resulting in chronic kidney stones. I can’t even imagine — one kidney stone would be enough for me for life, but he has them all the time, poor guy. Good thing he’s Cowboy tough!

I try to avoid sugar and white flour as much as possible, so what does that leave? See my dilemma?

So even tho this is NOT a cooking blog by any stretch of the imagination, I thought I’d periodically post some of the meals and meal plans I’ve come up with, in case it helps you out, too. If you’re not interested, just skip this post, and I’ll be posting more goat and quilt pictures in the future!

I do have a Cookin’ page on this website, which you can find HERE, where I’ve posted some of my favorite recipes over the years; not all of them super healthy, but really good!

We do not live in an area where you can just get on your phone, order some food, and it magically appears at your door a few minutes later. We can’t even get a pizza delivered. And this is probably a good thing. We have to plan (whether we want to or not) about a week’s worth of food and necessities at a time, then go to town and get it our ownselves. Super Walmart is our best closest option, and while I’m not always pleased with that, it works out OK.

However, while I was in California, my daughters made full use of their phones to have food delivered right to the door, and we ate pretty good! Because of where we live, I’ve been hearing about “Street Tacos”, but had never gotten to try them, so my daughter went out and around the corner one day to the food truck and got me some street tacos to try — So. Damn. Delicious. And I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to get any more once I got home.

So when I got home, I looked up a recipe for them. They are so unlike typical tacos (which I don’t really care for that much). Here is the recipe I found, and they are almost exactly like the ones Danna got me off the LA food truck. I’ve made them twice since I’ve been home.

Mexican Street Tacos

There are other recipes on this site that I will also be trying.  It’s appropriately called

I also made My Cowboy make me a list of things he might like to try from this website. While it’s a home-delivery meal plan place, they also have recipes, so I’m gonna try a few of their recipes, and leave out the salt, and the potatoes, and tomato sauce, etc. — all things My Cowboy can’t have.

Danna, who is a doctor, by the way, also made me sit and watch the gal from Downshiftology. She does meal prep, but in a different way, and I think it can partially work for me. It was interesting.

And my other daughter bought me a Magic Bullet while I was there, so I’m all set, right?

My ultimate goal is to finally have gathered up at least a month’s worth of really good, healthy recipes that I can just repeat month to month, occasionally removing old ones and adding in new ones that I’ve found. I want to avoid having to completely make a new plan every week, or even month. But to get started, that’s what I’m having to do at first. I’ll eventually get the library of perfect meals put together for us.

And the other day, I got the sweetest Happy Mail ever from my friend, Denniele! She sent us this wonderful box of salt-free spices!! I’ve already tried a few of them, and she’s right — they’re really good. I used the Chili Powder in my Street Tacos!

Denniele is a SCAD survivor (spontaneous coronary artery dissection). Such a scary thing. Denniele went through all this before I ever met her, and thank God she was in the right place at the right time when it happened to her, or I might never have gotten to meet her. Every time I see her or talk to her, I am fully aware of what a miracle it is that she’s even my friend!

A few of the other things we’ve had are a plain roast in the crockpot (that I also used my Penzey’s seasoning on) used to make sandwiches, My Cowboy’s chili (leaving out the packaged seasoning), Garlic Lime Chicken (again, without the salt), Cauliflower Steaks (no salt), and a Beef Stir Fry that has cabbage and brown rice in it (I need to post that recipe). Tonight we’re having Baked Acorn Squash, so we’ll see how that goes.

So, we’re not being perfect, but much better than we were. My daughter says to avoid ever eating anything out of a can, so I’m working toward that. I’ve been using my Magic Bullet for smoothies at breakfast. It’s really annoying me to have to spend so much time cooking, but I guess it’ll be worth it, and I’ll eventually get lined out and it will become easier over time.

I’ll leave you with a picture of my supervisor, Louise. She likes to squeeze herself into My Cowboy’s box of Coke cans on top of the refrigerator and boss the job from there!

16 responses to “Meal Planning”

  1. Judy S. says:

    I can relate. I need to cook low cholesterol, diabetic meals for my hubby while cooking high calcium, high protein for myself. No fun.

  2. Kerry says:

    Oh goodness, yes. Hubby had a heart attack 3 years ago and now diagnosed as pre-diabetic, so all change with food. So experimenting a fair bit. We do batch cooking so we always have something from the freezer if we’ve been working outside (smallholding/small homestead) so have our own vegetables. Unfortunately I grew lots of potatoes which we have given to the children – and mice have scoffed the rest in storage!!! He has lost weight and I haven’t – a little bit miffed about that!

