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Playing with the idea of a weekly menu. Any ideas?


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So, hi there.  This might be an unusual thread to begin posting with, but it's something that's been rolling around in my head for a while. I am looking for the holy grail of weekly menus: easy, quick to prepare, tasty, cheap and healthy.  I was lucky enough to get a "full ride" scholarship at the University of Leuven (Belgium), and they'll be giving me a certain amount each month to live on.  In order to limit my foodie-tendencies to blow a lot of money and a lot of time on preparing lots of delicious, who-cares-about-my-research-paper recipes, I am looking to create an easy weekly menu.  You know the thing... buy the groceries on Sunday, prepare a few things, and use them in new and creative ways through the week.  For example, make hummus (which is ultra-easy and cheap) and eat for dinner with chicken on top.  Used left over hummus next day for lunch with crudité.  Use the rest on the sandwich for the next's days lunch, etc etc.


Has anyone ever done anything like that?  If not, do you have any easy/cheap/tasty/healthy/versatile dishes that work for you during your master's program?


Thanks!  I am looking forward to exploring the forum.



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Oh yes I love meal planning to save money and add variety to my diet.  Equipment I've found helpful:


Slow cooker - toss in the ingredients for soup/stew/chili/casserole and then go study while it cooks

Microwave popcorn popper - makes plain popcorn that you can season yourself


I also do a lot of salads, sandwiches, and wraps with whatever veggies/meat are on sale.  I'm a snacker so I try to always have plain popcorn kernels, baby carrots, low sugar popsicles, raisins, nuts, cheese, and whatever fruit is on sale. 


Since you have an idea of what your budget will be and you know what you like to eat the key is to have a well stocked pantry and freezer with items that you can make a meal out of.  Some items I like to keep include canned tomatoes, canned beans, lentils, bulgur, whole wheat pasta, canned tuna, frozen veggies, chicken breasts, and ground turkey.  Any of those things can be used to start a meal by adding a few other ingredients and some seasonings/herbs.  When I'm too lazy to cook?  I have popcorn lol.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mine (I don't cook every night but I attempted to plan it as if I did)--

Chicken pot pie (I make it in advance; it freezes super well)


Steak or some other treat (the nice thing about being a PhD student)

Spinach and red onion pizza (I make the dough in advance and freeze it; take it out to thaw the morning of)

Blackened fish tacos

Pasta (I make large batches of sauce and freeze them)


Another favorite recipe of mine (from Pinterest) is stuffed peppers with minute steaks (or chicken sausage), mushrooms, onions, and provolone cheese.

I also just discovered a recipe for samosa stuffed baked potatoes and they're fantastic (blog is Leaf Parade).


I'm a big fan of making quinoa with black beans in advance and then bringing that with burrito toppings for lunches.

Also with your hummus idea, have you ever had Hummus Ma Lahma? Seasoned ground meat over top of hummus, and carrot slices work well for scooping it up.


Happy cooking!

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