February Meal Plan Ideas – Wholesome Goodness for Your Honey and Honey Drops

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Looking for some great meal plan ideas to carry you through the 29 days of February? 29 days! Leap year. An extra day in February, an extra day in the year. As a child, I was totally in awe of my friend born on February 29. Was he really older than me? How could he be when his birthday only came around every four years? Yes, I really taxed my brain that year trying to sort that one out!

February Meal Plan Ideas

This month’s meal plan ideas focus on wholesome goodness and nourishing comfort. February is often referred to as the month of love. I love to share my love of friends and family over a good meal!

My February meal plan ideas prove a good meal doesn’t have to break the bank. One of my favorite recent memories is when our neighbors dropped by late one afternoon. We were having such a wonderful time visiting that we decided to extend an offer to stay for supper. The supper we served our guests? Leftover lentil stew and homemade bread while we sat in front of the fire! For “dessert” my husband whipped up a batch of popcorn. Even though there was nothing fancy about our supper, it was very warm and festive.

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth,
for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:
it is the time for home.”
Edith Sitwell

This month’s meal plan ideas focus on good food, comfort, and warmth while keeping the budget in check — perfect meals to share with family and friends by while chatting by the fire.

Need More?

I link directly to recipes whenever possible, but sometimes, I make a note about how I alter a recipe to accommodate budget or nutrition. You’ll find these notes in the To-Do List and Notes further down in the post. Even though I’m sharing some scrumptious recipes in these meal plan ideas, I’d be remiss if I didn’t direct you to this post on how most of my soups and stews are created. Instead of a recipe, I use a method. This gives me the most bang for my food buck.

The Details

This collection of meal plan ideas serves four or five average eaters. You can make needed adjustments based on your family size and personal desires. And also, these meals often build off of each other. This collection of meal plan ideas features whole, real, and traditional foods. Foods are often (but not always) fermented, cultured, soaked, sprouted, or soured.

Don’t have a sourdough starter? Learn how to catch a wild starter.

Be sure to scroll down to the To-Do List and Notes section for lots of valuable information!

February Meal Plan Ideas – Wholesome Goodness for Your Honey and Honey Drops

 

Partial Week

Saturday: Spaghetti Squash Meatball Casserole (use full-fat cheese)

Week 1

Sunday: Crockpot Chicken, potatoes, carrots, celery, onion
Monday: Easy Black Beans and Yellow Rice (Read more about this in the To-Do List and Notes)
Tuesday: Chicken Stir-Fry
Wednesday: Chicken and Black Bean Bowls (Read more about this in the To-Do List and Notes)
Thursday: Main Dish Salad (Read more about this in the To-Do List and Notes)
Friday: Creamy Black Bean Soupsavory muffins
Saturday: Black bean and Cheese Quesadillas (Read more about this in the To-Do List and Notes)

February Meal Plan Ideas; Wholesome Goodness for Your Honey and Honey Drops

Week 2

Sunday: One Pot Stuffed Pepper Casserole
Monday: Lentils and Rice (Read more about this in the To-Do List and Notes)
Tuesday: Sesame, Miso, and Ginger One Pot Chicken Ramen
Wednesday: Lentil and Rice Loaf (Read more about this in the To-Do List and Notes)
Thursday: Easy Real Food Meaty Lasagna
Friday: Lentil and Rice Burgers (Read more about this in the To-Do List and Notes)
Saturday: Spinach Crepes Bernoise

 

Week 3

Sunday: Chipolte Beef Barbacoa Copycat Recipe in a Slow Cooker
Monday: Garbanzo Bean Curry
Tuesday: Stuffed Burritos
Wednesday: Winter Greens and Garbanzo Salad
Thursday: Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff
Friday: Hummus Platter and Arabic Meatballs
Saturday: Main Dish Salad (Read more about this in the To-Do List and Notes)

Week 4

Sunday: Crockpot Chicken, potatoes, carrots, celery, onion
Monday: Slow Cooker White Beans (I don’t add ham hocks), sauteed greens
Tuesday: Buffalo Chicken Tortilla Pie
Wednesday: Middle Eastern White Beans and Rice (Fasooli)
Thursday: Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup and Fluffy Cornbread
Friday: BBQ Style Baked Beans
Saturday: Sushi night!

February Meal Plan Ideas – Wholesome Goodness for Your Honey and Honey Drops

To-Do List and Notes

Partial Week To-Do

Saturday:

Spaghetti Squash Meatball Casserole (use full-fat cheese)

No advance prep needed. I don’t use a microwave, so I often cook spaghetti squash in my Instant Pot. It’s so easy! Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Put your insert in the Instant Pot, add 1.5 cups of water and 2 pieces of squash. Set the manual button to 4. After it beeps (telling you it is done) use the rapid release method.

