Meals for a Day

Posted by  | Tuesday, May 6, 2008  at 12:00 AM  
Cooking healthy meals does not have to be more work, but it does take planning. Here's a menu and recipes for a typical day in our house.

Breakfast: Oatmeal, poached eggs, and fresh juice

Lunch: Lentil Soup and Garden Salad (add things like sprouts and herbs for added nutrition!) (For Lydia, I chop up the veggies like cucumbers and tomatoes and give her these with some cheese, along with some soup)

Snack: Apple slices dipped in Tahina (Sesame Seed paste)

Dinner: Norwegian Meatballs with brown rice and steamed brocolli


1 c. oats, rolled or cracked

1 c. warm water plus 2 T. whey*

1 c. water

For hightest benefits and best assimilation, oatmeal should be soaked overnight. Once soaked, oatmeal takes less than 5 minutes to cook - truly a fast food. Soak oats in 1 c. water and whey overnight. In morning, bring an additional cup of water to boil with oatmeal and simmer a couple minutes. Serve with fresh ground flax seed, butter, raw honey, cinnamon, real maple syrup, etc.

*Whey: Line a strainer with a coffee filter and place over bowl. Pour in whole milk plain yogurt, cover, and let stand at room temperature for several hours or overnight. The whey will run into the bowl and the milk solids will stay in the strainer. Store whey in a mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. The milk solids - known as "labna" in the Middle East - is very healthy and can be substituted for sour cream in recipes, used in dips, etc. We like to add seasonings to it and eat it with veggie sticks.

Lentil Soup

2 c. lentils - soaked in water and 2 T. whey for 7 hours; drain and rinse

chicken stock*

1 tomato

1 potato

1 carrot

1 onion

8 (or more!) pieces garlic

1 t. cumin

salt and pepper


Cover lentils and veggies (all coarsely chopped) with water or stock and bring to a boil. The lentils will produce a lot of foam so be sure to skim this off. Reduce heat and simmer about an hour. Puree soup with handheld blender. Thin with water to desired consistency. Reheat slightly and add pressed garlic and seasonings to taste.

*Chicken Stock: Take whole chicken (or bones) and feet if you have them. Cover with water and 2 T. vinegar. Add 1 large onion, 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped, and 3 celery sticks, coarsely chopped. Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bring to a boil, and remove the scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6-24 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be. About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley. This will impart additional mineral ions to broth.

(I always keep beef and chicken stock on hand in the freezer. After making, I let it cool completely and freeze in Tupperware containers so I can defrost what I need for recipes. )

Norwegian Meatballs

1 lb hamburger meat

2 T. flour

2 T. chopped onion

1 egg

1/2 t. salt

1/8 t. pepper

Mix ingredients and make into meatballs. Brown meatballs in 2 T. butter. Remove from pan. Add 2 T. flour to 3-4 T. of drippings, after meatballs are removed. Add 1 1/4 c. beef broth (make like chicken stock only with beef bones; when making beef stock you can simmer it from 12 to 72 hours). Bring to boil. Add meatballs. Simmer 1 1/2 hours. Serve over brown rice.

Brown Rice

2 c. long-grain brown rice

2 T. butter

3 cardamom pods (seeds only)

4 c. chicken stock or water (or combination)

1/2 t. sea salt

Bring water (or stock), butter, cardamom, and salt to a boil. Add rice. Reduce flame to lowest heat, cover tightly and cook for at least 1 1/2 hours or as long as 3 hours. Do not remove lid during cooking. (This long, slow steaming neutralizes the phytic acid and allows for proper digestion.)


markandmeg said...

Thanks for some healthy ideas! I am really trying to make some healthy diet changes for my family. For those of you who make your own bread, I would LOVE to know what kind of grain you use, what your favorite recipes are, etc. I just got a grinder and am eager to try :)

KC said...

Krista, do you have any recipe books that you recommend? Sometimes nutrition information can be so overwhelming to me that I wish someone would just tell me what to eat. ha!

ChezDeshotels said...


Thanks for you sample day...I know things are harder overseas but for those living in the USA here is kind of what I do....One day or week or every two weeks I make veggie purees. I also come home from the farmers market or produce location and chop all veggies for snacks and store them in easy to grab containers. I amke sure I have staples of grains, flax ect on hand all the time as well as beans etc....I also plan my menus 2 weeks in advance and keep a clipboard on my kitchen wall to post menus and recipes. I agree with Krista keep stock or anything of the like made ahead in the freezer. I make fresh juice every morning as well as steel cut oatmeal (tip you can soak and make steel cut oatmeal for a few days and store in fridge if you a lacking time. I bake bread once a week as well. Being prepared is key to eating healthy. It is not hard to cook but I do have to plan and also I have a VERY PICKY 2 year old so I have to also be creative with purees and veggies to get her to eat. I also have not always been keen on nutrition but since having Lydia is has become more and more that way as well as some ehalth problems I have encountered. Thanks POH for helping get really on board. Despite my huband stashing junk food at every turn HAHAHA. Hope some of the ideas help. Keep up the good work ladies....I just want to let all of you know since I have changed the way we eat Lydia's behavior as well as health has made a complete turnaround!

Shannon said...

Yay, Krista - great post!

I know this sample day's meals sounds like a lot of work, but the key is in planning ahead! I just started planning my meals out a week in advance (leftovers and lunches included) and I can't tell enough you how much easier it is.

I print out my "schedule" of meals for the week, and leave room at the bottom for notes to myself. I post this up in the kitchen so I have it at a glance.

When I can see what I have going for the week, then I can do the cooking and preparing a little at a time (chop vegetables the evening before... cook the potatoes early in the day and just re-heat before dinner... cook the ground meat for today's chili and reserve 1/2 of it for tomorrow's spaghetti...)

Once you get in the habit of planning ahead, it's loads easier!

Happy Cooking!

Krista said...

How exciting to have a mill! My basic bread recipes is a modified version of the "Slightly Sweet but Simple Whole Wheat Bread" recipe from Breadbeckers. I typcially use hard red or Kamut (I LOVE Kamut) for breads. I use hard white for cookies, muffins, desserts, etc.

Here are my top 2 nutrition/recipe recommendations: The Maker's Diet (this will get you motivated to eat healthy) and Nourishing Traditions (a very comprehensive cookbook that is outstanding).

AJ and Shannon,
Thanks for showing examples of how easy eating healthy can be. It really does just take a PLAN. Then, once you get used to doing it for a few weeks, it becomes second nature to think ahead a day and begin preparing for the next day's meals.

Melissa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa said...


I always love reading your posts. My husband and I are in the church planting program headed overseas next year and one thing that I often wonder is how I will adjust/learn to cook with what I have available. Were you and your husband in the same program? If so are there cooking classes at the training center in VA? I have hear this rumor and was wondering if anyone knows it to be true (I have heard they show you to use the foods you have available in the area you are deploying to and teach you to cook healthy meals).

I can also second the tip about the steel cut oatmeal I read in another post. I buy McCann's and love it! It is has a nuttier taste and while I eat it plain, my mom loves it with honey or brown sugar. She actually got me hooked on it and it is a very healthy breakfast choice!

Thanks again! I also love to read everyone's comments. I learn so much from this blog!

The Simple Shepherdess said...

MMMMMMM, the lentil soup. I have made a batch almost every week since my visit to Egypt! I make it at the beginning of the week and grab a bowl for lunches and even breakfast:)

Krista's bread recipe is SO yummy. It's the only bread we eat nowadays:)

I agree, it's all in the planning. I have my menu and shopping list made up into a spread sheet on Microsoft Excell. It makes planning much simpler;)

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