Meal Plan Monday: May 27 Edition

This past weekend we attended our local Food Truck Frenzy organized as a fundraiser by the Rotary group. We decided to go in the rain. On the plus side, no crazy crowds to deal with. In the down side, it’s still crazy expensive and you walk out feeling like you’ve been bathed in oil. My favourite pick this year was from the Jerk Brothers Carribean truck – the jerk pork poutine was de-li-cious. I was sad to share it three ways.

Yesterday after church we had our final potluck lunch before summer. There were a ton of casseroles – including 7 shepherds pies – and only two crockpots of meat – one full of meatballs and mine full of BBQ jerk pulled pork. I went home with zero leftovers. Success.

Last night, I craved veggies – so we enjoyed a peanutty cashew stir-fry with butternut squash noodles to try and find some balance in our weekend overload of ridiculously tasty and decadent food.

My boys will not stop eating the last couple of weeks. I think we’re dealiñg with some growth spurts. At 12 & 13, I’m sure we’re in for copiously large grocery shops in the near future. Our menu for the upcoming week (if I can keep the food in the fridge long enough) looks like this:

  • Italian sausage, roasted potatoes, Caesar salad
  • Burgers and veggie sticks
  • Crepes and sides
  • Chicken and pepper alfredo
  • Chili or other meal featuring ground beef
  • Leftovers

Parents of preteen/teenage boys… What are your tips and tricks to groceries on a budget and still keeping them fed?

Meal Plan Monday: May 6 Edition

I have been feeling a little exhausted the last few weeks – we’ve been juggling a lot and trying to stay balanced. It hasn’t been easy and I’ve cried a few times just to let the excess of internal pressure out. We’ve also eaten out a few too many times and I realise that while I enjoy the break from the kitchen, too much not-home-cooked food doesn’t help with managing stress or emotions.

I thought the HelloFresh box with 3 meals last week may have helped take some of the thought and prep work out of home-cooked, but alas, I was terribly disappointed. Our one meal was bland and the meat was tough, the other was absolutely no different than picking up our own groceries and prepping from scratch, and the final is awaiting a verdict. Definitely not a plan that we’ll continue.

This weekend – if you don’t count the fact that our basement floor was soaking wet because our pump failed – was fairly relaxed. We visited with family (late night, lots of laughs!), spent some time mopping up some excess water downstairs, hung out in the local laundry mat, church… and an art tour with a friend. It was busy, but not stressful – and the sun was shining – yay!

Our menu for this week still has some convenience meals, and a night out for Chinese buffet as we celebrate our youngest son’s 12th birthday! Here is what’s on the docket:

  • Butter chicken with rice and/or naan
  • Stir fry
  • Subs (at home)
  • Thai chicken wings, home fries, and salad
  • Taco salad

How do you celebrate birthdays? Favourite meal? Choice of restaurant? Lots of family and friends? We always let them pick a restaurant and as they get older, a laid back no-plan kind of party with friends a bit later.

Meal Plan Monday: April 29th Edition

Our meal plan and grocery shop this week will be a little interesting.  A friend sent a code for a free trial of HelloFresh which should be arriving tomorrow.  Three meals, perfectly planned and prepped for me (or whoever decides to be helpful) – all we need to do is cook.  I have no actual opinions on the service yet, except to say I find the fees crazy expensive versus shopping and prepping myself… definitely a convenience thing, but it was easy to set up an account and select our meals.

Our Hello Fresh menu will include:

  • One-Pot Mexican Pork Stew
  • Steak, Fries, and Green Beans
  • Hawaiian Veggie Rice Bowl

Our regular menu will include:

  • Mini-Pepper Poppers, Mac & Cheese (from a box – gasp!) and Carrot Chips (tonight! It smells so good in here…)
  • Italian Sausage on a Bun, Caesar Salad on the side
  • Beef Enchiladas
  • Sesame Ginger Noodles with Veggie Spring Rolls

Plus cooking for approx. 20 young teens at a local youth drop-in program:

  • Hot Dogs, Fries & Veggie Sticks

It’s a weird week. Convenience appeals to me… but the price tag of a meal service doesn’t.  Cooking for a crowd tends to stress me out (but we don’t have to provide an entirely “healthy” meal.) I don’t know when I’m actually going to be able to pick up groceries, but my cupboards are bare. The boys’ lunches were heavy on the fruit (not a bad thing) but not very well-rounded. It may just be one of those weeks… at least we can appreciate that are tummies are full!

