Weekly Meal Plan 2/1-2/7

Well… I’m sorry I didn’t post last week. I suppose I could have come up with some fabulous “Here’s What to Cook When You Can’t Leave Your Neighborhood Post,” but honestly I just wasn’t up to being that positive about it. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, I live in Mid-Maryland about 5 minutes from the “eye” of where Winter Storm Jonas landed just over a week ago. What this meant for my little town is that we got 3 feet of snow in in about 36 hours. That’s about 32 inches more than a “usual” snow dump for this area. Needless to say, systems pretty much came to a complete halt. If you didn’t have a snow mobile or snow shoes, you were pretty much confined to the house or your yard to play in the snow. There are a lot of good things about that kind of confinement, and I think there’s a wellness post coming on that… but logistically it’s not so great.

The other part of it that wasn’t so great for me personally is that the storm made it impossible for Mr. Little Sis to return from a class he was attending in Chicago. So, there I was. Stuck in my house, with my twins, and my very large dog, with 3 feet of snow all around all around, 3 feet of snow all around.

Now mind you, I have no objection to physical work. I actually kind of dig physical work (get it, dig, har har) – gardening, landscaping, even snow removal… for awhile. The kids and I figure that when it was all said and done I probably spent about 8-10 hours moving snow, mostly by myself, despite well intended efforts of Little Man. I took breaks, I didn’t venture down heart attack way… but it was coming down so fast and there was SO much that it was really hard to manage. My hands are just now recovering and everyone I’ve spoken to has some twitch, twinge, ouch from snow removal. All of that would still have been difficult, but what was really the kicker, was coming inside from that scene and realizing I would still have to make a meal for the kids.

I’ll be honest. I don’t even remember what we ate, except that I know we had some lentil casserole using the lentils Bigg Sis kindly supplied when I couldn’t bear to go the store with the crazed pre-storm panic filled people just for lentils.

So now the big snow induced drama is over. All said and done, it really was kind of a nice week (even though we missed Mr. Little Sis terribly). Aside from the dreadful amount of physical labor, there is something awfully restful about NOT being able to go anywhere. Now we can, and we have plenty of places to go… and not quite so much delicious reading and tea drinking to do. But we’ll still eat. Here’s what we’re having.

Monday: Creamy Lentils with Mushrooms and Kale (slightly modified from this), whole grain bread, green salad

Tuesday: Nutshroom Burgers, cut and pickled veggies, spinach salad

Wednesday: Vegan Scalloped Potatoes with Chickpea Cheese Sauce, sautéed greens, green smoothies

Thursday: Vegan Picadillo, corn bread, green salad

Friday: Homemade pizza, cut veggies

Saturday: Mulligatawny Soup, brown rice, curried sauerkraut salad

Sunday: Homemade pasta, winter pesto, spinach salad

Adult Lunches: leftovers, salad

Lunchbox Treats: Nut Butter Bliss Balls

  

 

So there it is folks, a whole lot of eating amidst the melting piles of snow… Hope it’s sunny where you are!

 

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Weekly Meal Plan 1/17-1/23

I know, I know. I missed a week. All this talk about how you keeping me accountable is such a lifesaver just didn’t cut it last week. Mr. Little Sis was gone for the week and all of my various activities (work, school, music practice and performance) seem to be ramping up at the exact same moment (how does that always happen that way). I just let it go. I let the meal plan go. Mostly because when I got to Sunday night, when I should really start writing the post and working on the plan, I just couldn’t bear to have another required item. So I let it go. I’m hoping our significant archive of meal plans (click on weekly meal plans in the sidebar) meant nobody was left in the lurch. While not having that plan did require a little more fancy footwork than usual in the kitchen, I really just needed to take one thing off the list. Now, I’ve got to add that thing back to the list so as to avoid continuance of said fancy footwork. Ain’t nobody got time to be that fancy two weeks in a row.

Don’t know how it is where you are, but it’s brutally cold here, so I’m all over the comfort food this week, particularly as we get toward the end of the week when they’re saying it might snow, just a little (like for two days). Warm and comforting coming up.

