Snow Day Cookies!

snow day cookies

These were actually supposed to be “breakfast” cookies, but I decided we needed a little healthy snow day treat instead. There were 3 simple ingredients in the recipe: ripe bananas, oatmeal and chocolate chips.  I added cinnamon and a capful of vanilla.  The recipe yielded 4 large cookies.  I made one without the chocolate chips for me so that I didn’t stray from my 30-day “no sugary desserts/treats” commitment.  They were warm and yummy!

Weekly Meal Plan: 1/23 – 29

turkey taco lettuce wraps

I’m trying out THREE new recipes next week after not doing much cooking Friday – Monday (Tsk, tsk…).  One of the recipes was a recommendation from a friend.  I love that! Have you tried anything fun recently?  I’d love to hear about it!

Friday: Overnight with the husband in Boston – kid free!  Woot!  Woot!

SaturdayCranberry Maple Orange Pork Chops If you are following my blog closely (of course you are!), you will recall this was on my plan last week.  There were a couple of scheduling changes on the home-front that resulted in this one getting pushed out. I made this recipe in November for the first time.  This is a link to the recipe review I wrote.

Sunday: I am going to the East Coast CrossFit Championships.  The owner and head coach of the box I attend and work at, Spencer Hendel, is competing.  A bunch of other coaches and members are going to cheer him on.  Should be very cool.  There is talk of dinner afterward.  So, the husband and girls will have to manage on their own!

Monday: Dinner with running pals!  The husband is on his own TWO NIGHTS IN A ROW! Thankfully, I married a guy that can handle this without complaint.  Lucky me! ;)

Tuesday: Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps

Wednesday: Shepherd’s Pie w/ Mashed Cauliflower A friend recommended this recipe last week.  I’ll give it a go using the ground beef I have from this month’s Walden Local Meat delivery.

Thursday: Lentil & Chicken Stew

School Day Breakfast & Lunch:

I aim to try one new recipe each week that the girls can enjoy for breakfast and/or lunch.  This week we are trying: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies –  Only 3 ingredients!

Weekly Meal Plan: 1/16 – 1/22

chicken-beans-tomatoe

Friday – Sunday: We headed to VT late yesterday afternoon for a 4-day ski weekend.  Friday we are skiing at Killington with some other family friends.  Shockingly, though I grew up in VT within an hour from Killington, I have never skied there.  We are planning an apres dinner at The Outback (It’s a wood-fired pizza place – not the chain).  I’m honestly NOT a big fan of the Outback.  It’s fried food and greasy pizza at it’s finest, BUT it is convenient and easy for a large group with children AND I can’t force everyone to eat what I want to eat (unfortunately).  So, I’ll suck it up and make a mental promise to not eat the pizza and other fried and greasy things that may show up on our table.  Saturday evening dinner is TBD. We may return to a great new restaurant in Chester, Free Range, that we visited over New Year’s week. Sunday we have a group of approx. 20 getting together after the ski day for pot luck and a football game.  I am bring this fabulous Greek 7-layer dip I made over New Year’s and a White Chicken Chili.

Monday: We will be arriving home from VT in the afternoon.  I won’t have much desire to make a meal so we will have one of our “Go-To” easy dinners: Eggs!

TuesdayChicken with White Beans & Tomatoes – I have made this a couple of times before.  Here are the adaptations and time saver tips I noted: This was surprisingly flavorful for the simplicity.  I included the 1/2 cup of dry white wine suggested in a tip at the bottom of the recipe.  I also used two pints of tomatoes rather than one and 1.5 lbs of chicken breasts rather than thighs.  As a time saver, I prepared the dish in the morning, covered and refrigerated it for the day.  At 4:30PM, I popped it in the oven, pre-set the oven to go on at 5:30PM and left to shuttle my children around to their activities.  The dish was ready to go when we got back at 6:15PM.  Nice!

Wednesday: Cranberry Maple Orange Pork Chops I made this recipe in November for the first time.  This is a link to the recipe review I wrote.  I’ll also roast some broccoli along with it.

