"Now I'm not only a Mormon cliché; I'm also a puppy." - Claudio
Question #89605 posted on 06/19/2017 9:40 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So many chefs here! I have a project for you. (Finals are over, right?) My eating out habit has snowballed into never eating at home. This is bad for my wallet and could be better for my waistline, ha.

I want to challenge myself to not eat out for the month of May. And I want YOU to plan my meals for a month!

I don't want to spend a lot of time and I like easy accessible meals like sandwiches. Juice and a bit of granola for breakfast is fine, plus a lunch I can take to work easily (nothing that will make a mess) and a dinner with a lot more iron than I normally get, so include plenty of red meat and kale. Occasional dessert would be good, too, and I am willing to put more effort in for fancy Sunday brunches.

I live on my own, work FT, and will be moving the last weekend of the month.

Looking forward to seeing the recipes on May 1!

---Portia

A:

Portia,

Just eat a prenatal vitamin with a glass of water and a bit of granola for breakfast, Lunchables pizzas for lunch, and a pile of oysters for dinner every night. Easy. You'll have plenty of heme iron before you know it.

--Gimgimno

A:

Dear Portia,

I started kinda late, and it looks like Alta has a great calendar going for you, so I'll just give a couple suggestions for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Breakfast:

You seem to pretty much have already answered this for yourself, I'm a big fan of Bolthouse Farms and Odwalla type juices, and greek yogurt with granola, which sound like pretty much exactly what you said. I'm also a fan of fried eggs, which are quick and have some pretty good protein. Pair that with some toast and juice and that's probably my favorite breakfast.

Lunch:

You already said my and everyone in America's go-to lunch, sandwiches. I don't like to have the same sandwich all the time, so I enjoy trying different breads, meats, etc. My absolute favorite sandwich is the Reuben, which is pastrami, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and thousand island dressing. Healthier sandwiches of mine include throwing together anything I can find from the fridge.

Dinner:

As far as dinner is concerned, I'm generally a sucker for crockpot recipes. Here are a couple that I enjoy! What I usually honestly do is cook up some rice in a rice cooker, or cook up some noodles, and cook up some chicken and vegetables in soy sauce, gochujang, teriyaki sauce, or something similar. That's not much of a recipe, but as I write this, I'm realizing how much I'm one not to follow the recipe. Hope some of this can help anyway!

Keep it real,
Sherpa Dave

A:

Dear Portia,

I am mud. I started this response after nobody else had given much of an answer back around May 5. Then what with all the other things in my life that were much higher priority than the Board, and all the other things that just took a ton of time (I'm looking at you, dang commute time), this answer got pushed to the back burner. And now here I am five days before my wedding, and I'm realizing I'm not going to finish this, and it's probably better to just post what I have and take you out of your misery. I'm so sorry for keeping this overhours so long and then not even giving you a complete response. I hope you don't hate me, but I understand if you do.

---

I TOTALLY feel you. I love eating, but I'm not too enthused about cooking (it just takes so much time and makes so many dirty dishes), so I'm actually really excited to make a good meal plan filled with incredibly easy recipes, because it means I can follow it, too! I'm going to plan your every meal for the next thirty days. At the time I started this answer we were already several days into May, so I'm just going to label the days as Day 1, Day 2, etc. For my purposes, Saturdays and Sundays will be days 6 and 7, respectively, and I'm going to give you dessert recipes on each of those days every week. Obviously you can switch these up however you want, though. Oh, and I tried to include lots of foods from this page that lists iron-rich foods, but to be honest, I very rarely cook with red meats, so my recipe repertoire is rather lacking on that point.

 

Day 1

Breakfast: Greek yogurt (it's more filling than regular yogurt).

Lunch: Eggplant with peppers and beans sandwich.

Dinner: Chicken orzo salad (I would also suggest adding red pepper flakes, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and cucumbers.) Eat hot or cold.

 

Day 2

Breakfast: 2-ingredient pancakes (I've never made these, so I have no idea if they're actually good or not, but they seem to be way faster to make than normal pancakes, so if you want speed and convenience, these might be a good option). 

Lunch: Leftover chicken orzo salad.

Dinner: Crockpot lasagna, garlic bread, and green salad.

 

Day 3

Breakfast: Veggie omelet 

Lunch: Tuna and crackers. Mix a can of tuna with some mayo, garlic powder, and a dash of cinnamon (I swear this is good), stick it in a tupperware to keep in the fridge at work, and then eat it on some crackers (Wheat Thins and Saltines are my favorites for this). 

Dinner: Stir fry


Day 4

Breakfast: Toast with peanut butter and banana.

Lunch: Turkey and pesto sandwich.

Dinner: Nachos. If I were the sort of person who had money for shrimp I would want to make these spicy shrimp nachos.

 

Day 5

Breakfast: Oatmeal.

Lunch: Turkey and spinach salad. (Spinach, oven-roasted turkey [use the rest of what you didn't use on your sandwich yesterday], craisins, sunflower seeds, and mozzarella cheese, tossed with a fruity vinaigrette of choice).

Dinner: Breakfast for dinner! Waffles, hashbrowns, eggs, sausage, and bacon. Treat yo-self.

 

Day 6

Breakfast: Fruit and a protein bar (or a granola bar or something).

Lunch: [Some sort of lunch meat] wrap. Just get tortillas, spread them with chive and onions cream cheese, add cheese, lunch meat, lettuce, whatever floats your boat, and wrap it all up. It's incredibly easy.

