Getting dinner on the table (as in that table in your dining room or kitchen, not a restaurant) is not easy. I am not exempt from the struggle of planning, shopping for, preparing and getting everyone together to eat/enjoy a healthy dinner. It's tough.
Meal planning is the shield you and I MUST use to defend ourselves and our families from unhealthy, unconcious, on-the-fly eating. Without it, we will blown around by the winds of crazy living.
This morning I shared some tips and tricks for successful meal planning on Good Morning Jacksonville. After all my research and investigating, I had to share it with you too. Here's what I have come up with.
So do you do any of these things or did I miss your most important tip? Leave me and other readers a comment about what you think. Or tell me when you meal plan during the week.
I didn't really feel like meal planning this week. I think it's partly due to being lazy and partly due to being so focused on the Thanksgiving menu and planning. Anyone else feel this way? But I know that if I don't meal plan, bad things will happen with my eating.
I went to the grocery store knowing what I wanted to do for dinner tonight and that was it. I quickly jotted down some more ideas while sitting in my car in the parking lot. I knew I wanted to eat light for dinner this week with lots of veggies. And yet, I knew my hubby would not be cool with salads every night. So here is what I came up with.
Monday: Spaghetti with frozen sauce from an earlier week (which I tend to do often), salad
Wednesday: Salads and roasted sweet potatoes
Thursday: I am making the turkey, a chocolate chip pecan pie and a vegan apple crisp
If you want to read about how I became the official Braddock Family Turkey-Maker, read about it at my old blog site. Please check out my Pinterest Fall Ideas Board for some fun, healthy ideas for your big meal.
Let me encourage you to not let every day be a holiday eating day this week. One day is all we need. But you have to plan in order to make this happen. Also, check me out on Good Morning Jacksonville this Wednesday during the 6am hour to learn some tricks for cutting a few calories on Thanksgiving without sacrificing ANY flavor.
Lastly, there's only a couple more days to enter my 5K give away. Please enter if you are remotely near Jacksonville. I would love for you to win!a Rafflecopter giveaway
Next, I am back to Meal Plan Mondays. I abandoned the idea for a while because I wasn't sure if it was really resonating with you all. But as I comtemplated my blog topic for today I realized that I have not been a great meal planner myself this past month. Writing this post is just the thing I need and I hope you find it helpful too.
Usually, when I don't meal plan, it is mostly due to not being inspired to cook that week (i.e. no new recipe ideas come to mind). So I drag my feet hoping some enlightened idea will pop into my head. Sometimes they come, and sometimes they don't and we just stick to staple meals like baked chicken, spagthetti and salads.
This is one of the weeks. No great ideas are coming to mind (well besides desserts but I can't make those for dinner - see the fudge scratched down???). So I've dragged my feet long enough and scratched out a basic plan for the week. It's nothing "enlightened" but that is ok.
Monday: Smoothie of Life (We went out to lunch as a fam since my hubby was off. So nice!)
Tuesday: Panko crusted fish, steamed veggies
Wednesday: Pizza with homemade whole wheat pizza dough (I made extra last time and just froze balls of dough.)
Thursday: Breakfast casserole - health-up (recipe coming soon)
So what are you making this week? Please share your meal plan for the week.
It's been a few weeks since I've posted MP Monday. I think all of our schedules are probably starting to get more routine as the school year has started. This, in theory, makes it easier for me to meal plan.
Football season has also begun for the Braddock family so that means late nights for my hubby and a weird, two-seating of dinner. (Jackson and I eat early and Brian eats when he gets home.) So, not only am I trying to figure out what to make each night but also things that will reheat decently well for him.
This week I've decided on a combo of 2 new recipes with 2 "old faithfuls". That's usually how I piece together my meal plan. I like cooking new recipes but usually don't have the time to more than 2 in a week.
I hope you all have an awesome week that begins with planning. For those in Florida, be careful. My prayers are with those in Louisiana and the panhandle as you prepare for tropical storm/hurricane Isaac.
