Menu Plan

Instead of just a menu plan this week, I figured I’d post my shopping list, money spent, and how much packaging I used.

Menu Plan

  • Sunday-Mexican pizza (black beans, corn, cilantro, cheese) from Annie’s Eats. YUM!!!!
  • Mondaycoriander steak, brown rice, and arugula/spinach salad with green onions, tangerines, and mandarins. The steak is from the meatlab and the vegetables are from the garden except the green onions and mandarins.
  • Tuesday-Hot dogs and raw vegetables (celery and carrots) and humus. This was my worst processed food purchase. The celery is from the garden; carrots are local.
  • Wednesday-Soba noodle salad and local fruit (kiwi and oranges)
  • Thursday- Cabbage salad from this months Bon Appetit and rice
  • Friday-Mac n’ cheese and arugula salad

Leftovers from last week that will be incorporated into meals: feta, cilantro, cheddar cheese. Other than that, my fridge is rather empty except for some soup I plan to have for lunch and half an onion that can go in just about anything.

I’m usually pretty good at not buying processed food and making meals from scratch, but now that I am training for half marathon and the Ragnar on top of swimming, I have to work out 2hrs per day plus find time to play with the dog and hang out with J. I’ve also started biking to work which increases the commute time by two fold. Oh yes, and I am still in grad school. This means that 1) I have less time to cook and 2) I need to eat boatloads of food to meet calorie requirements. Since this is only my second week of training, I haven’t quite gotten it down yet.


Processed food with non-recyclable packaging

Soymilk, hotdogs, soba noodles, edamame, chips, ice cream.

All of these items could have been avoided. I can justify the soymilk and soba noodles as neither items can be bought in bulk. Everything else though… I do not need chips or ice cream. The hotdogs are by request.

Processed food with recyclable packaging

Coconut milk, corn, beans, yeast, beer, cider, humus, tapioca, mac

The yeast, tapioca, and beer are justifiable. I need the yeast to make pizza dough and bread this week. The beer is a comfort item, but we can reuse the bottles when our new brewing materials come. I should have made the mac and humus myself… As for the coconut milk, I can live without coconut pudding. If I had planned better, I could have made black beans.

Bulk items

Eggs, dried fruit, cheese, pancetta, flour (in crackerjack box), rice.


  • Local: oranges, mandarins, garlic, carrot, green onions, cabbage
  • California: kiwi
  • Washington: apples
  • Other: tomatoes (Mexico), jalapeno (not sure…), bell pepper (not sure…), shallot (not sure…)


*all packaging reused

Cost: $98.40. This will feed J and I for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until next Saturday. I feel that this is reasonable, given that everything organic. If I did my math right, that is about $3/meal.

How did I do environmentally? This is a glass half empty or full dilemma. I’m sure the zero waste people would be horrified. I could beat myself up about buying packaged food. But I’m not going to.

Being alive is all about balance. I think being happy is very important. If I am not happy, I will not be good to those around me. I feel that love for others is more important than doing the right thing all the time. Here is what I am celebrating this week.

  • Good food. It is something J and I bond over. Cooking is my hobby, my escape from lab, etc. I’m not going to sacrifice health and happiness because I do not have time to cook beans every week. I chose to make Mexican pizza to celebrate Cinco de Mayo even though I know corn and tomatoes are not in season. Tapioca because dessert is delicious. I am thankful I am not eating fast food.
  • Running. It makes me happy and it is quality time spent with the dog. Next week I will accept that I bought packaged pasta and high calorie meats so I can run 16.5 miles and swim for three hours.
  • 6 trash worthy items. With 37 items in my shopping cart, I feel that isn’t so bad.
  • Biking to work. I am no longer driving 8-16 miles per day.

About cookingcampus

I'm a graduate student trying to stay happy and busy and pursue the things I love.
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