Looking for more great Instant Pot tips and recipes? Be sure to check out my friend Wardee’s Pressure Cooking eCourses at Traditional Cooking School.

 

Week 1

Sunday:

Cook a whole chicken in the crockpot with potatoes, carrots, celery, and onion.  Serve a little under half tonight along with the vegetables. Divide the remaining bird in half and refrigerate in glassware for future meals. Save any accumulated stock in a mason jar.

If you have two crockpots, put the bones back in to make broth. Or start one batch of broth tonight (which you can use to cook tomorrow’s beans), then save the bones in the refrigerator while you cook tomorrow’s beans in the crockpot. Afterward, make a second (and third!) batch of broth.

The broth will keep in a mason jar in the back of the fridge for at least a week. You’ll need broth for cooking beans, for stir-fry, for the black bean bowls, plus cooking beans and soup later in the month. Freeze for longer storage. TIP: Freeze in ice cube trays then move to a baggie for instant broth as needed.

Alternatively, you could cook the beans on the stovetop. Put five cups (two pounds) of  black beans on to soak.

Monday:

Black beans are this week’s featured Stretchy Bean. Drain off the soaking water and rinse the beans. Cook in the crockpot on low for about 6 and a half hours, or start them in the morning before you leave for work. I love cooking beans in broth to increase the nutrition. Broth acts as a protein sparer, helping to stretch a small amount of meat into a complete meal. You’ll use about 3 cups of cooked beans in tonight’s dinner. Divide the remaining beans as follows: 3 cups beans and (a little) broth for Wednesday, 2 cups beans only (no or little broth) for Saturday, the rest (lots of broth and some beans) for Friday.

Tonight’s dinner: Easy Black Beans with Yellow Rice. Use this recipe, substituting cooked beans for canned. Use a traditional fat (tallow, lard, butter, coconut oil) in place of vegetable oil.

Tuesday:

Chicken Stir-Fry. If using brown rice as a base for your stir fry, you may wish to soak early in the day, then cook in your Instant Pot for a speedy dish.

Wednesday:

If using brown rice for the Chicken and Black Bean Bowls, you may wish to soak early in the day, then cook in your Instant Pot for a speedy dish.

Chicken and Black Bean Bowls is adapted from a recipe at Traditional Cooking School.

  • 4 cups cooked black beans with broth (saved from Monday), divided
  • 1 cup of broth (can use water) to desired consistency
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (additional to taste)
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional, but recommended)
  1. Combine 2 cups of beans plus remaining ingredients in a saucepan over low heat.
  2. Mash with potato masher until smooth.
  3. Add the remaining 2 cups beans and mash a little more. How chunky would you like it?
  4. To serve, put rice in the bottom of each person’s bowl. Top with a scoop or two of seasoned black beans, chicken chunks (leftover from Sunday) and choice of toppings, such as diced onions, sliced olives, diced avocado, shredded cheese, cilantro, sour creamsalsa, etc.

Thursday:

In the dark days of winter, a nice big salad hits the spot! We scour the fridge and freezer for bits of meat and veggies to top the salad. I cut all of the fresh vegetables, cooked meats, beans or legumes, and cheeses and put them on a large cutting board, which then becomes the serving board. If I don’t have any cooked meats lurking in the fridge, I’ll hard boil some eggs and/or mix up salmon or tuna salad (from a can).

We’ll add small bowls of shredded cheese, olives, sunflower seeds, peanuts, etc. Then everyone fills their plate with salad greens and whatever toppings they want. Finish it off with a homemade dressing and maybe a nice crusty bread. It is so good!

Friday:

Put muffin batter to soak early in the day.

Saturday:

Black bean and Cheese Quesadillas. No advance preparation is needed unless you’d like to make your own sourdough or soaked whole wheat tortillas.

The Black Bean and Cheese Quesadillas are so, so quick and easy. Mash or puree the beans (you may have already done this earlier in the week). Spread a generous bean layer on the tortilla, sprinkle with shredded cheese (to your own taste) and top with a second tortilla. Grill in a hot cast-iron skillet until the first side is lightly brown (I like to add a little butter so the tortilla crisps nicely). Carefully flip and repeat with the second side. If desired, you can add leftover thinly shredded meat to the pureed beans and cheese before grilling. Yum!

Week 2

Sunday:

One Pot Stuffed Pepper Casserole. No advance prep needed. Substitute chicken broth for beef broth.