Monday: Garlic Lemon Chicken (recipe below), salad
Tuesday: Honey Dijon Salmon, roasted vegetables
Wednesday: Honey Orange Shrimp Stir Fry over brown rice (snap peas, bell pepper, and carrots) - recipe will be created on this night
Thursday: Good ol' spaghetti - using sauce that I froze from an earlier meal and salad
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 lemon, zested, then cut in half and juice one side and thinly slice the other
4 chicken cutlets
salt and pepper
1 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp fresh chives, snipped (use scissors)
Adapted from Everyday Food Magazine
Today I guess I go back to work "officially" since having Jackson. Clearly, I've been working for the past 11 months, just predominantly from home with an afternoon of work out once or twice a week.
This week, I start teaching (albeit, part-time) on campus again at University of North Florida. I've been looking forward to having a little more of a set schedule and the opportunity to teach college students. The reality of the situation does hit me this morning though - a little less time with Jack and more reason to stay organized with healthy living.
Meal planning is always the greatest weapon I have for staying on track through the bussiness of life. Remember, that healthy living does not happen by chance but because you have a plan.
This week my goal is to grill as much as possible. I love the flavor of grilling, the act of grilling, and most importantly, the ease of grilling. If the tropical storm doesn't ruin my plans, I hope to be grilling almost every night this week.
On Saturday I went to the Riverside Arts Market and picked up some grass-fed beef from J.D. Beef. I've had his meat before and was very pleased. I was most excited though because he had ALL the cuts of beef, including my favorite, flank steak. So that will be on the grill for sure this week!
I encourage you to take a few minutes this morning and plan out your meals and exercise for the week. Don't let the dreary rain or busy summer get you off track from staying healthy. It must be an everyday decision! You can do it.
Meal Plan for Week of June 25th
Monday: Grilled chicken and potatoes (Wrap whole potato in foil and put on the cooler side of the grill. Turn occasionally. Cook for 45-60 minutes). Salad
Tuesday: Flank Steak Tacos with peppers and onions on corn tortillas
Wednesday: Grilled fish (may need to use a fish rack for the grill), watermelon and grilled veggies
Thursday: Homemade marina with ground beef over multigrain pasta, salad
P.S. I have a few more places to blog about from our trip. Keep checking in for more on my travels.
As I mentioned last week, we are getting ready to go on a trip to Napa and San Fransisco next week. I am so excited. I can't wait to share with you about my travels. How that relates to this week's meal plan is that I am trying to use food I already have on hand to save some pennies.
I like to keep my pantry and freezer stocked with some staples that make it easier to pull off a week like this one.
First, my pantry-- I always keep the following items stocked
Brown rice, Barilla Plus pasta, canned tomatoes (an assortment of types), & canned beans
My freezer usually has some combo of the following
Chicken (frozen in vacuum sealed bags in the portions we eat), a ground meat (beef, turkey or chicken), fish (whenever frozen fish is on sale, I buy it), & frozen leftover items (like marinara, extra ground cooked meat)
Keeping these kinds of items on hand at most times makes it easier to pull of cheap weeks. I tend to buy meat in bulk, from the farm (in the whole version and cut up myself) or when it's on sale. I actually just bought a freezer in my garage to accomodate the purchase of part of a cow this fall. (I hope that doesn't gross you out.)
So here is this week's meal plan. It's pretty plain jane, but that needs to happen from time to time. I'll be dreaming of our dinners in California while I eat this week.
Monday: Grilled chicken over salads. It's our anniversary so we will celebrate by making smores, a personal favorite dessert.
Tuesday: Grilled fish and veggies
Wednesday: Pasta with meat sauce, salad
Thursday: Rice and bean bowls
I have blinked and May is over. What just happened. I thought this month was going to be slow paced as I'm not teaching at UNF right now. Well that didn't happen. Yes, there have been several low-key days but it still seems like a whirl wind just happened.
We just got back yesterday from visiting my family in St. Louis (thus no Meal Plan Monday). We had such a great time. My sister in law indulged me with a trip to Trader Joe's, which made me so happy. I hear we are getting some more stores in Florida in the next year. That would be awesome!!!
