Omni meal plans

I’ve been keeping up with weekly meal planning for almost a year now – with random weeks off due to travel/holidays/etc..  But for the most part, it’s been a very successful technique in keeping our food budget in check. 

I thought it would be way more expensive once we started including meat, but it hasn’t been too significant of a difference because the marginal increase in animal protein is balanced by the fact that we all eat the same thing (thus, a decrease in overall ingredients).  One meal as opposed to three.  At least for dinner.  I pack Kyle’s lunches and they do contain wheat and dairy and (until we run out entirely) nuts, since he’s not nursing and out of the house when he eats them, it’s no big deal.  Otherwise, we are a communal diet family. 

I slipped up a bit this week because I had some mad tempeh cravings, but otherwise here are the allergy friendly dinners we shared.

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Salmon burgers over a huge salad with TJ’s Caesar dressing.

I called and left a message with Trident Seafoods about their facilities and they called me back and were so helpful!  They are all peanut and tree nut free, and one of their two facilities is sesame and free and the other is not but they still clean it thoroughly between the use of sesame products.  The customer service rep showed me where to look up the ID number of the product (on the bottom of the package) to determine which facility it was made at.  We happened to get a package from the sesame free facility!  And since the package is already labeled as gluten free, we are in the clear.  Win! 


Kale, quinoa and tempeh Caesar salad.


I can’t get enough Caesar dressing lately.  TJ’s makes a non-dairy version that’s pretty great.  Unfortunately, it’s not vegan, but at least P was spared one allergen (the tempeh is soy, of course).  From now on I’ll probably nix the tempeh or use chicken instead, but since we are on a budget, I didn’t want to let the tempeh that’s been in our fridge for the past month go to waste.  I’ve been eyeing it for far too long and I finally caved.


It was so good, but not worth the poor eczema flare P had as a result.  I had thought eating it at dinner and waiting 12 hours overnight wouldn’t be too bad, but I think it takes longer to clear out of my system.  At least in that amount.  🙁


Home-made Chipotle bowl.

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For the rice, I mixed corn, cilantro, and lime juice into brown rice.  For the chicken, I cooked two breasts in the crock pot covered in salsa for 8 hours on low.  It shredded in 5 seconds and made for minimal hands on work.  Kyle demanded a repeat of this meal immediately, so I suspect it will be a regular.


It was seriously easy so that’s fine by me.  I served the chicken and rice with romaine and avocado.


I’ve made this broccoli salad previously (both times adding quinoa).  Just as good this time (I had two more huge servings and the leftovers for lunch the next day).


I actually made us two separate meals this night because we didn’t have very much GF pasta after P ate dinner (his appetite keeps surprising me!).  So Kyle had wheat pasta with this pesto (frozen from our summer produce) and I had the (above) mish mash.

Since you probably can’t tell, it’s TJ’s pasta with kale and roasted veggies topped in an avocado/nutritional yeast sauce.  Despite appearances, it was delicious.


Kyle’s dad was in town on Friday night (Valentine’s Day) so our romantic dinner was re-scheduled for Sunday.  I made a stew with veggies, kale, rice, and sausage.

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Saturday was P’s first birthday party, so we treated ourselves to sushi that night.  No pics because I devoured it superfast.  Avocado inari is my fave.

And here are a few more meals that I photographed from the previous week but never shared…


Pasta with marinara and home-made lentil “meatballs”.  I made extra pasta for Kyle’s lunch the next day, as well as extra GF pasta for me & P.

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He loves pasta with olive oil or chicken broth.  Frankly I can get him to eat anything with chicken broth.  It’s how I shoved brown rice and squash down his throat just yesterday.


This was a Sonoma “chickn” salad made from Beyond Meat chicken-free strips.  I love their products so much.  They are getting “beefy crumbles” soon which should be interesting.

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I basically tweaked the Whole Foods version of the Sonoma salad that first introduced me to Beyond Meat’s product – mayo, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, celery, salt & pepper.


Served atop a salad (or on a sandwich the next day).


In addition to Caesar I’m really into mayo these days.  It’s all about the condiments, baby.