Monday:  30 Minute Bean and Bulgur Chili, cornbread, green salad

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Vegetable, Bean and Barley Soup, whole wheat bread, green salad

Wednesday: Broccoli Mushroom Patties, Oven Fries, Sautéed green beans

Thursday: Shweet Potato Stew, whole wheat bread, green salad

Friday: Homemade pizza, cut veggies

Saturday:  Slow Cooker Herbed Beans and Barley, steamed broccoli, pickles 

Sunday: Homemade pasta (assuming Mr. Little Sis can get back from Chicago in spite of the weather), green salad

Lunchbox Treats: Believe it or not we are still working through some slightly stale cookies from the holidays over here.

Adult Lunches: Since it’s just me this week, I’ll be humming it up with a lot of hummus and salads.

  

So that ought to get us all ready for whatever this storm is going to turn out to be. A few inches, a couple of feet. That’s the range we’re looking at. Hope you get whatever precipitation you’re looking for and that while the winds may blow, your foundation will ne’er be shaken. Eat well, be well friends.

Weekly Meal Plan 12/21-12/26

Just a few days left before chaos erupts… or not. I was reminded today by a very dear truth teller that the level of chaos and the degree to which it has anything to do with me is at the very least partially within my own control. Breathing deep, rolling along. Kids have one more day of school. My studies are on hold for two weeks. I’m going to start seeing this whole thing as one big breath. Rolling along. With chocolate… And maybe wine.

In the meantime we have to eat some scraped together meals that can be made and consumed between baking and choral practices.

Monday: whole wheat pasta with raw spinach and the Easiest Tomato Sauce Ever, cut veggies

Tuesday: Leftover Pot Pie  – taco pie style with Slow Cooker Burrito filling from last week (frozen double batch, oh yeah), green salad

Wednesday: Lentil, Mushroom, and Sweet Potato Soup, green salad, wheat bread

Thursday: Dinner at Bigg Sis’ house

Friday: Dinner with Super Stepmom and Sweetie Dad

Saturday: Dinner with Mr. Little Sis’ family

Sunday: Homemade pizza, cut veggies

  

That’s it for me this week, friends. Got presents to wrap. I’ll chime in sometime tomorrow or Wednesday with the last installment of Whole for the Holidays. I hope your preparations are going at your pace and your holiday season honors your heart.

Weekly Meal Plan 12/7-12/13

So I was thinking of skipping this bit this week. I’ve got a LOT to do, and then it occurred to me. We still need to eat. So really, the five extra minutes spent sharing a meal plan with you isn’t that big of a time thang after all. If I skip it, I won’t make a plan, and then I’ll be scrambling all week, which definitely won’t help me get these things done… Yeah. So I am here, joyfully… really. Okay, maybe just as a demonstration that there are, in fact, habits that are worth the time in terms of the amount of stress they save us in the long run. I am your living example… on that point only… seriously, that’s a lot of pressure.

And, a few words of prefacing here. I am blessed with a large pantry. It’s a closet basically, with shelves and such. The ONLY bad thing about a big pantry is that sometimes it’s hard to see everything you have and as a result some items may sit around for quite some time. It is my belief that even shelf stable food items really aren’t at their best after some time, so I’m making an effort in these last few weeks of the year to dig to the back of the pantry and use up those items that seem to have been sitting the longest. While I’m doing that I’ll take a look at my spice jars and see if there are any still there from the cretaceous period and give them the boot.

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Weekly Meal Plan 11/30-12/6

Whew! What a holiday week! We ate and visited and visited and ate. We played games and slept in and reminisced with old friends and family. It was time well spent. And the good news is we haven’t long to wait for another nice long break. Something has shifted and I may even enjoy these holidays after all… but that is another post altogether.

Now that we’ve done with the feasting and fete-ing, we need to get back into a routine at least for a little while, but we’ve got a VERY full fridge and some weird bits to use up this week, so my meal plan will be tailored with that in mind.