Dinner: Rotisserie chicken, a baguette, good French cheese, and fruit.

Dessert: Chocolate coconut macaroon squares. I shared my recipe for them here

 

Day 7

Brunch: Pumpkin waffles.

Dinner: Fried rice.

Dessert: Key lime pie.

 

Day 8

Breakfast: Cold cereal.

Lunch: Roast beef with roasted tomatoes sandwich. You could also just use sun-dried tomatoes if you don't want to go to the trouble of roasting your own tomatoes. 

Dinner: Fish tacos

 

Day 9

Breakfast: Smoothie. I'm not going to give you a recipe for this, because really you should either just add whatever you want or look up recipes that seem appealing to you. I don't want to impose my own smoothie ideas on you.

Lunch: 

Dinner: Loaded baked potatoes. This is a great opportunity to get in some ground beef mixed with chili (yay iron!), but also this recipe for broccoli-cheese sauce is really good on them.

 

Day 10

Breakfast: Granola and juice.

Lunch: Beets, spinach, and goat cheese sandwich (switch out the spinach for kale if you want extra iron). 

Dinner: Lamburgers stuffed with feta cheese.

 

Day 11

Breakfast: Boiled eggs with seasoned salt.

Lunch:

Dinner: Taco bowls (use any meat you want). Basically you just cook rice, some sort of meat with taco seasoning

 

Day 12

Breakfast: Cottage cheese.

Lunch:

Dinner: Curry with chicken and rice. You can make your own curry, or if you're lazy like me, you can buy your own curry from Costco.

 

Day 13 (Saturday)

Breakfast: Toast and fried eggs.

Lunch:

Dinner: Spaghetti

Dessert:

 

Day 14 (Sunday)

Brunch: Goat cheese, turkey, and egg cups (thanks for the recipe, Tally M!)

Dinner: Grilled salmon, wild rice (I'm partial to Uncle Ben's mix), and steamed broccoli.

Dessert: Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

 

Day 15

Breakfast: Bacon. You can even cook it in the microwave in ~6 minutes!

Lunch: PB&J. Come on, you knew I was going to mention this classic eventually.

Dinner: fajitas

 

Day 16

Breakfast: Muffins! Just use a mix and it's a breeze. And if you're going to be using a mix, definitely use this one by Lehi Roller Mills, because it's probably the best thing I've ever eaten.

Lunch:

Dinner: Completos. Expand your cultural knowledge by enjoying these Chilean style hot dogs, topped with mashed up avocado (just squish up an avocado with a fork and add some salt to taste), diced tomatoes, and mayonnaise. Hot sauce optional. You're probably extremely skeptical because I just told you to put mayo on a hot dog, but this is a classic case of don't knock it till you try it. Pair with a classic Chilean tomato and onion salad (this is a good recipe, but it's missing the crucial ingredient of lemon juice. After chopping up and combining all the ingredients add oil, salt, and also lemon juice). Again, don't knock it till you try it.

 

Day 17

Breakfast: An apple and some almonds (this is pretty much my favorite breakfast).

Lunch:

Dinner: Fancy pastaroni. Make the angel hair pasta with herbs, and at the end add chopped red pepper, spinach, and some sort of meat (pan cooked chicken, or chorizo, or if you're lazy like me, just shred lunch meat into it. Ghetto as all get-out? Yes. Delicious? Also yes). Top with black pepper, red pepper flakes, and parmesan cheese.

 

Day 18

Breakfast:

Lunch:

Dinner: Bacon-wrapped chicken and your vegetable of choice.

 

Day 19

 

Day 20

Breakfast:

Lunch: tomato, bacon, and garlic mayo sandwich

Dinner: Grilled steak (it's super easy to grill on a George Foreman grill, with the added benefit being that you can also use George Foreman grills as panini presses! [Man, with all the free advertising I'm giving various people here they should really be paying me]), and oven-baked fries. Add a green salad for some veggies.

Dessert:

 

Day 21

Brunch: Caprese stuffed avocados, toast, and eggs.

Dinner: Chuck roast and roasted vegetables. Or make it even easier and make it in a crockpot

Dessert:

 

Day 22

Breakfast: Chocolate banana bread

Lunch:

Dinner: Zatarain's black beans and rice (buy the mix at the store) with pan-fried chicken mixed in. This has pretty much been my favorite meal for forever.

 

Other dinner ideas: homemade pizza, lamb gyros, chili-lime pork, crockpot roast and potatoes, pasta salad with artichoke hearts and sundried tomatoes, causa rellena, oven roasted veggies, ravioli, stuffed peppers, stuffed mushrooms. You should be able to find good recipes for most of these if you just google them. If not, email me and I'd be happy to send you a copy of the recipe.

Other lunches: margherita sandwich, Ruben sandwich, taco salad.

To sort of make up for this lame answer, here are a bunch of Board answers in which writers share their favorite recipes. The second link especially has a lot of links to old answers with recipes, so you can get all sorts of good stuff from it.

-Alta

A:

Dear you,

Here is an easy recipe:

  1. Take a CrockPot
  2. Put two frozen chicken breasts in it
  3. Put a can of chicken broth in it
  4. Put three cans of white beans, drained, in it
  5. Put a 7 oz can of green chilies in it
  6. Sprinkle, like, a lot of garlic powder and chilli powder in it
  7. Sprinkle a little cumin and seasoning salt
  8. Cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high
  9. Shred the chicken
  10. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, avocados, etc 

It makes four servings and is basically no work. 

-Zedability