Weekly Meal Plan – Community Garden

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When you live in a town house there are pros and cons. I don’t have to mow my lawn, worry about maintenance and it’s nice to know we’re surrounded by people that are quick to lend a hand. Especially the weeks when I’m on my own. The biggest drawbacks are the horribly small kitchen that I complain about daily and the teeny tiny yard. With two kids and a large dog it makes for a limited space to play.

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Happy gardener

So having a community garden as a yard extension has been my life saver. Continue Reading »

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Weekly Meal Plan – Change is good

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My sister and I were talking tonight about the challenges of adapting to life with kids, especially if life doesn’t fit into a 9-5 package. It got me thinking of the difficult shift we had to make when Hubbers started working away. It required some serious adaptability and planning to keep on top of things and at times it has felt pretty overwhelming. Thankfully, we are pretty adaptable and I pray that organization is a skill that can be learned at any age.

We were also discussing how easy it is to start eating like crap if you aren’t prepared. Continue Reading »

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 4

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I’m so excited that I have to share my news. My husband, Sean, was able to find work locally! For those not from around Vancouver Island this is a big deal. There is a limited amount of good paying jobs here and having one person working in Alberta has become a reality for a lot of families out here. Since last August, we’ve been a part of this group and it was beyond hard to be apart and to be on my own with a newborn and a two year old. SO, I am ecstatic.

As well as being excited about him being around it also relates to meal planning. It means a shift back to the normal for us. He’ll be home every night and need lunches again. When I need work lunches, I schedule meals with leftovers every second night. This gives me enough lunches to get through the week without a leftover backlog in the fridge.

Other than this big shift the rest of my week is low key. I want to make this a fairly easy week, meal wise, because it will be an adjustment to be on my own all day again. I’ve picked easy, quick meals and am lucky that my parents are having us for dinner one night too.

Weekly meal plan

Monday Night

Vegetarian Chili and Cornbread Fortunately hubby’s work doesn’t start until the middle of the week so he has offered to make dinner. It’s his secret recipe so my contribution is cornbread muffins. I used Martha Stewart’s and they are delicious (massachusetts-corn-muffins). This will also be great as a lunch for him later in the week.

Tuesday Night

Chicken burritos – Shred half of a rotisserie chicken and in a sauce pan bring to boil 1/4 cup water, juice from half a lime, 1 tbsp chili powder, 1 clove crushed garlic, splash of honey, salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and toss half of the chicken in the sauce, with 1 tbsp chopped cilantro. Layer the chicken in a whole grain tortilla with grated cheese, diced bell pepper and any other veg you like. Roll up and lie side by side in a skillet. Place a heavy pan on top and grill both sides over med-low until the cheese is melty. Serve with salsa and guacomole

Wednesday Night

Creamy Lemon, Pea and Mushroome Penne with Salmon This pasta can be made in about 20 minutes and tastes like it could be in any fancy restaurant. I’m replacing the salmon with some prawns I have in the freezer that are crying out to meet this pasta. Serve with garlic bread a side salad and maybe a glass of your favourite white wine.

Thursday Night

Curried Chicken Salad Wraps and Veggies – Dice the remaining half of the rotisserie chicken and mix with about 1/4 cup mayo and 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 1 stalk diced celery, 1/2 a diced apple. Add 1 tbsp curry powder and salt to taste. Layer in a wrap with sliced red peppers and either salad greens or lettuce. Serve with fruit salad

Friday Night

Ham and Pineapple PizzaI grew up with Pizza night and still love it. It was take out when I was a kid, but with how quickly I can pull a pizza together, I don’t remember the last time I ordered delivery. Spread pizza sauce on whole wheat Naan. Top with deli ham, diced pineapple and mozzarella. Serve with a side salad or fresh veggies.

Saturday Night

Steak Dinner Hiding as a Salad I’m not someone who can sit and eat a steak dinner. It’s too much for me, but my hubby sure loves it. This salad keeps him happy and I think it’s delicious. It’s a great company salad too. In fact, this was the recipe that most people have asked for.

