Sunday, March 27, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week of March 28

We made it home today from a wonderful adult-only getaway to Mexico.  It was great, but we are so happy to be back at home with our little guy and I am looking forward to getting back to some normalcy after a very busy March - with our kitchen remodel and our trip, we were barely home! 

Usually I plan my meals based on what is on special at the grocery store but menu planning is more critical for my family than coupon cutting... so this week, due to my vacation, I am planning without looking at the ads and cutting coupons, back to that next week! 

I was inspired by a recipe I found in Parents Magazine April 2011 issue (Mark Bittman, one of my favorite food writers, now writes a column every month - love that!)  The Parents Magazine website has tons of quick and easy recipes, I'd highly recommend taking a look for some inspiration!  I also love the site good life(eats) and enjoyed checking out some new recipes there tonight, as well! 

I hope to be more active on my blog with some new healthy, allergy friendly recipes in April.  With grilling season upon us, I am starting to yearn for easy grill dinners and adding farmers market fare to my plan...  it will hopefully be here sooner than later!

For more menu planning inspiration, check out Menu Plan Monday at Orgjunkie's site!

Monday:  Super Sloppy Joes,  Potato Wedges, Green Beans
Tuesday:  Pasta, Greens and Beans (Click the link, it is number 1/6)
Wednesday:  Slow Cooker Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna (sub in corn tortillas!)
*tip: prepare on Tuesday night!
Thursday:  Leftovers
Friday:  Italian Stuffed Peppers
Saturday:  Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Potatoes and Green Beans
Sunday:  Honey Lemon Garlic Chicken Kabobs with Chickpea and Rosted Red Pepper Salad
*tip: marinate chicken the night before!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week of 3/14

After a couple of weeks living with my hubby's parents, we are finally back in our house with much of our kitchen complete - very exciting!  It is so fun to cook with the layout being more open and beautiful granite counter tops!  I will post pictures this week.  My hubby and I are lucky enough to have a vacation to Mexico coming up in one week, so it will be a little crazy getting ready for that this week, as we are leaving the little one home with his grandparents!

Some of my menu from last week will be shifted into this week because we did not move back into our house as planned.  I would love to hear your feedback or any recipe suggestions!  I am always looking to switch things up!

Monday:  Pizza night! (Allergen free pizza crust for the little guy, recipe to come soon!)

Tuesday:  Vegetable Beef Soup (from last week, sub in fresh veggies and gluten free beef stock)
tip: prepare crock pot the night before!

Wednesday:  Turkey burgers with potato crisps and green beans
*Potato Crisps - thinly slice yukon golds, toss in olive oil, salt and pepper and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes, flipping them after 7-8 minutes

Thursday:  Leftover Vegetable Beef Soup with Grilled Cheese (bread or corn tortilla for the little guy)

Friday:  Beef and Veggie Quesadillas with Black Beans
tip: stir fry veggies (peppers, onions, etc.) the night before!

Saturday:  Baked Chicken Parmesan*, pasta, broccoli
*chicken breasts dipped in olive oil, breaded with gluten free bread crumbs and baked at 375 for 20-30 minutes, melt cheese on top during baking

Sunday:  Crock Pot Sweet Potato Chili (vegan!) with Cornbread (gluten free corn bread recipe to come!)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Investing In Reusable Food Storage

As I am reorganizing our home after our kitchen renovation, I decided that it is time to invest in reusable storage and drink containers for my family.  I cannot tell you how many ziploc baggies we go through, and I really do not like using them - not good for the environment or for our health!  If you have a child with food intolerances or allergies (or you have them yourself), you know that food storage is a critical component of your day to day - I pack food for each and every meal that we are not home for.  Also, having a little one has impacted the way I look at everything.  With every decision I make, I think about how that might effect my little guy's future.  This is one way that I know can make a difference.

With this being said, I logged on to my favorite website for this type of need,, to purchase reusable storage bags (buy 4 or more and you get a discount!), a reusable stainless steel tipee cup and a stainless steel food jar that keeps food warm for up to 6 hours (this will be especially great for packing warm meals for my little guy to eat when we go out to restaurants for dinner!)  As an added bonus, reuseit had 50% off their Workhorse Original reusable bag that holds up to 25lbs of groceries, etc!  So I added one of those to my order (you have to use the promo code REVIEWS to get the discount through tomorrow, 3/11/11). 

It is a little painful to spend the money on these items upfront, but if you take care of them they will last a long time and you will see the return on investment in the long run (and so will planet Earth)!  If this post influences at least one other person to pick up some reusable storage, it was more than worth writing about!  I believe that these little decisions can make a big difference! 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Back to Menu Planning! Week of March 7th

I have been on a "blog hiatus" for a couple of weeks now - it has been a whirlwind as we have torn apart our kitchen, painted walls and cabinets and prepared for countertops to be installed tomorrow!  My menu planning has been a bit more random than normal as a result.  I plan to get back at it next week, but will be going on vacation the week after that, so March is a bit of a crazy month. 

Since I don't know exactly when I will be back in my house, my menu plan is a bit random again this week.  Here is a general idea of what we have in store:

Monday:  Crock pot pulled chicken (2 ingredients!  1 cup of salsa for every 1 lb. of chicken breasts, cook 8 hours and pull the chicken right in the crock before eating!) with corn tortillas, fixings and black beans.

Tuesday:  Take out (counters installed, putting kitchen back together!)

Wednesday:  Slow Cooker Beef Vegetable Soup (I will sub in fresh veggies and gluten bree beef stock for this recipe!)

Thursday:  Leftovers!

Friday:  Whole Roasted Chicken with potatoes and carrots

Saturday:  Leftovers

Sunday:  Slow Cooker Caramel Pork with Slaw