Home economist Mairlyn Smith developed this meal plan to feed a family of four for an entire week, lunch and dinner. For veggies, try beets, carrots, rutabaga, onions, potatoes, peas, celery, parsley, corn or sweet potatoes.
Mairlyn Smith’s 7-day meal plan
LUNCH: Egg sandwiches
DINNER: Roast with mini potatoes
Serves 10-12 people with leftovers!
3.8 kg prime rib roast
Salt and pepper
1. Season roast with salt and pepper and place in shallow roasting pan without water and lid/cover. Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer into the centre of roast, avoiding fat or bone.
2. Oven-sear seasoned roast in preheated 450°F oven for 10 minutes.
3. Then reduce heat to 275°F and roast to desired doneness.
4. Remove from oven when 5°F below finished temperatures.
5. Cover loosely with foil and let rest at least 15 minutes until temperature rises by at least 5°F before carving into thin slices.
LUNCH: Beef sandwich
Use thin slices of the leftover cooked roast from Day 1.
DINNER: Vegetarian chipotle chili and coleslaw
2 tsp canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 carrots, scrubbed well and diced
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
Two 19-oz cans black beans, well rinsed and drained, divided
28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn, no need to thaw
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp pureed canned chipotle pepper with adobo sauce (see note below) or 1 tsp chipotle chili pepper
1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add oil, garlic, onion, red pepper and carrots. Sauté for 10 minutes or until the onion is softened and slightly browned. Stir in chili powder, paprika, oregano and cumin. Sauté for 1 minute or until fragrant.
2. Puree 1 cup of the beans in a food processor or mash well with a potato masher. Add the pureed and whole beans, tomatoes, corn, water and chipotle pepper to the pot, bring to a boil, and cover to reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes or until the carrots are tender, stirring occasionally.
3. Make a large batch of coleslaw by thinly slicing green cabbage, red onion and parsley. Toss with oil and apple cider vinegar. Make enough for three meals.
4. Serve chili with your choice of toppings, like thinly-sliced green onions, chopped fresh cilantro, plain yogurt or shredded Canadian old cheddar cheese.
Per serving: 221 calories, 3.2 g fat, 0.3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 347 mg sodium, 40 g carbohydrates, 10.6 g fibre, 10 g sugars, 0 g added sugars, 9 g protein. Carbohydrate choices: 2
Note: Look for canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in the Mexican section of most grocery stores. To freeze leftovers, puree the entire can of chipotles with adobo sauce until smooth. Spoon 1 tablespoon portions on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until firm; transfer to an airtight container and freeze to use for the next spicy chili attack.
LUNCH: Salmon wrap with leftover coleslaw
Use the leftover coleslaw from Day 2.
DINNER: Frittatas using eggs, roast and potatoes
1-2 eggs per person
Leftover roast and roasted potatoes from Day 1.
1. In a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add 2 finely-sliced onions or shallots and sauté. Add chopped leftover roasted potatoes and heat through.
2. Preheat oven to 325°F.
3. Whisk together eggs with 1 tablespoon of water per egg until light and fluffy. Pour into pan covering the potatoes and onions. Sprinkle in chopped leftover roast and fresh or dried rosemary.
4. Place in oven until fully cooked.
LUNCH: Egg wrap with leftover frittata
DINNER: Jacket potatoes using the leftover chili with salsa and store-bought kale salad
4 small baking potatoes (Russets are a great choice.)
2 cups cooked chili (Use leftover chili from Monday’s dinner.)
1/2 cup fresh deli salsa, mild, medium or hot
1/4 cup strong grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup fresh, chopped cilantro, optional
1/2 cup thinly-sliced green onions
1/4 cup light sour cream, optional
Hot sauce, if desired
1. Preheat oven to 350°F or use a microwave.
2. Scrub potatoes well and pierce with a fork.
3. Bake or microwave four medium baking potatoes till cooked through. Microwave for approximately 12-20 minutes or bake for 1-1 1/2 hours.
