March 21, 2016 Meal Plan

Spring is finally here! While the temps have been lovely in Arizona for a few month’s it’s nice to know it is official. I even planted some veggies in my garden after taking a year off. I can’t wait to start working fresh tomatoes into my plant-based meal plan.

I’ve got plans to plant more soon.

Plant-Based Meal Plan for Spring [Read more…]

Meal Plan Monday

Soup Week went over pretty well at my house last week, the Minestrone Soup was definitely the best. My husband wants me to make it again this week but I think I’ll have to pass as I’ve had enough soup for a few days. I was eating leftover soup for breakfast, which was delicious by the way. I may start a new trend in breakfast; but now I’m ready to sink my teeth into some heartier fare.

Minestrone Soup

Last week I mentioned that I was excluding rice and all rice products from our Menu Plan to see if my 1 year old’s eczema would clear up. I’m happy to say this his eczema has been much clearer this week. A really weird thing happened on Sunday night. I noticed he was having a reaction after eating peas. He regularly eat’s peas so I’m not sure what the problem is. Typically I just feed him peas from a can but this time I fed him peas that came in a plastic “to go” type of package. The ingredients on the package just say “peas, water, salt” so I wonder if it could be the packaging.

I will continue to keeping rice out of our diet this week and also peas. After his skin clears up again I’ll attempt to feed him the peas.

This week’s Meal Plan

Breakfast will be pancakes, cereal or toast with a nut butter and fruit.

Snack will be fresh fruit, smoothies, or raw veggies with Jalapeno hummus. Our humongous Costco sized container of hummus is almost gone so this will be disappearing this week.

Lunch is typically leftovers or sometimes a sandwich or a wrap. This week I have baked potatoes that I like to top with chili.

Black Bean Burgers

Dinner

Monday: Eggplant Italian Bake (notice the ambiguity, I have no idea what I’m making yet, just that is will have eggplant. Yeah, that is how I roll.)

Tuesday: Pasta with Vegan Alfredo Sauce and veggies, likely asparagus and broccoli

Wednesday: Veggie Pot Pie, I’m hoping for a flaky biscuit like crust.

Thursday:Black Bean Burgers with Mashed Potatoes (these have gotten bumped the last two times I’ve planned them so we will see)

Friday: I have no idea, but probably leftovers, maybe I’ll make the Minestrone Soup after all. 

Have you planned your menu for the week?

How To Get It Done

I’m very fortunate and thankful to be a stay-at-home-mom. I love being home with my kids. Occasionally I miss the working world, usually it is when my kids are driving me crazy. My boys do keep me busy during the day, I can’t just stand in the kitchen for hours at a time.

Using this weeks Meal Plan I’m going to give you examples of how I prepare our dinners. I’ll give you a day by day run down of what I’ve done and how it works for us. We primarily use dried beans and grains. If that doesn’t work for you feel free to use canned beans. Dried beans are less expensive so I prefer them. I do keep canned beans in the pantry for those days I don’t plan ahead. Sometimes I do all of the soaking and cooking on the weekend; that approach may work better if you work full time during the week.

Saturday: I put about 3 cups of rinsed quinoa in 6 cups of water to soak over night. You do not have to soak your quinoa but we prefer it this way.  If you don’t know how to cook quinoa check out this link from The Kitchn.

Sunday: I rinsed the quinoa, again you don’t have to do this step but I prefer it this way. I put it in a sauce pan and with new water and cooked it for about 15 minutes. Once it cooled we put some away for my husband to take to work and the rest is stored for meals throughout the week.

On Sunday night I rinsed 2 cups of white beans and 2 cups of red beans and left them both to soak in 4 cups of water each.

Monday: I cooked both set’s of beans in the morning. It will be hard to resist those come lunch time. They could be combined and cooked in a slow cooker as well. This evening I’ll throw the red and white beans into a large pot with all of the other ingredients for Minestrone Soup. While I’m cutting veggies for this soup I may cut extra for tomorrow nights soup as well.

