Weekly Meal Plans

Weekly Meal Plan: #11

This week is filled with some of my favorite healthy substitutes for unhealthy meals like pizza, pancakes, and muffins! And, as always, it’s GRAIN FREE!

This week’s meal plan contains:

  • 5 full dinner recipes
  • 1 breakfast recipe
  • 1 dessert recipe
  • 1 kid’s lunch recipe
  • 1 snack recipe
  • nutrition tid-bits with every recipe!
  • a full preparation checklist
  • grocery list

March 27- April 1 Weekly Meal Plan

Weekly Meal Plan: #10

This week’s meal plan and grocery list includes:

  • 5 dinner recipes
  • 1 breakfast recipe
  • 2 kid’s lunch recipes
  • 1 snack recipe
  • 1 condiment recipe
  • 1 dessert recipe
  • a preparation checklist for the week
  • a full grocery list
  • ideas for healthy snacks

With old favorites like Sloppy Jo and ice cream made healthier, and new recipes like Curry Shrimp Coconut Soup, as well as a couple new ingredients, this week’s meal plan adds variety to simple recipes to make your week much easier!  Enjoy!

Click this link to download: Weekly Meal Plan March 21-26

Weekly Meal Plan: #9

I’ve spent extra time on the meal plan this week, making sure it is bigger, better, and more organized.   As a result, you now have a full, printer friendly meal plan and grocery list at your finger tips.

This week’s plan includes:

  • 6 full dinner recipes
  • 1 breakfast recipe
  • 3 supporting recipes
  • A preparation checklist to make your weeknights less hectic
  • A bit of nutritional information about each recipe
  • A full grocery list

Click here to download!

Weekly Meal Plan and Grocery List: March 14-19

Weekly Meal Plan: #8

This weekly meal plan includes 5 simple weeknight meals!

Weekly Meal Plan and Grocery List

Weekly Meal Plan: #7

Woo hoo!  Three weeks in a row, look at me go.  I hope these are helpful to you and that you’re enjoying the recipes.  Some are my own, some are my mothers, some have been inspired by Food Network, while others have been taken from cook books, wherever they come from, I hope you like them.  Spring has sprung here in Virginia, so we’ll be using the grill and enjoying some of the new produce at the grocery store (mostly from Florida, but we do what we can)!  As the weather is warming up here, I have gone with lighter foods,  the comforting winter foods have served their purpose, but it’s time to lighten it up a bit!

These recipes are intended to feed 4 people (2 big people and 2 little people) with enough leftovers for the big people to take with them to work the next day for lunch.

I will not do any ranting about processed foods this week, I think I’ve done all I can to convince you that there are MUCH better foods out there!

Monday

Grilled Pork with Wild Rice and Strawberry Spinach Salad

  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 4-ounce boneless pork chops
  • 1 cup  strawberries, sliced (grapes if they don’t have strawberries)
  • 2 bags organic baby spinach (if it’s available)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 bag wild rice (straight up wild rice, not long grain and wild rice, unless they don’t have it)
  1. Following the directions on the bag, prepare the wild rice.
  2. Combine the shallot, vinegar, 1 t. thyme,  salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil, starting with a few drops and adding the rest in a steady stream.
  3. Put the pork chops in a shallow dish and season all over with salt.
  4. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon thyme and 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Coat the pork and set aside to marinate for 5 minutes.
  5. Heat the grill or a grill pan, or a skillet over medium-high heat. Grill the pork until cooked through but still moist, 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Tuesday

Quiche with Asparagus and Fruit Salad

Quiche

  • 10 Eggs
  • 2 Cups of cheese (I used a pre-shredded bag of mozzarella and provolone mix) I also use Monerrey Jack cheese when making the quiche both taste great.
  • 1 pound of Italian sausage
  • half a pack of frozen chopped spinach defrosted and drained
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp Basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 T Parsley you can use dry or fresh I prefer fresh parsley but both taste great. If you do decided to use fresh parsley then use a 1/4 cup
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • dash of salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 2 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1/2 Cup almond meal
  • 1/4 Cup of milk
  • a handfull of mushrooms (optional)

Asparagus and Fruit Salad

  • 2 pounds asparagus
  • salt and pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 apples
  • 1 large can pineapple
  • the rest of the strawberries left from Monday night
  1. Mix all the ingredients for quiche together in mixing bowl.
  2. Place in greased 9 x 13 casserole dish.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out (fairly) clean.
  4. While quiche is baking, clean the asparagus and cut the bottom 1-1 1/2 inches off the bottom.
  5. Heat a pan over medium heat and drizzle it with olive oil, add the asparagus (as much as will fit).
  6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir as the asparagus becomes soft, let cook until it is your desired crispness and then cook the rest!
  7. Combine all of the fruit in a bowl and add a bit of the pineapple juice to create your fruit salad.

Wednesday

Grilled Chicken Paillard with Roasted Tomatoes and Baked Cucumbers

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, cut in half
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts (prepared ahead of time for Friday’s meal)
  • 6 vine-ripened tomatoes, stem removed
  • 3 cucumbers, peeled and halved
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a large baking dish or cookie pan, place your whole tomatoes (after you’ve removed the stem), and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. After you cucumber has been peeled and halved, scoop the seeds out of the center and slice the cucumber into 1″ pieces.
  4. Place the cucumber into yet another baking dish (I hope you’re as addicted to buying dishes as I am) and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Place both vegetables into the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
  6. Place the halved chicken breasts in a large plastic bag, remove the air.
  7. Using a rolling pin and a little pent-up frustration, beat, I mean pound the chicken breasts until they are about 1/2 inch thick.
  8. Whisk together lemon juice, shallot, olive oil and black pepper in a large baking dish.
  9. Add the chicken, turn to coat and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  10. Preheat grill to high, or a grill pan or skillet if it is still snowing where you are. Sorry about your luck.
  11. Remove chicken from marinade, season with salt on both sides and grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden brown and just cooked through.
  12. Also, grill your 2 whole chicken breasts at this time in preparation for Friday night’s meal
  13. Everything should be finished at about the same time…enjoy.

Thursday

Baked Tillapia and Green Bean Almondine

Tillapia

  • olive oil
  • 6 (6 to 8-ounce) tilapia fillets
  • Salt and  pepper
  • 1 lime, finely grated zest and juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Green Beans Almandine

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sliced almonds, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pound fresh green beans
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Coat baking dish pan olive oil.
  3. Rinse fish and pat dry, place on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Season each fillet with salt, pepper, lime zest and lime juice.
  5. Add fish to the pan.
  6. Place a pat of butter on each fillet and cook in the oven for 8 to 12 minutes.
  7. Heat olive oil and almonds in a saute pan.
  8. Add garlic, green beans and vinegar.
  9. Cook until the beans are slightly crisp.
  10. Salt and pepper, to taste, then serve.

