Weekly Meal Planning Progress & Cauliflower Taco Shells

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Last week my healthy weekly meal plan came crashing down on Wednesday evening. Overcome by work-related tasks, I succumbed to the ease of ordering quesadilla explosion salads at Chili’s after a long afternoon of task-mastering at the Starbucks conveniently located in the same plaza as Chili’s.

After that, I lost my low-carb cooking momentum, and proceeded to order in pizza on Thursday, Chinese on Friday, and calzones on Saturday. Ugh.

What Didn’t Work

I recognize that I had a choice. I was the one who chose to order in when I could have chosen to make the zucchini lasagna, shrimp cauliflower stir fry, or almond flour pizza. However, I believe that the short term consequences to my physical health aside, I made the right choice for my mental sanity. So that’s something.

I think where I went wrong was not having enough of the work done ahead of time, like last weekend. I wanted to brown the beef for the zucchini lasagna, slice the zucchini strips, rice the cauliflower, and prepare the pizza last Sunday so it would leave me with less prep work on the weeknights. I also wanted to make the low-carb snickerdoodles so we would have something sweet on hand that was not so carby.

After spending several hours last Sunday preparing other menu items for the week, such as chopping veggies, making a loaf of low-carb bread, and making peanut butter banana ice cream, it got to be time to start on dinner for Sunday night. I simply ran out of time and didn’t want us to be eating dinner at 10 p.m. I planned to work on the rest of the meals over the next few days, but that never happened.

We did have food on hand that I could have prepared in less time, including frozen Boca Burgers. But it was one of those things where you already ate one cookie, so you might as well eat five. That’s how I felt on Thursday night when the decision about dinner came around.

Our new recipe that we tried this week didn’t work out so well. While the mixture tasted great, the consistency wasn’t right so the black bean patties were all mushy (I substituted low-carb breadcrumbs that I made and almond flour for the carby ingredients, so that might have had something to do with it). We have another veggie burger recipe that I will be trying another time, but not this week.

What Worked

This was the first week that I made a large batch of peanut butter banana ice cream in advance for the week. I am the only one who eats it, and it lasted the whole week.

The cauliflower taco shells that we had last Sunday night also turned out great. Didn’t even taste like cauliflower, I promise! I will share the recipe below. Now that I have made them once and they were a success, I will be adding them into the rotation.

It was great to have the pulled pork on hand for salads throughout the week as well. We also had chopped veggies and onion dip on hand for the first half of the week which was nice for snacking.

New Plan for this Week

Since I still have the zucchini, cauliflower, and chopped veggies for stir fry in the refrigerator and they are still good, I am going to plan to make the zucchini lasagna and shrmip cauliflower stir fry this week. I also still have Boca Burgers in the freezer and butter lettuce in the fridge to make lettuce wrap veggie burgers, so they are on for the first part of the week as well.

I have something planned for Wednesday night, so I am off the cooking hook! Beyond that, I suspect that when Thursday comes around we might be tempted to get take out or order in again. Michael typically doesn’t work on Fridays, so we are pretty much already in weekend mode by the time Thursday rolls around. I still have everything ready to make the almond flour pizza, so if I get motivated, I would love to make one of those for sometime during the end of the week. We will see!

I ended up creating a more simplified version of our menu list from last week. I don’t necessarily think that plan was overly ambitious, but with everything else on my plate right now, it was. One day I will have more time to be the domestic goddess I have always dreamed of being!

New Recipe: Cauliflower Taco Shells

The recipe I followed for cauliflower taco shells can be found here. I already had about half a head of cauliflower riced in the refrigerator from a recipe the week before (shrimp cauliflower stir fry), so I used that and mixed it with two eggs instead of three. I got six taco shells out of this amount of ingredients.

We have a stainless steel round mold that I used to shape the “dough” into circular rounds. I found that it was difficult to get them flat, so I took a sheet of parchment paper and pressed down the dough gently to make them even flatter. when it came time to flip the shells, they were stuck to the parchment paper so I spent a lot of time gently scraping them off the paper. I would recommend making sure to use a nonstick cooking spray or other method of making your cooking surface as nonstick as possible.

We used pulled pork in the shells with the usual taco toppings: chopped onions, tomatoes, and lettuce, along with cheese and guacamole. Normally I use ground beef seasoned with taco seasoning for tacos, but that’s what we had on hand this week.

If you try this recipe, let us know what you think! Namaste!

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