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Menu Plan Money ~ “Hello, Discipline!” Edition

by Shawanda Greene

Pork Roast Stew

I slow cooked this for 12 hours, yet it came out drier than an oven baked turkey breast. My guy's slow cooked pork was the best meat I've eaten all year. What'd I do wrong?

I swear.

My employer is trying to fatten up us naive, chubby cheeked employees to be slaughtered.

Even though I haven’t gotten around to cooking everything on my menu plan, I’ve barely spent any money on food this month.

The organization I work for is always feeding me.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been seduced with  all you can drink happy hours, tuna salad wraps, Chick-fil-A, pizza, falafels, brownies, ice cream cake, and pastries. And totally on the company’s dime too.

Who could resist?

I won’t complain. After all, “free” food is an awesome perk. However, if I’m not careful I’ll reverse all the gains, or shall I say “losses,” I’ve worked so hard for.

So, before the scale and my thighs start going in the wrong direction, i.e., up and out, respectively, I’ve got to insert some discipline into my diet.

This week’s menu plan is a good place to start.

Monday: Shell-less Beef Burrito – Ground beef with taco seasoning mix, black beans, yellow rice, onions, and shredded cheese. If I can get my hands on a cheap avocado, I might add a side of guacamole. Oh! Maybe I will. Did you hear about that awesome Living Social / Whole Foods deal? You know I jumped on that one. If you missed it, kick yourself, and don’t let it happen again by signing up with Living Social. (Why, yes? That is an affiliate link.)

Tuesday/Wednesday: Shell-less Chicken Burrito – Don’t judge me for lacking creativity. I’ve got pounds and pounds of leg quarters in my freezer. Someone’s got to eat them. A friend told me she likes to make chicken in her slow cooker to include in poultry based dishes. I could use my generic chicken for a highbrow dish like chicken and broccoli, but I’m sticking with yellow rice, beans, and stuff.

Plus, I really need the fiber.

Thursday: Oven Baked Swai and Broccoli – I had Swai last week. So what? Last week I fried it. This week I’m baking it. Ya see. That’s completely different. By the way, the fried Swai was delicious. Um, Mr. Catfish, you’ve got competition.

Friday: Beef Chili with Kidney Beans - Hasn’t it felt a little brisk outside to you lately? I’m kickin’ fall off right with the best dish for cold nights ever. Perhaps I am somewhat premature with the cold weather food. It’s supposed to be in the 60s and 70s this week. Ah, what the heck. I’m eating it anyway, because I already told ya. I need the fiber!!!

Saturday/Sunday: Leftovers - The only meal I’m cooking on the weekend is breakfast. Bacon, grits, tater tots, and the like. If I’m feeling frisky, I might whip up a smoothie with some of that frozen fruit that, no doubt, tastes like everything else that’s in my freezer. Other than that, I’m going to rely on what I’ve already cooked and any employer provided welfare vittles I can wrap up and take home.

P.S. If you don’t hear from me this week, shoot me a quick email asking if I’m all right. I clearly don’t have the good sense to slowly reintroduce large quantities of fiber into my diet, so I just want to know there’s someone checking to make sure I haven’t exploded.

Check out other menu plans on Menu Plan Monday at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1step September 19, 2011 at 10:58 AM

sounds like a plan. i don't think i've ever planned out my lunch for an entire week so kudos to you, you're ahead of the game already :)

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Shawanda September 20, 2011 at 9:28 PM

Sometimes I think it's more of a wishlist than a plan. But, although I'm pretty busy this week, I'm off to a good start.

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Penny September 19, 2011 at 1:08 PM

Looks great – good job! And who could turn down free food..I know I couldn't!!

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Shawanda September 20, 2011 at 9:30 PM

I'm still struggling. I need to speak to someone about moving my office away from the food. It's just too easy to be bad when the kitchen is 10 steps away.

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Toy Lady September 20, 2011 at 7:44 AM

12 hours might have been too long for your pork. How big was it? Also – what cut of pork did you use? If you used pork loin, that's WAY too lean for the crock pot, and you'd be much better off roasting it for an hour or so.

I've seldom had good luck cooking hunks of meat in the crock pot – I know people do, but I'm usually happier if it's done in the oven or stovetop, even if it's reheated later.

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Shawanda September 20, 2011 at 9:35 PM

I think it was pork loin, and it was pretty lean. My boyfriend's slow cooked pork dish was fatty, moist and delicious. Mine was a disaster. I'm gonna try again with a fattier cut.

When I cook my chuck roasts in the slow cooker I don't have any problems. I've actually never tried to roast anything on the stove or in the oven. Seems a little advanced for me. Either way, I really like pork so I'm committed to figuring this out. I'll try the slow cooker again, and then the stove top if that doesn't work.

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Tiffany September 20, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Looks good to me! Hey my husband taught me a long time ago how being simple can actually help with keeping the pounds off. I swear if it wasn't for my job I would never gain weight but free food and drinks come on.

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Shawanda September 20, 2011 at 9:37 PM

I know. Maybe I should bring in freezer bags. Instead of eating the food provided right away, I'll freeze it and save it for later. However, I seriously doubt that'll work.

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Andrea September 20, 2011 at 12:27 PM

You probably did nothing wrong. It's difficult for anything to taste good after 12 hours in the crockpot!

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Shawanda September 20, 2011 at 9:38 PM

LOL! You're not suggesting I overcooked it, are you?

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