Meal planning favorites (part 1)

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Next week will be a busy/off week as far as meals are concerned, so I thought now would be a good time to look at some past posts and point out some of my favorite recipes.

This Sheet pan chicken tikka masala was delicious. I halved the recipe, but kept the amount of spices the same. I also used the same spice mixture on the vegetables. It was so good! Definitely going in rotation.

We love Grilled Chicken Shawarma Wraps around here. They’re actually quite easy and quick to make and they’re always good.

Thai chicken lettuce cups are also a staple. They’re surprisingly filling. I always think, “We’re going to need a side dish with these,” and we never do.

And when all else fails, there’s always a bag of Trader Joe’s turkey meatballs in the freezer. They often save the day.

 

 

Weekly meal plan – 3/19/16

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I know that at least two days this week, we won’t be home for dinner, so the planned menu is a little light this week.

Here is what is on the menu this week:

Sunday: Sheet pan chicken tikka masala I will halve this recipe (I’ll use 1 lb of chicken), but keep the amount of spices the same. I’m also going to use sweet potatoes instead of Yukon Gold.

The rest of the week will include: Pasta with roasted cauliflower. Since I’m halving the above sheet pan chicken tikka masala, I’ll have leftover cauliflower to use in another recipe.

Fish tacos. I don’t have a recipe for these. I just kind of make it up as I go. But these look close to what I like. (I’ll likely use wild-caught Alaskan cod. Something wild-caught always)

Turkey burgers. This is our go-to recipe. I could make these things in my sleep.

Thanks for reading!

 

Weekly meal plan – 3/12/16

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Planning meals for the week saves me time and money. It also frees space in my brain. So win-win. For Sunday, I generally plan a specific meal. Maybe it’s old-fashioned, but I like a sit-own, homemade meal for Sunday. That was always a big meal in my house growing up. For the rest of the week, I plan what I’ll make, but don’t assign a particular day. I leave a day or two open for leftovers or dining out.

It really has been so helpful doing this. Having an outline of the week really helps with shopping and not buying food we don’t need and wasting food we don’t eat.

Here is what is on the menu this week:

Sunday: Harvest Stew with Smoked Sausage and small batch focaccia.

Cheesy Broccoli Orzo. This is a side-dish, but we may just have it as the main dish.

Shrimp and grits. There are 400,000 recipes online. I do something similar to Joy the Baker’s.

Swiss chard and potato enchiladas. Sometimes I used Swiss chard, sometimes I use (Lacinato/black/dinosaur) kale. And I buy jarred salsa verde and use that instead of making my own.

Grilled Chicken Shawarma Wraps have become something of a staple. We love them.

Thanks for reading!

Weekly meal plan – 4/10/16

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I’m inconsistent with some things – like blogging and exercising. Let’s leave it at that. But I’ve actually kept up the meal planning, which has been great. It really is a time saver and we waste much less food now.

I’m going to try to add meal prepping into my week now that I have a more consistent work schedule. I think having some things prepped will also save me time during the week and I won’t feel the need to go out too often for lunch.

Here is what is on the menu* this week:

Sunday: Lemon orzo risotto

Monday: Vegetarian tortilla stew with crispy tortilla strips

The rest of the week: sweet potato and black bean enchiladas, Thai chicken lettuce cups, miso salmon with roasted carrots

*All of these links aren’t the exact recipes I will use, but they’re pretty close to what I’ll make. Maybe someday I’ll get back to photographing my food and typing out my exact recipes. Again, inconsistent …

Weekly meal plan – 2/21/16

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Planning meals for the week saves me a lot of time and money. It also frees space in my brain. So win-win-win. For Sunday and Monday, I generally plan specific meals. For the rest of the week, I plan what I’ll make, but don’t assign a particular day. And two days a week (Thursday and Saturday) are completely up to Jim!

I’ve been doing this since the week of Jan. 3 and it really has been so helpful. There are nights when we go out or something comes up and it’s not a big deal. But having an outline of the week really helps with shopping and not buying food we don’t need and wasting food we don’t eat. I’m definitely going to keep it up.

