Monday, May 23, 2011

Menu Plan Week of May 23

After a very crazy weekend, I am ready for a fresh start!  Our little guy ended up at the ER with another asthma-like attack.  Again, a reminder about how proactive we need to be from a medical standpoint on his behalf.  This was seasonal-allergy related, I believe; however, we will visit with our allergist and pediatrician this week to target the cause and tackle what is now certain to be diagnosed and treated as asthma.

I am looking forward to a calmer week ahead and such much needed R&R up north at my in-law's cabin next weekend (my menu plan next week will be delayed as a result).  Last week's highlight was yet again the Mexican Lasagna - yum, can't get enough!  I actually added leftovers to scrambled eggs the next morning! :)

Monday - Pizza Night

Tuesday - Spinach artichoke turkey burgers (from last week) with Cucumber Bean Salad (this recipe link also links to a blog I was referred to - loving it so far!)

Wednesday -  BBQ Pulled Pork Leftovers (from the freezer - recipe from Week of May 2 with green beans and leftover cucumber bean salad

Thursday - Curried quinoa with chicken and peas (another great blog with awesome, easy recipes!)

Friday - Off to the cabin!  Burger night...

Saturday - Kitchen Window's Paella on the grill (if you don't know what this is, check out the recipe and Kitchen Window's website for the tools you will need - it is sure to "wow" anyone who you cook it for!  Ours will be made with chicken only)

Sunday - Smoked Ribs

Monday - Leftovers

Tuesday - Home from the cabin... winging it! :)

Check out Orgjunkie's blog for more menu inspiration!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week of May 15th

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!  I started my weekend off with a kidless (unfortunately rainy) visit to the Mill City Farmers Market.  It was my first time to this market (I have always been a fan of the Minneapolis Farmers Market) and I am glad I visited.  It is much more intimate with a  lot of really cool, unique vendors.  Plenty of undercover area to tuck into on rainy days like Saturday, too!  The highlight was the asparagus - oh my gosh it looked so good!  I bought a pound and we had it for dinner tonight (Sunday) - so yummy.  It makes me excited for all the local, fresh veggies to come!  

I am excited about my menu this week - some new flavors mixed in with some "old reliables" and of course all of the upcoming in-season produce at the farmer's market - yay! 

If you did not give the slow cooker Mexican lasagna a try in March when I originally posted it, I HIGHLY recommend it. It is meatless - the cauliflower gives it a meaty texture though.  Hubby and my little guy loved it.  For more menu inspiration check out Orgjunkie's menu plan post!

Monday:  A "reinvented" kid classic - Mac and Cheese (Annie GF Mac and Cheese - allergy-friendly (unless dairy is on your list) with no artificial colors and GF noodles!) :), green beans and  leftover burgers

Tuesday:  Poached Ginger Chicken with rice, salad/green beans (I will make this with changes to the oils - no peanut or sesame oil.  I'll sub in olive oil.  Despite the substitute, I still think this will be tasty!  Poaching is a great way to prep meat for kids, too - it turns out tender and soft.)
tip:  prepare ginger/shallot "dressing" the night before

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday:  Slow Cooker Mexican Lasagna
tip:  prepare pot the night before; buy pre-cut, pre-washed cauliflower

Friday:  Leftovers again! (love that!)
Saturday:  Grilled Pork Tenderloin (sub veg oil for canola oil in marinade) with fresh farmer's market sides (most likely the amazing asparagus that is in season right now!)
tip:  marinate on Friday night, the more time int he marinade, the better!

Sunday:  Burger Night!  Spinach Artichoke Turkey Burgers, Grilled Potato Chips (thinly slice large potatoes the long way, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper, grill!)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My Gardening Journey!

This year, I have committed to giving gardening a try.  I do not have a green thumb, but I am inspired by so many family members and friends who successfully garden and offer me the opportunity to taste their incredible harvest at the end of the season.  Their tomatoes, veggies, herbs, etc. are wonderful - I am looking forward to going out in the backyard to pick what I need for a meal and set a great example for my little one (I am sure he will be getting his hands dirty along with me!)

Also, after so much research with regards to chemicals and pesticides used on produce sold in the United States (I become more passionate every day about this topic), I know that growing my own veggies is the healthiest, most affordable solution for fresh organic food for my family. 

Since this blog was created to help you and I explore ways to elevate wellness in our lives, I believe that my gardening journey is an integral part of this... so, the good, the bad, the ugly - I plan to document it here.  Hopefully I can look back and be reminded of lessons that will make next years' gardening experience better than the last (and on from there)!  If you have tips and tricks for me, always feel free to comment or email me!

