Tag Archives: dinner

Meal Planning – What a week.

I’m going to need some extra motivation to cook today. Thinking about those 5 pounds I don’t want to gain back.

It’s been a very full and busy week, one with two nights of takeout (gasp!).  After all the cooking we’ve been doing for the past month or so, I think we’ve earned it.  This week is one of my busiest of the year.  I’m working on a big bi-annual alumnae newsletter for a summer camp (which I hope someday my kids will be into).  I love working on this project, but it does take up almost every spare minute, plus, I’ve been blessed with a new client, so it’s been an adventure.  Thus, the delicious takeout.

Here’s my plan for next week.  Note the abundance of potato love.  There will be yoga.

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As far as my reviews of the food we made, the winner of the week was the sushi bowl.  I was craving soy sauce with a vengeance, and it delivered!  Jared didn’t actually make the Korean drumsticks, but he made his own delish creation.  He’s really good at improvising a big bowl of whatever we’ve got laying around.  We’ll do the drumsticks next time.  I liked the chickpea casserole, but I was the only one.  Jared ate it like a good sport, without a word.  Brooke and Leif politely handed their bowls back to me and walked away.  You can’t win them all.

Alright, I’m off to spend my day off with my lovely babies.  We’re planning a trip to the dollar store, it’s a big day!

Meal Planning – I lost 5 pounds!

I have a much better job now.

About a year ago I started working at a job at a really crappy company.  There were a lot of things that made it crappy, but one of them is that it caused me to gain 10 pounds.  There were a lot of restaurants around, so it made it too easy to buy lunches with enormous portions.  The job was super stressful, so it made me feel like I deserved to over eat, which is self destructive behavior.  (It also made me feel like I deserved a barrel of wine every day, but that’s a story for another time).

So now that I don’t work for that terrible company anymore, my life is very much happier, and I now have learned to balance my life in such a way that allows me to eat much healthier.  No more self destructive behavior for this party girl!  Well, maybe  a little here and there, but trust me, I’m much more wholesome now.

So, I’ve been following a weekly meal plan for the past 5 weeks, and I mainly eat my dinner leftovers for lunch.  No more takeout.  I also cut out fried snacks, and I lost a pound a week.  I exercise a little, and do a little yoga, but really the better food is what did it.

This last week was amazing and delish.  Highlights!:

The Asparagus and Morel Bread Pudding was insanely awesome, and I will definitely make it again.  I used sage instead of parsley, white and baby bella mushrooms in the place of morels, and regular onions in the place of half of the spring onions, and it tasted fantastic.  My husband suggested I go a little lighter on the asparagus next time.  I got this recipe from the Barbara Kingsolver book, Animal, Vegetable Miracle, which is a very interesting read and has taught me some good things about the food we eat.

I have to admit, I didn’t make the Reuben Galumpkis like I’d planned.  I went to buy the corned beef, and read the ingredients, which included a lot of weird nitrates to tenderize the meat, so I got scared and put it back.  Ironically, instead of making that when the day came around, I ended up making my incredibly unhealthy swedish meatball recipe, which contains horrible frozen meatballs filled with god knows what.  So I guess sometimes, you will just eat crap no matter how smugly health conscious you think you are.

The Turkey Sliders with Onion Marmalade were delish.  We grilled them and put cheddar cheese on top, and ate them with the marmalade and spicy mustard.  It was fantastic. I added a little mushrooms in with my onions in the marmalade, and it was very good.  I was too lazy to chop up sage, so it wasn’t there, but it was still very good.

New Year Noodle Soup is now one of my all-time favorite soups.  My husband made it, which made it that much awesomer.  He did kick it up a notch with something, but I’ll have to report back with exactly what, because he’s sleeping right now.  Also, for some crazy reason, my regular store didn’t carry lentils and borlotti beans, so we just used chick peas only.  We also didn’t use sour cream.  It reminded me a little bit of Vietnamese pho, without the meat.  I loved it very much.

I just wanted to note, I had Allie’s vegetarian meatballs on the calendar for last week, but I didn’t need to make it because we had so many leftovers, so I’ll make it this week and let you know how it is.

So, here’s what I have planned for next week:

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And, as usual, you probably can’t see/click on my calendar if you’re viewing from an iPhone or from your email.  Check it out in a regular browser when you can.

Meal Planning – Do or do not, there is no try!

I will not dread the store today.

This meal planning thing has really helped us in a lot of ways.  I haven’t had that shooting worry that used to hit me every day around 4:45 when I realized it was time to come up with a dinner idea, because all my options are right there in the fridge waiting for me.  I don’t miss that worry at all. It’s also really helped us with our food budget.  Last week I made a couple things that gave a lot of leftovers, so I was able to skip two nights of cooking and it saved about $40 on the food bill!

Recently someone said they liked the planning idea, but they like to wait and see what they’re really hungry for, so they’re hesitant to follow something so “planned”.  So, I just wanted to mention that I don’t follow the plan to the day, I make whatever I’m in the mood for on any given day, and I try to put a variety of things into the 7 day plan so I can pretty much cover any kind of craving.

So, here are some of the highlights on what we made over the last two weeks (sorry I skipped that part last week, I was sick).

The Kale and Roasted Vegetable Soup was very good, but I recommend making it the day before so the flavors can really mingle.  It was slightly bland, so you might want to spice it up. It gave us lots of leftovers for lunch.  The children were horrified by it.

