Weekly Meal Plan 10/19-10/25

Well hello there! We woke up to frozen grass and frosty windows. Seems it’s that time. We’ve still got some warmish days in front of us, but we’ve definitely moved into pumpkin spice everything season. I’ve had a little luck getting my myriad activities under control, although it required that I make a visual aid for a typical week so I could see that it could all actually fit provided I don’t say yes to anything else, ever. So that’s the current stance. If you had planned to ask me for something, you should know that. ūüėČ While I practice saying no, we will be eating some delicious food.

Monday: Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup, Wheat Bread, green salad

Tuesday: African Lentil Casserole, sautéed green beans, green salad

Wednesday: Roasted Cauliflower Wraps, oven fries, cut veggies

Thursday: Half Raw Stir Fry on Crispy Rice

Friday:¬†Homemade Pizza – It occurs to me I’ve never really described this for you…

Saturday: Dinner Out!

Sunday: Homemade Spinach Pasta with Mushroom Sauce, green salad

Adult Lunches: leftover tomato soup from last week

Lunchbox Treats: low sugar graham crackers

One of my unscheduled tasks today is to dig through the winter boxes and get out some gloves for all those who walk to the bus stop. Hope you know where your gloves are… looks like we’re gonna need them!

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Weekly Meal Plan 10/12-10/18

Well hey there friends. Gearing up for what looks like a strangely variable week here in Mid-Maryland. The weather map has one of those big dips on it with lots of arrows and color variation. Yeah, so I’m checking highs and lows… Am I the only one who does this to decide what to eat? There are some things I just don’t like when it’s hot. Soup is okay, but stew is out. No stew when hot. It is written… right here… on this blog.

At any rate I’ve got a handle on the weather and I’m beginning to get a handle on our evening activities around here. As I think I’ve mentioned before Mr. Little Sis and I have added some diversions and obligations to our various to do lists and as a result evenings have gotten a lot busier. I recently considered sending everyone on their way with a packed lunch that is dinner sized to justify just having toast and salad for dinner as that’s about all I want by the end of these busy days. I decided pretty quickly that while that would be fine with me, it would be a generally unpopular move that I would then have to discuss…. that sounded more annoying than finding the energy for a legitimate evening meal. So, back to those highs and lows. This week begins Crock Pot week – no it’s not a national Facebook thing, at least not yet. I just mean in my house, the Crock Pot can now legitimately make its grand fall entrance. It’s not going to get above 75, so out comes the Crock Pot to help make sense of the increasingly stupid schedule.

Monday: (Baseball, schedule shift, normally Thursday, band practice for Mom cancelled) Sesame Whole Wheat Pancakes with sliced peaches, cut carrot sticks (every once in a while breakfast for dinner makes people really happy)

Tuesday: (violin and viola lessons, Crock Pot required) Slow Cooker (No Cream) Creamy Tomato Soup; Multigrain Bread, green salad

Wednesday: (Mom has choir) Lentil Bulgur Burgers, Roasted Potatoes, Green Salad

Thursday: (no baseball but conference call for Mom) Zucheesey Noodles, sautéed green beans, roasted cauliflower

Friday:¬†(kids are out of school for no apparent reason, no this doesn’t necessarily affect the dinner, just thought I’d throw it in there for kicks) Homemade Pizza, cut veggies

Saturday: ¬†Mee Goreng (an experiment from a new book that if I have my act adequately together enough I will tell you about later… pretty sure that’s how I used to do this)

Sunday: (choir, baseball, and then) Homemade Pasta for friends, Easiest Pasta Sauce Ever and Pesto, Broccoli Meatballs, Green Salad

Adult Lunches: Leftover Potato Squashers from last week

Lunchbox Treats: Leftover Fruit & Veggie Smoothies in these bad boys

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Here’s hoping your highs and lows are within your tolerance level and that your curveballs are only temporary deviations! Eat well, be well friends!

