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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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    Menu Plan Monday: Week of January 19, 2015

    As part of my breakfast meal planning for school days, I tried making these English muffins but they came out more like a dense bread. I’m not quite ready to give up, as I love the idea of making a breakfast sandwich for the kids before school, so if you have a trusted English muffin recipe, please share it with me!

    Last week’s healthy dish was Quinoa Salad with Cucumber, Feta and Shrimp, and it’s a definite keeper.

    This week, I’m tackling dried beans. I haven’t bothered with dried beans for a long time since canned beans are so readily available, but dried beans are cheaper and freezer-friendly. And a huge pot of homemade refried beans would be a hit with my kids, especially if I can master Mexican rice. But one thing at a time …

    Monday:
    Dinner – Slow Cooker Spinach & Artichoke Dip with carrot sticks, celery and pita chips, Bacon-Wrapped Dates

    Tuesday:
    Breakfast – Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding {I have some bread in the freezer that will be perfect for this}
    Dinner – Miso Chicken, Rice, Sauteed Zucchini

    Wednesday:
    Breakfast – Baked Oatmeal
    Dinner – Pasta Bolognese, salad, garlic bread

    Thursday:
    Breakfast – Best Ever Blueberry Muffins
    Dinner – Chicken Enchiladas, Crock Pot Refried Beans, Salad

    Friday:
    Breakfast – Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake
    Dinner – Crock Pot Loaded Potato Soup, garlic bread

    Saturday & Sunday: We will be out and about both days so we’ll have to eat out, but if we’re home, we’ll have leftover soup or breakfast for dinner.

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


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    Menu Plan Monday: Week of January 12, 2015

    As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I’m going to cook a new healthy dish each week. I started last night with beets, since I had a bunch in my fridge already from my CSA box. I’ve been wanting to try this Cooking Light raw beet salad, but my beets were red, I think I didn’t shave them thinly enough, and I skipped the shallots because I didn’t have any and don’t like them. So I really can’t blame the recipe, but this dish wasn’t what I hoped it would be (however, I’ve been eating the raw beets today – marinating in the Meyer lemon juice has made them more tender and far more palatable):

    Shaved Beets - chieffamilyofficer.com

    I was a good girl and even cooked the greens:

    Beet Greens with Anchovies - chieffamilyofficer.com

    Not the prettiest thing, but I (loosely) followed the anchovy variation of this Martha Stewart recipe, and it came out tasty.

    This week, I’m going to try my hand at quinoa (since I have that free bag from Ralphs in the cupboard). The kids are back to school, so I will also be planning breakfast to make mornings a little easier:

    Monday:
    Breakfast – Bagels with cream cheese
    Dinner – Best Quinoa Salad EVER, Grilled Shrimp, Garlic Bread

    Tuesday:
    Breakfast – Breakfast Coffee Cake
    Dinner – Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Lemon-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

    Wednesday:
    Breakfast – Oatmeal
    Dinner – Sashimi, rice, sauteed bok choy

    Thursday:
    Breakfast – Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
    Dinner – Bacon-Wrapped Dates, Smoked Trout appetizers, fruit

    Friday:
    Breakfast – Cereal
    Dinner – Cheesy Mashed White Beans With Kale, Parmesan, and a Fried Egg

    Saturday & Sunday: I think we’ll be out and about both days, and will just have to grab food wherever we are. If we happen to be home, I’ll make something easy like quesadillas.

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


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    Menu Plan Monday: Week of January 5, 2015 + Some reflections on 2014

    I can’t believe it’s 2015 already … it means I’ve been a mom for nearly ten years, and am halfway through the child-rearing years! That’s one thing about having only two kids and having them relatively close together: although at first, when one was a toddler and one was an infant, their needs were divergent, over time the gap between their needs has narrowed dramatically and the younger boy follows very closely in the footsteps of his older brother. They are definitely each their own person, of course, but I know that as soon as the older one leaves the nest, his younger brother will quickly follow suit. So when parenting gets tough – as in wearying, exhausting, trying, at least once a day – I try to remember that the last ten years have practically flown by and the next ten will too. As Gretchen Rubin says so eloquently, “The days are long, but the years are short.”

    It was nice to take a couple of weeks off of menu planning – we were most definitely not in our usual routine, but things are settling back down again. My goal in the kitchen in 2015 is simply to prepare and serve more fruit and veggies. I need to eat more produce, and so does my family. Whole grains are nice (I have a bag of quinoa in the cupboard that’s begging to be used, a ton of oatmeal, and half a dozen 2-lb bags of whole wheat flour – that’s what happens when you order from Amazon). But 2015 will be about produce, produce, produce.

    So here’s what I’ve got planned for dinner this week:

    Monday – Spaghetti & Meatballs, Tossed Salad, Garlic Bread

    Tuesday – Crock Pot Loaded Potato Soup, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, 30-Minute Rolls

    Wednesday – Ma Po Tofu with Steamed Broccolini, Rice

    Thursday – Creamed Spinach with Poached Eggs and Brioche Croutons

    Friday – Bacon-Wrapped Dates, Baby Vegetable Antipasto, some kind of crusty bread

    Saturday – Homemade Gravlax, bread, Cauliflower with Anchovy Breadcrumbs

    Sunday – Overnight Caramel French Toast, Sausage, Fruit

    P.S. The boys go back to school next week, so I’ll start planning for breakfast then too.

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


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