Meal Recap From The Week/Plus Readers Requests

Finally, we are once again back to nightly meals at the dinner table as a family. Holidays are great but the grazing from appetizer to appetizer gets old really quickly for me.

IMG_0142

Here are the meals that got us all back on schedule once again:

Saturday: grilled chicken, homemade stuffing, and corn….grilled food tastes so fabulous when the temps are down right frigid

IMG_0105

Sunday: out for sushi with my husband

IMG_0157

Monday: chili lime seasoned chicken, bulgar, and sauteed veggie bowls IMG_0077

Tuesday: stuffed manicotti and side salads

IMG_0076

Quick Tip: to easily stuff your manicotti noodles, prepare your cheese stuffing and scoop it into a ziplok bag, cut the corner and squeeze the filling into the pasta tube until it hits the other end.

IMG_0075

Wednesday: homemade chicken breakfast sausage(recipe here), egg, and cheese on Annie’s Homegrown biscuits IMG_0094

Thursday: homemade sloppy joes, sweet potato rounds, and homemade coleslaw IMG_0153

Friday: out

Coming up soon here I will be answering some of your requests from over the holiday break. More specifically in regards to meal prepping and how I manage to get dinner on the table every night when I care for small children as a career. To all of you that asked for suggestions, just know that I feel your pain, trust me I do. Being a parent is the hardest job you will ever do….but one of the most rewarding. I will offer some advice on how I manage to cook every night coming up soon.

That will do it for this week. Not bad considering we have been so out of routine. Plus, life is pretty busy here. More on all this as life happens.

Any other reader requests can be left in comment form and I will do my best to answer your questions.

 

Advertisements

Weekly Meal Inspiration

Winter may not be here quite yet on the calendar but it officially arrived here in WI with frigid temperatures and high winds on Tuesday. Mondays high where I live was 61…..and then it was over!!!!! Time to dig out all the winter gear, time for my hair to freeze rock solid when I walk out of the gym a bit sweaty, time for my lips to crack every time I smile, and by looking below at our week of meals, it’s time for soup.

Here is what we enjoyed this:

Saturday: BBQ chicken pizza

IMG_0053

Sunday: no boil lasagna and side salads

IMG_7051

Monday: pork and banana peppers on rolls with provolone cheese, sweet potato rounds and a side of cranberry sauce…I just had to make one more batch before cranberries are scarce once again.

IMG_0057

Tuesday: cowboy caviar filled wonton wrappers and leek soup

IMG_0063

Wednesday: out with my brother

Thursday: crock pot beef, barley, and veggie soup

IMG_0073

Friday: out

This weekend I plan to wrap gifts, continue working on the Christmas menu, and attend yoga class for some me time. Enjoy your weekend and I will be back with one last week of postings before I take a bit of a Christmas break. Can you believe the holiday is so close….where does time go?

Thanksgiving Week Meal Plan

With Thanksgiving falling during this week my meal planning was a bit lighter than usual. Add that to a shortened work week for all of us and where no leftovers were needed for lunches meant a small break for me come dinner time. Although, I did still come up with some pretty yummy meals for the nights I did have to cook.

Here are the dinners we enjoyed this week.

Saturday: butternut squash with bacon and egg centers (My new favorite meal)

IMG_9849

Sunday: General Tso’s chicken and broccoli over rice (take out made at home)

IMG_9967

Monday: veggie marinara over cheese tortellini (meatless)

IMG_9969

Tuesday: Korean BBQ pork over farrow with homemade creamy coleslaw

IMG_9972

Wednesday: quinoa sweet potato chili (meatless) (recipe coming soon)

IMG_9946

Thursday: Thanksgiving dinner

Friday: left overs-stuffed squash with turkey,stuffing, and sprouts then covered with melted parmesan cheese.

IMG_0003

That sums up this past week in meals. As for the upcoming weeks ahead, I am excited to begin planning my Christmas menus. I am thinking about trying a goat cheese log with apricot preserves drizzled on top with some crusty bread or crackers on the side. I am also trying to come up with a yummy appetizer that is made using wonton wrappers since these have become a new family favorite.

Do you do traditional ham for Christmas?

What are your family traditions….if you care to share them?

 

 

What Happens When The Meal Plan Is Made, Groceries Are Bought And Then Your Husband Says I Will Be Traveling For The Week

Planning is my specialty and I love to do it but when all is said and done and a wrench is thrown into the plan after the preparations are made I get a bit miffed! This is exactly what happened this week. First, he is traveling for work, then he is not traveling for work, then once again he is traveling for work. And in between all this back and forth, I went grocery shopping and bought a weeks worth of food for all three people home at dinner time. Now, I find myself adjusting the meal plan for just my son and I with no need for lunch leftovers or another mouth at dinner time.  Typically, when my husband travels we will have some meals that he dislikes….like curry or pesto dishes. Although, this time I did not have enough time to replan and had already bought what I did so I adjusted on the fly.