Rosemary and lemon chicken and red potatoes with mixed veggies.  We all ate this one, no alterations needed.


Spoon Fork Bacon’s shaved brussel salad with quinoa instead of pretzel bread and bacon instead of pancetta.  So good we made it again for P’s birthday party.


Brown rice, broccoli, and organic chicken sausage.  I wasn’t too keen on the sausage, to be honest.  The flavor was fine, but the texture weirded me out. 

So there you have it – an assortment meals for our omni family.

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Comments (27)

  1. Stacy Jones

    Thanks so much… Keep posting this stuff

    I just had my first animal pro in years…. Oddly it was chicken liver. I must be the one person who thinks it tastes good. It’s easy to digest bc it practically melts in ur mouth, as opposed to muscle meat.

    I tried baking a pastured chicken last night and it came out really tough… The skin was rubbery and the meat was hard. Any tips? It was not an easy task mentally for me. I wanted to just buy a pre cooked rotisserie one from whole foods, but they don’t have pastured rotisserie, just step 2,which I didn’t feel comfortable buying.

    Any other tips on incorporating animal pro? After much debate and soul searching, I feel it’s the best way to heal my body…. I’ve tried everything else, to no avail

  2. Elise (Post author)

    I wish I had advice but it’s hard and I’m still new at it…I’ve been doing Mark Bittman’s approach (vb6) which basically allows me to still eat plant strong the majority of the day while still making group dinners easy to prepare for our family. I also feel it’s better for my gut (to still get lots of vegetarian food) and the environment. It sounds like your hang up is ethical in nature, so I can’t help with that decision, but just remember that sacrificing your own health for that of animals is, in a way, just as inhumane… I’m definitely not advocating eating animals, but you have to be honest with yourself about where your compassion should be prioritized.
    As for the dry and tough meat, perhaps you should try using a crock pot or dutch oven – sealing in the moisture may help with that.

  3. Dee

    I put a whole chicken in the crockpot and add onion, garlic, lemon, herbs (literally any other veggies you want like carrots, celery, parsnips etc.) into the crock pot and put it on low. I let it cook for 8-10 hours depending on how long I am out of the house. Then I usually take the chicken out when it’s done and take the meat off, put the bones back in (and leave the veggies in) with the juices and fill my crockpot to the top with water and a splash of apple cider vinegar and keep it on low for 8 hours or so (overnight). The next morning you get massive amounts of homemade chicken soup/stock! I strain it and then freeze half of it.

    So easy and almost completely hands off! The crockpot is incredible. Such a time saver!

  4. Dee

    The chicken has never ever come out dry 🙂

  5. Katie

    Always giving me so many ideas in the kitchen! Thank you 🙂 Just saved a bunch of those recipes!!

  6. Stacy Jones

    No, I’ve made peace with the ethical part…. My concern is introducing it properly so as not to overwhelm my body and cause further gi upset. So far, I’m doing it in small amounts, like half ounce for lunch and and dinner, then increasing. I started with collagen from great Lakes for a few weeks.

    Besides chicken liver, what other animal products did u find easy on ur gut?

  7. Stacy Jones

    Oh thanks! What crock pot do u recommend? I’m on a budget but would like to get one…. Hard to know which is a good one

  8. Livi

    I’m so impressed by how much you cook! Such a supermom!

  9. betsy

    I love making home made chipotle bowls. I’ve done it with chicken, but my husband also loves when I make a pork loin in the crock pot with salsa verde. I’m veggie but my husband isn’t, so I’m looking forward to your recipes with meat, I need all the help I can get!

  10. DAD2

    The Valentines Stew was AWESOME! Thanks E!

  11. sarah

    YUM is pretty much all I have to say in regards to this.

    But also I wondered if you’d ever tried making lentil granola, I think it’s friendly to your allergy sitch? I’ve made Lauren@ Oatmealwithafork ‘s recipe for it, & it is deelish<3. I've seen lentil granola bar recipes around the web too, your recent granola bar recipe made me think about this :).

