Someone asked me over the weekend if my Tuesdays felt like Mondays, since I don’t work on Mondays. I’ve got to say they don’t. Although, I was a bit tired this morning because I stayed up really late watching the Olympics. It’s so stupid that NBC coverage doesn’t start until 8 PM, and then the men’s gymnastics wasn’t even over by midnight. It was all so exciting – the US men were poised to maybe get a silver! And when I woke up on the couch, all awkward with a crick in my neck, they had gotten a bronze instead, and I don’t know what happened!

So, I had trouble getting up this morning, and everything was a bit slower than usual.

However, I got a lot done this morning, and met Ms. A at the Farmer’s Market for a buffalo burger and my weekly fresh produce. I got corn, plums, peaches & squash today – and a chocolate chip cookie. The cookie had more than 5 ingredients (it had 7), but I recognized them all, so felt safe.

I haven’t been eating well the last few days, because although all the party foods (with the exception of the organic blue corn tortilla chips) were made by me, they weren’t necessarily the healthiest foods ever invented. They’re not terrible, and the architect finished off the chocolate chip bars, so they weren’t lying around. But, I have been subsisting on the (aforementioned) chips, homemade guac (yum), salsa (again, yum), my baked zucchini cakes (super yum, and maybe not SO bad, delicious heated up and served with ketchup), and mozzarella balls soaked in olive oil & balsamic vinegar. Zucchini-banana bread is an excellent breakfast food, no?

It makes such a huge difference when I don’t grocery shop and meal plan for the whole week/2 weeks at a time. Without a plan, we just grab whatever out of the fridge and munch. No planned meals. No sitting down to eat dinner & talk about our days and our plans. I spend more time worrying about what I’m going to eat, and I make poor choices. We go out to eat more, which means I eat more than I would at home. Cranky Fitness talked about food for lazy people today, and I have to say that my answer to lazy eating (buying lunch, going out to eat, deciding that marshmallows are an acceptable dinner because they can offer 1% of my RDA of Iron) is to plan and shop for at least a week – and to double everything. It doesn’t take any more time to make 4 servings instead of 2, and then we have leftovers for lunch later in the week. And having leftovers that we actually eat means that the few pennies more it costs to buy ingredients for 4 instead of 2 are canceled out by the money saved later.

So, my goal for next weekend (besides laying the pavers for the driveway) is to get my meal planning back on track. Also, since I have never been to the big Portland Farmer’s market (*gasp* I have also never been to either first or last Thursday, both of which I apparently need to experience at least once if I want to call myself a Portlander), I am hoping that 95% of the materials needed for my meals for the next two weeks can come from there. I will stop there after my Saturday morning Bikram class (HTC – you’re out of town for awhile again, aren’t you?) and stock up. I understand they have meat and cheese in addition to produce, so I should be able to get everything I need, especially if I’m a bit flexible. I find that it’s helpful to take my actual meal plans instead of just a shopping list because then if I can’t find a specific ingredient, I can reference what I needed it for and see I can skip it or substitute something for it, or if I need to come up with something entirely different, which would mean scrapping the other ingredients for that meal, too.

Do you meal plan? If so, what’s your best strategy? Favorite recipe?

And, because I am a giver, I will share the delicious zucchini cake recipe that I’ve been making & scarfing down lately:

Delicious Zucchini Cakes of Happiness

6 cups shredded zucchini
2 eggs + 1 egg white
¼ cup butter, melted
½ large onion, minced
1 & 1/3 cups bread crumbs
1 cup corn meal
Spices to taste, I use: cumin, cayenne, all spice, ginger, black pepper & salt

After shredding zucchini, place in colander with a large weight (such as tomato cans) on top to squeeze out all the water. I usually leave it at least an hour.

Beat eggs, and mix in butter, mix in with zucchini & onion. Add spices, then the bread crumbs. Mix well. Add in corn meal until mixture will form into balls without falling apart (be careful not to make the mix too dry).

With hands, form into hamburger-shaped patties. Place on cookie sheet lightly sprayed with olive oil. Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes on each side. Allow to cool slightly.

Eat with lots of ketchup. Or, you know, the condiment of your choice. I think they’d be awesome with aioli.

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