Weekly Meal Plan: 10/17 – 23

tuscan chicken skillet

This weekend we are home and I’m cooking.  Two things that rarely happen at the same time!

Cooking six nights in a row provides a good opportunity to try out some new recipes. Next week will also be the final week of the Fall Fitness Challenge I’m facilitating at Reebok CrossFit Medfield which means no dairy, no grains, no sugar.

Friday: I am making the Spaghetti Squash Pizza Pie I didn’t get to make earlier in the week due to the husband being at a last minute work event.

Saturday: Our day is pretty crazy with soccer games and baby showers AND we have friends coming for dinner.  So, I’m embracing the slow cooker!
Pulled Barbecue Pork – I’m trying a new slow cooker recipe that came with my monthly meat delivery from Walden Local Meat.  I’ll try it first before sharing the recipe.  I hope it’s good since I’m serving it to friends. :)
Roasted Root Vegetable Salad – This is one my favorite salads.  You can mix up the recipe a lot for variety.  You can really roast whatever kind of root vegetable you like.  I’m fond of butternut squash and red onions.
Corn bread – I’m using Pamela’s Gluten Free brand mix as a base and I’ll add corn niblets.

Sunday: I’m hoping for a “The Husband Cooks Dinner Sunday” (Hint… Hint…)
Porter House Steaks from Walden Local Meat on the grill.
Baked Butternut Squash & Apples – I’m modify this recipe to exclude the maple syrup, reduce the butter and use apple cider rather than apple juice.

MondaySpaghetti Squash with Black Beans, Corn & Kale – I’m embracing Meatless Monday!  This is a recipe that a friend recently raved about I’m excited to try.

Tuesday: Pan Roasted Chicken with Spicy Chickpeas – This is a recipe my good pal Debra recently posted on her blog.  The recipe comes from Epicurious originally, but this link reflects the adaptations she recommends.  I’ll also serve roasted diced carrots tossed in coconut oil.

WednesdayTuscan Chicken Skillet – This is a new recipe.  I’ll omit the mushrooms and sugar! I’ll also serve steamed french style green beans.

Thursday: As always, the husband will not be home.  The girls and I will have leftovers OR I’ll enjoy leftovers and they will luck out and get a treat of Bell & Evans brand chicken fingers.  :)

SCHOOL DAY BREAKFAST & LUNCH:

This week we are trying Paleo Pumpkin Bread.  I think I will add some cacao nibs to it. ;)

Weekly Meal Plan: 10/10 – 10/16

chicken-brussels-ck-l

 

It’s a 4-day weekend for the Medfield school system!  YAHOO!  Every year we head up to Vermont over the Columbus Day weekend for one of my two favorite Vermont events: The Annual Chili Cook-Off!  This may seem crazy, but I just love this little home state tradition.  After we enjoy tasting all of the chilis (there is always a surprisingly wide variety of recipes!) and cast our votes, we will head up to Okemo for their Fall into Winter Celebration.  Sunday we will go apple picking and the girls will pick out their pumpkins to bring home for carving.  Sunday night my mom is cooking a big family dinner as my early birthday celebration before she and my dad head to FL for the winter.  Such a fun weekend!

Unfortunately I’ll have to return to cooking on Monday night! :) This will be week 3 of the 4 week Fall Fitness Challenge I’m participating in and facilitating for Reebok CrossFit Medfield.

Monday: Turkey Basil Meatloaf (Tried and true recipe my daughters love!  I use ground turkey instead of chicken.), cubed and roasted sweet potatoes (tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper) and Garlic Roasted Kale (new recipe)

Tuesday: Spaghetti Squash Pizza Pie (Sounds weird, but it’s really good!) and Shredded Beets w/ Orange Zest & Basil (I’m using the beets my mother-in-law brought from her very own garden!)

Wednesday: Chicken with Brussels Sprouts & Mustard Sauce, roasted new potatoes and red onions (tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper) and steamed green beans.

SCHOOL DAY BREAKFAST & LUNCH:

We enjoyed these larabars so much I thought we would try these Pumpkin Pie Larabars this week.  I’m only going to try one recipe because we still have some Raisin Bran Muffins and Pumpkin Cranberry Muffin Tops in the freezer.

Weekly Meal Plan: 10/3 – 10/9

cauliflower bake

Next week begins week 2 of the 4-Week Fitness Challenge I’m facilitating AND participating in at Reebok CrossFit Medfield.  I’ve picked recipes for the week that allow me to collect all my daily food-related points: no dairy, no grains, no sugar.

