Warming and Delicious November Meal Ideas

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Warming and delicious is on the menu for November!

With the long-term forecast for Wyoming showing daytime temps hovering around 40 degrees and dropping into the teens at night, it’s time for a roaring fire and cozy, comforting, budget-friendly meals — with a slight splurge for a Thanksgiving celebration.

November Meal Ideas

We all know a huge turkey can be a considerable expense, especially if you purchase one which is naturally grown. A free-range turkey, in my area, starts at $2.80 a pound. A free-range, organic heritage breed is $7.00 per pound! A bird weighing 15 pounds is definitely an investment! I’ll aim for as many post-celebration meals as possible from the single turkey.

The rest of the month, we’ll be rationing our food dollars with soups, stews, and inexpensive protein options. I do have an advantage of a freezer featuring wild game, but you can substitute inexpensive meats available to you.

Featured proteins: 2 to 3 pound roast (inexpensive cut, like a chuck), a whole chicken, salmon filets (if you have a Trader Joe’s near you, they often have excellent salmon prices), ground meat, eggs, and a turkey. Many recipes list the main dish only, add any vegetables and sides you prefer.

This menu serves four or five average eaters. You can make needed adjustments based on your family size and personal desires. And also, these meals build off of each other. This plan 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 find a To-Do List and Notes. You’ll find valuable information in this section!

Partial Week

Friday: Pizza Party!
Saturday: Eggs in Marinara

Week 1

Sunday: Crockpot roast, potatoes, carrots, celery, onion
Monday: Meat Pot Pie
Tuesday: Crockpot Pinto Beans, rice, sauteed cabbage
Wednesday: Chili (here’s an easy chili recipe)
Thursday: Beef Stroganoff Soup
Friday: Navajo Tacos with Sourdough Fry Bread
Saturday: Bean and Cheese Quesadillas (Read more about this in the To-Do List and Notes)

Week 2

Sunday: Crockpot Chicken, potatoes, carrots, celery, onion
Monday: Slow Cooker White Beans (I don’t add ham hocks), sauteed greens, cornbread
Tuesday: Buffalo Chicken Tortilla Pie
Wednesday: Middle Eastern White Beans and Rice (Fasooli)
Thursday: Chicken Stir-Fry
Friday: BBQ Style Baked Beans
Saturday: Sausage and Sweet Potato Hash

Week 3

Sunday: Lemon Dill Salmon (omitting asparagus since it is out of season and out of my budget), green salad with homemade dressing
Monday: Garbanzo Bean Curry
Tuesday: Main Dish Salad (Read more about this in the To-Do List and Notes)
Wednesday: Garbanzo Beans and Sprouted Wheat
Thursday: Creamed Onion with Thyme and Sage
Friday: Hummus Platter and Arabic Meatballs
Saturday: Creamy Instant Pot Sweet Corn Chowder

Week 4

Sunday: Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Monday: Curry Lo Mein Style Dinner (See notes for budget-friendly option)
Tuesday: Emergency Goulash
Wednesday: Egg Curry
Thursday (Thanksgiving): Super Moist Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potato casserole (made in the Instant Pot to free up oven space), sourdough stuffing, roasted Brussels sprouts
Friday: Turkey (Shepherd’s) Pie
Saturday: Creamed Turkey over Biscuits

Egg Curry

To-Do List and Notes

Partial Week

Friday:

Start pizza dough early in the day. If you don’t have a sourdough starter, make your favorite yeast or baking soda based recipe. Here’s a link to recipes I’ve used. If you are serving tomorrow night’s egg dish over polenta, you’ll want to begin the soaking process.

Saturday:

Unless using polenta, which should have been put to soak yesterday, no advance preparation is needed.

Week 1

Sunday:

Cook a 2 to 3 pound roast with potatoes, carrots, celery, and onion. When ready to serve, divide up the roast into portions, using around half tonight.  I find it best to do the portioning before the meal, taking only tonight’s serving to the table.  Divide the rest in half and refrigerate in glassware for future meals. Save the broth in a mason jar. If you used a bone-in roast, make broth from the bone.