4. Cut each potato in half and gently squeeze the ends together to make the potato open up. (You are making a potato “bowl.”) Spoon 1/2 cup of the chili into each potato.
5. Top each with 2 tablespoons of deli fresh salsa.
6. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon grated cheese.
7. Sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro and green onion.
8. Spoon each with 1 tablespoon of sour cream if using. Sprinkle with hot sauce if using. Serve.
Per serving: 335 calories, 7.3 g total fat, 2.9 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 351 mg sodium, 57 g carbs, 9 g fibre, 6.7 g sugar, 13 g protein
LUNCH: Leftover kale salad with chickpeas
Take the leftover kale salad from day four and add 3/4 cup of canned rinsed chickpeas.
DINNER: Salmon cakes with frozen peas
Three 213-g cans red sockeye or pink salmon
2 Omega-3 eggs, beaten
1 clove garlic, minced and set aside
1/2 cup whole-grain cracker crumbs
1 small celery stalk with leaves, minced
1 onion, minced
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp iodized salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp butter
Homemade tartar sauce (Makes 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
3 tbsp low fat mayo
2 tbsp horseradish
1 green onion, chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley
1. Drain cans of salmon and place in a large bowl. Flake well including the bones which are a great source of calcium.
2. Add eggs, garlic, crackers, celery, onion, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix well. Shape into 8 salmon cakes about 3-inch thick.
3. Preheat oven to 325°F line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Set aside.
4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil and butter. Brown both sides of each salmon cake. Place on the prepared pan and bake for 15-20 minutes or until completely heated through.
5. While the salmon cakes are cooking, prepare tartar sauce. In a small bowl, mix together yogurt, mayo, horseradish, green onion and parsley. Store covered in the fridge until serving time.
6. To serve, place 1 salmon cake on a plate and top with 1 tablespoon of tartar sauce.
Per serving (1 salmon cake with 1 tbsp/15 mL tartar sauce): 235 calories, 15 g total fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 0 trans fat, 536 mg sodium, 8 g carbohydrate, 1.2 g fibre, 2 g sugars, 0 g added sugars, 16.5 g protein. Carbohydrate choices: 1/2
LUNCH: Hummus with veggies
Makes 8 servings (2 cups)
19-oz can chickpeas, well-rinsed and well-drained
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp cold-pressed canola oil (If you only have regular, no worries.)
3 tbsp water
1 large or 2 small roasted red peppers (Mairlyn uses bottled.)
1/8 tsp iodized salt
Dash of ground paprika
1. Combine chickpeas, vinegar, tahini, garlic, oil, water, red peppers, salt and paprika in a food processor, and pulse until smooth, scraping the bowl as needed. Let stand for at least 20 minutes before serving to meld flavours. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Per serving (1/4 cup): 132 calories, 7.7 g fat, 0.8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 106 mg sodium, 7.2 g carbohydrates, 1.7 g fibre, 0.5 g sugar, 0 g added sugars, 2.7 g protein
DINNER: Pasta with spaghetti sauce and cheese
Make your life easy and buy a bottle of tomato sauce. (Mairlyn uses Catelli Roasted Red Pepper tomato sauce.) Serve over pasta.
LUNCH: Kale salad mix with leftover salmon cakes
Either use the kale salad you have leftover from Day 5 or buy kale salad and eat with salmon cakes from Day 6.
DINNER: Pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw
Makes 12 servings (6 cups)
You’ll need a slow cooker for this recipe.
1 medium sweet potato, scrubbed well and sliced into 1/2-inch (1-cm) slices
1 medium tomato, diced
1 onion, diced
2 lb pork tenderloin
2 cloves garlic, minced and set aside
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1 tbsp dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes, optional
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1. Place sweet potato, tomato and onion into slow cooker. Remove any visible fat from pork, and set over vegetables.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together dry mustard, brown sugar, crushed rosemary and hot pepper flakes, if using. Stir in maple syrup, vinegar, water and minced garlic. Pour over pork.