Meal Plan Monday: April 22nd Edition

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter. Mine was made perfect because Mom hosted a brunch (my favourite!) And dinner (not my favourite. I don’t love big family dinner. I’m weird. I think it’s because at heart I’m not a meat and potatoes girl and that’s what holiday dinners always seem to be.) The actual reason it was perfect though was all the baby cuddling… and I could still eat one handed, niece tucked in on my left (almost – the waffles were tricky.)

It’s so nice out today and I lost track of time. Dinner will be takeout pizza because I’m kind of done. Meh. Whatever.

The rest of our menu for the week is planned a bit better:

  • Carnitas nachos
  • Pulled pork “shepherds pie”
  • Canelloni
  • Crepes
  • Cheeseburgers
  • Stir-fry

All the above served with salad, fruits, and/or fresh veggies. I really can’t wait for some of my garden veggies to mature! The walking onions are just finally starting to poke through.

Meal Plan Monday: April 15th Edition

Lucky you! You get two doses of my ramblings today. I just have so much to say, but don’t always find the time to say it. It is April 15th and in our little corner of the world we got to enjoy some 0°C weather with some wind, snow, and rain. Yay spring! I have some seedlings started and am having a hard time reconciling a need for a coat and my urge to garden.

This week’s meal plan is not very creative in that I’m not attempting anything new. It is creative in that I’m tackling some of the leftovers found in my freezer and crisper drawer to create a yummy menu and pared down grocery list. We should be covered for dinners, but breakfast and lunch ingredients are pretty slim and the boys’ lunch bags did not contain any semblance of well-roundedness this morning.

Here is our forecasted menu for the week:

  • Chicken Fajita Bake
  • Chicken Quesadillas
  • Spaghetti
  • Pesto Tortellini
  • Stirfry
  • Soup(s)

Of course we’ll accompany the meals with salads or veggies on the side as needed. I haven’t planned a full week and may have to break out the KD and hot dogs. The kids will love it, but I’ll probably opt for a smoothie that night.

Meal Plan Monday: April 8th Edition

The week has gone by pretty smoothly and I’m feeling much more human. This translates into a full grocery shop ($$$) and an actual meal plan. Home cooked meals with a little bit of thought will be happening – no excuses.

Except… I have to drag the boys to the mall tonight and bribery helps us all stay sane. They’ve been given the choice of food court dinner as a treat. One will mostly pick KFC and the other will go with Taco Bell. (Why? I don’t know – there are so many better options!)

The rest of the week looks like this:

  • Chicken Enchiladas
  • French Dip Sandwiches
  • Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers (using the leftover beef)
  • Cheddar & Broccoli-stuffed Chicken Breasts
  • Breakfast for Dinner
  • Soup & Salad (variety to be determined)

As the weather hovers above zero, I’m antsy to use the grill. Unfortunately it needs more maintenance than I’m capable of or knowledgeable about. It’ll be a task added to the honey-do list. As soon as it’s ready, I’ll be throwing on a flatbread, some red peppers, and eagerly waiting for peaches to be in season!

What are your favourite summertime barbecue recipes beyond the burger?

Meal Plan Monday: March 25th Edition

My kids are home and they snack a lot. So much. I do groceries (carefully planned out), put them away, and poof, the food is gone. I suspect some growth spurts are to blame. Youngest son is currently eating melba toast, after he packed away an apple, a greek yogurt, and a Tim Horton’s cookie treat. He’ll demolish a full plate of food at dinner too. My metabolism doesn’t understand this. At. All.