Thursday: Chicken & Zucchini Poppers these meatball-like creations look interesting.  Will my picky 12 yo consume a little zucchini this way?  Hmmm… I’ll also make some roasted potatoes tossed with red onions.

School Day Breakfast & Lunch:

BREAKFAST: I have one daughter who wants to eat the same thing every day (GF Chex cereal and a banana) and the other likes to mix it up.  This week I’m going to try Flourless Apple Pie Pancakes.

LUNCH OR SNACK: Last week I discovered a new lunch option for my picky gluten-sensitive 12 yo: A “sandwich” of Brown Rice Thin Stackers, hummus and sliced avocado.  I’m very, very happy when I find something so healthy that she will eat willing and without complaint.  I think we can expand this to include other “sandwich” varieties too.  YES!

Recipe Review: Chicken & Zucchini Fajita Noodles

Veggie-Fajita-Noodles

This is a fun new recipe I first heard of from my good pal Debra’s blog last week.  The original recipe was vegetarian.  We tried it out tonight with a few changes.  As you know, I rarely follow the original recipe. :) I included my recipe below, but at a high level, we aren’t big fans of shrooms at our house so we skipped those and I added chicken too.  It was fairly quick to make too.

Here are the adaptations I made:

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds zucchini spiralized or julienned
  • 2-3 boneless, skinless breasts of chicken
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 red bell peppers cut into thin slices
  • 1 sweet onion cut into thin slices
  • 1 TBS minced garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Spiralize your zucchini using a Veggetti (or similar tool), put them in a microwaveable covered dish and heat on high for 2-3 minutes then drain in strainer.
  2. Cut and slice the bell peppers and onion.
  3. Cube the chicken breasts.
  4. Preheat a large skillet over medium heat with 1 TBS olive oil, add chicken and cook until it’s no longer pink in center. Remove from pan leaving the juice , set aside in a bowl and cover.
  5. Add the second TBS of olive oil to pan, onions and bell pepper. Sauté until the veggies have softened,
  6. Add garlic and all the spices.
  7. Add the zucchini noodles and chicken, mix and simmer for another 2-3 minutes until heated.

TIME SAVER TIP: Prepare the vegetables the night before and store in refrigerator.

Weekly Meal Plan: 1/9 – 1/15

CheesyBakedSpaghetti

I have exciting plans for the weekend!  My sister-in-law and I are participating in our first CrossFit competition.  YIKES!  I’m a little nervous.  We decided to do it for a few reasons 1) It’s at our other sister-in-law’s box (and brother-in-law!) and we thought it would be cool to check that out, 2) It’s a “Dynamic Duo” competition so we could enter as a team 3) They were offering “Scaled” events which made it feasible for us.  We aren’t ready – and may never be – for the weights lifted at the typical competitions 4) Both of us thought it would be fun to do something different.  Our goals are to have fun, not embarrass ourselves and not come in last! ;)

Friday: One of my girls will be at a friends, the husband won’t be around at meal time and the other daughter’s plans are up in the air.  SO… I’m going to plan for myself and roast the cauliflower I purchased last week to make Baked Italian Style Cauliflower that I didn’t make due to the husband’s last minute change of plans.  I’ll also get some fish to bake or grill.  I’m pretty much the only one who eats fish in our house so I opt for that on nights like these and when I go out to eat.

Saturday: My Hopkinton brother and sister-in-law are hosting a big friends and family celebration after the competition.  It will be an uber healthy celebration since the majority of people attending are participating in some kind of January eating challenge (Paleo or similar) at their respective CrossFit boxes.  I am bringing Zucchini & Onion Gratin and Sunflower Crunch Chopped Salad Remix.

Sunday: I have some left over taco shells in a ziplock from the dinner party I threw with my VT friends 12/30.  Sounds like a great excuse for Sweet Potato Tacos! I’ll be using up my last pound of ground beef from my monthly Walden Local Meat delivery.  They will be delivering again tomorrow.  Good timing!