Here is what our meals ended up being:

Saturday: traveling…our annual shopping bus trip was today to Illinois.

IMG_9895

Sunday: Asian chicken and veggie lettuce wraps

IMG_9914

Monday: stuffed poblano peppers

IMG_8486

Tuesday: sloppy joe noodle casserole and corn

Wednesday: chili and biscuits

IMG_6500

Thursday: quesadilla pizza melts (some meatless)

IMG_9940

Friday: out

Not bad considering the circumstances. Now, with Thanksgiving next week, I am excited that cooking will be a bit minimal but at the same time, making my first big holiday meal with no artificial sweeteners at all may be a bit challenging…..time will tell. Believe it or not, I am most nervous about making homemade whipped cream to go on pumpkin pie. I have never made it and you simply can’t have pumpkin pie without it. Right???

Family Dinners Documented-How I Find Time To Cook

I enjoy meal planning almost as much as I enjoy planning an active vacation for my family. Ultimately, they are pretty similar if you really think about it. Make sure everyone has a bit of input, know who is all going to be present at mealtime, and make sure the meal includes at least one thing everyone will enjoy. For me this is pretty basic….I love veggies, hubby and son will give me an eye roll if there is no meat, and everyone loves comfort food. Combine all this and sometimes I hit all the wishes and sometimes I learn to ignore the eye roll and the “where’s the meat” comment and they either eat what is prepared or go hungry.

So as usual here is the past week in meals at our house.

Saturday: squash ring baskets filled with bacon and eggs….OMG was this wonderful

IMG_9849

Sunday: greek chicken salads and toasted focaccia bread

IMG_8941

Monday: creamy pesto cheese tortellini with shrimp, mushrooms, and spinach, bread sticks on the side

Tuesday: crock pot creamy mushroom pork chops over garlic mashed potatoes with roasted carrots

IMG_9853

Wednesday: homemade baked mac and cheese and chicken bites

Thursday: bubble veggie pizza (meatless)

IMG_9865

Friday: out

Some of you have asked how I can find time to prepare so many meals weekly and what my weekly grocery bill ends up being. Truthfully, I can’t tell you what my weekly bill comes out to be since they differ so much from week to week. You have to remember, I also grocery shop for the daycare children I care for every day. So, if I had to estimate our portion of the weekly bill, I would say its about $100-$120 a week. This typically makes 6 nights of meals, with at least four servings per night since my husband always takes one serving of leftovers in his lunch the next day. Add in breakfast food and odds and ends for the week and this is typically what I would estimate I spend without any daycare food.

IMG_9869

As for how I find time….I plan my meals weekly. I only buy what I need for these meals, and follow the plan closely. I typically know what our week ahead has on the calendar for appointments, meeting, and activities. So I make sure to plan easy meals on busy nights, crock pot meals on busy days, and more elaborate meals on nights where I know I will have more time to spend in the kitchen. If something goes haywire mid week and our nightly plans change then….well…..it’s anyones guess what could happen.

IMG_7856

You have to remember, now with following this no artificial sweeteners diet for my husband, eating out is risky at best. So I find it just easier to cook at home and this way he is not miserable if we eat something unknown to us that could make him ill. Plus, thankfully, I do enjoy cooking most of the time and I love knowing that what my family is eating is healthy.

The Past Week In Eats

Here is another collection of meals we enjoyed throughout the week. Bonus week of two nights out since it fell on the week my brother and I enjoy dinner out together. I am not one to complain….no cooking means no clean up needed. Yeah!!!

As usual, let me know if you see something you think looks good….I will be glad to share the recipe with you.

Saturday: veggie pizzas (meatless)

IMG_8224

Sunday: chicken, kale, and mushrooms over rice with a warm vinegrette (recipe here)

IMG_8479

Monday:chicken and pasta with sundried tomato cream sauce

IMG_8969

Tuesday: BBQ  pulled pork sandwiches, couscous, roasted carrots

IMG_7046

Wednesday: out with my brother and husband

IMG_9812

 

Thursday: braised cauliflower with onions, mushrooms, garlic, tomatoes, and spinach over rice noodles with parmesan cheese (meatless)

Friday: out

Meal Planning

Hello hello, how is your weekend going?

It’s time to share what’s on the menu for our week ahead. This is quite the crazy week for us so my trusty crock pot will be very busy (as you will see below).

Sunday: chicken brats, baked beans, homemade napa cabbage salad

Monday: baked boneless pork chops with sriracha BBQ sauce, asparagus, perogies

Tuesday: crock pot shredded taco chicken salads

Wednesday: orzo pasta salad with kale and assorted veggies with hummus

Thursday: crock pot beef and broccoli over rice

Friday: crock pot asian chicken thighs, sauteed bok choy over rice noodles

Saturday: we may try and visit a new BBQ restaurant in a near by town

As always, if you see something that sounds good and you would like the recipe, comment or email me at rednatural1973@gmail.com and I will be happy to share it with you.