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 1/4-1/10

Happy New Year Friends! I hope you all had the chance to ring the new year in however you most wanted to. We honored a multi-year tradition with some of our very oldest (and by that I mean long time and absolutely youthful and fabulous) friends. 6 adults. 6 kids. One big ball dropping from the sky. It was a lovely break from the rest of everything.

It would seem that while we were on that break, however, winter decided to finally arrive.  The wind is howling and it is chilly. So as we readjust to life in the “real world” (meaning homework and other things we’d rather not do mixed in with all the rest), we’ll be digging into some warm bites this chilly week.

Monday: Rockin’ Gluten Free Falafel – gonna try to bake it this time, sautéed green beans, salad

Tuesday: Lentil Casserole (preparing Miss Picky Pants for chili), carrot fries, cut veggies

Wednesday: Roasted Veggie Chili, quinoa, raw cut veggies for garnish or for making a chili salad

Thursday: Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup, whole wheat bread, green salad

Friday: Date Night (it’s so wonderful when all of the children get invited somewhere)

Saturday: Homemade Pizza, cut veggies

Sunday: Homemade Pasta, mushroom sauce, green salad

  

Here’s to finding pleasure in routine and remembering the simple joys of every day living. 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 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 5/25-5/31

I am alive. THAT was a long week. So, remember how last week I posted that I’d be late with the meal plan because my husband was away and my daughter was throwing up? Yeah, when’s the last time THAT was a one day problem. It’s been a long and tiring week although everyone was home and well in time for the weekend and this weekend has been really swell. Lots of time spent with friends and lots of almost summer weather. Tons of time in the garden and things are really looking pretty good. I’m liking the straw as mulch I’ve tried this year, and I’m just glad with all the events planned for May and June that I’ve found a little time to weed and water.

This week will, I do hope, be more pleasant than last, but it’s still pretty full. We’re enjoying the last few hours away from our usual responsibilities here today and then we have 3 short days until the next celebration, when my nephew graduates from high school (not Bigg Sis’ son – I have many nephews). Then there’s a pool party with friends and time to see BIGG SISSSSSSS! Yay! I keep having to remind myself to care about these last few weeks of school for the kids. “Finish strong.”  Yeah, how about we just finish, K? With all the parties and chaos it seems particularly important to me to plan some healthful meals so we can be sure we don’t only survive on party food (wait, is that bad?). So… the week.

Monday: Vegan French Toast with Garden Strawberries (yeah, okay, not the most healthful, but a great way to welcome the strawberries that I picked this morning), Spinach and Strawberry Salad

Tuesday: Chickpea and Cashew Tikka Masala, green salad

Wednesday: Lentil Bulgur Burgers, Power Tabbouleh, cut veggies and pickles

Thursday: Company Good Pea Soup (we’ve got garden peas y’all), crusty wheat bread and green salad

Friday: Graduation Party

Saturday: Pool Party at Friends’ House

Sunday: homemade pasta, green salad

Lunchbox Treats: Healthy Pumpkin Cookies

Adult Lunches: Salad City, some greens ready in the garden too!

 
I hope your week is full of celebrations, even if they are small ones and that your early summer is proving fruitful.

Weekly Meal Plan 4/20-4/26

Hey friends! We’ve had a string of lovely days here in mid-Maryland. helped friends celebrate their marriage over the weekend and got to take a lovely warm walk through our fantastic town. Came home to kids well cared for by their grandmother. All played out and happy. Supah. A lovely respite from our big cabinet project, which is still in full swing, although with a bit of an admission that the pace of last week is, in fact unsustainable. Still making plenty of progress and they’re looking really great (perhaps I’ll post a picture or two to our FB page), and I’ve made all manner of mistakes. I prefer to see them as domestic learning opportunities. What learning opportunities have you had lately? Any of yours involve band-aids?

