Let me preface this meal plan with the rationale behind it. Here in America, we are not a generally healthy nation. People are overweight, suffering from cancer and heart disease and depression and all sorts of other chronic diseases. We shovel tons of money into Big Pharma and Big Ag, yet we don’t get better.
Tons of different diet fads have surfaced over the years, its hard to know what to eat and what is healthy. Low carb, low fat, high protein, keto, paleo, whole 30. Do you count calories? Or should you count your macronutrients? How many grams of carbs are you allowed a day? Should you be eating gluten? (BTW, I’m not saying any of these diets are bad and you shouldn’t do them. I’m just saying that for me personally, all they do is stress me out. If gluten makes you feel horrible, then by all means continue to forgo the gluten!)
I finally just got so frustrated with it all I said to myself: People weren’t always so fat and sick. What did they used to eat?
And that is how I came up with this meal plan and future meal plans you will see at this site. I’m just going off of old, traditional recipes from all over the world that people prepared and enjoyed before there was such a thing as a Twinkie or chocolate protein powder or fat-free salad dressing. Try your best to get the ingredients as close to the source as possible. I’m not a fan of “organic” foods (actually, I just really dislike anything institutionalized, if you can’t tell…), but you should try to find some local farmers.
This week features probably my favorite kind of food: German. What could be better than a week of meals based on meat, potatoes, and sauerkraut??
This plan is meant to make preparation as simple and efficient for you as possible. It’s based around doing the bulk of your cooking all on one day. That way, for the rest of the week you only need to spend about 15-20 active minutes in the kitchen finishing the dishes.
The Recipes for the Week
Pork and Garlic Sausage Casserole, adapted from Russian, Polish & German Cooking, pg 116
Chicken with Mushrooms, adapted from Russian, Polish & German Cooking, pg 123
Pork Roast & Veggies, adapted from German Cooking book, pg 46
Side of Spiced Red Cabbage, adapted from Russian, Polish & German Cooking, pg 148
Spätzle and Brat Slices, adapted from Russian, Polish & German Cooking, pg 149
Weekly Meal Plan Grocery List
carrots (1/2 lb)
potatoes (2 lb)
red cabbage (1)
large, firm, ripe pears (2)
sauerkraut (I recommend making your own)
large red apples (2)
mushrooms (16 oz)
sweet potatoes (2 lb)
chicken stock (5 cups)
bacon (1 lb)
lean shoulder pork (you could really use any cut you like though) (4-5 lb)
brats (1.5 lb)
spelt flour (3 cups) (you could use all-purpose white flour, but spelt is the grain traditionally used)
Steps on Meal Prep Day
Block off 3 to 4 hours for the below steps if you’re doing this by yourself.
- Slice 2 large onions (if not already done ahead of time)
- Dice 3 large onions
- Shred red cabbage
- Chop celery. Chop some in small bits, and some in larger pieces for snacks, then portion into small baggies for the week.
- Core and slice two large apples (or a few smaller ones)
- Core and slice two large pears (or a few smaller ones)
- Wash and slice 16 oz of mushrooms
- Slice about 5 large carrots to your preferred thickness for the roast
- Dice two or three sweet potatoes
- Crisp 1 lb of bacon in the oven. Pat dry on paper towels and then crumble.
- Dice 1 lb of pork shoulder into 1 inch cubes. Fry in some oil on stove top until browned. Put in a bowl and set aside.
- Skin and slice 8 oz of brats, store in fridge for later
- Clean out the chicken to prepare for oven
- Cook 1 large sliced onion in a stove/oven safe casserole dish for about 10 minutes. Add cubed pork and 1/2 lb of bacon. Store in fridge until day of.
- Heat oil in roasting tin and brown the chicken all over (this isn’t absolutely necessary, but it adds more flavor) Set chicken aside.
- Fry 1 diced onion in roasting tin for a couple minutes. Add 3 chopped celery sticks, 2 garlic cloves, 16 oz sliced mushrooms, and 1 tsp fresh thyme. Cook about 3 minutes. Put chicken back in pan and store in fridge until day of.
- Add other half of crumbled bacon to large stock pot with 1 diced onion. Cook until onion is pale golden.
- Stir red cabbage, caraway seeds, and water into large stock pot. Cover and cook 20 minutes.
- To large stock pot, add salt and pepper, diced pears, red wine, and vinegar. Cover and cook another 20 minutes over low heat. Store in fridge.
Weekly Meal Plan: Day of Directions
Pork and Garlic Sausage Casserole
15 minutes of active work time
2 hours (about) of passive cooking time
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Slice 2 lbs potatoes. Add to meat in the casserole dish. Stir in 1 cup chicken stock and bring to a boil on stove top. Cover and cook in oven for 45 minutes
- Take casserole out of oven and stir in skinned, sliced brats, diced apple, drained sauerkraut, and caraway seeds. Season with salt and pepper. Return to oven and cook 30 more minutes, or until meat is tender.
- Heat spiced red cabbage on stove top. Stir in honey or molasses to taste at end.
Chicken with Mushrooms
15 minutes active work time
2 hours (about) passive cooking time
- Pour 2 cups chicken stock and juice of 1 lemon in roasting tin with chicken and veggies. Sprinkle 1 tbsp chopped parsley over it and season well.
- Cook chicken in 350 F oven for 1 1/2 to two hours, or until tender. Baste occasionally to prevent drying out.
- Remove chicken from roasting tin. Stir 1/2 cup sour cream into roasting tin over low heat on stove. Add extra stock if necessary to make a sauce.
- Arrange chicken on plate surrounded with creamy mushroom sauce. Garnish with more parsley and enjoy!
- Serve with a side of spiced red cabbage heated on the stove top if desired.
Pork Roast and Veggies
15 minutes active work time
3 hours (about) passive cooking time
- Season roast with salt and pepper
- Brown pork on all sides in heavy casserole dish
- Add 1 sliced onion, 2 cups stock, and 3 tsp ground mustard
- Cover and cook in oven at 300 F for 2-3 hours
- Add chopped sweet potatoes, carrots, and juice of 1 lemon for last 30 minutes
- Serve with spiced red cabbage heated up and drizzled with honey or molasses.
Spätzle and Brats
20 minutes active work time (this one looks like a lot, but once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty quick)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Start cooking brats (can grill, use mini indoor grill, pan fry, your choice)
- Prepare spätzle dough: sift flour into a bowl and make a well in the center. Add 2 beaten eggs and enough milk to make a soft dough. Beat the dough until bubbles form. Stir in 1 tbsp oil and beat again.
- Cook spätzle dough: lightly wet a cutting board and knife with some water. Place dough on cutting board and shave off strips into the boiling water with the knife. Cook for 3 minutes, then remove with slotted spoon to a strainer to cool. Repeat until all dough has been used.
- Optional: For a different topping, you can crisp some bacon and diced onions and serve on top of spätzle.
- Slice brats and serve on top of spätzle or on the side. Serve with the red cabbage or a side of sauerkraut.