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  • Menu Plan Monday: Week of February 23, 2015

    Last week’s healthy dish was supposed to be refried beans, but my fear of cooking with dried beans remains intact because I never got around to it. But in the spirit of the challenge, I at least tried a new “healthy food” – rice milk. Admittedly, whether rice milk qualifies as health food is arguable – it’s got pros and cons like most foods – but I figured the important thing was that I try it, since I was really reluctant and even afraid because I didn’t think I would like it.

    And I didn’t. It tasted like sweet, watery rice, and I would prefer to eat my rice than drink it. But given how apprehensive I was, I’m proud of myself just for trying it. It also made me realize just how reluctant I am to go outside of my comfort zone when it comes to food. I consider myself a fairly adventurous eater, so it was eye-opening to see how averse I was to trying a food I didn’t think I was going to like. That in turn has given me a new perspective about putting new foods in front of my children and expecting them to try everything!

    For this week’s healthy dish, I’m going to back to fresh beets. I have a fear of working with them, and especially cooking them, because of the potential mess. But I’ve got beets coming in my CSA box, and I’m going to roast them for a simple salad with fresh mozzarella and balsamic vinegar. Wish me luck!

    Here’s my plan for this week:

    Monday:
    Breakfast – Toast or Bagels
    Dinner – Cauliflower Sardine Pasta

    Tuesday:
    Breakfast – Granola and yogurt
    Dinner – Meatball Heroes, Sweet Potato Fries

    Wednesday:
    Breakfast – Jam Tarts
    Dinner – Homemade Pizza {plus several extra for the freezer}, salad

    Thursday:
    Breakfast – Breakfast Sandwiches
    Dinner – Cold Cut Sandwiches, Chips, Crudite

    Friday:
    Breakfast – Jam Filled Chocolate Chip Muffins
    Dinner – Alton Brown’s Sardine Avocado Sandwich

    Saturday Dinner: Leftovers

    Sunday Dinner: French Toast, Sausage, Fruit

    See more weekly menus at I’m an Organizing Junkie.


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    Menu Plan Monday: Week of February 16, 2015

    Last week’s healthy dish was Cauliflower, Romanesco & Broccoli Gratin – I didn’t get a picture, and I don’t think you could have made out the Romanesco cauliflower anyway, since everything was mixed into a white cheese sauce. The casserole was a little bland but a nice way to eat some really healthy cruciferous veggies. The Romanesco retained more of its body than the cauliflower and broccoli, so it had still had a nice crunch after baking. I would definitely be willing to cook it again, but I don’t know that I would go out of my way to get it when cauliflower is so readily available.

    This week, I’m going to try once again to conquer my fear of dried beans. People cook with them all the time, I know, so they shouldn’t be so intimidating – but I’ve worked with them in the past and not loved the results. But I’m determined to master them this year.

    With apologies to everyone trying to dig their way out of winter, it’s been crazy hot here in Southern California, with temps hitting the 90’s in my area. Soup has suddenly become unappealing, and I’m focusing on baking that can be done in my toaster oven instead of the big oven to minimize heat production. Hopefully by the end of the week, temps will start coming down! In the meantime, here’s what I’m planning for this week:

    Monday Dinner – Pasta with Cauliflower, Raisins and Anchovies

    Tuesday:
    Breakfast – Blueberry Muffins
    Dinner – Chicken-Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese, Garlic Knots

    Wednesday:
    Breakfast – Granola and yogurt
    Dinner – Meatloaf Burgers {didn’t get to these last week}, some kind of veggie

    Thursday:
    Breakfast – Jam Tarts
    Dinner – Tamale Casserole using leftover frozen Sriracha BBQ Pulled Pork, Slow Cooker Refried Beans, salad

    Friday:
    Breakfast – Bagels and Cream Cheese
    Dinner – Tuna Melts, Sweet Potato Fries

    Saturday Dinner – Gruyere Popover Sandwiches with Fried Eggs and Creamed Spinach

    Sunday Dinner – Dinner out

    See more weekly menus at I’m an Organizing Junkie.


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    Menu Plan Monday: Week of February 9, 2015

    Last week was a messy week as far as cooking and trying those new healthy products went. I only sorta stuck to my meal plan, and I only tried one of the three products on my list, kefir:

    Trying kefir | ChiefFamilyOfficer.com

    Kefir is a “fermented milk drink” that contains many strains of probiotics, which supposedly aid digestion, immunity, and more. I decided to try Lifeway ProBugs, because a woman in line behind me at Whole Foods raved about them, and I thought it would be sweeter since it’s aimed at kids. It was really tangy though – in fact, too tangy for my taste, although maybe I’ll get used to it. My fourth-grader hated it, and I didn’t even make my sweet-toothed second-grader try it.