Friday

Spring Chicken Salad

  • 1/2 pound small red-skinned potatoes, halved
  • 2 chicken breasts, shredded or cubed
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 romaine hearts, torn
  • 1  cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced
  • 4 radishes, cut into wedges
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced (green bell pepper if yellow is too expensive)
  1. Place the potatoes in a small pot and cover with water. Season with salt, cover and boil until fork-tender, about 6 minutes. Drain and cool.
  2. Meanwhile, pulse the chives, tarragon, vinegar, yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a food processor. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and pulse to make a thick dressing.
  3. Toss the romaine lettuce, potatoes, chicken, cucumber, radishes and bell pepper with the dressing in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Saturday

Stone Age Swiss Steak

  • 2# cube steak (or steak you’ve beaten with a rock for several hours while sitting around a campfire in a loin cloth)
  • 1 1/4 cup almond meal (throw 1 1/4 c. almonds in a food processor or blender to pulverize them, but don’t go too far, or it will become almond butter)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 can coconut milk (the stuff that doesn’t have water as one of the main ingredients)
  • 1 egg
  • olive oil

1. Pulverize your almonds and pour them in a bowl.
2. Crack your egg into a bowl and whisk.
3. Heat olive oil in a pan on medium (maybe medium high)
4. Take the meat and dredge it by placing it in the egg, letting it drip a bit, then placing it in the almond meal, covering completely.
5. Sear the meat in the olive oil, creating a golden crust on each side and then remove and sear next batch.
6. Add coconut milk, salt, and pepper to pan until it simmers then add seared meat to pan and let simmer until the meat is tender.
7. Serve with Creamy Cauliflower (find in recipe section to the right)
*The key to success here is wiping out your pan between batches if there is almond meal left in the pan after searing the meat. If you don’t do this it will burn and create this terrible smoky smell and set off your smoke detector that is conveniently located near your kitchen stove. Not that I would have any experience with this. ;)

Creamy Cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 2 heads cauliflower
  • 1 tsp. Garlic powder or 1 clove sautéed garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Blender or food processor
  1. Take the stem out of the cauliflower and peel off the leaves
  2. Drop it in a pot with about 2 ” of water.  Put on high and let it boil until it is so soft you can puncture it with a fork easily.
  3. If you’re using fresh garlic: While boiling saute 1 clove minced garlic in olive oil for a very short time, as soon as you can smell the strong scent of garlic, take it off the heat.
  4. When soft, drain the water from the cauliflower (saving a little bit), place in food processor or blender, add salt, pepper, and garlic and blend until creamy.  If you have trouble getting it to blend, add a little of the drained off water or chicken stock to get it moving.

Weekly Meal Plan: #6

Monday

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Bake

  • 4 chicken breasts, halved
  • 1 bag frozen broccoli
  • 2 c. cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 c. half and half
  • 4 eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 c. onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 casserole dish.

2. Using kitchen sheers, if you’ve got them, or just a sharp knife, cut your chicken breasts up into bite-size pieces, set aside.

3. Dice the onions and mince the garlic, set aside.

4. Drizzle a saute pan with olive oil and put on medium (a little past medium), and throw in the chicken.

5. When chicken begins turning white on all sides, add the onion.

6. When the chicken is almost done (probably after 5-6 minutes, check by cutting a piece in half), add in the garlic, just until you start to smell the garlic cooking, then take the pan off the heat, set aside.

7. In the casserole dish whisk together the egg and half/half and 1 cup cheese, with a little salt and pepper. (Or use a separate bowl if you like doing dishes).

8. Add the chicken to the milk mixture, then pour the bag of broccoli on top.  (You may want to mix it around a bit to get the broccoli and chicken evenly disperse).

9. Put in the oven for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, take out and add the remaining cup of cheddar on top, then let bake for 10 more minutes.

10.  After 40 minutes, or when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, take it out of the oven and let sit for 20 minutes before serving.

Tuesday

Taco Salad

  • 2 pounds ground beef (1 for tonight, 1 for Thursday night’s chili)
  • 2 packets taco seasoning
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped (or 1 bag)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • cheddar cheese
  • 1 box cherry tomatoes
  • sour cream

1. In a saute pan, brown the ground beef, adding the taco seasoning whenever the packet’s ingredients say so.

2. Take half the ground beef out of the pan and put in the fridge until Thursday.

3. If you your kids don’t like raw onion, add the onion to the rest of the ground beef and let soften.

4. Take the meat off the heat and set aside.

5. Chop up the head of romaine and quarter the cherry tomatoes and put together your salads!

Wednesday

So Stinkin’ Easy Tuna Veggie Skillet

  • 3 , 6 oz cans tuna (in water or olive oil)
  • 1 bag frozen peas
  • 1 c. celery, chopped
  • 1 c. onions, diced
  • 1 c. carrots, diced
  • 1 c. half and half
  • 1/2 c. almond meal

1. In a large saute pan, drizzle olive oil and set on medium-high heat.

2. Add the celery, onions, and carrots and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.

3. While the veggies are softening, open and drain your cans of tuna.

4. When the veggies are soft, add in the half/half, peas, and tuna and stir over medium-high heat until everything is heated through, add the almond meal and serve!

Thursday

Chili

  • 1# ground beef (leftover from taco night!)
  • 1 # sausage
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 green bell peppers, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced, without seeds
  • 2 cans kidney beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 2 large cans diced tomatoes, juiced drained
  • 1 large white onion, diced onion
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

1. In a large pot, brown the sausage and ground beef (unless you’ve got leftovers from taco night).

2. When browned add onion, bell and jalapeño peppers, kidney beans, corn, and tomatoes

3. Simmer on Medium-Low for an hour.

4. Season with cayenne pepper and salt and black pepper to taste.

Friday

spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole spaghetti squash
  • 1 # ground beef
  • oregano
  • 1 jar marinara sauce
  • 1 onion
  • ricotta cheese
  • salt and pepper

1:  With a large knife, cut the squash in half, length wise.  Scoop out the seeds and guts and throw them away.

2. Place squash in a large stock pot and fill with water until squash are half way covered (we’re going to steam/boil them) and put it on high heat.  Or, as some friends pointed out to me, it is just as easy to place the squash on a baking sheet, drizzle it with olive oil, and roast it in the oven at 350 degrees.

3. While the squash is steaming/boiling/roasting, dice the onion and brown it in a skillet with one pound of ground beef.

4. Put about a teaspoon of oregano in with the meat, more if you like it, less if you don’t.

5. When the meat, cover the meat with marinara sauce and set to the side because the squash probably still isn’t done yet.

6. When the squash is soft enough to pull apart with a fork, give it a taste and see if it is your desired crispness.  If it is still too crisp, keep cooking until you like the consistency.  It’s a vegetable so it’s not like you can get food poisoning from under cooking it.

7.  When the squash is finished, drain the water and let the squash sit to cool. (Unless you have gloves or tough fingers, it will be too hot to handle). Put your mixture of marinara and meat back on low heat to warm.

8. When it is cooled, use a fork to pull the flesh from the skin of the squash, put it in a large bowl with a little butter on top.

9.  Just like you would pasta, put some squash on each plate and cover it with meat sauce and a dollop of ricotta cheese.

