Meal planning for a very busy week

by sophie on June 1, 2008 · 14 comments

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For the next two weeks I am going to be commuting from Oxford to London every weekday, a journey that takes about two and a half hours each way when everything goes smoothly and a fair bit longer when something goes awry. While eating healthily is very close to the top of my priority list I also know that exercise makes me feel good and keeps the stresses of the week in perspective and so I still plan to fit in most of my regular exercise classes during the week. This means that on most evenings dinner has to be ready in 15 minutes and there will be limited time for preparation and shopping. Today therefore has been all about meal planning and cooking for the week ahead, and so I have decided to join some of my favourite bloggers in writing about what I plan to eat this week.

First job this morning was a big shop to stock up on healthy foods for snacking on while I’m in London and on the way there and back.  On the list was easily portable fresh fruit, almonds, oatcakes and individual low fat fruit yogurts.

Breakfast will be eaten on the train, speeding through the glorious Oxfordshire and Berkshire countryside.  I’ve made a tray full of Cassie’s breakfast bars, which are bursting with oats, seeds and dried fruit and I’m planning to have this for breakfast on at least three of the days, with yogurt and fruit on the other two for variety.

In the spirit of saving energy as well as time, while I had the oven on for the breakfast bars I roasted some vegetables in olive oil.  The roasted peppers, red onions and half of the butternut squash will be made into a chilli, soy and lemon-dressed brown rice salad for lunch on the first couple of days (with enough for hubbie to have some too). 

The other half of the roasted squash is all cooked and so we’re all set-up to make my butternut squash and red lentil dahl one evening with minimal effort.


We have one batch of utterly delicious leftovers in the form of Kathryn’s one-pot Greek “chicken”, a citrus and oregano scented bean stew that has absolutely nothing to do with chicken at all.  The first dinner of the week is therefore already made, so hopefully I will have time to dash home from the station and straight out to my BodyCombat class.

On the busiest evening we will have ready-made tortellini.  Served with a spicy tomato sauce and a big armful of fresh or frozen spinach, this is ready in no time and provides two portions of vegetable.

My freezer will also come to the rescue on one night, either for a portion of homemade baked beans or for a bowlful of my vegetarian chilli.

When the brown rice salad runs out sometime mid-week all of the necessary ingredients are in to make a packed lunch in five minutes; a variation on this tuna and bean salad recipe.

No doubt there will be piece of cake at some point too, and a glass of red wine.  I’m not planning on eating perfectly, but a little bit of forward
planning should help me to eat a minimum of five portions of fruit and
vegetables on each day.  I also know that if I have good stuff with me
I won’t have to hunt around for healthy food while I’m out and about.

There’s another busy week to plan for after this one so I’d love to hear your ideas for healthy suppers that can be ready in 15 minutes or frozen ahead?

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