  12. Karlie

    Random question for ya.
    Do you friend your readers on facebook? i don’t want to be a random person you don’t know sending a friend request.

    and another question/questions maybe you cold blog about:D
    how do you budget? do you have a certain amount of money that you spend? do you plan out your meals according to list then buy groceries? how do you do it? i think you have a lot of blogs about what you eat and you mention your budget but what is your budget?

  13. Dee

    I unfortunately took my parents’ one which is at least ten years old. I’m sure Target or Walmart would be good places to check!

  14. Elise (Post author)

    my Facebook is pretty much blog free, but it’s also really boring and lame.
    budgeting is an ever evolving process. when we first started i had no idea where we would fall…using we started monitoring our grocery expenses and from there tried to keep getting it lower and lower. it was pretty easy to decrease considering how often we splurged on WF hot bar/impulse purchases (ALL THE TIME!!!).
    once i started meal planning it got even lower. i resisted at first because i didn’t like deciding what i wanted to eat so far in advance (what if I wasn’t in the mood when that day arrived?) but now that we have P, i can’t make it to the grocery store multiple times a week so its imperative that i plan our meals for the week and get all the shopping done at once.
    i pick the meals we are going to eat for dinner and then add everything on those ingredient lists to the shopping list (unless its something basic we already have like vegetable broth). i try to pick things that have an overlap in ingredients so we can get things to go further if they aren’t used up in one recipe (like mushrooms or onions).
    after dinner ingredients are on the shopping list i add basics for breakfast and lunches (cereal, eggs, tortillas). and then essentials we are low or out of (fresh fruit, greens, frozen veg, etc.).
    i save bulk things like quinoa and oats for costco. we do a costco run once a month.
    hope that helps!

  15. Elise (Post author)

    clever ideas! savory versions intrigue me – ill have to try it!

  16. Elise (Post author)

    yay! it was fun having you. happy almost birthday!!!!!!

  17. Elise (Post author)

    i have a delonghi slow cooker and its great! i got my mom a crock-pot (name brand) for christmas and she likes it too.
    if you use a 20% off coupon at bed bath and beyond (they’re always in the mail) it makes them more affordable.

  18. Elise (Post author)

    dee – how do you store the broth?

  19. Elise (Post author)

    truthfully nothing has been hard on my gut. but i haven’t eaten huge amounts in one serving, so…i don’t know. make meat the accent rather than the feature? i took betaine hcl pepsin when i first started eating meat but i didn’t notice a difference. i think the stomach can adapt to handle protein better than we give it credit for regardless of what your past diet has been.

  20. Ttrockwood

    That kale tempeh ceasar is calling my name!! Too bad it didn’t go over well the next day with poor P :/ I totally have random tempeh cravings.
    The lentil meatless balls sound great. Have you ever made the PPK lentil olive burgers? You would just need to swap in gf breadcrumbs- they are really stupid easy and soooooo delicious. I make these into balls often as well :

  21. Stacy Jones

    How many ounces do u have at a meal and per day? Yeah, I never noticed a diff with hcl or enzymes

  22. Elise (Post author)

    i have no idea.

  23. Missy

    After going gluten free (in order to avoid the fake veggie meat I LIVED off of (seriously) I had to stray outside the egg and fish dept into turkey and chicken after DECADES of mostly vegan-vegetarian and recently pescatarian.

    I realized that eating mainly fish and eggs wasn’t cutting the mustard. Now that I have been eating meat (which is complicated for me as you understand) I have been kind of reluctant to admit I feel SO much stronger. Like… scary stronger.
    Have you noticed an increase in your strength or energy at all? What about body composition? I know, it’s a bit soon to tell but if you do note any change I’d love to maybe read about it in the future.

  24. Dee

    I have a bunch of old Stoneyfield farms yogurt containers (the ones that fit about 4 1-cup servings of yogurt) that I just keep recycling. So I’ll put most of the broth in there (4-6 cups of broth can fit into 1 container) and freeze all but 1 container which I keep in the fridge to use. Then when I need another container I just take it out and defrost it!

  25. Tracy

    I’m confused about the allergen issues. Why do you need to avoid tempeh (soy) but you can have the Beyond Meat product made with soy isolates?

  26. Elise (Post author)

    I shouldn’t eat either. Obviously I suck Bc I are both.

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