1e8cce6c-26ad-4a43-abab-5178a944dc3fMonday: turkey soup (planning to put the bones in the crock pot all day and then add the usual soup-y suspects in the early evening), green salad

Tuesday: Cheezy Noodles (similar to this but made with whole wheat penne and our friend Annie’s cashew cream that I made a LOT of for use in holiday cooking), peas, steamed broccoli

Wednesday: Spinach Chickpea Burgers with Cumin Aioli, pickled celery (from November’s Vegetarian Times), cut veggies

Thursday: mashed potato pancakes, roasted brussels sprouts, green salad

Friday: homemade pizza, cut veggies

Saturday: Dinner Out! (Little Man has a birthday party to go to and a friend has an art opening.)

Sunday: homemade pasta, sautéed green beans, green salad

Lunchbox Treats: amazing leftover GF brownies from Angela Liddon’s The Oh She Glows Cookbook.

Adult Lunches: Cold Kickin’ Soup (Mama Bear here is still struggling. Cough, hack, sputter)

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Here’s hoping none of your crew needs Cold Kickin’ Soup and that you find yourself coasting through the beginning of winter. Eat well, be well friends

 

 

Weekly Meal Plan 11/16-11/22

Hey there friends. Do you feel it coming? The holiday hoopla approacheth. There are plenty of great things about the holidays, but I’m the first to admit that I have been known to succumb to the pressure of over-scheduling, panicking about outcomes, and generally not enjoying myself very much during a time that’s supposed to be, at the heart of it, enjoyable. In discussing the increasing anticipation of this holiday onslaught, a delightful and helpful friend shared with me that she has begun doing her holidays exactly the way she wants. She is kind about it, but makes plans with people she wants to see, brings the food she wants to eat, and gives gifts she feels good about, buying them throughout the year when she sees something that inspires delight and seems to call out to a person she knows.

Hmmmm… this sounds like just the kind of advice I’ve laid out in the past, you know how our holiday traditions are our own, how we decide what celebration looks like, and that we have the power to change it. Apparently I can do this at other times of the year but the Thanksgivukkahmas season overpowers my will. This year I’m going to try to do something different. I don’t quite know what it is yet, but I’m gonna try to stay in my happy place, say no when I need to, and be REALLY present for the moments I say yes to. That’s my plan. You are welcome to it if it suits you.

With all that said, those holidays aren’t here yet, and it seems I need to be present in my kitchen for several days before then in order to keep the wheels on the bus going round and round. Mr. Little Sis’ travel schedule will be slowing down again, so I will, blessedly be able to experiment a little more in the kitchen again (ya gotta be able to count on one enthusiastic recipient), and who knows, maybe I’ll get my act together enough to tell you about it. This week’s experiments are all pulled from the November issue of Vegetarian Times.

Monday: Quinoa and Black Bean Stew from Vegetarian Times with Miso-Lime Sweet Potato Dip and chips, cut veggies

Tuesday: Sweet Potato Sushi Bowls from Vegetarian Times

Wednesday: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Whole Wheat Bread, Green salad

Thursday:  Nutshroom Burgers, sautéed green beans, green salad

Friday: homemade pizza, cut veggies

Saturday: Sweet and Sour Lentils, Sprout Namul, cut veggies

Sunday: homemade pasta with mushroom sauce, sautéed greens, green salad

Lunchbox Treats: Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Drops

Adult Lunches: Brussel Sprouts with Kimchi from Vegetarian Times

So that’s what we’re up to this week! I am going to walk my big furry baby in the sunshine and imagine holidays my way. Here’s hoping you have a little sun and at least one living creature near you that thinks you’re the berries. Eat well, be well friends.

Weekly Meal Plan 11/2-11/8/15

Well hello there everybody! We’ve made it over the first of the cool weather holiday hurdles! My kids came home when their candy collection units (CCUs) were too heavy to proceed. Smart Mr. Little Sis dictated the policy that if you want to even think about eating it, you gotta carry it. And so they returned with an insane haul and with the inevitable but thus far delayed conclusion that the buckets I bought them as toddlers have, in fact, become too small for their growing candy collection needs. I was hoping they wouldn’t think of that for another year.

