Weekly meal plan – Fortunately, unfortunately

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My mom and I have a game we play and I’m going to share it because I think it’s the best way to describe this last crazy week. It’s called fortunately/unfortunately and it’s played like this…

Fortunately, my mom came to visit me this week… unfortunately, the house was a disaster and the kids were nuts so nobody slept.
Fortunately we both really like tea…
Unfortunately, my son barfed all over the car on an outing… Fortunately, it was only once.
Unfortunately, my washing machine broke so we had to take laundry to my dad’s every second day… Fortunately, my mom was super generous and helped us get a new one.
Unfortunately, it still won’t be here for another 3 days making it 2 weeks without a washer…Fortunately the weather is so amazing I’m just letting the kids run around naked cutting back on laundry.
Fortunately , my stepsister came into town with my niece for a visit…unfortunately, I had to share her so I barely got to see them.
Fortunately, my husband came home a day early this week…unfortunately it’s week three of solo parenting and I was completely pooped so I probably wasn’t there
Fortunately, it was our son’s third birthday party on Sunday and we all had a blast…unfortunately, he was so wired that he was up until 11pm about 2 hours past when we were still functioning. Continue Reading »

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Weekly Meal Plan – Spring Showers and a Full Freezer

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Well my hubbers is off to work again and I’m feeling like his time home was a bit of a write off. We had such great plans of picnics and fish and chips and pretty much none of it happened. We all managed to get sick and between naps there was no time to head out. It did however give me some great time to write a few new recipes. A couple are ready to share so will show up over the next few weeks and the rest require more tweaks before going public.

This week I need to do some serious freezer clearing. I was a little shocked by how much has accumulated in there. Normally with meal planning very little is left in my fridge or freezer by the end of the week but I think with my trying to write some new recipes I got a small backlog. Plus, I can’t throw anything away so I end up with the most random things in there. Fortunately/unfortunately the weather is very spring like and rainy here so I’m thinking it will be a perfect week to clear out the freezer with some hearty meals. This will also save me a few bucks for some cute spring dresses for when it does get sunny.

Monday

Lunch – Crackers, cheese and cut veggies with dip

Dinner – Chicken Soup
In my freezer I discovered chicken bones and veggie scraps I was obviously intending for a soup that hasn’t happened yet. I’ll start the stock early in the afternoon by roasting the bones and veg in the oven until golden brown and then moving it all to a pot of water to simmer on the stove. I know I have some veggies that will be happy to join the pot and I’m sure there is some chicken hiding somewhere too.

Tuesday

Lunch – Peanut butter, jam and banana wraps with apple slices
A tortilla spread with a smear of peanut butter and jam then rolled around a banana. I may even add some cheerios or granola in for some texture.

Dinner – Pierogies, sausages and sauerkraut
I love sauteed onions and plain yogurt on the side.

Wednesday

Lunch – Ham and tomato grill cheese with veggies and dip

Dinner – Fish tacos
I have some multi-grain Tilapia fish sticks that work great. They’re huge pieces so 4 is good for me and the kids. I serve the fish in tortillas with shredded cabbage, cilantro, diced tomatoes and a lime sauce. The sauce is really easy: 1 tbsp mayo, 1 tbsp plain yogurt, half a lime and a little salt.

Thursday

Lunch – bagels and cream cheese with apples slices and peanut butter

Dinner – Vegan satay pizza
A friend is bringing me this over to try and I’m really excited. It sounds like an amazing pizza with cilantro, peanut sauce and yummy veggies. I may steal the recipe if I fall in love.

Friday

Lunch – Tuna sandwiches

Dinner – Chili mac with cornbread crust
I need to use up some frozen chili and cornbread muffins. I’m going make a basic mac and cheese, mix in the chili and then top with the crumbled muffins. I think it should be pretty nummy.

Saturday

Lunch – Egg salad on buns with carrot sticks

Dinner – Meatball subs with Caesar salad
I made these a few weeks ago and they were delicious. I’m using meatballs and sauce from my spaghetti recipe that I froze last time I made it. Cut the top off a sub bun (old school Subway style) and place a row of meatballs in. Cover with sauce and grated cheese. Place in a 400F oven for about 10 minutes, remove and top with their lids.