Now, I am gearing up to travel to California in a couple of weeks. I am so stinkin excited! My husband and I are returning to San Fransisco and the Napa area with some friends to celebrate a year as parents and my big turning of the 3-0. We have been planning our restaurant tour and it it makes my heart sing. Every place, just about, boasts a menu of local and sustainable fair. It's going to be awesome. If you have any suggestions for must-visit places and restaurants, please post below.
In light of our travels, we've decided in the next 2 weeks to try to conserve as much money as possible. Therefore my meal planning is going to be from the pantry, freezer and farm deliveries exclusively (as much as possible).
Last week I picked up a magazine that I need to just bite the bullet and subscribe to: Fine Cooking. To me, it's a cross between my favorite Every Day Food and Gourmet magazine; meaning that there are fun, new ideas that are feasible for my life. I got a couple of inspirations for this week's meals from it. I highly recommend picking up a copy.
Meal Plan for week of May 28th
Tuesday: Sweet and spicy shrimp, corn on the cob, roasted califlower and garlic
Wednesday: Bunless burgers with cheese, zucchini, salad
Thursday: Roasted chicken and vegetables
Friday: TBD - We have an event that night so I'm not sure what dinner will look like.
Sweet and Spicy Shrimp
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup Tequila (optional - can substitute white wine or chicken broth)
2 limes - grated for about 2 tsp of zest and then juiced for about 1/4 cup juice
1 tbsp fresh, minced ginger
1 tbsp fresh, minced garlic
1 tsp hot sauce (I used Tobasco but choose yoru favorite and use cautiously)
pinch of Kosher salt
1 1/2 lbs fresh shrimp, deveined, shelled, tails on
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
Happy Monday!! Let me take a moment to encourage you to stop and smell the flowers this week. No really! Stop and admire some of the beautiful flowers that are in bloom. I couldn't help but notice all the lovely "May flowers" that are springing up in my neighborhood today. Taking even just a moment to concentrate on something pleasant will help lower your realized and unrealized stress levels.
Why am I so cheery today? Well, I have been up since 4:45am! (My hats go off to those of you who are required to get up so early every day.) I had so much fun being on Good Morning Jacksonville this morning and am pumped for the next 4 mornings! Keep tuning in to catch my Food For Thought segment at 6:25am. Did anyone catch my blooper this morning? I was not alerted that my quick promo shot at 6:20am was happening so I was caught texting when the camera rolled! Yikes. I'm so embarrassed and that won't be happening again!
This week the Braddock Family Meal Plan is condensed. On Wednesday night we are going to have a dinner for Brian's football players (it's spring football!) and I have not been told when the menu will be yet. Thursday night I have my CPR recertification so mama won't be home to cook. I'll list some ideas for you though from what we ate this past weekend.
Tuesday: Grilled chicken, roasted potatoes and salad
Honey Dijon Salmon
4 salmon fillets, skinless
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp Brummel and Brown spread, melted
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
I'm back! So sorry for the absence. As I warned, last week was a doozy. To top it all off, I'm pretty sure I got food poisoning (from my own cooking I am embarrassed to say)on Friday that sent me to the ER. It was perhaps the worse 6 hours of my life.
So I present to you Meal Plan Monday on Tuesday. This is actually last week's menu but I changed up the meal that made me sick, just for good measure. A few of my meals are descriptive and I'll include the recipe from Monday below.
Make a plan this week - a plan to eat healthy and hopefully, a little more at home.
Monday: Stuffed Chicken Breast (see below), watermelon
Tuesday: Spaghetti with homemade marinara - I sauteed some finely diced yellow squash into the sauce. No one even noticed! Salad
Wednesday: Baked fish (just seasoned with a favorite mix), smashed red potatoes (boil small reds first, drain, gently smash each one once with the heel of your hand, drizzle with evoo and salt and pepper, bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes), caprese salad
Thursday: Grilled chicken, fruit salad
Stuffed Chicken Breasts
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup light Italian dressing
1 ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced
small bunch of fresh basil, chopped
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
2 small tomatoes, thinly sliced