Monday:

Brown lentils are a fast-cooking legume. I love to utilize lentils as part of my Stretchy Bean repertoire, but because they don’t hold up well to cooking, cooling, and reheating, I prefer to sprout lentils. But this month, we’re living on the wild side! Three lentil dishes, that starts with a lentil and rice dish. This concept is how I first learned about the Stretchy Bean idea from a blog, appropriately called, Lentils and Rice. The blog is no more, but her idea of turning lentils and rice into more than one dish lives on.

Early in the day, clean 1 pound of lentils (about 2 1/3 cups). Rinse an equal amount of brown rice. Combine the two and cover with pure water. Use a big soup pot with a tight-fitting lid (if you plan to cook in the same pot) because the lentils and rice will expand. This will make enough lentils and rice for three meals. The water should be several inches over the top. If possible, check mid-day and add additional water.

About an hour before supper, drain the water. While I usually cook beans in broth to increase the nutrition, I prefer to cook this dish in pure water.  Lentils are so mildly flavored and the broth can overpower the dish.

Replace the water with 10 cups of fresh water. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil. Skim as needed, then reduce to heat to a simmer. Put on the lid. Cook until the lentils and rice are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. This takes 45 minutes to an hour (your elevation may change your cooking time). Turn off the heat, let stand a few minutes (this allows any additional water to be absorbed).

Let individuals add additional salt, pepper, hot sauce, cheese, sour cream, or any desired toppings. Divide the leftovers in half and store them in the refrigerator.

Tuesday:

This ramen soup is a good one! My friend Laurie introduced me to miso soup (made at home) several years ago. Sure, I’d had it in Japanese restaurants, but making it myself is so amazing. Different miso has different flavors, so be sure to try several before settling on your favorite. I like the white miso like this one.  If you can’t find quality ground chicken, mince your own using your food processor.

Wednesday:

Lentil Loaf. I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure about this. My meat-loving husband really wasn’t sure about this. But I’m here to tell you, lentil loaf is delicious. And it’s a great way to stretch your budget when you can’t afford the 2 pounds of hamburger needed for meatloaf. While I tend to throw my lentil loaf together as I’m making it, here’s a recipe very similar to my method. Add extra veggies as needed to stretch this loaf to feed your family Use two eggs in place of the flax egg (unless you want or need an egg-free vegan loaf).  The glaze really makes the loaf. Or try a combination of salsa and sour cream after the loaf is fully cooked. Yum!

Thursday:

Easy Real Food Meaty Lasagna. No advance prep needed.

Friday:

Burger night! Lentil burgers, that is. These are so easy, you won’t need a recipe.

Mince 1/2 or 1 onion and an equal amount of bell pepper (color doesn’t matter). Judge how much to use by how many patties you need to make. If you really need to stretch it, add celery to your saute mixture and/or shredded carrots at the end of cooking time. You can stretch this dish as needed. Saute the onion and pepper in a healthy fat until soft.

Meanwhile, mash or puree 3/4 of the lentil and rice mixture. Use an immersion blender or food processor if you want it to really hold together. You can use a potato masher or fork and lots of brute force instead. Add an egg (or 2, if stretching the dish) and mix together, then add the remaining 1/4 of lentil and rice mixture. Stir in the cooked veggies. Add salt and pepper, maybe a little chili powder and garlic powder.

Now you need to evaluate the texture. Is it thick enough to hold together? If not, stir in some flour. You want a consistency that will hold together when you form the patties.  Press into burger-sized patties. Bake on a baking sheet (I like to cover with parchment) for about 15 minutes until firm. Flip and bake an additional 7 to 10 minutes on the second side.

Serve with buns and fixings, just like a burger. How about homemade fries too?  Or try them as patties with a tahini sauce.

Saturday:

Spinach Crepes Bernoise. If you’ve been looking for a tasty way to add nutrient-dense organ meat to your diet, this is it! This recipe takes a little more time to put together than most of the recipes I share, but it is so worth it. Give this one a try. Start early in the day to soak the crepe batter. Then finish it up about an hour and a half before supper time.

 

Week 3

Sunday:

This recipe is delicious. My neighbor made this for a get together.  I’ve made it many times since then! We a make it with elk, venison, or antelope (meats abundant to us) but it’s delicious with beef also. 😉 Note: the directions call for 2 adobe peppers, about 4 teaspoons (not 2 cans). I open the little can, use what is needed and freeze the rest for next time.  Serve with rice, cauli-rice, or even spaghetti squash to soak up the yummy broth. Save the leftover meat to use in Tuesday’s dish. I save the broth to use as a base for chili. Keep in the freezer until ready to use.

After dinner, put five cups (about two pounds) of garbanzo beans/chickpeas on to soak.