Sunday

Lunch – Waffles and fruit salad
I love brunch so I’ll give the kids some fruit to tie them over and then make waffles, sausages and fruit salad

Dinner – Veggie Taco Salad
I’m hoping for a little sun at the end of the week and with some heavier meals throughout the week this will be a great ending

Hope this makes your life a little easier, at least the food part. I’d love to hear about how your family plans their meals.

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Weekly Meal Plan – Daddy’s away

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Having a husband that works away can be a real challenge at times and dinners are for sure a part of the struggle. Keeping the kids out from under my feet for longer then 15 minutes is unrealistic plus you never know when you’re going to get called away from supper just to have it all go up in smoke. Last week I did a little planning ahead and froze a few ingredients to use this week. If you want to see that post click HERE. Please keep in mind this meal plan is only feeding me and my son so the recipes included here may need to be adapted for your family

All in all I’ve kept it really simple without it being a menu only my two year old will like. You may notice I’m relying heavily on the tortilla, but nothing is better for making a quick meal. There was some interest in meals for the entire day so I’m including lunches this week too. Breakfasts are usually cereal or frozen waffles from the weekend, but I have some more creative options in the works and I’m looking forward to sharing them soon.

Monday

Lunch – Bagel sandwiches
Toasted whole grain bagels with a spread of cream cheese, mustard, deli ham and all the normal sandwich fixings. Especially pickles.

Dinner – Chicken Pesto Quesadillas
This uses chicken that I made last week and froze in portions. Spread one side of a whole grain tortilla with about a tbsp of pesto, layer with shredded chicken, slices of red pepper and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. Top with a second tortilla. In a non stick pan over medium heat place the quesadilla and let it sit until golden brown, flip it over and brown the other side. Remove from heat and cut into wedges. One of these will feed both me and my son. Serve with guacamole, salsa and plain yogurt for dipping.

Tuesday

Lunch – Peanut butter and Jam Paninis
A peanut butter and jam sangie on whole grain bread that I toast in the sandwich press, served with slices of banana.

Dinner – Chicken Fingers and Veggie Fries
I’m using whole grain crusted chicken fingers and am serving them with the root veggie fries from this POST.

Wednesday

Lunch – BLT sandwiches
Bacon, lettuce and tomato on whole grain bread. I bought some cool veggie chips, Terra Chips, that I’m going to try with them.

Dinner – Spaghetti and Meatballs
I’ll be using the meatballs I made last week and a half home-made, half store bought sauce with whole grain pasta. I hate it when I don’t have the recipe ready before the meal plan but I’ll have it up right away!

Thursday

Lunch – Quesadilla
Same as the pesto quesadilla but I’ll leave out the pesto and serve with salsa.

Dinner – Fish Tacos
I’m using about 8 whole grain fish sticks. While cooking the fish sticks according to direction, prepare the following. Chop 1/2 cup of red cabbage and 1/4 cup cilantro. Mix together 2 tbsp mayo with 2 tbsp plain yogurt and the juice from half a lime, season with a bit of salt. Warm 4 flour tortillas. Layer in the fish, cilantro and cabbage and top with the lime yogurt sauce. I also like a little hot sauce on mine.

Friday

Lunch – Leftovers
Even though my dinners aren’t meant this week for leftovers there is always something in the fridge that needs to get eaten.

Dinner -Ham and Pineapple Pizza
I like to use whole wheat Naan for a crust. Spread a layer of sauce on the crusts then top with slices of deli ham, diced pineapple and a layer of mozza cheese. Bake at 425 for about 10 minutes and serve. We might have carrot and celery sticks too. I use jarred spaghetti sauce for my pizza, I’ll be using some for the spaghetti and meatballs so it seems a great way to use the rest.

Saturday

Lunch – Ham Sandwiches and Cut Veggies

Dinner – Greek Wraps
I’m using my Greekish salad and Tzatziki, topping it with some shredded chicken and wrapping it in a warm tortilla. Healthy and really easy.

Sunday

Lunch – Picky Plates
This totally caters to my two year old but I love it too. I got the idea from a friend and basically just go through my fridge and cut up bits of everything: veggies, cheese, meats, pickles and serve with some crackers.