Weekly Meal Plan 10/5-10/11

Hey there people! I don’t know what the weather is doing in your neck o the woods, but here in Mid-Maryland, we’re breathing a pretty big sigh of relief as all relevant storm systems head out to sea. Bye bye wind. Bye bye rain. Thanks for taking it easier on us this time. I sincerely hope that wherever you are, and especially if you’re on the SouthEastern seaboard, you made it through this one unscathed.

We’ve got a lot brewing here because for some ridiculous reason, Mr. Little Sis and I decided we didn’t have enough to do. He has added a graduate program to his two jobs and I’ve added some classes, a gigging band, and some freelance work to mine. There, how’s that? Busy enough for you? Why, yes, yes it is. Thank you very much. I am having to very much rely on all my prior thinking about quick real food as we never seem to have enough time to do the slow cooking thing – well at least until Crock Pot season, which is almost here. So forgive the inelegance of these plans, I’m doing my best. And I’m willing to bet there are at least a few of you out there who don’t have enough time to cook for long either – so here we go.

Monday: Tacos with Stupid Fast Chili filling and quinoa, cut veggies

Tuesday: Spinach Chickpea Burgers, green salad, roasted cauliflower

Wednesday: varia-bowls with rice noodles, baked tofu, pickled carrots and chopped veg

Thursday: Kichadi, peas, green salad

Friday: Dinner at the Gig (if you live in MD, head on over to Beans in the Belfry in Brunswick. We play at 7)

Saturday:¬†Dinner at Bigg Sis’ house (Yay!)

Sunday: homemade pasta, green salad

Adult Lunches: Leftover Chili as taco salad, Cold Kickin’ Soup (yep, it’s here – poor Mr. Little Sis)

Lunchbox Treats: Nut Butter Bliss Balls

Here’s hoping your hamster wheel is spinning at a pace that works for you OR that you’re in one of those hamster balls so you’re actually able to go somewhere with your spinning. ūüėČ Have a great week!

Weekly Meal Plan 9/14-9/20

I began writing this post and realized that I wasn’t in fact writing this post at all, but another one that discusses overcommitment and its toll on our spirits. I’ve saved that and set it aside in favor of meeting this particular commitment, albeit a day late. If you don’t see the irony here, you probably need more rest too. ūüėČ

In all seriousness, my relative persistence in posting a meal plan is very helpful to me personally. I mean, I hope it helps you as well, but really, when I take the time to do it, I am actually planning our meals – something that doesn’t necessarily happen if I don’t sit down and write a post about it. You are keeping me accountable whether you’re using these or not – look how powerful you are! The exercise is also useful because of its unassailably necessary nature. This is not to suggest that we will expire if I don’t make a meal plan, or to indicate that I am completely unrealistic and believe that it is never okay to fly by the seat of your pants for a day or so because you just can’t do one more thing right now. I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m able to make those adjustments from time to time, but when it comes down to brass tacks, we need to eat.

I say it all the time in these meal plans – “here’s what’s going on in our house‚Ķ but we still need to eat.” No matter what chaos or drama emerges, no matter what the dog eats and requires emergency veterinary intervention for, no matter which car or house part needs fixing or replacing, we need to eat, and when I plan what we eat, all of those other parts work better and are less stressful. It’s a little tiny slice of domestic magic that does not always shine so brightly in the abstract when it’s on a checklist of too many other important things.

So thank you for holding me accountable, reminding me that there IS something I can do right now to make all of our lives easier this week.

Monday: Southwestern Salad, whole wheat bread

Tuesday: Chickpeas, Potatoes, and Tomatoes (very much like this dish); sautéed green beans, bell peppers

Wednesday: Miso Soup, green salad

Thursday: Nutshroom Burgers, veggies for burger toppings, steamed broccoli

Friday: Homemade Pizza (artichokes and onions and no moo for me!), cut veggies

Saturday: Thirty Minute Bean and Bulgur Chili, green salad, rice or taco shells to go with

Sunday: Homemade Pasta with Easiest Tomato Sauce Ever and spinach, green salad

Lunchbox Treats:¬†Homemade Smoothie Pouches (these reusable food pouches are the bomb!) – just search smoothie in the search bar, we’ve got lots

Adult Lunches:¬†Cold Kickin’ Soup (It’s coming. I can feel it.)