Saturday

Teriyaki Chicken  with Roasted Broccoli

Ingredients

  • 3 T. honey
  • ¼ c. soy sauce
  • 1 T. lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 T. freshly ground ginger
  • 2 T. sesame seeds (optional)
  • 2 heads broccoli
  • chicken quarters (thighs, breasts, drumsticks…whatever you want)

1.     Place honey, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, pepper flakes and chicken in a Ziplock bag and mix.  Marinade meat for at least 1 hour.

2.     Heat the broiler, arrange chicken on a broiler pan, skin down and broil until brown and crispy.8-10 minutes.

3.     Flip the chicken and almost cook through, 4-5 minutes

4.     Sprinkle with sesame seeds and cook 1-2 minutes longer. Remove from oven.

5.     Cut broccoli into tall “trees,” place on baking sheet.

6.     Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper.

7.     Place broccoli  in 425 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, or until soft.

Weekly Meal Plan #5

This week I have posted dinners only, with the thought that you can use  the leftovers from the night before to take to work for lunch. The quiche that can be prepared on Sunday for the entire week is delicious, give this recipe a try!

These meals are meant to serve 4 people (2 big people and 2 little people) with enough leftovers for both adults to take to work for lunch the next day–I’m not making any promises though, I don’t know how much, or how little, your family eats!

Sunday

Italian Quiche (breakfast preparation for the week, make 2 if you like it!) by Ashley Riemann

  • 10 Eggs
  • 2 Cups of cheese
  • 1 pack of Italian sausage
  • half a pack of frozen chopped spinach defrosted and drained
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp Basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 T Parsley you can use dry or fresh I prefer fresh parsley but both taste great. If you do decided to use fresh parsley then use a 1/4 cup
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • dash of salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 2 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1/2 Cup almond meal
  • 1/4 Cup of milk
  • *I also enjoy adding a handful of chopped mushrooms to the quiche*

1. Mix all ingredients together in mixing bowl.

2. Place in greased 9 x 13 casserole dish.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out (fairly) clean.

Dinner: Roast Beef (Pat’s Roast Beef from foodnetwork.com)

Ingredients

  • 1 (3-pound) beef roast, trimmed of excess fat
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms
  • 2 small onions, quartered
  • 2 heads cauliflower

Gravy:

  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch (or cornstarch if you can’t find it)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Season the beef with salt and pepper, to taste.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons the oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add the meat and sear on all sides.

4. Add the mushrooms and onions to a bowl and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and toss. Add to the skillet around the roast.

5. Put the skillet in the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 130 degrees F, about 40 minutes. Remove the roast from the oven to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Remove the onions and mushrooms from the skillet.

6. While the meat is cooking, cut the cauliflower and place it in a pan filled 1/2 way with water, let it boil until the cauliflower is fork tender.  Remove water and mash the cauliflower using an immersion blender, or potato masher.  Add salt,pepper, butter and sour cream as you wish!

7. While the beef is resting, prepare the gravy.

8. Put the skillet on low heat. Add the wine and stock, while scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Whisk in the starch until the sauce is thickened and smooth.

9. Slice the beef into very thin slices. Transfer to a platter and serve with the mushrooms, onions and gravy.

Monday: Zesty Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

  • 2 T. honey
  • 2 T. soysauce
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 T. coconut oil (warmed)
  • 1 # cooked shrimp, cut into bite sized chunks (wild caught)
  • 1/2 c. toasted cashews
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, wedged
  • 1 cucumber with seeds scooped out, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced

Instructions

1. Mix honey, soy, lime juice, and oil.

2. Add shrimp, veggies, and mix.

3. Put a couple spoonfuls of this serving into a lettuce leaf, sprinkle with cashews

4. Look at Tuesday’s menu: spread mustard on pork chops the night before for best flavor.

Tuesday: Mustard Crusted Pork Chops

Ingredients

  • 6, bone in 1 inch thick pork chops
  • 1 jar dijon mustard
  • honey to taste
  • 2 # asparagus
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 1 c. almond meal

Instructions

1. Empty Dijon mustard into a bowl, add honey to taste depending upon how spicy or sweet you want the mustard to be.

2. Spread the Dijon on the pork chops and let sit overnight if possible, otherwise just use as it.

3. Cover pork chops with almond meal.

4. Heat olive oil in a pan on medium-high heat.  Sear pork chops by cooking them for 1-2 minutes on each side, (you may have to do a couple batches, just take the seared pork out and set it aside for a few minutes).

5. Once pork chops have been seared, lower the heat to medium and continue cooking 4-5 minutes on each side, or until desired doneness.

6. While the pork is cooking, cut the bottom 1 1/2 inches off the asparagus and wash it well.

7. After pork is done, remove from pan and add some more olive oil.  Place 1/2 of the asparagus in the pan and cook for 5-10 minutes until desired crispness, then do the other half.  Sprinkle the asparagus with a little parmesan.  Vua-la, a fancy-smancy dinner in 20 minutes or so.

Wednesday: Whatever-you-got-Salad

Salads are a perfect way to use up leftover veggies, so any veggies you have in the fridge, chop them up and throw them in!  Along with the following ingredients:

  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1/2 can garbonzo beans
  • 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T. honey
  • 3 chicken breast

1.Bake the chicken breasts in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes (cut the breasts in half to shorten the time by half)

2. Chop up the chicken and mix it with all of the veggies in a bowl!

3. Whisk together the last 3 ingredients in a small bowl, tasting all along the way, until you find your perfect blend of sweet and tangy.

4. Marinate steak for tomorrow!

Thursday: Steak with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli

Marinate

  • 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 t. honey
  • salt and pepper

Ingredients

  • 6, 1 inch steaks of your choice (or lamb works well with this)
  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 5 heads of broccoli
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

1. Marinate the meat the night before if possible; combine all of marinate ingredients and place it in a zip top bag with the steaks and shake it and squeeze it around, lay flat in a casserole dish and let sit in fridge overnight.

2. Remove steak from marinate, drain the rest of the marinate in a saucepan and put it on high heat to cook and reduce, to be used as a sauce.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Clean and chop all vegetables and put broccoli on a baking sheet.

4. Drizzle vegetables with olive oil and salt and pepper.

5. Place the steak on a casserole dish/ whatever you’ve got, and put it in the oven for 20 minutes.

6. At this time also put in the sweet potatoes and set the timer for 40 minutes.

7. After 20 minutes, check to see if steak has reached desired done-ness, if it has, remove it and place the broccoli in the oven alongside the sweet potatoes.

8. Let meat rest, covered with aluminum foil for 20 minutes while the vegetables finish cooking.

Friday: Paleo Pizza (makes 2 small pizzas)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound eggplant, shredded
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. almond meal
  • 1 jar marinara sauce
  • 1/8 c. arrowroot or corn starch
  • Your favorite pizza toppings

Instructions.

1. Peel the eggplant, then using a food processor, or a cheese grater,  shred the eggplant.

2. Place the eggplant in a towel, and while holding over the sink, squeeze the towel to get any extra moisture out of the eggplant (you will be surprised by how much there is!)

