Weekly Meal Plan: 5/22 – 5/28

Games 2015

Memorial Day weekend – The official kick off to summer!  I LOV*E summer.  We normally spend the Memorial Day weekend in VT, but this year we won’t be going up until Saturday night.  We are headed to the East Regional CrossFit Games competition Saturday morning in Hartford, CT.  Spencer Hendel, the owner of the box I workout and coach at Reebok CrossFit Medfield (RCFM), is competing.  We will be supporting him along with my fellow RCFM crew in a sea of orange “Team Hendel” shirts.  I’m even getting a manicure with orange nails this afternoon. 😉 GO SPENCER!

Once we return…

Monday: Chicken Cacciatore with Grilled Vegetables (NEW)

Tuesday: Grilled Steak from Walden Local Meat, Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella with Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette and green beans.

Wednesday: Slow Simmered Meat Sauce I have a container in the freezer to defrost I had saved to potentially use during the house renovation. The link is to a review of the last time I made this recipe when I tried it over mashed cauliflower for the first time.  It was REALLY good.  So, I’ll do that again and also have pasta for those that would prefer that option. 😉

Thursday: Chickpeas & Tomatoes (a simple little recipe I’ve made before, but can’t find a link on line – see below) along with brown rice (for the husband and the girls) and wilted spinach (por moi).

Ingredients:
1 TBS olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 TBS minced garlic
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
*Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic, season with salt and pepper. Sauté, stirring frequently, until onions become soft and translucent.
*Add chickpeas and tomatoes (with their juice). Simmer until thickened approximately 6-8 minutes.

School Day Breakfast & Lunch: Since the Chicken BLT Lettuce Cups were such a big hit last week I thought I’d try making some basic chicken salad.  I’m planning to use rotisserie chicken, mayo, salt and pepper. The girls can have it either in a lettuce cup, or on rice cakes or GF Nut Thins Crackers (We like the Hint of Salt flavor).

My 10 yo is still working through the Pumpkin Cranberry Muffin Tops and Oat Cranberry Breakfast Bars in the freezer.

*If a recipe name isn’t followed by “(NEW)”, that means we’ve tried before and it’s so good we are making it again!

Recipe Review: Chicken BLT Lettuce Cups

BLT-Chicken-Lettuce-Cups

Last night we tried this new recipe.  It was really easy and a big hit!  My picky 13 yo actually said “I love this!” and took leftovers to school today for lunch.  Let me just tell you this NEVER happens.  The rest of us liked it as well, but that isn’t quite as astonishing. 😉

Of course I altered the recipe a bit… Here is my version:

Ingredients:

1 rotisserie chicken (shredded or diced)
8-10 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup of mayo
Salt and pepper to taste
Boston bibb lettuce, washed and separated

Directions:

Combine all ingredients (excluding the lettuce) in a large bowl and mix.  Scoop the mixture into the lettuce cups and enjoy!

This was still great today!  I had it for lunch too. 😉

Catching Up…

Paleo Power Meals

I’m coming up for air on many fronts this week.  My loyal followers may be completely unaware that things have been so crazy in my life over the last week or so because I learned in the midst of the chaos that my blog posts were no longer being sent via email to readers who are signed up to “Follow” my blog (plus a few other site issues).  Not good news and I simply could not deal with it until this week (If you want to learn more about what was happening in our world, read this post you missed).  I’ve spent several hours yesterday and today sorting out a bunch of website issues.  I AM NOT technically savvy or patient.  So, it’s been a bit challenging.  I was lucky to get a great Customer Support guy named Alex at Go Daddy this afternoon and I think with his help Healthy Food for Hectic Lives is back on track!  PHEW!

In my Weekly Meal Plan: 5/8 – 5/14 post, I wrote that given our schedule last week I was going to try a meal delivery service called Paleo Power Meals.  I promised to follow up with a review. First, for convenience it was great. It was a huge relief to have food on hand for my 10yo and I to take to recital rehearsals and also know that the husband and 13yo had something at home for them too.

Our orders needed to be submitted by Thursday at midnight for Monday delivery.  I had everyone in the family review the menu options and select a few items to try.

Me: Roasted Root Vegetables, Sautéed Brussel Sprouts, Chicken Salad.  I enjoyed all three cold from the container.  I used celery stalks to scoop out the chicken salad.  That was a good combo.