Dinner – Smokies and Coleslaw
I found some great looking preservative free, local smokies and I’m super excited to try them. The little just likes ketchup, mustard and maybe a little diced tomato on his but I love sauerkraut, diced onion, diced tomato and all the condiments. For the coleslaw, grate one carrot into a bowl, add about 1/2 cup shredded cabbage (sliced as fine as you can do it). In a small jar mix together 1 tbsp of mayo with 1 tsp vinegar and a sprinkle of salt and sugar. Mix the dressing with the slaw at least a few minutes before serving.

That’s my week for food. Hope this helps your family eat a little easier too. To see how I plan my meals click HERE. I’d love to hear how your family gets through the busy weeks, so please leave me a note.

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Weekly Meal Plan – Meals that bring a little love to the table

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This last week has been dreary and rainy. We’ve been stuck inside for awhile and, I think, are all going a little squirrelly Add to that a non sleeping baby and I’m pulling every easy card I have for the next week. It’s going to be all about food that makes me feel good, wraps me in a warm blanket and tucks me in, plus that I can make with my eyes closed if I have to.

Isn’t it interesting that food can reflect and impact our emotions and feelings. Certain meals transport me back to childhood and hug me with the warmth of my own mom taking care of me. Others are nurturing to my spirit, either with warming flavours or with hearty ingredients. Both are what we need this week and I hope these meals can be there for you too when you need that little bit of extra food love in your life

 

Monday Night

Fried Egg SandwichesI could honestly eat fried egg sandwiches everyday and have sometimes. I like to use a lovely whole grain bread toasted with mayo, a perfectly fried egg, layers of tomato, avocado, lettuce and cheese. Doesn’t that sound like love between two pieces of bread? My mom is also a huge fan and has been known to serve them to company.

Tuesday Night

Chard, Bacon and Tomato Pasta Easy to make and delicious. I love the green flavour that chard has and I feel like I’m eating something that is both healthy and decadent at the same time.

Wednesday Night

Mediterranean Chicken Meatballs, tzatziki and Greekish SaladEasy fast and makes me think of family. Funny, we’re Dutch, Scottish and English but we seem to gravitate to Greek restaurants for family dinners. I can picture a blue and white checked table cloth and time with family as I think about making this dinner.

Thursday Night

Green Bean and Ham CasseroleFrom an old Cooking Light recipe that I’ve adapted. It reminds me of a chicken and broccoli casserole my mom made, (only because it’s a casserole, all similarities end there).

Friday Night

Italian Chicken Meatball and Pepper PizzaThis has become a staple and regular in my rotation lately. I’ve switched to making my own meatballs from ground chicken and it’s amazing. This dinner just makes me smile with its deliciousness. Definitely a spirit lifting dinner

Saturday Night

Going out nightWe haven’t been out for a single meal since I started this blog, which has been great for our budget and makes it so I don’t feel a bit bad about treating myself to an easy dinner elsewhere.

Sunday Night

CurryI’m going to experiment with a fish curry. I have a general idea in my head and if it works I’ll have the recipe up soon. Even thought experimenting sounds a little out of the comfort food, easy theme of the week, stretching my creative cooking muscles brings me joy and is almost meditative. If you are using this meal plan this week I’d suggest using the Indian spiced sloppy joes until I have it done:)

That’s what comfort food looks like for me. I’m sure your family and friends have their own dishes that bring a little love to the table and I’d love to hear what they are, so please share. If you are wondering how I do my meal plans here’s how: Meal Planning Basics

Family Meal Plan – 30 minute weeknight meals

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Life has returned to as normal as it gets around here. The hubster is back to work and the kids and I are settling into our own little groove.

It’s been a month since I started this blog and I’m moving into the fifth week of meal plans. So far it’s been a great experience. It’s re inspired me to cook and try new things, and it’s been an interesting process to try to bring my thoughts into a coherent focus to share with everyone. I’ve made a few updates to posts over the last month to reflect some of this refocusing and I hope what I’ve shared so far has been helpful in feeding your friends and families in way you can feel good about.

So…here’s this week’s plan. No plans for the evenings but with the way timing is working out I have only about 30 minutes to get dinner on the table. This week’s plan is all quick, healthy and yummy dinners for 30 minutes or less, except for Sundays.