Friday: My daughters are having friends sleepover which is always a call for pizza night.  I recently learned our local bakery Blue Moon Bagel Cafe sells gluten free pizza dough on Fridays.  My 12 yo is recently diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity.  She didn’t care for the gluten free pizza the local pizza place sells so I thought we would give this dough a try.  Fingers crossed… I am going to have the Winter Lentil Soup I didn’t get to make yesterday.

Saturday/Sunday: I’ll be in Portland Maine for two nights with my running club girlfriends.  On Sunday some of us are running a half marathon and a few are doing the full marathon.  I opted to do the half.  I’m psyched to see my friend Debra run her first ever marathon.  I supplied the training plan and she has put in the miles and is ready to toe the line.  Since I’m only doing the half I’ll be able to take care of her when she finishes.

Monday: I can’t figure out where I came up with this recipe.  I’ve made it before and have a printed recipe, but internet research is yielding no results.

Chicken, Tomatoes, Roasted Peppers & Capers
Pint of cherry tomatoes
1 tsp minced garlic
2 TBS olive oil
Jar of roasted red peppers
2 TBS fresh lemon juice
1 TBS drained, capers
salt/pepper to taste
1-2 lbs of chicken (approx. 3 breasts)
Spinach or other greens
*I noted on the recipe that last time I made this I added some sundried tomatoes and a 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes.

  1. Saute cubed chicken, set aside and cover
  2. Saute cherry tomatoes, garlic and olive oil
  3. Add red peppers, capers, lemon juice (and sundried tomatoes if you opt to use them)
  4. Salt and pepper to taste (and red pepper flakes if you want to add a little spice)
  5. Add chicken back into the tomato mixture
  6. Serve over wilted greens (or orzo, brown rice, other grain)

Tuesday: Baked Italian-Style Cauliflower When I made this once before I left out the olives and bread crumbs.  I’ll also serve the parmesan on the side for the rest of the family since my 4-Week challenge excludes dairy.  I plan to use ground beef from my Walden Local Meat delivery.

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Steak Fajitas I haven’t made this recipe before.  I have two skirt steaks in the freezer from my Walden Local Meat delivery I need to use.  I feel like grill season has passed.  So, I thought this would be a good recipe for them.

Thursday: There is no school on Friday in our town, one of my daughters already has a sleepover lined up and the husband is always at indoor soccer on Thursday nights.  So, I’m thinking leftovers or some soup I have in my freezer.

SCHOOL DAY BREAKFAST & LUNCH:

We are always looking to broaden our gluten free lunch options for my 12yo.  This week we are going to try Paleo Pumpkin Muffins!

It doesn’t get any easier than this!

slow cooker chicken and black bean

This morning I spent just 10 minutes putting things together for dinner tonight.  This evening I will need to spend only an additional 5-10 minutes to sit down to a healthy dinner.

Crock Pot Chicken & Black Bean Taco Salad (or burritos or quesadillas!)
(3 Steps to Optimal Health Program Phase 2 approved!)

Ingredients:
1-2 lb of chicken breasts
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1 can of black beans (rinsed)
1 cup of frozen corn
1 jar of Green Mountain Gringo salsa
Mixed greens

OPTIONAL: 2 baked sweet potatoes that I baked the night before.

Directions:

  1. Place the chicken in the bottom of the crock pot.
  2. In a bowl mix the spices, beans, corn and salsa then pour over the chicken.
  3. Cover and cook on Low for 4 hours or High for 2-3 hours (chicken should be cooked and tender).
  4. Remove the chicken breasts, shred with a fork, add back to mixture and stir.
  5. Top a bowl of greens with the mixture and cubed baked potato OR add mixture to a whole wheat tortilla and wrap OR add mixture to one side of a whole wheat tortilla fold in half and lightly crisp each side in a sauté pan.

Seriously… Could it be an easier???

Recipe Review: Oven-Baked Pork & Apples

baked pork and apples

What a great Sunday dinner!  We tried this new recipe for Oven-Baked Pork & Apples.  I didn’t change a thing – which is pretty abnormal for me. :)  The apple and red onion combination was very good.  Because the pork is cooking at such a high temperature it was perfect to pair with a roasted vegetable.  We had baby roasted brussel sprouts.  Have you ever tried roasted brussel sprouts lightly salted.  YUM!