They returned home and began the horse trading that marks a truly successful Halloween. I stood nearby, biting my tongue and only occasionally intervening when the swindle was too great to be tolerated.

Having thoroughly enjoyed their costumed candy beggary, now’s where things get really fun for one of my little people. Poor little man has oral surgery in the morning. Poor little man’s face is too small for all of poor little man’s teeth, so we’re in a very long process that I’m assured will result in a healthy and happy mouth full of teeth with which he will eat me out of house and home if he continues at the current rate. The impact of this particular saga on this week’s menu is that I’m reasonably certain that little man will have little to no interest in anything but soft food for a few days, so forgive me if part of the menu seems to lack a little in the texture department. Feel free to add nuts at your own discretion. 🙂

Monday: Amazing Applesauce on Whole Wheat Sesame Pancakes, cooked carrots

Tuesday: Lentil, Mushroom and Sweet Potato Soup, wheat bread, green salad or green smoothies if it’s still painful for the boy

Wednesday: rice noodle Varia Bowls with Half Raw Stir Fry and cashews

Thursday: Curried Coconut Quinoa and Greens with Roasted Cauliflower

Friday: Homemade Pizza, cut veggies

Saturday: Cooking Class for the Kids? An experiment we’re toying with.

Sunday: Homemade Pasta

Lunchbox Treats: Halloween candy will be enjoyed this week, in their lunch, and yes I realize that is unkind to the teacher.

Adult Lunches: Creamy Slow Cooker Tomato Soup

 

So that’ what we’ll be gumming for dinner down here. I hope all of your meals are toothsome. Eat well, be well friends!

Weekly Meal Plan 10/26-11/1

The Halloween countdown is on. At breakfast, at dinner, at random intervals for no apparent reason during the day. I know at any given moment exactly how long it is before my kids get to wear their costumes (one of their costumes) to school. One of their costumes, you say? Are they going to change mid- beggary like a bride at the reception? Who bothers with two costumes? Well, I’ll tell you. For some reason, our elementary school has decided not to celebrate Halloween. Fine, whatever, I really don’t care. BUT they are having fall parties on the last day before Halloween and for that day the kids can wear a costume of their favorite book character…. So they’re going to dress up and eat snacks with orange colored plates and jack-o-lantern decorations. But it’s not Halloween. Is it me?

But you’re wondering why the two costumes… because when asked what they’d really like to be, and I remind them that this is their big chance to dress up as anything they want, only one of my two ever picks a book character. And I’m not going to make them do it just because their school can’t admit that they are celebrating Halloween. Harrrummph.

So that’s what we’re up to this week. Mr. Little Sis is on the West Coast, so we’re all sticking our tongues out at him while we enjoy our beautiful fall foliage. Full days, kid friendly dinners, and the smell of leaves and fireplaces.

Monday: Whole Wheat Pasta with Creamy Walnut Pesto, green salad

Tuesday: Lentil Casserole, cut veggies, green salad

Wednesday: Potato Squashers, green peas, steamed broccoli

Thursday: Mulligatawny Soup, whole wheat bread, green salad

Friday: Homemade Pizza, cut veggies

Saturday: Roasted Vegetable Chili, corn bread, green salad

Sunday: Homemade pasta with mushroom sauce, sautéed green beans, green salad

Adult Lunches: With Mr. LIttle Sis gone, I confess to a nearly obsessive relationship with lunchtime hummus. We have LOTS of those here. This page is a nice start.

Lunchbox Treats: Yeah, I’m not baking. I have found some nut bar type deals that have minimal ingredients and are low in sugar, so those will be happening at least twice.


Here’s hoping your days are filled with fall colors and smells and that you’re celebrating something, even if you don’t call it Halloween. Eat well, be well friends.

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 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. 😉

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… 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… okay, that’s too much. I hope you have a super week.