Monday: Lentil Casserole, snap peas, green salad

Tuesday: Burritos/Taco Salads (with this Roasted Vegetable Chili)

Wednesday: Creamy Mushroom Stroganoff

Thursday: Mushroom Gumbo

Friday: Homemade pizza, cut veggies

Saturday: Sushi Rice Salad, grilled veggies

Sunday: Homemade pasta with pesto, green salad

Lunchbox Treats: Nut Butter Bliss Balls

Adult Lunches: kale salads and leftovers

Happy Spring to those of you enjoying the same season that I am. I hope all of your projects go smoothly, that all your meals are delicious, and that your learning opportunities are relatively painless. Eat well, be well friends.

Weekly Meal Plan 4/13-4/19

“But I can’t. I don’t have time. I have SO much to do. There’s crap all over my counters. There’s stuff all over the table. I can barely move in my kitchen. I HAVE to finish this house project pronto. I can’t possibly stop and write a meal plan right now. No, really I can’t. I need to keep working until this thing is finished…” And so the monkeys have been shouting in my head all day. They don’t really shout – that would be too obviously hostile. It’s more of a chatter, you know, like monkeys.

You see, in my brilliance, I decided that rather than spending one more minute being annoyed with my kitchen cabinets, I would – no not pay anyone to do anything about it because I am way too cheap for such a maneuver – begin the process of refinishing them. Okay, it’s not a full on refinishing, but the details are not really all that important. Point is every inch of my cabinets needs to be touched several times with a variety of renovation products and tools – many of which create smells that are likely killing my brain. Yeah, so I started that without a single thought about what else might be on the calendar. Yep, that’s how I roll. Call me impetuous. Call me impulsive. Call me shortsighted and long on initial enthusiasm. Here’s the thing. I have a LOT of cabinets. Most of the time, that fact resides in the positive category. Today… yeah.

At any rate. I was preparing to publish a brief explanation of why I didn’t make a menu this week because totally busy, kitchen under tarps, stain all over my fingers, addled by primer fumes, and then it dawned on me (in spite of the aforementioned addled state) that this is EXACTLY when I need to make a meal plan. My week is going to be crammed and difficult. Mr. Little Sis is traveling this week. A close friend is getting married on Saturday and I have music to prepare for that. I have some resume work to do for some freelance work I’d really like to score (as long as they don’t give it to me anytime soon). I really need to make a plan for SOMETHING or the whole family logistical world is going down the crapper. So, I need a meal plan. And I need to actually spend a little longer on it than usual so I choose wisely. Momma needs a lot of help or there’ll be a whole lot of carry out, and I really don’t want to do that. So, here we go friends. A meal plan for the uber busy, slightly overwhelmed, fume addled, and admittedly a little grumpy home cook.

Monday: Varia-Bowls with Roasted Asparagus and Fabu Asian Peanut Sauce

Tuesday: Nofredo Spaghetti, peas, Strawberry and Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Wednesday: Chickpea Salad Sammies, Oven Fries, green salad

Thursday: Tunisian Roasted Vegetables see Bigg Sis’ tips on easy tabil and harissa here

Friday: Homemade Pizza, cut veggies

Saturday: Wedding Dinner!! (no, not our wedding, we already did that almost 16 years ago)

Sunday: Homemade Pasta with roasted vegetables, green salad

Lunchbox Treats: Yeah, I’m taking a pass here, okay? Low sugar graham crackers from a box this week friends.

Adult Lunches: Kale salad – from a bag… that’s right, I said it. This is how I cut myself some slack during a busy week. I buy kale salad in a bag. I am weird.
  

I will take some pictures later in the week and post them on our Baby Steps to Better Health FB page, which I strongly encourage you to visit. 🙂 Hope you’re managing your time and expectations better than I am this week friends. And yes, that’s a low bar, so there you go a win for the week for you – and it’s only Monday! Eat well, be well friends.