3. In a large bowl, mix eggplant with egg, parmesan cheese, starch, almond meal, and any other Italian herb such as oregano or basil that you might like.

4. Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie pan and oil the parchment paper.

5. Split the dough up into halves, on the parchment paper, create 2 small pizza crusts, about 1/4-1/3 inch thick.

6. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven.

7. Using the parchment paper, flip the crust over and place it back in the oven for another 5 minutes, turn oven down to 350 degrees.

8. Let the crust cool for 10 minutes, then add your favorite toppings and put it back in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Weekly Meal Plan #4

This week I have posted dinners only, with the thought that you can use many of the breakfast options that have been posted in previous weeks and use the leftovers from the night before to take to work for lunch.  I pretty much eat the same thing for breakfast every day, so if you have any quick, easy options for us to try, please share!

These meals are meant to serve 4 people (2 big people and 2 little people) with enough leftovers for both adults to take to work for lunch the next day.

Monday

Steak with Sweet Pepper Sauce

Tuesday

Cashew Pork with Pea Pods and Broccoli

Wednesday

Lemon Mustard Chicken with Asparagus

Thursday

Beef with Cucumber Riata and Creamy Cauliflower

Friday

Mango Broccoli Salad with Chicken

Saturday

Oven Roasted Honey and Apple Ribs with Roasted Carrots

Sunday

Basil Chicken and Coconut Curry with Stir Fry Vegetables

Steak with Sweet Pepper Sauce

  • 5 medium green peppers
  • 2/3 c. chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 # beef ribeye steak or 1.5# top sirloin steak
  • salt and pepper
  • 2/3 c. beef broth
  • 1 rounded tsp. dried basil
  • 5 medium chopped, seeded tomatoes

1. In a skillet on medium heat, drizzle olive oil and saute peppers, onion and garlic for about 4 minutes, remove veggies from skillet.

2. Add more oil to skillet if necessary, salt and pepper meat.

3. Cook meat on both sides on medium-high heat for about 4 minutes on both sides, remove from pan.

4. Add beef broth and basil to pan, bring to a boil and boil uncovered over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until broth is reduced by half.

5. Stir in cooked vegetables and tomatoes, heat through and spoon vegetables and sauce over meat.

Cashew Pork with Pea Pods and Broccoli

  • 1 1/2 # boneless pork chops
  • 1 orange, juiced and zested
  • 1/4. c. honey
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 6 oz. package frozen pea pods, thawed
  • 1 10 oz. package frozen broccoli, thawed
  • 1 1/2 c. frozen peach slices, thawed
  • 2/3 c. cashews

1. Bake pork chops in oven at 350 for 20 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from oven and slice into thin strips

2. In a bowl, stir together orange juice, zest, honey, lemon juice, and ginger. Set aside.

3. Drizzle skillet with olive oil, add pea pods, broccoli, and peaches.

4. Pour sauce over veggies and fruit until sauce thickens a bit, (it will not thicken very much without cornstarch or some kind of thickening agent, add that if you want, but it will taste the same without it!)

5. Add meat to the skillet and cook and stir for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with cashews and serve!

Lemon Mustard Chicken with Asparagus

  • 3 pounds chicken pieces (breast, halves, thighs, drumsticks)
  • 2 T. dijon mustard
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 4 T. oil
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2# asparagus

1. Broil chicken bone side up 4-5 inches from heat for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

2. Meanwhile, stir together oil, mustard, lemon juice, black pepper, basil, and red pepper.

3. Brush mixture on the top of the chicken, and turn to finish cooking, 5-15 minutes longer, or until no longer pink.

4. While chicken is cooking, cut off bottom 1 1/2 inches of asparagus.

5. Place asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

6. When finished cooking, remove from oven, set aside and place asparagus under the broiler for 10-15 minutes.

7. Squeeze remainder of lemon on asparagus and serve alongside chicken.

Beef with Cucumber Riata and Creamy Cauliflower

  • 1 8 oz. carton plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c. coarsely shredded, unpeeled cucumber
  • 2. T. finely chopped red onion
  • 2 T. minced garlic
  • 2 t. fresh mint
  • 1/2 tsp. honey
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 # boneless beef sirloin teak
  • 1 head cauliflower

1. Preheat broiler.  For Riata, in a bowl combine yogurt, cucumber, onion, mint and honey. Salt and pepper to taste.

2. Salt and pepper meat and place 3-4 inches from the heat, turning over about halfway through the broiling time. 15-17 minutes for medium rare, or 20-22 minutes for medium.

3. Meanwhile, place 1 head of chopped cauliflower in 1-2 inches of water on high until cauliflower is soft.

4. When cauliflower is soft, drain water, mash,  and salt and pepper to taste.

5. Slice steak into thin slices, cover with riata sauce and serve alongside mashed cauliflower.

Mango Broccoli Salad with Chicken

  • 4 cups chopped fresh broccoli
  • 1 large, ripe mango, seeded, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 c. cashews
  • 1 small red onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 1/2 c. ranch dressing
  • The juice of 1 orange
  • 1 T. prepared horseradish
  • 1 11 oz. can mandarin orange sections, drained.
  • 3 chicken breasts, halved
  • 1 bag lettuce

1. Bake chicken in oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink.

2. In a large bowl combine broccoli, mango, cashews and onion.

3. For sauce, in a small bowl combine ranch dressing, orange juice and horseradish.

4. Add sauce to veggies and fruit, mix together.

5. When chicken is done, cut into chunks.

6. Serve broccoli salad and chicken on a bed of lettuce.

Oven Roasted Honey and Apple ribs with Roasted Carrots

  • 4 pounds pork country-style ribs
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 c. bottled chili sauce
  • 2/3 c. apple juice
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 2 1/2 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard.
  • 1 bag baby carrots

1. Place ribs in casserole pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Drain off fat.

2. Meanwhile, for sauce, in a medium sauce pan, cook onion and garlic in olive oil until tender.

3. Stir in chili sauce, apple juice, honey, Worcestershire, and mustard.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat.  Simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Turn ribs, pour half the sauce on meat and bake for 45-60 minutes more. (Use remaining sauce for dipping)

6. Place baby carrots on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

7. While the ribs are in the oven for the last 45 minutes, place carrots in oven with meat.

Basil Chicken in Coconut-Curry Sauce with Stir Fry Vegetables

  • 5 boneless, chicken breasts, halved
  • 2  1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/3 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • I red onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalepeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp grated fresh basil
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk (the stuff that doesn’t have water as an ingredient!)
  • 1 bag stir fry vegetables, frozen

1. Cut chicken in 1 inch pieces.

2. Marinate chicken in curry powder, salt, black pepper, and chili powder for 2 hours.

3. In large saute pan, drizzle with olive oil and cook onion, garlic, and jalepeno peppers over medium-high for 2 minutes (or until it becomes really aromatic).

4. Remove onion mixture from pan, add more olive oil and add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes until no longer pink. (If needed, cook the chicken in 2 batches).

5. Add coconut milk, stir fry vegetables, and onion mixture to pan.  Stir in basil and ginger.  Cook and stir about 2 minutes more or until heated through.