Here’s hoping your priorities are clear and well aligned with your values‚Ķ okay, that’s too much. I hope you have a super week.

Weekly Meal Plan Returns!

That time has come. The end of the summer and beginning of school. The peak of the season for so much fresh produce; the beginning of cool evenings. Fall is coming, but it’s really not quite here yet. Perfect. My twin third graders return to school with new backpacks full of new supplies, new lunch boxes, and no small amount of hope. In honor of their rapidly increasing maturity, which sometimes shows itself in less than pleasant ways, I am doing an experiment. Today as we ate Sunday lunch I polled the table and gave each member the opportunity to suggest a meal for the upcoming week. Sure way to get some buy in at meal time, right? Right?! I’ll let you know how that goes. In the meantime, I’ll share with you our plan for the upcoming week.

Monday:¬†Yellow Split Pea and Green Onion Lettuce Wraps from my latest cook book acquisition,¬†Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook, baked tofu, pickled carrots and green beans (my pick and it seems to me the best one for the hot day we’re going to have tomorrow)

Tuesday:¬†Zucchini “Crab” Cakes, Grilled Corn, Tomato and Nectarine Salad

Wednesday:¬†Chickpea and Cashew Tikka Masala (Little Man’s choice, and yes, that makes me really happy),saut√©ed green beans, green salad

Thursday:¬†Lentil Casserole (Ms. Picky Pants’ choice – on Thursday because it’s not going to be as hot that day), steamed broccoli, green salad

Friday: homemade pizza, cut veggies

Saturday: ¬†Baked Falafel from Angela Liddon’s¬†The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out¬†cookbook, which I can’t recommend enthusiastically enough), falafel fixings and chopped veggies

Sunday: homemade pasta with raw spinach and fresh pesto, green salad

Lunchbox Treats:¬†Summer’s End Zucchini Bread (because I still have about 25 pounds of zucchini sitting on the counter, even after the “crab” cakes

Adult Lunches: kale and romaine salads with miso dressing (because it’s been a long and unruly summer – we’ll be having a lot of salads for a little while to slim down for winter‚Ķ wait‚Ķ I think we’re doing it wrong)

May all your nights be cool and clear and all of your first days be joyful! Eat well, be well friends.

Weekly Meal Plan 1/5-1/11/2015

The hubbub has come to a close. 2014 ended with a giant yawp and a flourish over here. Good friends, good food, good times. After all this merry-making, I confess to being kind of ready to return to business as usual. I suppose that’s part of what all that merry-making is about, right? To rejuvenate, to replenish, to nourish all the parts of us that we ask so much of every day. I have been rejuvenated (in no small part because my fabulous husband insisted I sleep more than usual), replenished and nourished by seeing so many people who I love so dearly. And I have finally thoroughly dispensed with the respiratory part of the plague that has punished our household for the last few weeks. So here we are, the beginning of the beginning of everything else. What better to do at the beginning than to think about what you will eat?

Monday: Spinach Chickpea Burgers, roasted potatoes, sautéed green beans, green salad

Tuesday: Half Raw Veggie Stir Fry on quinoa

Wednesday:¬†Tacos (inspired by a pal¬†I’ll make Thirty Minute Bean and Bulghur Chili but add less tomato so it’s thicker and serve with fixings and taco shells)

Thursday: Lentil Casserole (when Ms. Picky Pants asks for something cheap, easy AND healthy, I make it)

Friday: homemade pizza, cut veggies

Saturday: Dinner Out (taking the twins on a day long outing for their upcoming 8th birthday)

Sunday: Homemade Pasta

There it is! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you all letting me hold myself accountable by publishing my meal plans. Believe me, there would be a whole lot more last minute winging it around here if I didn’t HAVE to plan. If you’re looking for more information on meal planning, and on planning to improve your health through better food, check out our new E-Book: Baby Steps to Better Health: Winning the Battle with Junk Food for Families and Individuals. Eat well, be well friends!