Weekly Meal Plan

Monday Night

Vegetarian breakfast burritosNo recipe required, just scrambled eggs with bell peppers, mushrooms and green onions, served in warm tortillas and topped with shredded cheese, lettuce, avocado and salsa. Served with sliced apples

Tuesday Night

Indian Spiced Sloppy Joes We eat a lot of chicken so I’m going to use extra lean ground beef in replace of the ground chicken. It works just as well in the recipe and it gives us a little chicken break

Wednesday Night

Chicken Tikka Masala PastaI made my Roast Chicken earlier in the day while the kids napped if you are shorter on time a rotisserie chicken could work just as well. This is an Indian inspired pasta that has all the yummy flavours of Tikka Masala in 25 minutes.

Thursday Night

Chicken Caesar wraps In a large bowl toss together: chopped romaine lettuce, 2 diced tomatoes, diced red pepper, green onion and your favourite Caesar dressing. Place in wraps, with sliced chicken layered on top. Serve with oven fries. Cut a baking potato into wedges and lightly coat with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and bake in a 375 oven for about 25 minutes.

Friday Night

Bacon, Leek and a fried egg pizzaI made this the other day for photos and to get the recipe down and it was probably one of the best things I have eaten in a long time. The creamy leeks and the egg add a rich, luxuriousness to this dinner.

Saturday Night

Leftover NightI know I need to clean out the fridge so we’ll use what’s there and make a feast of it. I’ll probably make a salad too.

Sunday Dinner

Creamy vegetable, chicken and tortilla casseroleThis is a favourite of my dad’s so I’ll make him happy with this yummy casserole. It’s easy to put together and can use precooked chicken for a busy Sunday. I’ll serve this with a green salad and a lime dressing. In a small container with a lid combine the juice of half a lime, 2 tbsps olive oil, 1 tsp honey, a smooshed clove of garlic and salt to taste. Shake it up and dress your salad.

One more week of meals with six under 30 minutes. If you would like to create your own meal plan or are looking for more information check out my meal planning guide.

Family Meal Plan Week 2

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I have my sister and her baby girl in town for a visit this week and we want to experiment with making some new baby foods. So I know I want at least two dinners that we can throw together in under 20 minutes. With my own new eater I’m finding evenings are getting a bit crazy. Dinner for me and hubby, a toddler portion and something for the tiny eater with a big appetite. I’m a firm believer in babies eating real food with flavour, so this of course means I create twice as much work for myself.

Other than that, our week is pretty quite and with my husband still home I have some time to make dinners we all enjoy

Monday Night

Vegetarian Chickpea Tacos – I’m doing my grocery shopping on a Monday this week. This is my families favourite vegetarian (vegan if you don’t top it with cheese) recipe and it comes together quickly so I’ll be able to whip it up when I get home. I served this to my vegetarian sister and brother in-law when they were up visiting me from Florida and it was absolutely devoured.

Tuesday Night

Breakfast for Dinner, Pumpkin Waffles with Chicken Sausage – A weekend experiment that translated into a fun, delicious dinner. I used the basic waffle recipe from the Joy of Cooking and added a 1/3 cup of canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and ginger), about 1/2 tsp of each. The sausage came from our wonderful, local grocery, the 49th Parallel, that makes them fresh in store. Served with some fruit salad, my son and I declared it a solid hit!

Wednesday Night

Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetable Fries – With a colder forecast this week I thought this would be a nice late winter warmer. I love that my son’s ideas about what fries are includes carrots and parsnips along with potatoes. I’m also throwing in an extra chicken breast for use later in the week.

Thursday Night

Toasted Tuna and Cut Veggies – I’m giving myself a midweek easy. Whole grain bread and some cut veggies make this a healthy and 10 minute dinner.

Friday Night

Pesto and Chicken Quesadillas – Here’s where I’m using the leftover chicken. Using a whole grain tortilla, spread a layer of pesto. Top with diced chicken, diced bell peppers, diced tomato, some cilantro leaves and a layer of cheese. If your family likes a little spice a diced jalapeño adds that bit of heat. Cap it off with another tortilla and cook over medium until cheese is melty and the tortilla is a golden brown. Serve with some fresh guacamole and salsa.