Weekly Meal Plan #3

Sunday:

Breakfast: Quiche Lorraine

Lunch: Stuffed Pumpkin Leftovers

Dinner: Teriyaki Chicken Thighs with Roasted Broccoli

Monday

Breakfast: GraNOla sprinkled on Greek Yogurt

Lunch: Teriyaki Chicken Thighs with Roasted Broccoli

Dinner: Steak Fajita Bowl

Tuesday

Breakfast: Quiche Lorraine

Lunch: Steak Fajita Bowl

Dinner: Stuffed Zucchini

Wednesday

Breakfast: GraNOla with milk and eggs

Lunch: Stuffed Zucchini

Dinner: Chicken Salad

Thursday

Breakfast: Quiche Lorraine

THANKSGIVING FEAST

Friday

Breakfast: Scrambled Ham and Egg Cheese

Lunch: Apples Stuffed with Ham and Stuffing

Dinner: Sweet Potato and Turkey Shepherds Pie

Saturday

Breakfast: Chocolate Coconut Pancakes

Lunch: Turkey Salad

Dinner: Creamy Collard and Ham Soup

Quiche Lorraine

Ingredients

  • 2 recipes for almond pie crust
  • 12 slices bacon
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups shredded Swiss or mozzarella cheese

Directions

1.     Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

2.     Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Remove bacon from pan, crumble and set aside. Reserve 2 tablespoons bacon grease in skillet. Cook onion in reserved drippings until tender; drain and set aside.

3.     In a large bowl, mix together eggs, milk and salt. Stir in bacon and onion.  Add cheese to egg mixture; stir well. Pour mixture into hot pastry shell.

4.     Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until knife inserted into center comes out clean. If necessary, cover edges of crust with foil to prevent burning. Let quiche cool for 10 minutes before serving.

**This can be made without crust if you don’t want to make pie crust, just put the egg mixture in a greased baking dish!

Almond Flour Pie Crust

  • 1 ½ c. almond flour
  • ¼ c. melted butter
  1. Mix up and roll out into a circle between 2 pieces of parchment paper.
  2. Use the parchment paper to transfer into pan.
  3. Do not bake separately, bake with the filling right in it.
  4. If the edges of the crust start to get dark, place aluminum foil on them.

GraNOla

  • 4 c. almonds or pecans, chopped
  • 2 c. dried fruit (apricots, raisins, cranberries)
  • 2 c. shredded coconut

1. Place chopped almonds or pecans on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

2. Place the nuts in the oven at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

3. Let the nuts cool and combine with dried fruit and coconut.

4. Store in an airtight container.

Chocolate Paleo Pancakes

(This recipe comes from “The Label Says Paleo”)

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 TSP unsweetened Cocoa Power (I typically add more)
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut flakes
  • 1/2 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 C Almond butter
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

1. Mix the ingredients in a bowl until you get a smooth batter.

2. Add a little oil to a skillet and add batter to form a small pancake.

3. Cook for a minute or two and once you see the sides of the pancake starting to brown, flip the pancake.

4. Once you have flipped the pancake, allow it to cook for a minute or two on the other side.

5. Carefully remove and serve hot with sliced apples and strawberries.

Teriyaki Chicken Thighs with Roasted Broccoli

Ingredients

  • 3 T. honey
  • ¼ c. soy sauce
  • 1 T. lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 T. freshly ground ginger
  • 2 T. sesame seeds (optional)
  • 2 heads broccoli

1.     Place honey, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, pepper flakes and chicken in a Ziplock bag and mix.  Marinade meat for at least 1 hour.

2.     Heat the broiler, arrange chicken on a broiler pan, skin down and broil until brown and crispy.8-10 minutes.

3.     Flip the chicken and almost cook through, 4-5 minutes

4.     Sprinkle with sesame seeds and cook 1-2 minutes longer. Remove from oven.

5.     Cut broccoli into tall “trees,” place on baking sheet.

6.     Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper.

7.     Place broccoli  in 425 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, or until soft.

Steak Fajita Bowl

  • 2# skirt steak, cut into 3 parts
  • ¾ c. orange juice
  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • 2 large limes, zested and juiced
  • ¼ c. honey
  • 3 t. garlic, minced
  • 1 T. dried oregano
  • 1 T. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. salt

1.     Put above ingredients in a bag and marinade for at least 1 hour.

2.     Cook steak on grill or under broiler until desired done-ness.

Vegetables

  • 4 green peppers
  • 1 lg. onion, sliced
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. salt and black pepper

1.     Drizzle a sauté pan with olive oil and sauté above ingredients until soft.

2.     Line a bowl with romaine lettuce and top with meat and vegetables.

3.     Top with salsa, sour cream, or guacamole.

Stuffed Zucchini

  • 6 zucchini
  • 2# ground beef, chicken, sausage, or turkey
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. marinara sauce
  • 1 t. tarragon
  • 1 t. oregano
  • 1 t. salt and pepper

1. Cut Zucchini lengthwise then scrape out the seeds using a spoon

2. Put onion, oregano, salt and pepper and meat in a sauté pan until meat is browned.

3. Add tomato sauce, take off heat and let cool.

4. When slightly cooled beat the egg and mix it in

5. Load each zucchini half with mixture and place in large baking dish with 1/4 inch water at bottom.

6. Bake at 400 for 40 minutes.

Chicken Salad

  • 4 chicken breasts, cut in half
  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • ¼ c. green onions
  • 1 appleo      2 tsp tarragon
  • ½ c. chopped wal-nuts

1.     Bake the chicken for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

2.     While baking mix mayo, green onions, apple, and tarragon in a large bowl.

3.     Remove chicken from oven and let cool, and cut into ½ inch chunks.

4.     Add to mayo mixture.  Mix and serve on a bed of lettuce, sprinkle with walnuts.

**Make a double recipe of the mayonnaise mixture for turkey salad after Thanksgiving!

 

Apples stuffed with Ham and Dressing

  • 4 whole large apples, peeled
  • 1 ½ cup Leftover diced ham
  • 1 ½ cup Leftover dressing (stuffing)

1.     Cut out center of the apples, leaving ¾ inch of apple around the edges.

2.     Fill hole with ham and dressing.

3.     Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Turkey Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie

  • 1 bag frozen peas (or other leftover veggies)
  • 3 c. leftover sweet potatoes
  • Leftover turkey
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 T. butter
  • 1 c. Turkey or chicken stock
  • 1 c. almond flour

1. In a large pan melt butter, sauté onions, carrots ,and celery until soft.

2. Add leftover turkey, almond flour, and stock and let simmer 5 minutes.

3. Place in baking dish and cover with leftover sweet potatoes.

4. Place in oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until sweet potatoes are hot.

Turkey Salad

Using your leftover turkey, create turkey salad with Wednesday’s chicken salad recipe!

Creamy Collard and Ham Soup

  • Leftover collards
  • Whole milk or half and half
  • Leftover diced ham
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Garlic powder

1. Puree leftover greens using a blender, food processor, or emersion blender, adding milk or cream until it is soup consistency.