Sunday Night

Dinner at my parents. It’s always nice to get a break from cooking and my other mother (I hate the word step-mom) makes fabulous Sunday suppers that leave us ready to face the next week.

Enjoy your week and I’d love to hear about your meal planning tricks. If you’re new to meal planning I have a post on the basics on meal planning too.
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Family Meal Plan Week 3

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Daddy and Maddie

It’s another quite week coming up for us. My husband has taken a leave until March so our lives are exceptionally peaceful right now. Although our savings are quickly dwindling, having him home for the last two months has been amazing. He had to leave for work in Alberta when our daughter was only 6 days old so I never felt like they had the same chance to bond he did with our son. But they’ve made up for lost time and now that little girl only has eyes for her daddy. I’m her meal ticket but once she’s done with me, right back to the love of her life.

Mostly we walk and explore around where we live. So my meal plans don’t have the normal chaotic, life stuff influencing them right now. However, because we are out so much I’ve had to make sure dinners can be made quickly. So, most dinners I post can get on the table from start to finish in under an hour. Many closer to 30 minutes.

Monday Night

Vegetarian Paninis – Sure, I’ll jump on the meatless Monday bandwagon. It’s been a plan to cut back on our meat intake anyway, so why not? Toss strips of zuchini, sliced mushrooms, sliced red onion and strips of red pepper in a splash of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Spread on a sheet pan and roast for about 20 minutes at 400F. I use foccacia cut in four. Spread each side with a thin layer of mayo and lots of pesto, sprinkle on goat cheese or your favourite cheese and top with layers of the roasted veg. Cook in your sandwich press until crisp and brown and serve with tomato soup. If you don’t have a press, place your sangie in a skillet and squish it with a large heavy pot on top. It works just as well. I’ll post a recipe for an easy tomato soup as soon as I can.

Tuesday Night

BBQ Chicken Pizza – Easy, fast and delicious. My husband’s favourite pizza hands down! I’m shopping this day so using a rotisserie chicken will save me some time when I get home and I can use the rest for dinner on Thursday.

Wednesday Night

Breakfast Night – Banana Pancakes with walnuts. I use the basic pancake recipe from the Joy of Cooking and slice in one banana and stir in a handful of chopped walnuts. Top with plain or vanilla yogurt and a touch of maple syrup. Serve with breakfast sausages and some fruit salad. I keep mine basic with apples, pears, banana and orange. If you leave out the sausages you have another meatless meal:)

Thursday Night

Chicken Tortilla Bake – A creamy, cheesy, vegetable filled casserole that is where I’m using the rest of the rotisserie chicken. It’s one of my dad’s favourites and I can almost guarantee he’ll find a good reason to come for dinner if he knows I’m making it.

Friday Night

Mediterranean Chicken Meatballs, with Tzatziki and Greekish Salad – Ground turkey or chicken make these super flavourful meatballs leaner and delicious. Served with warmed pita this is my version of a Greek dinner in just over half an hour. I’ll be posting this recipe later this week.

Saturday Night

Home Made Burgers with Ceaser Salad – I like to use half and half beef and bison. It’s leaner and I find the bison has a lot more flavour. We like to top our burgers with sautéed onions, tomatoes, lettuce and my home made HP sauce. I’m addicted to the stuff and made the recipe from Canadian Crafter.

Sunday Night

BBQ Chicken Drumsticks with Coleslaw and Mashed Potato – Drumsticks are inexpensive and delicious. I place the chicken on a cooling rack on top of a sheet pan. Bake at 375F and baste with your favourite BBQ sauce every 10 minutes. They take about 30-45 minutes, but always go by temperature, chicken is cooked at 165F.

I hope you find this meal plan helps make your week a little easier. If you haven’t checked it out yet here are my meal planning basics. I’d also love to hear any feedback you have or any questions.

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