I also plan to post recipes that I pull from various resources (or that I create myself) using produce from my own garden or what is at its peak from the Farmers Market each week!!  (After all. let's be honest, I will have to start small in my garden!)

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week of May 9th

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day - my husband spoiled me by doing all of the shores around the house and cooking meals!  SO nice! 

I want to make note that Food Allergy Awareness Week is this week.  If you have a few minutes, take some time to educate yourself on this growing epidemic - even if your kids are not suffering, you will undoubtedly be exposed to children that are along the way.  Education is so critical!  My favorite site is AllergyKids.  FAAN is the largest food allergy network in our country - learn more about FAAW here.

You will notice a lot of my vegetarian meals focus on quinoa lately - I purchased a large bag of organic quinoa at Costco and we are loving it.  It is packed with protein so makes a great, affordable sub-in for meat.  Our Mexican quinoa tacos were awesome last week, and the leftovers were even better!  The quinoa absorbs all the flavors - very tasty stuff.  I prepped all of my veggies the night before (chopped and wrapped in cling wrap) - it took about 10 minutes to throw it all together and 20 minutes to cook!  Makes for an easy, quick cooking after work/busy day dinner!  So, buy some quinoa and join me!!  Please send me your favorite quinoa recipes if you try a new one or have some in your recipe rotation!  (Note that once cooked, quinoa is very easy for my little guy to spoon up, so very kid-friendly!)

This week, I will be making the pulled pork that I planned to make last week (always good to have some flexibility when schedules change). 

Monday:  Turkey Burgers, green beans and potato "chips" (thinly sliced Yukon golds tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper)

Tuesday:  BBQ Pork Sandwiches (from last week) with Roasted Broccoli, Carrot and Chick Pea Medley (Toss roasted veggies and beans with olive oil and vinegar of choice, salt and pepper to taste)
tip:  prepare crock pot the night before and plug it in before heading out the door!

Wednesday:  Leftovers

Thursday:  Roasted Chicken with Balsamic Bell Peppers and Polenta with Peas and Pancetta (sub bacon)
tip:  make polenta (put in 8x8 baking dish after cooking, bake and slice into squares before serving) and make pepper mix the night before; bake chicken and add to re-warmed pepper mix before serving!

Friday:  Quinoa Pilaf (Similar to this recipe; add or interchange veggies; add beans to make it a meal and I always sub veggie or chicken broth for the water! for my little guy, I chop veggies very fine or grind them in the food processor, easier to eat and he can't pick around them!) :)
tip:  chop all veggies the night before, wrap in plastic wrap so they are ready to dump into the pot!

Saturday: Out

Sunday:  Grass Fed Beef Butter Burgers with Kale Chips and Potato Wedges

Check out Orgjunkie's blog for more menu inspiration!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Meal Plan Monday - Week of May 2nd

After a wonderful week with my family in Milwaukee, I am back to menu planning this week!  I am excited to try some new recipes (using my slow cooker twice!  yay!) while trying to keep it simple.  It does not feel like May here in Minnesota, but I am cautiously optimistic that next weekend will bring us some grilling-friendly weather and a lovely Sunday for Mother's Day cook-outs!

Keep an eye out for another post this week with some new, allergy-friendly tips and links for you and/or loved ones who are challenged by food allergies and intolerances or are just looking to educate yourself on our food system and what you can do to keep your family healthy!.  New resources are always helpful and motivating as you continue along this journey! 

Monday:  Pizza Night

Tuesday:  Whole Roasted Chicken (slow cooker!), mashed potatoes and carrots
Tip:  Prep the chicken the night before

Wednesday:  Leftovers

Thursday:  Cinco de Mayo! (Vegetarian) Mexican Quinoa (I will serve this with cheese, corn tortillas, salsa and guac to make hearty tacos!)
Tip:  This could be made the night before and put into 9x13 baking dish - warm in the oven with cheese on top to make a yummy casserole!

Friday:  Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Green Beans and/or Green Salad
Tip:  Add all ingredients to crock pot the night before, plug it in in the morning!  LOVE that!

Saturday:  Easy Grilled Lamb Chops with grilled asparagus and rice (I found out at Easter that my little guy LOVES lamb chops - you can buy them at Costco and they are delicious!)

Sunday:  It's Mother's Day!  Hoping to take a break! :)

P.S.  Check out Orgjunkie's blog for more menu inspiration!