2. Heat in a pot and add ham.

3. Add Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Powder to taste.

Weekly Meal Plan #2

(based upon a family of 4, if you need more food for a large family, adjusts the recipes as needed)

Every week I try to get better at making enough dinner to provide my husband and I both with leftovers to take to work the next day.  Usually I don’t make enough and there isn’t any left for lunch, or I make so much that we’re eating Monday’s dinner all week.  So, I am going to organize this week’s meal plan the way that I would like it to IDEALLY work out at my house; what we have for dinner the night before we take for lunch the next day!  I realize your kiddos don’t want to take food that needs to be re-heated to school so I won’t include them in the leftover lunch plan.

Kids Lunch Options

At every meal your child should be eating protein…the body is constantly breaking down protein and must have more to rebuild muscles and other body systems.  Great (easy) protein options for your child’s lunch:

  • Lunch meat
  • Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Plain Yogurt (there’s TONES of sugar in the flavored stuff)
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Jerky
  • Baked chicken breast cut up with dipping sauce
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Tuna salad
  • Chicken salad
  • Egg salad

There may be some (or a lot) of reluctance from your kids, but work with them, let them pick their favorite protein, fruit, raw veggies, nuts….give them healthy options to choose from and whatever they choose both of you will be happy with.

Sunday

Breakfast: Crock Pot Oatmeal

(I know this is not Paleo-style food, but I never promised to be completely Paleo, I just think it’s a great goal for us to work toward.  Since this is only the second week, I’m not expecting you or your kids to be cavemen yet, so enjoy some oatmeal:)  Just be sure to eat some protein along with it!)

  • 2 cups steel cut oats
  • 9 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, etc)

Put all ingredients in slow cooker and let cook overnight 6-8 hours…depending on how sleepy you are. If you really like it, make another batch on Wednesday for the rest of the week!

Lunch:

Fend for yourself.

Dinner:

BBQ Pulled Pork

  • 2 1/2 – 3# pork sirloin roast
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper if you like it spicy
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 onions, wedged
  • 2 t. minced garlic
  • 1 jar BBQ Sauce (Stubbs, or the one with the least amount of sugar and carbohydrates)

1. Trim fat if you so desire.

2. Put everything but the BBQ sauce in the crockpot for 8-10 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high.

3. Remove meat from crockpot and shred using forks.

4. Put in serving dish and mix in BBQ Sauce

5. Somewhere in the midst of that 4-9 hours, make your cole slaw!

6. Shred 3 cups cabbage and 1 cup carrot(or one bag of the pre-shredded coleslaw mix)

7. Dice 2 T. onion, add to cabbage mixture

8. Add 1/2 c. mayonnaise, (try to get the organic version made with the fewest ingredients, it’s very good) and 2 T. mustard

9. Add 2 tsp. vinegar (optional), and 1 T. honey (optional) and Mix thoroughly!

Monday

Breakfast:

Baked Eggs and Bacon with Fresh Fruit

(This recipe makes enough for the week)

  • 12 eggs
  • 3 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 c. cheese
  • salt and pepper

1. Whisk eggs and milk together, stir in cheese and bacon.

2. Place in 9×13 greased baking dish.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until center puffs up and it turns golden brown.

Lunch:

Leftovers from dinner for you adults

Dinner:

Chicken Stuffed with Spinach and mozzarella, Roasted Carrots

  • toothpicks
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 2 cups marinara (find the one with the smallest amount of sugar)
  • 1 box spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 c. mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 35o degrees

2. Cut chicken breasts in half length-wise (as to make them thinner)

3. Pound chicken to about 1/2 inch thick using a meat pounder, (or a rolling pin works too) and lay in an oiled baking dish.

4. Salt and pepper the chicken, and add a tablespoon or so of cheese on each chicken breast.

5. Put spinach in saute pan with olive oil on medium heat, add minced garlic when spinach is heated through, cook for a few minutes more.

6. Place a scoop of spinach in the middle of every chicken breasts.

7. Carefully roll the chicken into little “pinwheels” and secure with toothpick.

8. Cover with marinara sauce and bake for 20-25 minutes, depending on thickness of the chicken breasts.

Roasted Carrots

1. Cut carrots in long strips

2. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper

3. Place in oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes

Tuesday

Breakfast:

Baked Eggs and Fresh Fruit

Lunch:

Leftover Stuffed Chicken

Dinner:

Lettuce Wrapped Tacos

  • 1 # hamburger
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 2 c. mozzarella
  • salsa
  • sliced avocado
  • sour cream
  • 1 head romaine lettuce

1. Brown hamburger meant, add seasoning.

2. Assemble tacos the way you normally would using the lettuce as shells.

3. Peel leaves of romaine lettuce off the head and you’ll find they look like taco shells!

Wednesday

Breakfast: Crockpot Oatmeal and Sausage Patties

Lunch: Taco Salad

Dinner: Garlic and mushroom Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes

  • 1 can Campbell’s Garlic Cream of mushroom Soup (I know it’s got gluten in it and a bunch of other not-the-best stuff, but it’s a lot easier than making your own…and it’s delicious.  Or if you’re my sister you can make your own.)
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 6 medium tomatoes

1. Slice chicken breasts in half length-wise (like a hotdog).

2. Spread a little olive oil on a baking dish and place chicken, then salt and pepper the chicken.

3. Cover with soup.

4. Bake in oven for 20 minutes at 350.

5. While chicken is in the oven, place tomatoes in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

6. Place in oven for 10-15 minutes, or until soft and ‘wrinkly’

Stuffed Bell Peppers

  • 1 # sausage
  • 6 green peppers, (4 big, 2 small)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • cheese (optional)
  • 2 cups marinara sauce

1. Brown sausage

2. Add onion and carrots to the pan.

3. Take off heat and add marinara and cheese.

4. Cut off heads of peppers, remove seeds and rinse.

5. Fill Peppers with sausage mixture

6. Place in oven at 350 for 45 minutes until peppers are soft.

Thursday

Breakfast: Crockpot Oatmeal and Sausage Patties

Lunch: Leftover Stuffed Bell Peppers

Dinner: Salmon or Tuna Cakes (You choose) and broccoli

  • 8 oz. baked, fresh salmon, or 8 oz. canned salmon, or tuna, drained
  • 1 c. almond meal
  • 1  c. diced onions
  • 1/2 c. diced carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 c. diced celery
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons old bay seasoning
  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise

1. Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl, thoroughly.

2. Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat.

3. Make the fish mixture into patties.

4. Patties are finished when they are golden brown on both sides.

5. Pour 1 bag of broccoli into a pot with a small amount of water on the bottom, cook until they are the crispness you desire.

6. Salt and Pepper the broccoli and serve alongside tuna or salmon cakes!

Saturday:

Breakfast: Pumpkin Pancakes

Lunch: Leftovers!

Dinner: Stuffed Pumpkin

Watch the site for the recipe!