Monday:

I love cooking beans in broth to increase nutrition. Broth acts as a protein sparer, helping to stretch a small amount of meat into a complete meal. If using your crockpot, start the beans in the morning and let them simmer all day. Allow 45 minutes to an hour to prepare the Garbanzo Bean Curry.

Portion the 4 cups of garbanzo beans out for the curry, then divide the rest and store in glassware for future meals: 4 cups for Wednesday,  2 cups for Friday, and 1 cup for Saturday.

Tuesday:

Super Flexible Stuffed Burritos. This is a mainstay meal in our house. The Chipolte beef from Sunday is the perfect protein for this meal. If you don’t have enough of the beef leftover, mix in some scrambled eggs. If you have some beans stashed in the freezer, pull them out. Or – gasp – use canned beans if needed. Start this dish early in the day if you are making your own tortillas and/or soaking the rice.

Wednesday:

I think you’re going to like this one! A warm salad featuring garbanzo beans and your choice of hearty greens. Use kale, collards, mustard, beet, cabbage, or a combination.  The recipe calls for 1 can of garbanzo beans. We like more beans with our greens and use 4 cups of cooked beans.

Thursday:

Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff. No advance prep needed.

If you are fermenting your hummus, start it tonight.

Friday:

We like to keep Friday nights fun and festive. Hummus,  tzatziki, slices of cucumber, olives, cheeses, dried fruit, pita wedges and crackers along with tiny minty meatballs (to be eaten off of a toothpick) make for an almost celebratory meal.

Saturday:

Main Dish Salad. We scour the fridge and freezer for bits of meat and veggies to top the salad. I cut all of the fresh vegetables, cooked meats (is there any beef leftover from Sunday?), beans or legumes, and cheeses on a large cutting board, which then becomes the serving board. If I don’t have any cooked meats lurking in the fridge, I’ll hard boil some eggs and/or mix up salmon or tuna salad from a can.

We add small bowls of shredded cheese, olives, sunflower seeds, peanuts, etc., then, everyone fills their plate with salad greens and whatever toppings they want. Finish it off with a homemade dressing and maybe a nice crusty bread. It is so good!

Week 4

Sunday:

Cook a whole chicken in the crockpot with potatoes, carrots, celery, and onion.  Serve a little under half tonight along with the vegetables. Divide the remaining bird in half and refrigerate in glassware for future meals. Save any accumulated stock in a mason jar.

If you have two crockpots, put the bones back in to make broth. Or start one batch of broth tonight (which you can use to cook tomorrow’s beans), then save the bones in the refrigerator while you cook tomorrow’s beans in the crockpot. Afterward, make a second (and third!) batch of broth.

The broth will keep in a mason jar in the back of the fridge for at least a week. You’ll need broth for cooking beans and making soup this week. Freeze for longer storage. TIP: Freeze in ice cube trays then move to a baggie for instant broth as needed.

Alternatively, you could cook the beans on the stovetop. Put five cups (two pounds) of  black beans on to soak.

Monday:

I love cooking beans in broth to increase the nutrition. Broth acts as a protein sparer, helping to stretch a small amount of meat into a complete meal.

If using your crockpot, start the beans at least 5 hours before dinner. After dinner, divide the remaining beans. You’ll need 3 cups for Wednesday’s fasooli and 4 or 5 cups for Saturday’s BBQ Style Beans. Any leftover beans can be frozen for future meals.

Tuesday:

Buffalo Chicken Tortilla Pie. No advance prep is needed unless you’re making your own tortillas.

Wednesday:

If using brown rice for the fasooli, you may wish to soak early in the day, then cook in your Instant Pot for a speedy dish.

Thursday:

Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup and Fluffy Cornbread. No advance prep needed.

Friday:

Sushi Night! We love to make sushi at home. Almost any ingredient is fair game. We often cross over to serving both sushi and kimbap.

Saturday:

BBQ Style Baked Beans. No advance prep is needed.

Looking for more meal plan ideas? Check out the meal plan archives here.

Millie Copper
Millie Copper is a Wyoming wife and mama. After reading Nourishing Traditions in early 2009, her family began transforming their diet to whole, unprocessed, nutrient dense foods—a little at a time while stretching their food dollars. Millie is passionate to share how, with a little creativity, anyone can transition to a real foods diet without overwhelming their food budget. Millie began blogging in late 2009 and has amassed a collection of frugal recipes and methods. Her specialties include cooking with wild game and creating “Stretchy Beans”. Discovering a love of writing, she has penned four books focusing on healthy eating on a budget and is trying her hand at fiction writing. Learn more at MillieCopper.com.

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