Here is what is on the menu this week:

Sunday: Turkey tenderloin, butternut squash*/potato gratin, cornbread dressing

Monday: Butternut squash macaroni and cheese with a side salad

The rest of the week: Greek French bread pizzas, black bean veggie burgers with leftover butternut squash gratin,  crab cakes with roasted potatoes and … something green. Maybe broccoli, which is in season.

*I bought four pounds of butternut squash last week (like a crazy person), so I’m trying to come up with creative ways to use it so that we’re not completely over it and, again, not wasting food.

 

Three soups for you

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(photo c/o CookingLight.com)

All I want to eat lately is soup.

Let me rephrase that: All I’m eating lately is soup.

Within the past week, I’ve made three big pots of soup. Lunch at work every day this week has been leftover soup and my favorite Fall salad (which I can share with you another day, if you’re interested). Soup every day sounds boring, I know, but it’s not. Most soups/stews taste even better the second day – or fourth, in my case – because the flavors have had time to settle in and get comfortable.
Here are links to the three soups I made this week. They’re all really easy to make and have a ton of flavor. Enjoy!

North Woods Bean Soup: I buy whole carrots and chop them into bite-size pieces (think the size of  a chickpea)  instead of using baby carrots.
Autumn Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup: I roast the carrots, sweet potatoes and apple instead, but I’m sure the recipe as is, is great, too.
Split Pea Soup: I use this recipe for smoked turkey lentil soup, but use green split peas instead. It’s an easy substitution.

Curried Roasted Vegetable Farro Salad

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Grain + vegetable + protein = an amazingly easy, tasty and healthy salad.

I make a lot of these types of salads. I even blogged one not too long ago. I hesitated sharing this one, but it’s so good, SO GOOD, that I just had to share.

The thing I love about these salads is that they pack a lot of flavor. They’re also full of vegetables, so I feel good eating a big bowl. Or two. And they’re easily adaptable. Use what grain(s) you like. Use what vegetables you like. Add chopped chicken for protein or garbanzo beans to make it vegetarian or quinoa to make it gluten-free.

There are two tips to make these salads really stand out. The first is to season everything as you go. The second is a well-seasoned vinaigrette. Please make your own. The vinaigrette I use for this salad comes from Giada De Laurentiis. Many, many years ago, I watched her (on Everyday Italian) make a curry vinaigrette to top a carrot and pear salad. While that particular fruit/vegetable combination didn’t knock my socks off, the vinaigrette did. If you’re not a fan of curry, this vinaigrette is not for you. If you are a fan, you’ll love it and want to use it all the time.

So here’s another salad recipe. This is the combination I used this time, but I’ve made it before with other ingredients. I often make it with whole wheat couscous for the grain. Sometimes, I’ll chop a cucumber and throw it in there. Oftentimes, I use golden raisins for a little sweetness. One big thing I did differently this time was roasting the vegetables first and, wow, was that a good idea. It’s not necessary, but if you have 20 minutes, I recommend it.

Enjoy!

Curried Roasted Vegetable Farro Salad

Cook 1 cup of farro according to package directions, drain and place in a large bowl

2 carrots, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 cup garbazno beans

1 small handful of cilantro, chopped

1 small handful of dried cherries

salt and pepper

Curry vinaigrette*

Preheat the oven to 450. Toss the carrots and red pepper in a bowl with oil (whatever you have. I like to use neutral oils when roasting such as grapeseed), about a 1/4 teaspoon of curry powder and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Roast on a baking sheet for 20 minutes, turning once or twice.

While the vegetables roast, make the vinaigrette.

When the vegetables are done, add to the bowl with the farro, toss in 1 cup of garbanzo beans, a handful of dried cherries and the cilantro. Pour the vinaigrette over the mixture and stir to coat.

Refrigerate or serve at room temperature (I like it at room temp).

*Curry vinigrette

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon curry powder

1/2 a small shallot, chopped

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a blender combine the white wine, curry powder, shallot, honey, salt and pepper and blend to combine. With the machine running add the olive oil.