 

Weekly Meal Plan: #1

(based upon a family of 4, if you need more food for a large family, adjusts the recipes as needed)

Every week I try to get better at making enough dinner to provide my husband and I both with leftovers to take to work the next day.  Usually I don’t make enough and there isn’t any left for lunch, or I make so much that we’re eating Monday’s dinner all week.  So, I am going to organize this week’s meal plan the way that I would like it to IDEALLY work out at my house; what we have for dinner the night before we take for lunch the next day!  I realize your kiddos don’t want to take food that needs to be re-heated to school so I won’t include them in the leftover lunch plan.

Breakfast Options

I understand breakfast needs to be fast and easy and that cereal, poptarts, and frozen pancakes and waffles fit the bill.   Unfortunately they won’t keep your child full for more than a couple hours and your child will then be left sleepy and hungry long before lunch.

Over-easy and scrambled eggs only take a few minutes to make and will last your children, and you, until lunch and provide you both with much more energy and a great capacity to retain attention at work and school.  A simple piece of fruit and eggs will be easy and quick, and you will be surprised by how much better you feel throughout the day!

Other options might be cottage cheese, or greek yogurt with fruit cut up on top.  This will also provide protein and keep you full longer.

Kids Lunch Options

At every meal your child should be eating protein…the body is constantly breaking down protein and must have more to rebuild muscles and other body systems.  Great (easy) protein options for your child’s lunch:

  • Lunch meat
  • Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Jerky
  • Baked chicken breast cut up with dipping sauce
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Tuna salad
  • Chicken salad
  • Egg salad

There may be some (or a lot) of reluctance from your kids, but work with them, let them pick their favorite protein, fruit, raw veggies, nuts….give them healthy options to choose from and whatever they choose both of you will be happy with.

Dinner Menu

Sunday

Chili

  • 1# ground beef
  • 1 # sausage
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 green bell peppers, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced, without seeds
  • 2 cans kidney beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 2 large cans diced tomatoes, juiced drained
  • 1 large white onion, diced onion
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

1. In a large pot, brown the sausage and ground beef.

2. When browned add onion, bell and jalapeño peppers, kidney beans, corn, and tomatoes

3. Simmer on Medium-Low for an hour.

4. Season with cayenne pepper and salt and black pepper to taste.

Monday:

Roast chicken with root vegetables

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 4 large carrots
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 large white or yellow onion
  • 1 lemon
  • thyme
  • 1 head garlic
  • butter

Directions

Watch the video on the link below, it’s absolutely the best way I’ve found to roast chicken,  Enjoy!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/videos/perfect-roast-chicken/24509.html

Roasted Root Vegetables:

  1. Cut carrots, sweet potatoes, and onion into large chunks and place them on a baking pan.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake in oven at 350 for 30 minutes, this can be done while the chicken is in the oven.

Tuesday:

Eggplant Chicken Lasagna

  • Shredded chicken left over from Monday’s Dinner
  • 2 medium eggplant (about 2 ¼# each)
  • I 15 oz. container cottage cheese
  • 1 # grated mozzarella
  • 1 jar marinara sauce
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

1.Slice eggplant lengthwise about ¼ inch thick, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. Place on grill at medium heat until they are golden brown on both sides.

3. Saute diced onion, minced garlic, and then add shredded chicken, heat through..

4. Grease one 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

5. Layer marinara sauce, eggplant, chicken, cottage cheese, and mozzarella cheese evenly until all ingredients are used, ending with mozzarella cheese.

6. Bake in oven at 350 for about 25 minutes, or until it is bubbling!  All of the ingredients have already been cooked so you are really just heating it all up and letting the flavors combine!

Wednesday:

Meatloaf and Creamy Butternut Squash soup (and preparation for Friday night’s meatballs)

  • 1 # sausage
  • 2# ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T. dried basil
  • 2 t. horseradish
  • 2 cup onions, diced
  • 2 T. garlic, minced
  • ½ c. ketchup
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ c. almond meal (or you can easily skip this ingredient)

Preheat oven to 350.

1. Sauté onions on medium heat in olive oil, when translucent, add garlic and let sauté one minute longer.

  1. In a large bowl mix all ingredients together by hand.
  2. Put ½ of the meat mixture in a loaf pan, put the rest in a airtight container in the fridge for Friday, or go ahead and prepare the meatballs tonight.
  3. Bake meatloaf at  350 degrees for 40 minutes (or until internal temperature is 160 degrees)
  4. While the meatloaf is baking, peel the butternut squash vegetable peeler (the one with a short metal, horizontal blade). Or use a knife…carefully.
  5. Cut peeled squash in half and scoop out seeds
  6. Place squash in pot with enough water to cover and boil until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork.
  7. Drain the water from the squash. Puree the squash using a food processor or blender.  Add a tablespoon (or so) of butter and salt and pepper to taste and serve!

Thursday:

Baked pork chops topped with fresh apple sauce and sautéed spinach with garlic

  • 6- ¾ inch bone in pork chops
  • 6 apples (preferably golden delicious or fuji), peeled and chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 10 oz. packages frozen spinach (defrosted) –or green beans if there’s no way your kids are going to eat spinach
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • Honey
  1. Peel and chop 6 apples.
  2. Place in pot with about ½ inch water and cinnamon on high until the apples are extremely soft. While your apples are cooking do steps 3 and 4.
  3. Place pork chops on baking rack or pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil (unless your pork chops are fatty, then omit the olive oil)
  4. Place in oven at 350 for 20 minutes.  While your pork chops are cooking, do steps 5, 6, and 7.
  5. Drizzle a pan with olive oil and place over medium heat.
  6. Drain spinach of water by squeezing the box with your hands over the sink, or in a colander if you’re fancy.
  7. Add spinach to pan with olive oil and let it cook until it is warm, add garlic to spinach and allow to cook until it is heated all the way through, then take off heat, cover, and set aside.
  8. Don’t forget about the pork chops!  When finished, take them out of the oven and cover w/ aluminum foil and let sit for 10 minutes.
  9. While the pork chops are resting; puree, smash, or blend your apples until they are the consistency that you desire.  If your apples are not tart enough, add a squeeze of lemon.  If they are not sweet enough, add 1 tablespoon of honey. If they are perfect, they don’t mess with them!
  10. Serve the pork chops covered with applesauce and along side a big, delicious serving of spinach.

Friday:

Spaghetti Squash and Farmers Market Meatballs

  • The remainder of the meatloaf mixture you set aside from Wednesday!
  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 jar marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 350.

  1. Cut squash in half and scoop out all of the seeds.
  2. Place in large stockpot (peel and all) with enough water to cover half of the squash.
  3. Cook on high until the squash is soft enough to pull the skin apart with a fork.
  4. Drain water and let cool. While Squash is cooking do steps 5 and 6
  5. Using mixture from Wednesday’s meatloaf, make 1 oz balls and place on baking sheet.
  6. Place in oven for 25 minutes at 350 degrees
  7. When the squash is cooked soft, drain off the water.
  8. Remove squash from shell using a fork.  The squash should resemble spaghetti!
  9. Heat marinara sauce in pan on medium-low until heated through.
  10. Top the squash with marinara sauce and meatballs and serve to your family.  Expect mass confusion about this new vegetable you are placing in front of them….just tell them it’s Kraft’s latest creation.