Weekly Meal Plan: 9/26 – 10/2

white bean-sausage-ragout-l

Next Monday I’m embarking on yet another challenge!  You may recall that I committed to a 30 Day Challenge for the month of September (no sweets and real food) which is now rolling straight into another one.  I am facilitating a 4-Week Fitness Challenge at my CrossFit gym: Reebok CrossFit Medfield.  Currently 52 members are on-board to participate. WOW!

The challenge provides 5 possible points per day: 1 for doing a WOD (Workout of the Day in CrossFit speak), 1 point each for abstaining from sugar, grains, dairy and alcohol.  There are weekly prizes for top point earners and a big grand prize for the individual with the most points at the end of the 4 weeks.  I’m really excited to be leading the journey with such a great group.

Now, personally, if you are following along, this means if I want to keep my points high each day on the CrossFit challenge, I could go 57 days without any sweets between the two back-to-back challenges.  Oh dear… If you know me well, you know sweets are my weak spot for sure!

OK… On to what’s cookin’ next week!

After two nights off from cooking (Friday/Saturday) I have some great meals planned to keep me on track to earn those challenge points!

Sunday: Oven-Baked Pork and Apples and roasted brussel sprouts.  Now if you think you aren’t a brussel sprout fan, have you tried them roasted and lightly salted?  YUM!

Monday: White Bean & Sausage Ragout with Tomatoes, Kale & Zucchini

Tuesday: Lemon Roasted  Chicken & Cauliflower

Wednesday: Crock Pot Chicken & Black Bean Taco Salad (note the modifications I made in the Comments section)

Thursday: I’m making Winter Lentil Soup which is  one of my favorite recipes from my 3 Steps Toward Optimal Health program book.  This is a program I offer 3x per year (January, Spring, Fall) that focuses on nurturing and reviving your body by eating an abundance of healthy food over a 14-day period.  It’s a structured eating plan in three phases that helps remove excess toxins in your body, jump start weight loss and transitions you to a healthier way of eating.
*Please see past participant comments about their experience with this program on my Testimonials page.

Winter Lentil Soup:

4 Leeks
1 bunch of Kale (or box/bag of baby kale)
1 TBS Olive Oil
28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
6 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup of lentils
1 TBS of fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Slice each leek in half lengthwise, then slice each into 1/4 inch half moons (approx. 2 cups worth).  Place in large bowl of water and swish to remove any dirt.  Drain and pat dry.  Remove stems and chop kale if you have large leaf variety (approx. 3 cups worth).  Heat oil in large pot add leeks and sauté until they become soft.  Add all remaining ingredients and simmer until lentils are tender (approx. 30 minutes).

SCHOOL DAY BREAKFAST & LUNCH:
My 12 yo leaves very early Monday morning for a 4-day school trip.  Because she is gluten and dairy sensitive I need to pack an entire cooler of food for her.  Good grief… So, I’m not trying anything new for her to avoid any risk of her not liking it.

My 9 yo looked through our little binder of breakfast/lunch recipes and selected these two for next week:
Overnight Oats in a Jar – There a lot of varieties you can try on this link.  Megan enjoys the Raspberry Vanilla option from that list.  100 Days of Real Food also has some recipes you can try.
Pumpkin Cranberry Muffin Tops – We have made these before and she really enjoys them.  They freeze well and are great to pack for lunch.

Recipe Review: Chicken & Bell Pepper Saute

chicken-bell-pepper-saute

We tried this new recipe tonight and it’s another keeper!  You could make this recipe in approx. 15 minutes.  What more can you ask for on a busy mid-week night???

Recipe adaptations:
*I used a TBS of dried oregano rather than fresh.
*I used an 18 oz. jar of diced tomatoes rather than chopping tomatoes (another time saver!)
*With the jarred tomatoes and broth from sautéing the chicken, I found the added broth was unnecessary.
*I skipped the olives because they aren’t popular at my house.
*I mixed the feta cheese right into the sauce.

Time Saver Tips: I served the dish with brown rice which was the most time consuming part of the meal.  I started the rice at 5:15, set the timer for 35 minutes, dashed out the door to bring my daughter to soccer practice and it was nearly done when I returned.  Alternatively, you can make it in the morning or night before and reheat it with dinner.  You can also cut the bell pepper ahead of time.