The Husband: Cauliflower Vegetable Stir Fried Rice (I can’t believe he selected this one, but not surprisingly he didn’t end up eating it), Sweet Potato Pancakes, Pulled Chicken and Grilled Herb Marinated Flank Steak. He reported that he liked the pulled chicken the best and would order it again.  He was a little challenged with the best approach to reheating and thought suggestions on the packages would be helpful.  I actually had one of the sweet potato pancakes and the cauliflower stir fried rice both cold and enjoyed them.

The 13 yo: Chicken Salad, Grilled Chicken Chopped Cobb Salad. She enjoyed the chicken salad, but I had to transition the toppings from the Cobb salad to fresh lettuce.  I think you need to plan to eat the salads day of delivery or the lettuce gets a little wilty.

The 10yo: Cage Free Egg Salad, Grilled Chicken Strips, Caprese Salad with Grilled Chicken, Chicken Milanese over Arugula.  The chicken strips, chicken from the caprese and chicken milanese were all good on their own and portions can be split to use over a salad another day.  She preferred the egg salad that I make with a little less mayo, smaller bits and no green pepper.

Added bonus: The containers the meals are delivered in are great for re-use.

I would use the service again when in a bind like last week, but would still opt to prepare my own meals on a regular basis.  It’s great to know this is a feasible option when needed.

 

Weekly Meal Plan: 5/15 – 5/21

hectic-schedule

This picture depicts how I’m feeling this morning…

This weekend will bring the end of the most crazy, overly scheduled week of our entire year.  This year was even more hectic with the home renovation coming to a peak and another family event thrown into the mix.  I’m looking forward to Sunday afternoon!

Friday evening I’ll be enjoying some Whole Foods prepared food backstage as I fulfill my backstage mom duties at my 10yo’s first of three recital performances over the weekend.  Saturday evening we host both sets of grandparents prior to attending her recital.  I’m going with a simple summer barbecue menu.  My mom is being a huge help by bringing some family favorites: baked beans, deviled eggs and broccoli slaw.  I’m making a big salad and the husband will be grilling up some steaks from our monthly meat delivery from Walden Local Meats. My mother-in-law is bringing some baked goods for dessert.  Sunday begins with a celebratory brunch for my brother-in-law with the husbands whole family plus my parents and my sister-in-law’s family (maybe 20 people?).  Finally, we will attend my 13yo’s recital in the afternoon and we will go out for dinner afterward where I will enjoy a few (maybe several) cocktails, beer or wine toasting the end of the weekend followed closely by sleeping.

Monday: Sweet Potato Tacos We haven’t had this great recipe in a while.

Tuesday: BLT Chicken Lettuce Cups (NEW) I’ll get a rotisserie chicken at Whole Foods for this recipe.

Wednesday: The husband and the girls are on their own while I go out to dinner with some girl friends.

Thursday: Make your own burros or quesadilla We will be attending our 10yo’s Spring Orchestra concert.  She needs to be there at 6:15 and the concert begins at 7PM.  So, I will have whole wheat flour tortillas and everyone can create their own burrito or quesadilla using left over sweet potato tacos and/or left over chicken from Tuesday’s dinner.

School Day Breakfast & Lunch: This week I’m not trying any new recipes because I have plenty of Pumpkin Cranberry Muffin Tops and Oat Cranberry Breakfast Bars in the freezer.

*If a recipe name isn’t followed by “(NEW)”, that means we’ve tried before and it’s so good we are making it again!

Weekly Meal Plan: 5/8 – 5/14

Paleo Power Meals

Next week is the*most*stressful*week of my entire year and other events out of my control have been added to the week making this year even more challenging.  Deep breath… Beginning Monday in preparation for 4 dance recital performances (Friday night, two Saturday and one Sunday afternoon) next week there will be 5 rehearsals (Monday – Friday evenings), plus two track meets (Monday and Wednesday), a school dance (Friday), soccer game Saturday morning and the husband attending Babson graduation to watch his brother speak at the commencement, dinner prior to the Saturday performance with the two sets of grandparents and a Sunday brunch with the husband’s whole family before our final recital of the weekend.  By Sunday we will be one tired little family…

So, there won’t be much cooking happening here, BUT because ensuring my family continues to eat healthy meals is a high priority in my life I have come up with a solution.  We are going to try Paleo Power Meals meal delivery service. They started delivering to Reebok Crossfit Medfield (RCFM) where I coach and workout a few months ago.  One evening recently they set up a table with meals for sampling and it was better than I expected so I thought this was a good opportunity to put it to a true test.  Other members of RCFM order from them regularly and like it.  They drop of to many locations and even ship.  Next week I’ll share what we tried and how we liked it.