Weekly Meal Plan 3/2-3/8

So, my kids are off from school… again… No we don’t want to play in the snow. No, it’s not a winter wonderland. It’s an icy school canceling mess. I can only begin to imagine how folks are faring north of us. I, for one, have had enough of winter. Uncle. We admit defeat. Go away. I don’t even need it to be extra warm or sunny, just stop sending frozen bits of crap to the ground. Thank you. Oh, yeah, and here’s the meal plan.

Monday: Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Soup and Kale, Lemon, and Cilantro Sandwiches (from The Engine 2 Diet, and yes we had this soup pretty recently but it was so popular and the weather is so lousy I think it deserves a replay)

Tuesday: Zucheesy Noodles, Roasted Cabbage, green salad

Wednesday: Vegetable Tempura with Orange Lemongrass Dipping Sauce and Jicama Rice (from Ani’s Raw Food Asia)

Thursday: Mung Bean Stew (the forecast dictates yet another stew day, and no, I don’t want to talk about that), No Fear Homemade Whole Wheat Bread, green salad

Friday: Homemade Pizza, cut veggies

Saturday: Birthday Party for a Friend (Yay!)

Sunday: Homemade Pasta w/Pesto, green salad

Lunchbox Treat: Three Ingredient Almond Butter Cookies (I’ll share if this goes well)

Adult Lunches: leftover soup and leftover Slow Cooker Black Bean, Barley and Corn Burritos

 

After I get that tomato soup going, I think the only reasonable thing to do is to plant some seeds to sprout inside in an attempt to remind myself that this is, in fact, a seasonal situation. Here’s hoping the ice dams in your gutters have melted and that your bellies are full of veggies and love. Eat well, be well friends.

Weekly Meal Plan 2/2-2/8

An exciting week here at the Pantry. We’ve been getting some really great feedback on our E-Book: Baby Steps to Better Health: Winning the Battle with Junk Food for Families and Individuals and we are hard at work on the print version. One reviewer asked how many recipes there were in the book and we laughed because we had no idea how many, and it is very many indeed – 190! We had no idea. We really appreciate everybody’s positivity with this longtime venture. We’ll be posting updates on our new Facebook page if that’s something that works for you (just search for Baby Steps to Better Health).With all this excitement and the tasks that go with it, it’s easy to lose track of the mundane task of eating… okay, okay, I never lose track of the eating part, but sometimes forget that I have to prepare all that stuff.

Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to combine my meal planning with a monster of a chore I have to do… cleaning out the cookbook area. The shelves that I have my cookbooks on are in the kitchen, which is where most of our daily activities take place. As a result my cook book shelves have also become the shelves for anything else that doesn’t have a home. They also house my ancient recipe notebooks, in which I’ve stored many recipes pulled from magazines and such and honestly I’ve not looked at them in a long time. I’m hoping to find buried treasures and do a little consolidating. What’s going on in your neck of the woods? What’s on your table?

Monday: Whole Wheat Rotini with Sunflower Cheez, Spinach, and chopped Pistachios (I will post more about this as I think it will be awesome). And yes, we did have pasta last night, but we’ve got one with a upset tummy and this will be easy to customize according to food tolerance.

TuesdayLentil Casserole, Carrot Fries, green salad

Wednesday: Spinach Chickpea Burgers, Cut Veggies, Green Salad

Thursday: Baked Egg Rolls filled with Spicy Asian Lentils (inspired by a cookbook clean out find), snap peas with oranges and pecans, green salad

Friday: Homemade Pizza, cut veggies

Saturday: Roasted Vegetable Chili, Cornbread, green salad

Sunday: Homemade Pasta with Easiest Tomato Sauce Ever

Lunchbox Treats: Nut Butter Bliss Balls

Adult Leftovers: Mr. Little Sis is traveling, so I will have leftovers from all of these dinners for lunch. 😉

 

That’s all from blustery Mid-Maryland! Hope your week is exciting and full of delicious flavors. Eat well, be well friends!