Saturday Night

Hot dogs/Chili Dogs and Coleslaw – Yup, I eat hot dogs Who woulda thought, me being so mostly healthy and all. I buy the Maple Leaf Naturals. I never want to be that mom that cuts my kids off from everything because it’s not healthy, plus I really love chili dogs. So…I try to find the least processed, best option and have it occasionally. I also confess I use canned chili. I don’t like it enough to make it often and its hot dogs so it should take only a minute, right? The hot dogs are topped with a layer of chili and cheese and baked in the oven. My no fail coleslaw recipe is a grated carrot and 2 cups of shredded cabbage. For the dressing mix together about 2 spoons mayo, 1 spoon of vinegar and a sprinkle of salt and sugar. You’ll know by taste when you have the balance right.

Sunday Night

Pork Roast, Mashedo Potatoes, Chard and Pan-fried Apples – I’m pretty basic when it comes to seasoning my roasts and use salt and pepper with a little grainy mustard. I find most roasts take about 1-1.5 hours depending on their size, but always go by temperature. A pork roast is cooked when it reaches 170F. You can usually pull out a roast around 165F and cover with tin foil. It will sit and continue to cook while it rests, making sure the pork is up to temp but also moist and not over cooked. Potatoes are mashed with butter, milk and a grated clove of garlic. I love sautéed chard with a little butter and salt and pepper. Yogurt on top after its cooked adds a great tang. My Opa always served pork with apple sauce and I feel like it’s not a pork dinner without it. Because I love to play with my food my version is a little different. In a skillet sauté about a half a sliced onion over medium heat in 1 tbsp butter. Once the onions are translucent add thin slices of apple. I find a crunchy apple like granny smith works best. Season with salt and pepper, a sprinkle of allspice, nutmeg, ginger and a sprinkle of sugar. Add a 1/4 cup of chicken stock and simmer until apples are tender and cooked through.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, here’s my post on how I create our families meal plan. Enjoy your week and as always I love hearing how your family gets its weekly meals on the table and ways I can improve this blog.

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Family Meal Plan week 1

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It’s a low key week with my sister coming at the end of the week for a visit from Kelowna, (maybe she’ll bring wine?). My husband is taking time off to spend it with us so I don’t need to plan leftovers or lunches and I’ve reused a few ingredients to cut down my grocery list. Plus I get one night off for sure.

This is the first meal plan I’m posting so if you have feedback on the format, or ideas on any part of this post I want to hear from you.

Monday Night

Salad and ChickenRotisserie chicken on a tonne of veggies and greens. I love Organic mesculin greens and topped with tomatoes, peppers, carrot, cabbage and chicken it’s a yummy, easy dinner. I am a bread lover so I would serve this with warm foccacia too.

Tuesday Night

Fish TacosThis is my grocery shopping day so I like a fast dinner. My hubby’s pick this week is fish tacos. I use fish sticks (don’t look at me like that). You can get fabulous, multi-grain, sustainably fished options as well as the good old fish stick. Chopped cabbage, cilantro, and lime cream (equal parts sour cream and plain yogurt with a squeezed lime and a bit of salt) top it off. Serve on flour tortillas and dinner is done by the time the fish is cooked.

Wednesday night

Pulled chicken sandwichesUse left over. or rotisserie chicken and coat with your favourite bbq sauce in a saucepan over med-low heat, (I have an amazing bbq sauce recipe I’ll share over the summer!). Make a quick coleslaw with shredded cabbage, grated carrot and a dressing of roughly 2 spoons mayo, 1 spoon vinegar, a sprinkle of sugar and salt. Place the bbq’d chicken on a bun top with coleslaw and voilà, pulled chicken sandwiches.

Thursday Night

Breakfast nightThis week we’ll have fried egg sandwiches with lettuce, tomato, bacon and maybe avocado if they’re nice looking. Served with fruit salad too.

Friday Night

Italian Sausage PizzaI’ve started buying Naan and using it as individual pizza crusts. I have full intention of making crusts but haven’t had time to experiment with them yet. My favourite toppings right now are pesto, Italian sausage (I like the chicken version), and sautéed peppers and onions, topped with a little stringy mozzarella. It’s like sausage and peppers but better and on pizza, so amazing!

Saturday Night

Masala sloppy Joes –  Indian takeaway meets the sloppy joe. Delicious and lots of veggies mixed in.

Sunday Night

My sister will be in town so I know I’ll be invited to dinner at my parents.

That’s it. One weeks worth of easy, healthy dinners you can happily feed to your family. If you haven’t read it yet my post on meal planning explains some of the basics on how I plan our dinners.

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