Menu Plan Monday: Fridge & Pantry Cleanout!

This week's menu planning took place in the passenger's seat of our car somewhere between Yakima, Washington and Hood River, Oregon. We had a lovely weekend visiting with family as we celebrated the baptism of my beautiful niece.

Today also marks the end of meat eating for Orthodox Christians as we get closer to the beginning of Great Lent. Fasting is an ancient practice of cleansing and preparation, and every person must discern how best to practice the fast with regards to their own health limitations, and with the help of their priest/spiritual father. Nursing and pregnant moms, as well as those with severe dietary allergies, and of course young children, are exempt from fasting.

Fasting while also being grain-free is a big challenge, since most vegans/vegetarians rely heavily on grains for protein and calories. I'm going to rely heavily on vegetables, seafood, and good fats to nourish us during this period while still keeping the spirit of the fast.

Click here for my nutritional tips on fasting with traditional nutrition principles.

Thankfully, the executives at Kroger, Inc. felt lead to put a large variety of fresh, wild-caught seafood on sale this week at Fred Meyer and I'm going to take advantage of the good prices on wild, Northwest-caught shrimp meat ($3.99/lb) , wild bay scallops ($3.99 /lb), wild Alaskan cod ($5.99/lb), and wild Alaskan whole sockeye salmon($3.99/lb) and stock my freezer so that we can enjoy good sources of protein and good fats during the fast. I'll also be taking advantage of some rock-bottom prices on broccoli and cauliflower ($0.68/lb!!!) to use in soups, stir-fries, or simply steamed with butter to form the basis of our grain-free, thrifty meals.

Remember, the way to eat nourishing without spending a bunch of money is to look for the deals on meat, poultry, and seafood as well as produce and build your menu on those things. Then, round out your meals with whatever you have on hand. And remember, you don't need lots and lots of meat per meal; only about the size of a deck of cards! Serve a cheap, nourishing soup (made from homemade stock) with your protein in order to better digest and assimilate its nutrients.

*Items in green are on my shopping list this week.**All other items "using what I have".

eggs, fruit, leftover muffins
L: leftover veggie curry, kids: leftover sloppy joes
D: scallop/veggie stir-fry

B: green smoothies & acorn squash muffins
L: broccoli/carrot/onion saute
D: creamy, veggie soup, high-enzyme salad(w/avocado), salmon

B: squash pudding
L: sardines, cheese, celery sticks
D: tuna curry w/ cauliflower "rice" pilaf

B: eggs & veggies
L: leftover tuna curry
D: zucchini latkes, lacto-fermented salsa, cheese

B: nut butter pancakes, green smoothies
L: salad (me) hot dogs (kids)
D: Greek vegetable-navy bean soup, coconut flour biscuits w/ herbs & cheese

B: smoothies
L: leftover soup
D: cheese & veggie pizza w/ sunflower seed crust (come back Tuesday for this bargain recipe!)

D: cheesy cauliflower bake, sauteed greens

For more menu-planning inspiration, visit The Organizing Junkie.

Update! Go see how Country Girl cleaned out her fridge and pantry to make a delicious, thrifty menu plan!

If you would like to participate in the
Fridge & Pantry Cleanout, please send me a link to your post listing how you used what you had on hand to create a nourishing meal plan or leave a comment! I'm always looking for inspiration!


Jenny said...

this is a beautiful menu. Great use of things you had on hand!

Iconography Girl said...

I'm getting hungry just reading your menu! BTW, your cauliflower 'pilaf' was delicious!

I think even those of us not on grain-free diets dread the tendency to replace animal products with starchy carbs during Great Lent. I am looking forward to your posts as inspiration.

Hope the baptism went as smoothly as the churching!

Sharon said...

Inspiring menu!
It's nice to see someone else mention Lent in their post. :) We observe Lent, too, but dietary-wise, I don't think as strictly as you do. In the Orthodox Church, you fast from meat the entire duration of Lent?

Country Lady said...

I'd love to join in on the "cleanout". I've put my post on my blog. http://countryliving.typepad.com/bountiful_storage/2009/02/fridge-and-pantry-cleanout-challenge.html

My family observes Lent, but our church does not. We pick something to do or give up as a family to remind us of the sacrifice. I'd love to know more about how you observe Lent.

Amanda @ www.kiddio.org said...

I love it when the shrimp and scallops are on sale too :) Great looking menu, thanks for sharing!

xo, Amanda @ www.kiddio.org / www.housemade.org

Kristen's Raw said...

I have come up with some of my greatest recipe creations while riding in the car. :)


Tracy said...

Oh wow. With seafood prices like that we would be eating it far more often. Seafood where I am is usually more like around $25-$30/kg. Something a family on a tight budget does without....or does without something else in order to have it.

Carrie T said...

Thanks everyone!


Yes, the Orthodox Church fasts from meat and dairy the entire duration of Lent. We as a family, because of our dietary restrictions for health reasons, give up so much other "Lenten" stuff, that we do a modified fast. That means we strive to go meatless but keep the dairy (in moderation, of course).

Country Lady,

Wow, that's so awesome that your family observes Lent, even though your church doesn't! Good for you! We try to see Lent as a time of preparation and focus on the inner kingdom of the soul. By abstaining from meat (and dairy), we allow both creation (the animals) to rest from milking or laying and allow nature to "rebuild". But more importantly, we embrace the simplicity of eating plainer foods so that we can focus more of our time on Christ. We also allow ourselves to be a little more hungry than normal in order to remember that God is the only one who can truly fill our deepest hunger!

I hope that helps!


Yeah, I was amazed at those seafood prices too; especially for wild caught and fresh! I had to get over there and stock up!

annarab said...

I am an Orthodox Christian who has been in a low carb diet for the past 4 weeks. Lent is around the corner and I don't know where to go with this. Can you help?

Carrie T said...


I will certainly try!!! I would suggest, if your budget will allow, maximizing the vast array of seafood options we are allowed to eat, and supplementing with appropriate veggies. I will devote an upcoming post to "Low-Carb & Lenten, is it possible?"

Thanks for the inspiration! Check back soon or subscribe so you can have it delivered to you:)

Thanks for commenting!


Mimi said...

Many years to the newly illumined! And, great menu.

Ranee said...

Thank you for posting about these great deals! I was able to plan and pick up quite a few things at our local Fred Meyer because I saw your post. Our store also had shucked and cleaned, wild caught razor clams, which we snapped up, too.