7-Day Menus

I have written on this blog many times that some menus would have really helped us on our quest to go plastic-free back in 2011. I have sprinkled seven menus here and there on this site and today have compiled them into a single post. I have edited these since I first wrote them. As I added more recipes to my blog, I changed the menus around a bit (including the order). So if you would like to see the originals, go here.

Criteria for these menus (and some notes):

  • They will reduce your waste. This was the entire point of this exercise, after all! If you have no access to a farmers’ market or bulk bins, here are some ideas for reducing your waste when food shopping.
  • They are vegetarian. Technically I’m an omnivore but I follow the Michael Pollan guideline for sensible eating: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” So you’ll find lots of vegetables in these menus. If you eat meat, you can toss leftover bits into the soups, chili, stir fry and frittata, for example.
  • They include at least one fermented food every day. If you wonder why I eat so much fermented food, read this post and this post. In addition to tasting delicious and improving your gut health, fermented foods keep for weeks, months and even longer, depending on the type. If you make your own sauerkraut, for example, you can make several jars occasionally, which can easily keep for a year. This saves time.
  • The menus vary daily. I absolutely do not cook this much food in a week but I added different dishes every day to mix things up. If I cooked a new dish every single night, not only would I be completely exhausted, I would spend a fortune and waste piles of food. I would suggest following one or two menus (or a few meals that strike your fancy from different days) and eating the dishes for several days. (I love leftovers.)
  • I have posted no caloric information. A recent large study published in JAMA found that “people who cut back on added sugar, refined grains and highly processed foods while concentrating on eating plenty of vegetables and whole foods—without worrying about counting calories or limiting portion sizes—lost significant amounts of weight over the course of a year” as opposed to those who counted calories. Read about the study here.

The Menus


Breakfast: Steel-cut oats (start them Saturday night in minutes) topped with fruit, yogurt, nuts, seeds 

Lunch: Kitchen sink soup

Dinner: Not-too-spicy black beans, sourdough tortillas (I like this recipe), fermented salsa, sour cream

Snack: Vegetables (carrots, celery, peppers, broccoli, mushrooms) and hummus (basic or with preserved lemon)


Breakfast: Sourdough pancakes topped with fruit, yogurt, nuts, seeds

Lunch: Clear-out-the-fridge seasonal salad with vegetables, cooked grains and cooked beans on hand, balsamic vinaigrette

Dinner: Lentil dal (or pumpkin dal), brown rice and fermented condiments (preserved lemons, fermented hot peppers, yogurt, chutney)

Snack: Fruit


Breakfast: Egg scramble with leftover chopped vegetables, beet kvass or gut shot (the probiotic brine of fermented pickles, kimchi or sauerkraut)

Lunch: Sandwich with hummus (basic or with preserved lemon), vegetables, sprouts and fermented dill pickles on sourdough bread

Dinner: Pizza with tomato sauce (or pesto sauce, tapenade or even simply olive oil) and topped with vegetables on hand and ricotta cheese, seasonal salad with balsamic vinaigrette

Snack: Kale chips, ginger beer


Breakfast: Granola topped with fruit and yogurt or almond milk

Lunch: Vegan chili

Dinner: Pasta with vegan pesto

Snack: Popcorn, kombucha


Breakfast: Sourdough waffles topped with fruit, yogurt, nuts, seeds

Lunch: Use-em-up roasted vegetables puréed into a soup or tossed into a salad with cooked grains and beans, hardboiled eggs

Dinner: Stir fry with peanut sauce and brown rice, kimchi

Snack: Roasted chickpeas


Breakfast: Eggs any style, topped with avocado and kimchi

Lunch: Sourdough bread, hummus (basic or with preserved lemon), labneh, vegetables

Dinner: Chana masala, cauliflower rice and condiments (preserved lemons, fermented hot peppers, yogurt, chutney)

Snack: Soft pretzels (or soft sourdough pretzels), hibiscus soda


Breakfast: Sourdough toast with nut butter, fruit

Lunch: Minestrone soup

Dinner: Clear-out-the-fridge fritatta, sauerkraut

Snack: Sourdough crackers and leftover dip (basic hummus or with preserved lemon, salsa, tapenade, pesto)

Meal Planning

To help you meal plan, I’ve created this simple, downloadable and fillable menu planner. You’ll find a post on menu planning here. As I said above, I don’t cook a different meal every night. I also eat lots of leftovers for lunch. So, my weekly meals will look more like the menu below.

SundaySteel-cut oats topped with fruit, yogurt, nuts, seedsKitchen sink soupNot-too-spicy black beans, sourdough tortillas, fermented salsa, sour creamVegetables and hummus
MondaySourdough pancakes topped with fruit, yogurt, nuts, seedsLeftover kitchen sink soupLeftover black beans and sidesFruit
TuesdayEgg scramble with leftover chopped vegetables, beet kvassLast of the black beans and sidesPizza with tomato sauce, topped with vegetables on hand and ricotta cheese, seasonal salad with balsamic vinaigretteKale chips, ginger beer
WednesdayGranola topped with fruit and yogurt or almond milkThe last of the kitchen sink soupLeftover pizza, saladPopcorn, kombucha
ThursdayGranola topped with fruit and yogurt or almond milkLast of the pizzaStir fry with peanut sauce and brown rice, kimchiNo snack tonight, fell asleep early after cooking and cleaning 😉
FridayEggs any style, topped with avocado and kimchiSourdough bread, hummus, vegetablesLeftover stir fry with peanut sauce, brown rice, kimchiPopcorn, hibiscus soda
SaturdaySourdough toast with nut butter, fruitLeftover anythingOut for dinnerPopcorn, ginger beer (we eat lots of popcorn)

Bon appétit!

15 Replies to “7-Day Menus”

  1. Anne-Marie, These look and sound great, thanks for sharing!

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Thanks for checking them out, Fadya. Lots of opportunities to eat sourdough bread in these. I hope your baking is going well 🙂 ~ Anne Marie

  2. Thank you for this post. I have attempted to meal prep to avoid wood and use up what I have in my pantry. x

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Hi Shishi. Thanks for checking it out 🙂 That’s the best–using up what you have. I think that’s how we all used to cook, looking in the pantry and deciding from there what to make. ~ Anne Marie

  3. Absolutely brilliant – thank you!

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Thank you so much 🙂 ~ Anne Marie

      1. No thank you for this – it’s so exciting and just so smart.

  4. […] assuming), Anne Marie has created a quality foodie blog by any standard. She posts recipes, meal-planning guides, waste-reducing how-to’s, and even hosts workshops which she broadcasts over […]

  5. Thank you very much for your fantastic recepies! ❤️🙏🏻 My family absolutely adores these waffle!

  6. Hello, I stumbled upon your site when I was searching about sourdough. Love every contents!! In your Monday dinner entry, you list sourdough tortilla but I can’t find it in your recipe index. Would you please tell me /or post how to make it? Thank you!

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Hi Rio, here is the recipe I use: https://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2011/07/whole-wheat-sourdough-tortillas.html It really does help to add a bit of dough conditioner to the tortillas, either ground ginger or, if you have it, citric acid. Enjoy!
      ~ Anne Marie

  7. […] plastic. She went plastic free in 2011 and decided to go zero waste shortly after. Look out for her menus amidst other informative articles which are not only delicious but healthy for both you and the […]

  8. […] is a great 7 day menu by the Zero Waste Chef that will have you eating waste-free all week while developing […]

  9. I’d love a recipe for sourdough pancakes. I assume it’s vegan.

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