The Double Broccoli Quinoa was amazing.  It had a ton of garlic, so I felt bad for the people around me at work.  It also gave us lots of lunch leftovers.  The kids were horrified again.

I’m a little behind on the Bulgogi Pizza, but we’re having it tonight.

Allie’s Transport Yourself Roasted Chicken was awesome.  It smelled so good in my kitchen.  The kids ate it.  Also, leftovers!

I didn’t make the Pasta with Broccoli Pesto (which is just the pesto from the Double Brocolli Quinoa over noodles).  I might make that for lunch today though.

I hate to say it, but I was a little disappointed by the Mushroom Casserole.  It felt like it took a really long time to cook, and it was meh.  The kids were horrified.  Lot’s of meh leftovers.

The Turkey Chili Taco Soup?  FANTASTIC!  Leftovers galore.  The kids loved it.

Alright, so here’s what we’re eating next:

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Just a reminder, you probably can’t see/click on my calendar if you’re viewing from an iPhone or from your email.  Check it out in a regular browser when you can.

Meal Planning – Still Cookin.

Ouch.

This past week was a good one, we’re still on a role.  I gave myself a little break though, and we had leftovers two nights.  I decided I’m going to do that again next week, and save a little $$. I’m scared to go to the store today, I did a killer yoga class and I can barely walk.  I just want to sit on a heating pad all day. But it’s gotta be done!  I’ll post tomorrow with some of last week’s highlights, but for now, here’s next week :

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By the way, if you’re viewing the calendar on your iphone, you might have a little trouble, check it out on a regular computer.  Same goes for email subscribers, the calendar probably won’t show up on your email.  Damn technology.

Meal Planning – This needs to happen.

Still working on that whole “grown up” thing.

As you may have gathered, I am slightly cuckoo.  I am addicted to doing things, and a bit of a workaholic.  I believe that the things that happen in our lives could very well be a reflection of how we’re living.

Over the past few months, we’ve been experiencing several unexpected mini-crisis’s, and I started thinking, what could I have been doing to sort of invite these kinds of chaotic events, and how can I change the patterns that are causing this “condition”?  I see that my action packed life is fun and exciting, but it is lacking some of the necessary parts that keep us healthy and grounded.  Therefore, my life feels chaotic, and I’m becoming a bit of a chaos magnet.

One of these necessary parts that’s lacking is regular, planned meals.  Each day I start working from the second my kids are dropped off at daycare, until 5 PM.  I love my job(s), and I am 100% immersed in them.  Then I pick up the kids, and I realize it’s dinner time, and I have nothing planned, and a lot of times no food in the fridge.  I either need to go to the store with the kids, or scramble for something lame with what I’ve got.  I’ve begun to completely dread this chore, which isn’t a good way to top off a fabulous day of productivity.  It makes me feel like an unorganized, poor excuse for a mom, and creates a feeling of exhaustion and  chaos at the end of the day.  I often wish I could just hire a cook, but sadly, my workaholic life has left me as yet unable to afford me that luxury.

I was talking to my brother in law yesterday.  He told me that his wife plans all their meals a month in advance, buys all the groceries they need every two weeks, and he follows the calendar and prepares all these meals.  When he told me this, a light bulb went on.  Oh, yeah, meal planning, what a concept! So, I’m taking baby steps, I’m not planning a whole month out, yet, but I got a decent start and planned the next 7 days.  I put it on a Google Calendar, which you can see below.  I’m going to try to do this every Thursday for the following 7 days and share it with you.  If I forget, please feel free to remind me.  I put a star next to each meal that’s a Yin Mom, Yang Mom recipe, and if you click on the recipe you can see the link under the “Where” section.  I also had a few dinners that I think the kids won’t like, so in those cases I added a separate dinner for them. Wish me luck, I’m certain this must be a step in the right direction towards a more peaceful life. By the way, thanks J for the idea!

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Confession: I’m Not Sure What We Eat.

Actually craving lettuce, but there is no lettuce for me.

I’ve given up on cooking dinner for the past 2 or 6 weeks.  It all started when I lost my job, and began working full time on launching my own business.  In my frantic effort to create my own income, I put home cooked food last on my list of priorites. Before the incident that got me kicked to the curb (more about that another day), I had just started getting into a really great cooking groove, and I at least prepared (not always cooked, pre-prepped grocery store food was my friend) dinner just about every night.  When I first started that job, it took me about 5 months before I could handle working all day, picking up the kids, and cooking dinner.  I relied heavily on my husband’s help, and takeout.  Just when I finally found my groove, I lost that job, and now I’m back to square one.  I’m really not sure what we eat.  I know we’re eating, because we aren’t losing weight or passing out, but it can’t be very good food.

The other day I had a memory of a time when my friends were telling me that I’m so good at meal planning and grocery budgeting.  They actually wanted me to help them come to grips with their cooking dysfunction.  What happened to that person?  Did full time worker mom kill her?  I think she did.

It’s time to stop the insanity.  It’s really not that hard to plan 3-4 nights of dinners and buy accordingly.  So, here goes, this is my menu plan for the next 4 nights.  Each of these things takes about 10-15 minutes of prep time.  I’ll try to be good and blog the recipes as I make them.

Quinoa Salad
Spicy Crispy Chicken Thighs, Rice and Yellow Squash
Chicken Soft Tacos
Polish Dill Pickle Soup

This is my challenge.  I will make this shit, because I’ve now blogged about it and if I fail, the world will know.