Monday:

For the pie, use a container of last night’s roast, leftover vegetables, and make gravy from the saved broth. Put five cups (two pounds) of pinto beans on to soak.

Tuesday:

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.

After dinner, divide the remaining beans into two containers. One container should be beans only (very little juice). These will be pureed or mashed for Saturday’s quesadillas. The second container, including juice, is for a big batch (enough for two meals) of chili.

Wednesday:

No advance prep is needed. Use your favorite chili recipe to make a generous batch. Save enough chili (3 or 4 cups) to use for Friday night’s dinner.

Thursday:

This hearty soup is made with the last of the leftover roast from Sunday night. Start the sourdough fry bread.

Friday:

If you didn’t start the sourdough fry bread last night, start it early in the morning. Don’t have a sourdough starter? Fry bread can also be made out of your favorite bread dough.

Saturday:

No advance preparation is needed unless you’d like to make your own sourdough or soaked whole wheat tortillas. This is 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 (I like to add a little butter so the tortilla crisps nicely) until the first side is lightly brown.
Carefully flip and repeat with second side. If desired, you can add thinly shredded meat to the pureed beans and cheese before grilling. Yum!

Week 2

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 1 quart of broth for next week’s recipes and either 1 or 2 quarts (can use water in place of 1 quart) for your Thanksgiving turkey. You’ll also need 2 cups for the sourdough dressing.

Alternatively, you could cook the beans on the stovetop. Put five cups (two pounds) of Navy (or white) 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 the fasooli and 4 or 5 cups for the BBQ Style Beans. Any leftover beans can be frozen for future meals.

Tuesday:

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:

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

Friday:

No advance prep is needed.

Saturday:

No advance prep is needed.

Week 3

Sunday:

No advance prep is needed for dinner. After dinner, put five cups (about two pounds) of garbanzo beans/chickpeas on to soak. Start the wheat (for Wednesday night) to sprout. Here’s how to sprout wheat.

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 garbanzo beans out for the curry (4 cups), then divide the rest and store in glassware for future meals: 1 cup for tomorrow’s salad, 4 cups for Wednesday, and 2 cups for Friday.

Tuesday:

Even when the temps are dropping, 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 (is there any salmon 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’ll add small bowls of shredded cheese, olives, sunflower seeds, peanuts, etc. Then, everyone fills their plate with salad greens and whatever toppings he or she wants. Finish it off with a homemade dressing and maybe a nice crusty bread. It is so good!

Wednesday:

The prep for this meal was done in advance. You’ve been sprouting your wheat since Sunday, and it should look lovely today. The garbanzo beans are cooked. Did you take the stew meat out of the freezer?

Thursday:

You’ll use some of the broth you made last week and stashed in the fridge for this meal.

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:

No Instant Pot? No problem. This chowder is easily made on the stovetop. And I’m not going to lie, I’ve made it with canned corn before. Turned out fine. You’ll use the broth you made last week and stashed in the fridge for this chowder.

Week 4

Sunday:

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

Start thawing your turkey. You can make your bread today for the sourdough stuffing.

Monday:

To stretch your budget to accommodate for the turkey, omit the flank steak in the Curry Lo Mein Style Dinner and replace it with 2 or 3 eggs (notes at the bottom of the recipe).

If desired, brine your turkey several days before you plan to bake it.

Tuesday:

No advance prep is needed for tonight’s easy dinner.

Wednesday:

Hard boil your eggs for tonight’s curry early in the day. I like to take some time today to prep for tomorrow’s feast. The Brussels sprouts can be washed and trimmed, then put back in the fridge. The potatoes can be peeled and kept in cold water in the fridge. For the stuffing, the bread can be cubed and the onions, celery, and sausage can be cooked.

Thursday:

Start the turkey early. It will take several hours depending on the size. A good portion of the prep has been done in advance for today’s celebration. Enjoy the day while you finish things up!

Friday:

Today, I’ll pick as much meat as possible off the turkey carcass. I’ll set aside enough for tonight and tomorrow night’s dinners. The rest will go in the freezer for future sandwiches and December meals. The carcass will become at least three batches of broth to use in future recipes.

Saturday:

No advance prep is needed for tonight’s dinner.

 

Looking for more menu 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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