Tuesday: Cook Potato and Broccoli Soup, this could be done in a slow cooker before you left for work. No prep work unless I want to cut veggies for tomorrow nights meal.

Wednesday: I’ll cook a Veggie Noodle Soup. While it is cooking I will rinse black beans and soak them in water over night.

Thursday: I’ll soak beans to use in Friday night’s Chili. I may have enough leftover beans and not need to cook any new beans.

Friday: I’ll cook Chili. Depending on our leftover situation I may start something new soaking. I try to use up all our leftovers over the weekend so I can shop for groceries and plan a new week of meals.

This works for us but may not work for you. Some nights we just grab bean burritos from a drive thou or eat a PB&J.

If you’ve planned your meals for this week try thinking ahead. What can you do now to save time later?

 

What to Eat…Part 4

On the weekends I typically get out of my normal routine. One of the casualties is drinking water. Do you drink a lot of water? Your whole body will function better if you do. Over Christmas vacation our teenagers were visiting (they live in another state) and the oldest had a headache two days in a row. I asked if he had an water recently and he had not. As soon as he started drinking water he felt better. Water helps every part of our body. So stop reading, get up and get a big glass of water.

The Apple Muffin recipe I promised is at the bottom of the post.

Today’s Meal Plan

Breakfast: Pancakes

There are a lot of pancakes recipes out there. I tried a new one today from The Happy Herbivore Cookbook by Lindsay S. Nixon. It tasted great and the pancakes were light and fluffy. I used whole wheat pastry flour and made half of the batch with blueberries. The blueberry pancakes were superior to the plain.

I also love pancakes with peanut butter or topped with fruit. 

Lunch: Baked Sweet Potatoes

Before changing my diet I had only had baked sweet potatoes at restaurants, mostly Salt Grass Steak House. Restaurants typically serve baked sweet potatoes with butter and brown sugar and/cinnamon.

Baked sweet potatoes are easy to make and really good for you, sans dairy and sugar. If your in a hurry you can even “bake” it in the microwave. Our microwave has a “baked potato” button. To prepare a potato just wash thoroughly, wrap in plastic wrap (if your cooking in the microwave) poke a few holes in it then bake until soft. If your cooking them in the oven wrap in foil and bake 1 to 2 hours, depending on the size of your potato. While your at it save time and bake a big batch.

I like to add cinnamon to my bake sweet potatoes but my husband has them plain. Everyone in our home loves them. We have convinced our toddler that the peel is the best part, which he repeats continuously as he eats us.

Dinner: Stir Fry

We are never “in the mood” for stir fry. I usually make it once my veggie drawer starts looking pathetic and we need to use up all of the veggies that I had good intentions to cook. Something magical happens every time and it ends up tasting so good. 

Ingredients
  • carrots
  • onion
  • broccoli
  • peppers
  • any other veggies that need to be eaten
  • cooked brown rice, or noodles
Do
  1. In a heated skillet add carrots and any other veggies that are hard and need the longest time to cook. You not need oil. If the veggies start to stick add a spoonful or two of water to your pan. Keep stirring veggies.
  2. Add onions and peppers.
  3. Add broccoli and other fragile veggies that don’t need much cooking time. 
  4. Spices can be added now. 
Serve

Serve with warm brown rice or noodles. This could also be served with other cooked grains like millet or amaranth for some variety. 

 

Apple Muffins

Ingredients
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • dash nutmeg
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup agave
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup diced apples
Do
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add applesauce, agave and 1 tsp vanilla to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  4. Add 1 cup dice apples and mix until just combined. 
  5. Spoon batter into paper lined muffin cups until 3/4 full. You can sprinkle extra oats or cinnamon on the muffins before baking if  you’d like. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Serve

Try not to burn yourself by eating these fresh from the oven. I took them to a ladies Bible study and they were a big hit. We ran out quickly so I plan to make more soon.