Weekly Meal Plan: 7/3 – 7/9

images

Just three days until we leave for vacation!  So, minimal cooking happening here this weekend, but I still have some recipes to share with you.

Saturday, July 4th BBQ: We are having three families over for a low key celebration.  Everyone is bringing something to contribute so I don’t need to go crazy cooking all day.  Sweet!  I also love it when people bring something so I can try new things.

If you are going to a BBQ this weekend (or some other time this summer), here are a few good recipe ideas for you:

Grilled Corn, Green Bean, Tomato & Basil Salad – Fresh basil always adds so much to a salad.

Mediterranean 7-Layer Dip – I made this a couple of times over the holidays and it’s REALLY good!

Chicken & Wild Rice Salad – I’ve made this many times and it’s always a hit.

Southwestern Black Bean Salad – The dressing is key to this fabulous salad.

Lemony Orzo & Chicken Salad – A refreshing summer entree salad with fresh dill.

Sunday: White Bean & Sausage Ragout with Pamela’s Gluten Free Corn Bread Muffins OR if there is a lot of food left over from our BBQ we’ll just eat that and save the ragout for another time. I don’t want to have much left over with us leaving Monday.

Happy Birthday USA!

Weekly Meal Plan: 6/26 – 7/2

Paleo Meatloaf

There’s a lot of cooking happening at our house next week!  That’s OK with me for two reasons 1) Now that we are on summer break from school there are no evening activities and things are a little more relaxed in the evenings. It’s much more enjoyable to cook dinner when people aren’t coming and going. 2) I leave for vacation on 7/6 and won’t be cooking for nearly 2 weeks. 😉

I’m trying three new recipes this week.

Friday: I have some left over quinoa, corn & black Bean mix from the recipe I made Monday.  I’ll pick up some marinated chicken from Whole Foods when I go shopping today to grill and serve with it.  Keeping it simple on a Friday night!

Sunday: Sweet Potato Black Bean Casserole (NEW) It looks like its going to be a gloomy Sunday in MA that calls for warm comfort type food.  This recipe also reminds me of Sweet Potato Tacos which we love AND anything with sweet potatoes just has to be good – in my humble opinion. 😉

Monday: Chicken Salad Cups I’ll pick up a rotisserie chicken and make a simple chicken salad with mayo and grapes served in lettuce cups.

Tuesday: Baked Falafel (NEW) This recipe link suggests serving these in a lettuce wrap, but I think I’ll serve them on a salad instead.

Wednesday: Paleo Turkey Meatloaf (NEW) with green beans and Pamela’s GF Corn Muffins.

Thursday: We will access what is leftover from the week and visit the Farmer’s Market.  The husband plays soccer Thursdays and isn’t typically home for dinner.  I like to pick up some fish since he isn’t fond of fish.

Recipe Review: BBQ Chicken & Quinoa Salad

BBQChickenQuinoaSalad

I tried this new recipe last night when my mother-in-law was visiting for dinner. We all really enjoyed the sauce (even my picky 13yo!) which was simply a 1:1 ratio of barbecue sauce to greek yogurt.

Modifications: I used a Mexican cheese blend from Whole Foods rather than the sharp cheddar. It wasn’t complicated to make and further simplified by using the extra corn I grilled Saturday (I typically grill extra corn in the summer to use for salads and other recipes over the next few days).  I think you could easily substitute the quinoa for another grain.

 

Weekly Meal Plan: 6/19 – 6/25

BBQChickenQuinoaSalad

Not a lot of cooking next week!

Friday – Sunday: We have a lot going on this weekend beginning with my 13yo’s end of the school year pool party celebration to close family friends coming for dinner Saturday to my parents visiting Sunday for Father’s Day.  Saturday I am keeping dinner really simple with grilled steaks, chicken and corn and my “Simple Spinach Salad” which is spinach, carmelized onions, cherry tomatoes and homemade balsamic vinaigrette. I’d rather socialize with my friends than spend a lot of time cooking. 😉

Monday: BBQ Chicken & Quinoa Salad (NEW)

Tuesday: We are hosting our second end of school year pool party celebration for my 10yo which will include pizza.  I’ll scrounge up some leftovers or a salad for myself.