This week’s menu was pre-planned and I kept in budget. That’s hard to do for me…especially with extra people shopping alongside. My secret was using the PC Express shopping option. I paid for convenience, but my cart didn’t contain impulse buys. Score 1 for Lindsey. Left on the list:

  • cashew veggie stir fry
  • breakfast for dinner (Kaleb’s pick)
  • tortellini with pesto, spinach and broccoli
  • corned beef, potatoes, carrots
  • corned beef on rye with tomato jalapeno soup
  • chicken, steamed broccoli, waffle cut carrots, and scalloped potatoes (Justin’s pick)

I also have a package of peameal bacon in the freezer and soup ingredients on hand for backup. Kev suggested I pick up a skillet freezer meal because he knows there will be at least one day that doesn’t go to plan where I’m home later than expected and have to rush out again shortly after dinner – anyone can pull it out and prepare it. It’s a cheaper option than pizza… plus easy to include extra veggies! I appreciate that he doesn’t *need* me to cook all the time and that he recognizes that my time is important too. #teamgoals

What are your quickest healthy meal options for the days you forget to take something from the freezer or don’t find time to prep?

Meal Plan Monday: March 18th Edition

My meal plan last week was geeat in theory, but we didn’t follow it very closely. I definitely prepare healthier food or follow better eating habits when the kids are home. On our own, Kev and I tend to do a lot scavenging and fend for ourselves.

The boys are home tomorrow. (Oh how I’ve missed them…) Even our meal tonight didn’t go to plan. I had a healthy veggie noodle stirfry planned – topped with cashews for crunch and texture – and Kev came home with samosas from a new restaurant that opened in town. Who am I to complain?

I actually prepared a plan for two weeks this time. Next week’s plan is subject to change as I have only done groceries for this plan.

  • cashew stir fry and spring rolls
  • rice, farmers sausage, and spinach salad
  • potato soup
  • korean beef sloppy joes
  • crepes and fruit
  • burgers
  • tortellini with pesto, spinach and broccoli
  • mac & beef casserole
  • veggie loaded pasta and garlic bread
  • corned beef, potatoes, carrots corned beef on rye with tomato jalapeno soup
  • italian sausage meatloaf with buttered bowties and broccoli

Does anyone have some great budget-friendly, time-friendly school lunch ideas? I don’t know how my oldest isn’t tired of his go-to lunch box formula…

Meal Plan Monday: March 11 Edition

I am here at home enjoying surviving the gloomy, overcast pre-spring weather phenomenon of snow one day, rain the other, mud and puddles everywhere. My boys are off enjoying sunshine and swimming pools complaining that they have sunburns.

As it’s just the two adults at home this week, our meals are fairly low effort (because as stated last Monday, I’m lazy… especially when I know Kev *could* fend for himself if need be.)

I didn’t put a thorough meal plan together, but will rely on the contents of my fridge and pantry. In no particular order, some of the meals we’ll be enjoying are:

  • ham & veggie omelettes with toast
  • burrito bowls (PC From Our Chef’s Ready… Set… Stirfry Meal Kit)
  • General Tso stir-fry bowl (PC From Our Chef’s Ready… Set… Stirfry Meal Kit)
  • peanut chicken with rice and veggies
  • ribs, sweet potato, and salad
  • grilled cheese and soup

Is anyone else ready to dig in the dirt and get their lettuce and tomatoes in? I’m craving bruschetta with fresh herbs and tomatoes from the backyard! Pasta with pesto. Zucchini fritters. Salad with handpicked boston lettuce. One of my favourite reasons to garden is the grab and go flavours right there to choose from (but maybe not the weeding.) C’mon spring, you know you want to be here!

Meal Plan Monday – March 4th Edition

It’s that time of week again… the time when all of last week’s drooling over recipes I want to try culminates into a very practical list of not those foods to feed my family.

This one is a little up in the air because my boys are heading out of town Wednesday night for an early March break Florida adventure with their grandparents. I really want to take advantage of their absence by exploring some new eateries, but that requires clothing and I’m a fan of lounging around in my comfies after a day of work.

Here’s what we’re dishing up, in no particular order:

  • taco dip with tortilla chips and fresh veggies
  • DIY pizzas
  • burgers
  • maple glazed kielbasa with handcut, oven baked wedges and a salad
  • jerk-chicken, handcut sweet potato fries and salad
  • tomato soup and french bread

Next week could be interesting… I find cooking for two to be a challenge. .. because I’m lazy. Shoot me some ideas before I work on next week’s plan! Give a girl some pointers… please?