Menu Monday: 2013

The craziness of the holidays are over.  Our family vacation is complete.  We’ve battled the flu (and various other ailments).  Last week my kids even made it through a whole week of school (a miracle, it seems this winter.)  With the craziness of life, we’ve been reaching for convenience – shopping without a list and thinking what’s easy?  Our budget (and mealplan) have gone way off track.

Now that things seem to be settling into routine again, I took the time to write a grocery list and plan our meals for the next 10 or so days.  I always feel so much better when I have a full fridge, full cupboard and know we won’t be eating pizza!  My latest grocery shop won’t get me through completely – I’ll have to run out for a top-up at some point – but the bulk of it is done and there is no pesky wondering about “what’s for dinner?”

Here is our menu (in no particular order) to bring us through until next pay period:

  • Spicy Cashew Chicken with Cucumber Salad and jasmine rice
  • Skinny Enchiladas, salad on the side
  • Fish fillets (gross!  This is a buy Mommy some peace meal.  The boy’s love fish – in any form – and frozen fillets are easy, if not the healthiest option.) I’ll serve the fish with mango melon salad, and home fries or homemade hashbrowns (because the only way they’ll eat their potatoes without complaining is if we pretend they’re not potatoes!)
  • Lasagna Cupcakes, caesar on the side
  • Tomato Tortellini soup.  I’ve not tried this before, and the males in my family are anti-soup.  I’m hoping if I throw pasta in, I can trick them and everyone will be satisfied.
  • Crockpot ribs, brocolli slaw, and whatever side I feel like adding that particular day.  I’ll probably make cornbread muffins.
  • Roasted turkey breasts with sundried tomato gravy, rice pilaf with sugar snap peas, salad on the side.
  • Salami Spinach Roll Ups.   I don’t know what to call these – they’re an adaptation of a spinach bread recipe I was given from one of my mom’s friends.  I’m too lazy to make the bread myself most of the time, so I just use a package of pizza dough – the unbaked kind in the deli department.  I’ll post the recipe one day – it’s delish!  Pretty much just salami, cheese, frozen spinach, assorted spices layered on the dough, rolled up like a jelly roll, and baked with a buttery sesame top.  Soooo goood!  Of course, some veggies and dip or a salad on the side.
  • Corn & Chicken Chowder
  • Bratwurst, Uncle Ben’s 7 Grains Medley, salad or mixed veggies on the side.
I’ve lost 15 lbs. since the fall… and I want to keep it off.  So we’re trying to drink more water, eat healthier snacks… and reach for less-processed, less-convenience foods without actually dieting.  I’m not giving up on all the yummy things I love, but trying to make wiser choices while enjoying them.  I don’t believe in a lot of low-fat or diet products (with the exception of my not-very-good-for-you diet pepsi addiction!)  I figure the “wholer” the food, the better for you.  I still enjoy my butter, my yogurt, my chocolate, my iced caps.  I think it’s just everything in moderation – smaller portions, fresher foods, regular exercise, staying hydrated, reduced salt, etc.  We’re going through a seedless orange phase right now as our go-to snack!
All that said… I want to start eliminating some of the condensed and cream-of soups from our pantry.  We don’t use them often, but it’s just a change I’d like to make.  Does anyone have a good tomato soup recipe they’d like to share?  I’m also trying to add new recipes to our rotation, instead of the same-old same-old.  I figure soups and salads are a great place to start!  Speaking of salads – they might just be my favourite veggie side – quick, easy and I can change them up regularly.  My kid’s don’t care for them – they don’t like the leafy stuff  so they tend to get raw fruit & veggies as sides.   I’ve also started eliminating store-bought dressings (although I still love my Renee’s caesar and a renee’s sesame one I use on brocolli slaw).  Otherwise, I mix my own using whatever I have on hand (usually yogurt based) to suit whatever I’m adding to my (most-often) spinach-based salads.  
Here’s one more recipe I’d like to try this week – maybe for breakfast on Saturday:  

Roasted Banana Chai Baked Oatmeal

It sounds tasty, filling, kid-friendly – and I’m a sucker for warm-my-belly meals.  We’ll tweak it using ingredients on hand, but overall, I think it sounds delicious!

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