Wednesday: The husband will be away so I’m planning to make tuna salad with chopped apples in it for the girls and I.  Have you ever tried that?  It’s really good!  The husband isn’t a tuna fan so we can experiment while he’s away.  I’ll serve it in lettuce cups.

Thursday: The husband and girls are on their own.  I’m going out to celebrate a friend’s retirement with my running club girl friends.

School Day Breakfast & Lunch:

Only two days of school next week and one is a half day!  I have some brown rice cereal left from when I last made Healthy Rice Krispie Treats.  I think I’ll make those again.  It’s also a good item to have kicking around for a snack when the girls have friends over.

The last couple of weeks we’ve been baking bread using Pamela’s Gluten Free Baking Mix.  We have made banana, zucchini and this week we had banana raspberry which was FAB!  We followed the recipe on the bag for the banana and added frozen raspberries.  YUM!

*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!

Summer Must-Have Cooking Tools

At this time of year I get excited to transition to warmer weather foods.  We start using the grill again and making more salads.  Here are a few tools I enjoy and recommend that broaden and enhance your summer meal planning options.

Veggie basket

The Grill Basket: I purchased my first grill basket in 2013 and I love it!  Check out this post to get some ideas about grilling vegetables and fish.

Herb scissor

Herb Scissors: My mother-in-law gave me a pair of these for Christmas.  I recently started using them and they are great.  I can’t believe I didn’t know about them before now.  They make cutting basil, cilantro or other leafy herbs so much simpler AND faster.

Veggetti

The Veggetti: I have been swapping out pasta for spaghetti squash or wilted greens for some time now, but this little gadget provided even more alternatives.  I love the added nutrient boost combined with the reduction in calories (without reducing quantity) spiralized vegetables offers.

Weekly Meal Plan: 6/12 – 6/18

Abigail

The girls and I are headed up to VT this afternoon to attend my goddaughter’s HS graduation tomorrow.  There she is cute as can be at my wedding.  Now she’s all grown up.  I can’t imagine the mixed emotions my dear friends Bruce and Lisa will feel as they watch their baby move on to the next part of her journey.  Sniff…

The husband is staying behind to play in a soccer tournament at Gillette Stadium that he’s participated in for the last few years.  I’m looking forward to one of my mom’s home cooked meals tonight.  She’s making Chicken & Dumplings which is one of my favorites. YUM! We are headed back home tomorrow afternoon after the graduation festivities to meet up with the husband after the tournament in time to have dinner in Patriot Place.

Sunday: Grilled Flank Steak (from Walden Local Meat), grilled asparagus and Sweet Potato, Corn & Feta Salad (NEW)

Monday: Teriyaki Chicken Spinach Salad I will use carmelized onions instead of mushrooms.  I’ll also serve corn muffins made with Pamela’s Corn Muffin Mix.

Tuesday: Ground Turkey Lettuce Wraps (NEW) I plan to shred the zucchini rather than slices in hopes it will be less detected by the girls – and perhaps the husband for that matter.

Wednesday: Stuffed Sweet Bell Peppers and green beans

Thursday: Left overs and/or fish from the Medfield Farmer’s Market

School Day Breakfast & Lunch:

One more full week of school left! Over this school year I’ve been on a constant search for new school lunch options for my 13yo who is gluten intolerant, but she is also VERY picky which has made the endeavor quite challenging at times.  While she will obviously still need to eat lunch over the summer, I feel like the time off will give me a little break to regain some enthusiasm to press on with this project in the Fall.

Last week I talked about making baking banana bread using Pamela’s baking mix.  We also tried the zucchini bread option this week.  The girls preferred the banana bread and requested I make that again this week.  Done!

*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: Grilled Chicken Sausage, Zucchini, Tomatoes & Feta

applegate sausages

Tonight I made a recipe I’ve not made in a while: Grilled Chicken Sausage, Zucchini, Tomatoes & Feta.  This recipe is super quick and easy. I use Applegate Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage which is precooked.  So you only need to grill it long enough to heat it.  The only prep required is slicing some zucchini and/or summer squash, halving some cherry tomatoes and chopping up some fresh basil (which is even easier with an herb cutting scissor). This could be on your table in 15-20 minutes!

It originated from a Whole Foods flyer a few years ago.  I tried to track down the recipe online to no avail.  So, I’ve added it to my Recipes tab for your reference.