Stay tuned…

In the mean time, don’t forget about these great recipe resources:

Weekly Meal Plan Posts from Previous Weeks

Recipes Tab

Pinterest Boards

Facebook Page – Healthy Food for Hectic Lives

Recipe Review: Katz Flax Crisps a.k.a Healthy Rice Crispy Treats

Katz-Flax-Crisps-r

This recipe was included in the “School Day Breakfast & Lunch” section of my Weekly Meal Plan last week. I made them yesterday and they were a big hit with everyone including the picky 13yo.  I revised the original recipe a bit to reduce the sugar content.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of honey
1.5 cups of unsweetened peanut butter (We like Whole Foods 365 brand)
1 cup of ground flax meal
5 cups crispy brown rice cereal
1 tsp vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Pour cereal and flax seed into a large bowl and blend.
  2. Line a large rectangular pan with wax paper.
  3. Place honey, peanut butter and vanilla in a pan over low heat, cook for 2-3 minutes stirring frequently. Don’t over cook – just enough to warm and blend.
  4. Pour peanut butter mixture over cereal and mix well.  This is a job best done with clean hands!
  5. Transfer mixture into pan, take an additional piece of wax paper, cover the top and flatten mixture down into pan until compact and flat.
  6. Place in refrigerator to cool prior to cutting.

Weekly Meal Plan: 5/1 – 5/7

Pork w: chicpeas and spinach

This week I’m using a lot of the meat I saved in my freezer from my monthly meat delivery from Walden Local Meat.  I saved a couple of months worth planning for grilling or slow cooking a lot during our kitchen renovation.  Thankfully we have the best contractor around and he made sure we were never without a kitchen.  We moved from one right into the other.

Friday: It’s a very, very rare occasion where we are going to be staying in for the night.  It’s been a hectic week with the renovation and things are not in their proper new place. Earlier in the day we are going to purchase all the organizing items we need for our new drawers and cabinets.  I would like to stay home and casually get it all set up while enjoying a glass of wine (or two) :) I’m going to pick up some fish for myself, but the rest of the family will likely opt for pizza night.

Saturday: We are going out for dinner to celebrate my brother-in-law’s birthday.

Sunday: The weather looks like a great night to have the first of the season burgers on the grill! I’ll also make my favorite Simple Spinach Salad: Baby spinach leaves, cartelized onions, cherry tomatoes with homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

Monday: Tuscan Pork with Chickpeas & Spinach (NEW) served with brown rice.

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Asian Hoisin Ribs with Asian Broccoli Salad w/ Peanut Sauce (NEW) I will skip the edamame and just use broccoli.

Wednesday: Easy Baked Turkey Meatballs (NEW) served with choice of pasta or spaghetti squash. ADAPTATIONS: I’m using almond meal instead of bread crumbs to make it gluten free.

Thursday: LEFT OVER NIGHT!

School Day Breakfast & Lunch: I’m always on the hunt for new school lunch options for my 13yo (who is gluten intolerant and VERY picky) and my 10yo just likes to try new things for breakfast and lunch.

I’m making two items using applesauce this week because I have some leftover from the Pumpkin Cranberry Muffin Tops I made last week.

Katz Flax Crisps (NEW) – This recipe promises to be a healthy version of the rice crispie treat.  Fingers crossed!  I love rice crispie treats AND if they are a hit with my 13yo I’d be psyched. I will skip the chocolate chips though.  I think the honey is enough sugar for this recipe.

Oat Cranberry Breakfast Bars – We have made these before without the coconut and enjoyed them.

Oatmeal Applesauce Pancakes:
1 cup of rolled oats
1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
pinch of cinnamon
Blend all ingredients in a blender until pancake-like batter forms (add a little water if too thick).  Heat a little butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Drop 2 TBS of the mixture in the pan and cook approx. 1-2 minutes per side until cooked through and lightly browned.  Serve with real maple syrup, berries and or nut butter.

*If a recipe name isn’t followed by “(NEW)”, that means we’ve tried before and it’s so good we are making it again!