3. Cook on high for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or on low for 5 to 6 hours.
4. When ready to serve, remove meat to plate. Mash vegetables right in the slow cooker.
5. Pull pork apart with two forks to separate into small pieces. Return meat to slow cooker and mix with the mashed vegetables.
6. If more liquid is needed, use water, apple cider or apple juice—your choice. Serve over baked potatoes or with crusty rolls.
Per serving (1/2 cup or 125 mL without potato or rolls): 149 calories, 1.2 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 trans fat, 68 mg sodium, 14.8 g carbohydrate, 0.7 g fibre, 11 g sugars, 19 g protein. Carbohydrate Choices: 1
Note: this list does not include pantry staples, breakfast foods or milk.
MEAT AND EGGS
- 3 lb. roast or whatever protein is on sale.
- 1 lb ground beef, chicken or turkey for the Saturday night burgers
- 2 dozen eggs (Mairlyn uses Omega-3, but all eggs are excellent.)
FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
- 8 oranges
- 8 Red Prince apples
- Potatoes (24 mini potatoes or the equivalent in large)
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 bag cooking onions
- 1 large red onion
- 1 bunch celery
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 green cabbage
- 2 red peppers (Mairlyn used roasted red peppers from her freezer. You can also use one jar of roasted whole red peppers for each recipe.)
- Bag of carrots
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 2 bags pre-packaged kale salad
- 2 cans black beans
- 3 cans chickpeas (1 can for the homemade hummus and 2 cans for the lunches)
- 1 can large crushed tomatoes
- 5 cans sockeye or pink salmon (3 cans for the salmon cakes and 2 cans for sandwiches)
- Frozen corn
- Frozen peas
- 2 loaves whole grain bread
- 2 packages whole grain or whole wheat wraps
- 4 whole grain buns
Notes from Mairlyn
I included the foods we need for optimum health because health and what we eat is what I’m all about!
- 2 servings of fatty fish to make sure we’re getting those essential Omega-3 fatty acids for heart and brain health. I used canned salmon this particular week for cost, but feel free to choose canned sardines, mackerel or fresh or frozen salmon or rainbow trout.
- Whole grains. I used whole grain bread and whole wheat wraps for the sandwiches. Not included in the grocery list and the final weekly cost is cereal. This time of the year, we eat hot oatmeal most mornings, another great whole grain. Whole grains are important for heart and GI health.
- In the menu plan, I didn’t include fruits and vegetables but I did include them in the grocery list. One week could include: 8 oranges, 8 Red Prince apples (seasonal, Canadian and less expensive) rutabaga, carrots, celery, cucumbers, beets, frozen corn, frozen peas, cabbage, red onion, potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsley, two bags of prepackaged kale salad mix, garlic and onions. This works out to 6-8 servings of fruits and vegetables per person per day. Eating fruits and vegetables every day is one of the biggest health choices you can make. They include fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants—all extremely important for long term health.
- Canned or dried pulses. Pulses are another important food to add to your diet. Just like fruits and vegetables, they include a huge list of health benefits and bonus points. (They are economical.) In one week, 75-80 per cent of my family’s meals are plant-based, using legumes, beans, soy, chickpeas and split peas as protein sources.
- Beef or poultry or pork. Once a week, I cook one of these three sources of protein and then use the leftovers for sandwiches or other meals. I’m not a fan of packaged pre-cooked meats for sandwiches because of the nitrites and nitrates as well as the high amount of sodium. This way, I’m making home cooked luncheon meats.
- Eggs. Mother Nature’s vitamin pill. I’m an egg girl. The grocery list includes 2 dozen eggs. Great in an omelette, frittata or cooked for breakfast. Eggs have a place on your plate.
Photo credit: Mairlyn Smith
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Love these ideas. I do wish someone had taken the time to figure out some nutritional values. Carbs (we have a diabetic in the house) and calories are vital to our lifestyle and let’s face it some of us (namely me) are lazy!
Hi Angela, Mairlyn actually gave us the nutritional values for most of the recipes, and they’ve been added to the meal plan. Hope this helps!
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