    This week’s new healthy dish will involve a new-to-me vegetable called Romanesco cauliflower, which is coming in my CSA box. According to the farm, Romanesco “florets have the same texture as a white cauliflower, but the flavor is more earthy, with a slightly nutty flavor.” We’ll see!

    And here’s what I’m planning for the whole week:

    Monday:
    Breakfast – Pancakes
    Dinner – Spaghetti Bolognese, Sauteed Green Beans, Garlic Knots

    Tuesday:
    Breakfast – Bagel Breakfast Sandwiches
    Dinner – Miso Chicken, Rice, some kind of veggie

    Wednesday:
    Breakfast – Oatmeal
    Dinner – Pan Bagnat, Chips, and Fruit

    Thursday:
    Breakfast – Best Ever Blueberry Muffins
    Dinner – Meatloaf Burgers, Cauliflower, Romanesco and Broccoli Gratin, Garlic Knots

    Friday:
    Breakfast – Yogurt Parfait with Homemade Granola {recipe forthcoming}
    Dinner – “Un”Stuffed Cabbage Soup, bread

    Saturday:
    Dinner – Leftovers It’s Valentine’s Day! We can’t have leftovers!
    -> New plan: Lobster, Steamed artichokes, Chocolate Mousse

    Sunday:
    Dinner – Dinner out

    See more weekly menus at I’m an Organizing Junkie.


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    Menu Plan Monday: Week of February 2, 2015

    I am feeling very much in a funk as I prepare this week’s menu – it’s been a stressful, difficult week with one of the kids, and that in turn affects other areas of life. I’m also predicting a migraine sometime this week as a result of the stress, so I think it’s my best interest to keep things as low-key as easy as possible.

    In that vein, I won’t actually make a healthy dish this week – instead, I’m going to sample some items that are common but that I’ve shied away from because they just sound unappealing: kombucha, kefir, and rice milk. I’m sure I could add to that list, but nothing else comes to mind at the moment (let me know if you think of any). I’ll report back at the end of the week with my results/opinions. (Check out last week’s healthy dish.)

    And here’s what I’m thinking for simple, familiar dinners that won’t stress me out:

    Monday – Roasted Cauliflower and Sardine Pasta

    Tuesday – Clam chowder

    Wednesday – Tuna sandwiches

    Thursday – Salmon Furikake, rice, veggies

    Friday – Egg salad sandwiches

    Saturday – Overnight Caramel French Toast, Sausage, Fruit

    Sunday – Dinner out

    I would normally prep breakfast for school days, but this week the kids will just have to endure with cereal, toast, bagels, and/or yogurt. I just don’t have it in me to plan on baking delicious things right now, but hopefully that will change by mid-week.

    Note: A menu plan – especially one with easy-to-make familiar meals – is particularly handy during low-energy, stressful times like this. It takes the thinking out of planning and making dinner every day!

    See more weekly menus at I’m an Organizing Junkie.


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    Menu Plan Monday: Week of January 26, 2015

    I had one kid home from school for part of last week, and that completely threw off my grocery shopping and therefore my menu plan. I was able to get to Trader Joe’s with him in the middle of the week, and then to Ralphs (mostly to get prices so I could update the Mega Sale list) once he went back to school. By the time I felt back on track, I just couldn’t get around to this week’s new healthy dish. Bu I’m picking back up this week with some chard, which is coming in my mid-week CSA box. Here’s what I’ve got planned:

    Monday:
    Breakfast – Bagels with cream cheese, fruit
    Dinner – Sashimi, rice, some kind of veggie

    Tuesday:
    Breakfast – Best Ever Blueberry Muffins
    Dinner – Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Sriracha BBQ Sauce, Sweet Potato Fries

    Wednesday:
    Breakfast – Apple Cinnamon Coffeecake
    Dinner – Orecchiette with Sausage, Chard, and Parsnips, Garlic Bread

    Thursday:
    Breakfast – Oatmeal
    Dinner – Homemade Gravlax, bread, Cauliflower with Anchovy Breadcrumbs

    Friday:
    Breakfast – Cereal or some baked good from the freezer
    Dinner – Cheesy Mashed White Beans With Kale, Parmesan, and a Fried Egg

    Saturday Dinner – Beef Chili with the fixings, Cornbread

    Sunday Dinner – We’re going to a Super Bowl party, and I will make Slow Cooker Spinach & Artichoke Dip, which has really become a staple around here

    See more weekly menus at I’m an Organizing Junkie.


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