When it started getting toward the end of the second week of February I began to think about planning for the last two weeks of February. I started to realize that there were some things that I hadn’t gotten a chance to make. I also had some extra ingredients from my last grocery trip, as well as some things that have been sitting in my freezer or pantry for some time just not being used. With that in mind, I figured the best way to plan for the last two weeks of February is to look at what I already had in my kitchen and try to plan meals based off of those items. For instance, I never got a chance to make the 7 pepper salmon, so I just carried that over into the meal plan for the next two weeks. I also have a LOT of chicken breasts that I thought I would need for the bbq shredded chicken, so I planned to make another batch of bbq shredded chicken and a chicken marsala recipe to use up the chicken breasts. By using ingredients I already had to plan my meals, I would only have to pick up a few extras to complete the recipes. This means that my grocery list would be pretty short and I should hopefully save a lot of money.
The day has finally come! I feel like I have been waiting to find out if I had allergies that were causing my hives forever now. I had my appointment with the ENT today to go over the results of my blood allergy test and he walked into the room with a sheet of paper and said, “Well… you were right” as he handed me the paper. I have no allergies. NO FREAKING ALLERGIES. Which means that the hives are being caused by some deeper issue (such as autoimmunity) and also means that both my primary care physician and my thyroid specialist were 100% WRONG in their assumption that allergies were the cause of my hives. I wish I could see the look on my primary care physician’s face when she gets the results from my ENT and realizes just how wrong she was.
The hardest thing for me about meal planning and prepping is that I never just have hours to spend in the kitchen, so it is hard for me to get everything that I want to have cooked done in one day. With that said, I thought you might want an update on some of the other items that were on my list.
I took my first stab at making homemade coconut milk, which was really not fun to make but overall an easy concept. You essentially just put shredded coconut and boiling water into a blender and blend for a good bit, then strain the coconut milk through cheesecloth. It is more time consuming than anything and my blender is brand new, so I am a bit wary of putting it through prolonged use. I made sure to take breaks from blending so that I didn’t overheat the motor or anything. I used the nut milk bag I had purchased instead of cheesecloth to strain the coconut milk and it worked pretty well. My biggest disappointment was that even though I used 2 cups of boiling water, somehow it didn’t produce 2 cups of coconut milk. Maybe I need to squeeze it out more next time, but I thought I had done a good job with that so I am not really sure what happened there.
It’s the beginning of a new month and I always love the beginning of each month because I like to treat it much like many people treat the New Year – a chance for a fresh start and to do everything better than you have in the past. A new month is a whole new opportunity to make your life what you want it to be.
One of my main issues last month was the amount of money I ended up spending on food. In an effort to reduce my spending and stick to my grocery budget better, I made it a personal goal to meal plan for the whole month of February and really stick to it. Meal planning makes such a HUGE difference because then you are only buying items that you are sure you need for things that you definitely plan on making. I am doing this in two parts to make it easier – the first two weeks of the month and the last two. This way I only have to grocery shop twice in a month and I can just divide my grocery budget by two and that is what I can spend during my first trip.