Monday: Going out to dinner with my Medfield besties at the Cottage in Wellesley.  We have been attempting to get together once a month.  I don’t want to curse the streak, but I think this makes month three or four.  The Cottage has a great roasted vegetable salad I love with a grilled fish added.

Tuesday: My good pal Debra raved about this new Veggie Fajita Noodles recipe last week on her blog.  So, why not?  Let’s try it!

Wednesday: I’m going to adapt this recipe for Baked Spaghetti Squash.  Instead of sausage I’m going to mix in Rotisserie chicken and I’m also going to either skip or halve the cheese OR I’m wondering if using some greek yogurt would give it some creaminess with a little less calories???  Hmmm… This will be an experiment!  If it goes well, I’ll share MY recipe next week. ;)

Thursday: We are headed to VT for the long weekend.  The girls have a half day tomorrow, but we are supporting truancy and skipping it!  I’m not yet exactly when we will hit the road.  We will either eat some leftovers or perhaps a Chipotle on the road.

BREAKFAST & SCHOOL LUNCH IDEAS:

These Oatmeal & Banana Muffins were such a big hit last week the girls requested them again. Last week I made them with chocolate chips to reel my picky 12yo in AND it worked because she is the one that actually asked for them again first.  This week I’m thinking of craisins.

Healthy Muffins!

oatmeal banana muffin

I often think those two words are an oxymoron, BUT last night I tried a recipe that these words seem to accurately describe.

Oatmeal Banana Muffins:

2 cup of oatmeal (I used a gluten free variety)
2 overripe bananas
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup of milk
1 cup walnuts (you can also use a dried fruit or chocolate chips)
1 tsp vanilla
Dash of cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Add oatmeal to food processor and until the consistency is similar to a flour
  3. Add all other ingredients to food processor excluding the nuts (or add in of your choice) and blend
  4. Mix in nuts (or add in of your choice)
  5. Pour into greased muffin tins or tins with liners
  6. Bake 15-20 minutes

My batch made 14 small muffins.

I think these would freeze nicely too!

Weekly Meal Plan: 1/2 – 1/8

cauliflower bake

Our post-Christmas trip to Vermont ended yesterday.  PHEW… It was really fun, but I’m ready to get back to a schedule and my normal eating habits.  I’m jumping on the “resolution” bandwagon and focusing my efforts on a few goals for January.  Curious?  You can read more about it in this post.

What about you?  Any resolutions or goals for the new year?

One of the things I miss most when I’m traveling is starting my day with a smoothie.  I highly recommend it!  Here is a post outlining how I construct my smoothies.  I feel great about front-loading my day with slam dunk of nutrients.

Here’s what’s cookin’ this week (2 new recipes & 3 I’ve successfully made before):

Friday: The fun isn’t over for the husband.  He and his three brothers are going to a Celtics game.  My girls are having friends over.    I’ll enjoy some fish or something I pick up from Whole Foods on my shopping trip today.

Saturday: A rockin’ Saturday night at home! We are having Quick Sausage & Tomato Sauce.  I’ll be using some italian sausage from my monthly meat delivery from Walden Local Meat.  I’ll be enjoying mine over zucchini spaghetti using my handy Veggetti and roasting broccoli as well.  You can’t have too many veggies! ;)

Sunday: I’m trying a new recipe: Kale & Quinoa Minestrone.

Monday: Chicken, Tomatoes, Roasted Red Peppers & Capers I can’t locate the actual recipe on line.  The link will take you to the recipe I typed in my weekly meal plan the last time I made it.  It goes well over wilted greens or brown rice.

Tuesday: Baked Italian Style Cauliflower I make a lot of adaptations to this original recipe that are referenced in the Pinterest link.    I think this time I’ll also add some basil and spinach.  I’ve made it with both ground turkey and ground beef.  This time I’m using ground beef from my Walden Local Meat delivery.

Wednesday: Another new recipe Orange & Tomato Simmered Chicken

Thursday: The weekly designated left over night!