November Meal Plan: 50% Veg

Happy Halloween!  I could get all philosophical about kids and treats tonight…or I could just post some fun Halloween-style recipes…or I could do what I always do on the last night of the month, which is share the new meal plan.  I vote for that. 

See, I talk about kids and treats all the time, and I don’t have many real “Halloween” recipes, because I sort of think – as tempting as it is – making special Halloween sweets and treats is adding unnecessary madness to an already sugar-hyped event.  I think Halloween is fine, truthfully, and my kids have already happily dug into their trick-or-treat stashes with not much discussion or coaching from me and J. about what to eat, or how much, or when.  It’s a holiday devoted to candy, for heaven’s sake, and I can’t pretend it’s anything else.  So we’re kinda DONE with the Halloween thing, if you know what I mean.

But a bright, shiny, new meal plan?  That’s worth posting!  I approached November’s plan with a goal in mind: Reduce the meat.  We try not to eat meat every night anyway, but I have felt lately that October got a little heavier on the animal products than I wanted it to be; besides which, during the fall and winter, it’s far too easy to fall back on heavy braises and stews and comfort foods, most of which are traditionally meat-heavy.  So I vowed that we’d eat either low-meat or no-meat more than fifty percent of the time at our family dinner table this month.  As I developed my plan, I kept in mind Thomas Jefferson’s dietary advice: that meat should mainly be eaten as a condiment for the vegetables.  I think it’s especially important, too, with the holiday season fast approaching; knowing that we’ll probably end up indulging ourselves more than usual in many ways, I think it’s only appropriate to take my best shot at balancing the potential excesses with healthier fare.

Tuesday, 11/1: Slow cooker – pot roast with vegetables (Okay, okay, it’s a meaty dish.  Once a season!)
Wednesday, 11/2: Whole wheat pasta with beets and goat cheese, salad, fresh fruit (that’s better!)
Thursday, 11/3: Spanikopita casserole and roasted vegetables
Friday, 11/4: Fend night
Saturday, 11/5: Fish supper – our farmer’s market has recently acquired a fish vendor!  I’m so excited!  Now I can pick up something great from him at the market, and just grab veggie sides from all the stalls around him.
Sunday, 11/6: Eggplant parmigiana and salad
Monday, 11/7: No-fuss chicken, brown rice, roasted vegetables
Tuesday, 11/8: Slow cooker – broccoli soup and crusty bread
Wednesday, 11/9: Sloppy joes, fresh fruit, sweet potato fries
Thursday, 11/10: Whole-wheat spaghetti marinara, garlicky sautéed greens
Friday, 11/11: Fend night
Saturday, 11/12: Seasonal vegetable panzanella and baked fruit
Sunday, 11/13: Sunday Roast Chicken, sweet potato casserole, greens
Monday, 11/14: Potato pancakes with smoked salmon, salad, roasted vegetables
Tuesday, 11/15: Slow cooker – lentil stew with kielbasa, vegetable platter, bread
Wednesday, 11/16: Vegetable stir-fry with cashews over brown rice
Thursday, 11/17: Honey-mustard chicken subs, sautéed vegetables
Friday, 11/18: Fend night
Saturday, 11/19: Fish supper (again) – I can’t help it.  Fresh fish right at my farmer’s market is too good to pass up.
Sunday, 11/20: Scalloped potato and ham casserole, sautéed greens
Monday, 11/21: Sweet potato bisque and panini
Tuesday, 11/22: Slow cooker – chicken soft tacos, corn, cabbage slaw and avocados
Wednesday, 11/23: Fend night!  No need to eat big before Thanksgiving!
Thursday, 11/24: Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Friday, 11/25: Asian-style sesame noodles with vegetables
Saturday, 11/26: We’ll likely be having a family dinner at J.’s brother’s house, so I’m off the hook
Sunday, 11/27: Butternut squash lasagna, salad
Monday, 11/28: Eggplant burgers and roasted vegetables
Tuesday, 11/29: Slow cooker – “Midwest” lentil soup, whole-wheat cornbread
Wednesday, 11/30: Whole-wheat pasta with sweet potatoes and red peppers, salad, fruit
As always, leave a comment to ask questions, request recipes, etc.  I love hearing from RRG readers!

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10 Responses to November Meal Plan: 50% Veg

  1. Donna says:

    The nosy person inside my brain wants to know… what will the RRG family be doing for Thanksgiving? 🙂

    • Ahhhh Donna. I knew somebody would ask at some point. 🙂 Um. We’re going to my in-laws’, as we always do. No, I’m not bringing anything. Don’t ask. It’s complicated.
      However, there are some other UNOFFICIAL Thanksgiving plans in the works for the RRG family. 1) The kids’ school always has a Thanksgiving luncheon, and I’m providing the turkey this year just as I did last year…so there WILL be a turkey roasted in this house, by God, even if I don’t actually get to eat any of it! (But I will share what I do with all the byproducts that roasting a turkey will give me.) 2) J. and I are planning, maybe, to make a list of our favorite holiday hors d’ouevres, which I could whip up the night before or morning of, and keep in the fridge until we get home — inevitably, we come home from thanksgiving dinner sort of late, way after we’ve eaten, and we’re usually looking for something to eat before bed. Why not make it a nice little private celebration? 3) We’re having roast chicken not long before the big day; often, I’ll plan things that way, and then J. and I put our heads together and choose 2 or 3 traditional Thanksgiving dishes we’d really like to make OUR way, which I’ll cook alongside the chicken for a “mini-Thanksgiving” meal.

      • Donna says:

        All excellent ideas. And I especially like the one about the hors d’oeuvres, because we have a similar situation where we come home from Thanksgiving late and would like a bite before bedtime. The roast chicken is a good one too–because, let’s face it: if I want my favorite mashed sweet potato dish, I will not be getting it at my in-laws and may as well have it myself another day 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

      • Any time! The roast chicken is something we’ve done in some previous years, and it IS always welcome. Plus, it allows us to pause TWICE to remember what we’re thankful for; what’s better than that? 🙂

  2. Kim B. says:

    Can I come eat at your house this month?

  3. Deb Neyens says:

    You are so organized to plan your meals a month in advance! I’m impressed.

    • It truthfully ends up taking less time, overall, than if I tried to sit down and do it all a week at a time. I’ve been doing the monthly plan for YEARS now and it just works best for our family (plus it means I don’t have to think about it for a good long stretch!). I figure, as busy as families can be these days, the more days people can have where they don’t have to think about what to cook, the better.

  4. Carrie says:

    I would LOVE the recipe for the Spanikopita casserole. It sounds good, but then again I am a sucker for Spanikopita!

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