Saturday:

Stone Age Swiss Steak and Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

Stone Age Swiss Steak

  • 2# cube steak (or steak you’ve beaten with a rock for several hours while sitting around a campfire in a loin cloth)
  • 1 1/4 cup almond meal (throw 1 1/4 c. almonds in a food processor or blender to pulverize them, but don’t go too far, or it will become almond butter)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 can coconut milk (the stuff that doesn’t have water as one of the main ingredients)
  • 1 egg
  • olive oil

1.     Pulverize your almonds and pour them in a bowl.
2. Crack your egg into a bowl and whisk.
3. Heat olive oil in a pan on medium (maybe medium high)
4. Take the meat and dredge it by placing it in the egg, letting it drip a bit, then placing it in the almond meal, covering completely.
5. Sear the meat in the olive oil, creating a golden crust on each side and then remove and sear next batch.
6. Add coconut milk, salt, and pepper to pan until it simmers then add seared meat to pan and let simmer until the meat is tender.
7. Serve with Creamy Cauliflower (find in recipe section to the right)
*The key to success here is wiping out your pan between batches if there is almond meal left in the pan after searing the meat. If you don’t do this it will burn and create this terrible smoky smell and set off your smoke detector that is conveniently located near your kitchen stove. Not that I would have any experience with this. 😉

Creamy Cauliflower

*A great replacement for carb-packed mashed potatoes that often leave you feeling sleepy and hungry an hour later.  Now, trust me, I believe mashed potatoes have their place on the dinner table at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but give this a try for a satisfying weekday dinner that won’t leave you feeling heavy and sleepy.

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower (for 2 people)
  • 1 tsp. Garlic powder or 1 clove sauteed garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Blender or food processor

1.Take the stem out of the cauliflower and peel off the leaves

2.  Drop it in a pot with about 2 ” of water.  Put on high and let it boil until it is so soft you can puncture it with a fork easily.

3. If you’re using fresh garlic: While boiling saute 1 clove minced garlic in olive oil for a very short

time, as soon as you can smell the strong scent of garlic, take it off the heat.

4. When soft, drain the water from the cauliflower (saving a little bit), place in food processor or blender, add salt, pepper, and garlic and blend until creamy.  If you have trouble getting it to blend, add a little of the drained off water or chicken stock to get it moving.

Warning: cauliflower does not taste like potatoes, but it will give you something creamy and tasty to dip your meat and and top with coconut milk gravy!

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. Katie says:

    These recipes look great. I’ve been craving cauliflower. Is your fms mkt yearlong? Do they have cauliflower? I know it’s in season now, but none of the farmer around here seem to have much luck with it. I like it roasted w/ olive oil, s&p.

    I wanted to mention that I’ve found the easiest way to peel a butternut squash is with a vegetable peeler. (I’ve peeled about 30 of them in the last month.) I have the most luck w/ those short, wide plastic peelers w/ the horizontal blade. I get mine at Williams Sonoma (under $10), but the generic ones probably work fine. As clumsy as I am, if I used a knife, I’d be typing with 9 fingers right now.

  2. Lauren says:

    Yes, they have cauliflower at the FM here, I got some green cauliflower that looks like it has horns, it’s almost too cool to eat.
    I wondered if a veggie peeler would work but I didn’t know if it woudl be sharp enough….now I know.
    If you have any veggies, Kate, I would love to have them. Otherwise “Eggplant Surprise” is going to be on the list soon.

  3. Lauren says:

    Our FM goes until Christmas and picks up sometime in March, I think.

  4. Abby says:

    I love how simple the recipes are :).

    1. Lauren says:

      That’s because I couldn’t follow a complicated recipe if you paid me and I wouldn’t expect anyone else to go through that just to eat dinner.

  5. Katie Van says:

    Well, I wouldn’t have said anything, Lauren… but since you brought it up. Here’s an easy alternative to canned cream o’ whatever soup.

    I make a big batch of cream of mushroom soup, or cream of chicken soup and freeze it in 1 1/2 cup portions (about the same amount as a can). Sometimes it separates a bit when it thaws (it will only take a couple minutes to defrost it in the microwave), but it’s as good as new after you stir it up.

    *Cream Soup Base*

    1 medium onion, diced
    1/2 C real butter
    6 T all-purpose flour
    1 1/2- 2 C whole milk
    1/4-1/2 C heavy cream, optional
    kosher salt to taste
    black pepper or white pepper to taste
    garlic powder to taste
    herbes de provence, or Italian seasoning to taste

    Directions

    In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender. Sprinkle with flour & seasonings (I am generous w/ salt and pepper, but use just a sprinkle of garlic & herbes de provence) Mix well, cook for 2-3 min, then gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir for over low heat until thick. If you want a creamier consistency, stir in heavy cream (the added fat content from the cream is recommended if you’re planning on freezing it).

    *for Cream of Mushroom Soup: saute 1lb fresh sliced mushrooms along w/ the onion (wild mushrooms, such as shitake, will give you the most flavor, but you could also use cremini or button mushrooms)

    *for Cream of Chicken Soup- substitute part or all of the milk w/ rich, homemade chicken stock OR after you’ve added the milk and the soup is beginning to thicken, you could add chicken bouillon directly to the soup. Start w/ a very small amount, then taste it and add more until you’re happy w/ the flavor. (I’m not a big fan of fake chicken flavoring, but Better Than Bouillon makes a concentrated soup base that contains more real chicken than most, and is the most natural tasting one that I’ve found – they also have an organic version.) If you use store-bought chicken stock, or if your own chicken stock is not very rich, you might need to add some of the bouillon to get a good chicken-y flavor. If you are using bouillon, it’s very salty, so you’ll want to hold off on adding any additional salt until the very end.

    *To this base you could also add any chopped, steamed vegetable such as cauliflower, broccoli or asparagus; or chunks of baked potato (peel and all), bacon and chives; or pureed, stewed tomatoes, butternut squash puree or even canned pumpkin for a bisque; or just some plain cheese would be delicious.

    1. Lauren says:

      I hope you all know how lucky you are to have one of Katie Van’s recipes, as they are few and far between. If we’re using it as a substitute for the God-knows-what’s-in-it store version, this is a awesome substitute, flour or no flour 🙂 Thank you Katie! This reminds me that I need to go get some garlic powder….

      1. Katie Van says:

        Yeah, this is by no means a “health food” recipe, just an alternative to the processed gob of gook in the can. Making it yourself allows you to control the quality of the ingredients (use organic milk & produce if you want), cut out the preservatives, limit the sodium, and most importantly, it tastes a heck of a lot better.

        I’ve used all kinds of substitutions for flour in creamy soups & sauces. You can thicken the milk w/ any kind of flour you want, cornmeal, cornstarch, mashed potatoes (other veggies purees will thicken the sauce, too, especially starchy root veggies), I’ve even used bran flakes. You just have to play around with the amounts, and they all produce different consistencies, so find what you like … the flour base is just the easiest.

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