January 25, 2013

Week 4 - Cleaning Out the Cupboards!

Printable Version of Meal Plan with Recipes and Grocery List

My goal this week was to work with what I already had on hand.  I was actually shocked when I saw how long the grocery list was, especially the ‘grocery’ section.  My actual list had only 2 items in this section – cereal and white pepper.  I did pretty well but one of my recipes was a flop and although the leftovers are still in the fridge I think they’re destined for the green bin unfortunately.

Week in review

Monday – We had a potluck on the weekend with my supper club girls, the hubbies and kids.  The house was full, the food was delicious and plentiful and the Sangria was a hit!  And as a bonus we had leftovers!!  I had made a Greek Quinoa salad as a gluten free option and that became Monday’s lunch with some added chickpeas.  Monday’s supper was leftover ham (one of those spiral ham from Costco – yum!) and some easy veggie sides.
Tuesday – Lunch was a Pesto Egg Melt recipe I found on Weelicious.com.  I love this sandwich - its easy and bursting with flavor.  It’s better hot out of the pan but travels ok, I just heat it a few seconds in the microwave.  Supper was a Panko CrustedTofu recipe, much like one of my favorites from the cafeteria at work.  I was pretty sure I was going to love this recipe but was surprised when it got an enthusiastic thumbs up from Dave.  Marin preferred her tofu “smooth” so Dave and I gladly split her crunchy coating.  For sides we had edamame in the pods to feel like we were eating out at a Sushi restaurant and I made a quick stir-fry with broccoli slaw, frozen kale and peanuts with sesame oil and a couple of spoonfuls of the dipping sauce.  I’m giving this one my vote for the recipe you should try this week!  If you’re not a tofu eater this is a good intro.  And if the dipping sauce isn’t your thing a balsamic reduction or a peanut sauce would work too.

Wednesday – Lunch was an attempt at using up odds and ends – Melba that’s been in the cupboard for awhile, hummus from Marin’s Birthday weekend and veggies.  The breaded chicken we had for supper is one of my go-to chicken recipes.  I can’t remember if this is a recipe I found or just made up to be honest.  It’s nothing fancy but always does the trick – kind of like homemade Shake ‘n Bake.   I pan fried but it can be baked as well.  I used coconut oil this time and I think it added a nice hint of flavor – it’s becoming my oil of choice.  The roasted veggies (from Today's Parent) were good and the bonus was that I was able to do the prep Tuesday night for two nights suppers!
Thursday – Lunch was a close repeat of Wednesday’s with tuna instead of hummus.  If you were to ask me if I like tuna I’d probably say no, yet every time I have it I’m surprised by how much I enjoy it.  So I guess I do like it J  The Roasted Vegetable Soup for supper was admittedly a disappointment.  I think I had too many veggies and not enough broth so it ended up being veggie mush instead of veggie soup.  And I didn’t really enjoy the orange flavor either.   But the biggest disappointment is that it made a really big pot with the leftovers likely going to waste.   There was a silver lining to this meal though - the cheddar crisps.  Whenever we make anything (like nachos) that results in burnt little bits of cheese on the pan we always think ‘why don’t we just bake cheese??’  So we did!!  And it was awesome!  I shredded Old Cheddar and baked it on a stone until it was very bubbly.  Once it cooled it became crispy and oh so good!  Unfortunately Marin liked it too so we had to share L
Friday – I’m actually home sick today and the thought of the soup just wasn’t appealing to me.  I had toast instead.  Supper is mushroom, onion and cheese quesadillas.  I bought pre-shredded mozza which is totally justifiable for Convenience Food Friday.  I’m skipping the salsa and just serving with sour cream and guacamole.  I buy these Food 4 Life tortillas which I find in the freezer section of the health food aisle at Sobey’s or Atlantic Superstore.  If you can find them I totally recommend them! 

Next week is a blank slate so far... any ideas? 

January 18, 2013

Week 3 - A Trip Around the World?

Printable Version of Meal Plan with Recipes and Grocery List

This was one of those weeks that I made a plan and didn’t stick with it.  Lots of little tweaking along the way because of things like unexpected leftovers.  But luckily this turned out to be a flexible week so no harm done.  I think it helps to have a couple of meals that don’t rely on fresh ingredients – that way you can push them to the end of the week or even to the following week if need be.  I also realized mid-week that I had a lot of Ethnic food on the menu – Asian, Greek, Indian and Mexican.  It wasn’t planned but it made for a nice theme! 

Check-point – how I’m doing with my goals to save time and money? 

January 11, 2013

Week 2 – Prep Ahead, Economical Meals

Printable Version of Meal Plan with Recipes and Grocery List

This was a typical week – we both worked the full week and neither of us had any lunch outings planned.  My daughter is turning 4 next week and we were in party prep and planning mode so I tried to stick to some easy meals in order to free up my evenings for getting ready for that.  Another thing I was focused on this week was avoiding tomatoes… I’m a long-time eczema sufferer and I know tomatoes to be one of my triggers.  Problem is I LOVE tomatoes - so instead of cutting them out altogether I try to eat them in moderation, but if you recall I went pretty crazy with them last week.  Unfortunately that coincided with a great sale on Ricotta – one of our favorite dishes is Ricotta Stuffed Shells with what else?  Pasta sauce!   I’ll keep you in suspense with how that turned out!

Week in review

Monday – I had supper club with the girls on Sunday evening (stay tuned for restaurant reviews coming soon!) so no big batch supper to get me through Monday. 

January 04, 2013

Meal Plan for Week 1 is Posted!

Printable Version of Meal Plan with Recipes and Grocery List

The first meal plan has been posted!!!  Are you as excited as I am?!  It took some time to figure out how best to present this information and you may see some changes over the next several weeks.  Please feel free to comment or give suggestions!  For now I’ve created a page called “Meal Plans” and there are four documents posted there under “Week 1” - the Meal Plan in table format, the Recipes (2 pages) and the Grocery List.  This way you can print just the sections that you need.   If you’re using the Grocery List you’ll probably find that many of the items are staples that you already have on hand.  I’ve highlighted in red text the items that are needed for suppers since I assume some people may not be following for breakfast/lunch.  I also decided to NOT include snacks other than fruit and veggies, so make sure to add your favorites to the list.

Week in Review -

This wasn’t really a typical week in my house – first, it’s not very often that we have not one but two parties in one week and both falling on week days.  So that was 2 days I didn’t need suppers.  Also, we only worked the second half of the week and since I didn’t know exactly what we’d be doing on our stay home days my mind set was to have a few simple recipes that could be stretched over a few days.
Sunday – this was a stormy day with hubby in the kitchen cooking his famous spaghetti and meatballs!  Does it get any better than that?