  3. Cindy Wiens says:

    I hate meal planning–you have some good sounding recipes that I’ll plan on trying. In my opinion, the main reason to make a roast is for the carrots. 🙂

    • Laura says:

      I’m happy to know someone else feels the same as I do about making a roast. I’m not interested in all this food prep stuff either. I just want to eat and be done with it.

  4. Pam says:

    Use your street taco recipe but substitute fish for the steak. Fish street tacos are a thing and very good. Even more heart healthy!

  5. denniele says:

    It does get better….change just isn’t easy. Glad you are enjoying the spices! I am happy we had the chance to meet and become friends!!! 🙂

  6. Debbie says:

    I just told my husband that the only thing I like about food is eating it! My husband is pre-diabetic and we could both be healthier. I find it really hard to meal plan. It takes a lot of time. But when I do, it is worth the effort.

  7. Sharon Gratz says:

    Shelly, I think we, as wives who want to keep our spouses around as long as we can, will gladly make any changes necessary…..even though it isn’t our strength of expertise, we learn… a little, there a little. As Kerry mentioned, batch cooking, always have something in the freezer to pull out. When making a fav recipe, double and freeze half. Freeze fresh veggies for soup. I still have Vidalia onions in the freezer from last year. Once you get in a ‘groove’ you’ll get it. 🙂

  8. Shasta says:

    I am horrible at meal planning too, and always think I should be planning meals at some point. One thing I do that helps me is to cook extra meals and freeze the extra in serving size containers. I get a healthy frozen meal for whenever I don’t feel like cooking.

  9. It does get easier in time, My husband had a heart attack in 2015. Giving up salt and replacing with spices is great. Making changes to meal planning is hard at first. Once you get the planning stage down, it’s a good idea to make a little extra for freezing for later. Take a deep breathe and a day at time. It will get easier, I’ll keep you and cowboy in my prayers.

  10. Angie in SoCal says:

    I was use to cooking for six (five of us and another serving for a guest/friend). When we became an empty nest house, I kept on cooking for six -at least for the entree. I kept making a two pound meat loaf, or six servings of spaghetti, etc. That way I only have to cook three or four times a week. I warm up the entree and make new sides. It’s a winner in our house – we both like leftovers. I do understand about cooking different. Hubby wants meat every day. I have kidney stones, too, so I’m to lay off the meat and things with oxalates (like spinach and tea). What I’ve found that really works for me is to just eat less. He eats with a dinner plate – I always eat with a luncheon plate. It really helps. I’ll be on the lookout for recipes for you.

  11. One Creative Family (Jackie) says:

    I hear you. It has taken a long time, but very seldom do I use canned foods, Hubby is diabetic, high blood pressure, and very picky. I very seldom use salt or salt substitute. Very few carbs. I hate planning dinners. I will take meat out of the freezer and then decide what to go with it. Street tacos sound good.

  12. Marlene Clausen says:

    Had to chuckle about your “discovering” street tacos. I was 6 years old when my parents and I went to San Diego to visit my sister and family. She was 15 years older than me and my only sibling. She took us downtown and bought us food from a Mexican food truck. Not the Iowa farm food I was used to! I was hooked for life!!
    Have you looked into Budda Bowls? I discovered these when I went vegan two years ago. They are a marvelous solution to constant planning and the compulsion to just eat anything because I don’t have time to cook right no and I am hungry. Have the potential ingredients on hand and then toss into the bowl what you want and want you can have. If you are interested, try searching on them in Pinterest. I, too, follow downshiftology.

  13. Ranch Wife says:

    I know it’s a challenge, especially since you don’t particularly like to cook, but I promise it’ll get easier once you have a few recipes under your belt. This way of cooking is really simple and I find I spend a lot less time in the kitchen these days (unless I’m cooking for a crew). I’ve been making street tacos for years. I just didn’t know they were a ‘thing’ until a few years ago. Going to try the one you shared – that’s a good site.
    Get your Cowboy in on the planning…who knows what the 2 of you will cook up when you’re both in the kitchen! 😉

  14. Wanda Marvel says:

    You may look at keto recipes. They do have salt but no sugar, no grains. I cook with almond & coconut flours. These flours cannot be just interchanged with regular flours due to different absorption. I use stevia in baking but not Splenda. Splenda has same sugar spice as refined cane sugar. Keto recipes do use a lot of eggs.

  15. Randy Menninghaus says:

    yup it is hard I found that corn tacos have much less salt than the star flour burritos . I was surprised. So we have our Mexican with me using corn toritia Prep is what make the difference. fresh spices as well…

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