Weekly Meal Plan #6

This meal plan was on the shorter side because I was I Florida for the second half of the week! The Sunday before was Easter which makes it even shorter! The meals we did have at home were delicious though, so here they are:

Monday- Turmeric Chicken Skewers with Cilantro Coconut Lime Dip, Brown Rice, and Grilled Zucchini

chicken skewers

We have kebobs a lot in the summer, but these were hands down the best I’ve ever had! I usually use chicken breasts when grilling but used chicken thighs in this recipe which made a huge difference! The coconut lime sauce was similar to a tzatziki sauce, and mixed well with the brown rice. The zucchini was grilled to perfection by Michael, making it a well-rounded and absolutely delicious dinner.

Tuesday- Warm Spring Salad

warm spring salad

This quinoa salad was loaded with vegetables but includes a pop of sweetness from the strawberries. On its own it’s relatively low in protein, but I added a can of chickpeas to increase the protein content. I ate it warm, but I’m sure it would be great served cold too!

Wednesday- Salmon with Southwestern Black Bean Salad

salmon with bean salad

I am obsessed with this black bean salad! It makes a great side for any protein and is super easy and quick to make. This would also be a great salad for lunch because the black beans make it high in protein.

And that’s it! The rest of the week was me going out to dinner and enjoying meals and snacks by the water!

Weekly Meal Plan #5

Happy Easter everyone! Here is a recap of the meals we ate last week. I hope you get some good ideas!

Sunday- Chicken Rollatini with Prosciutto and Asparagus with Sautéed Zucchini and Brown Rice

chicken rollatini side

See the recipe posted last week!

Monday- Greek Turkey Burgers with Side Salad

I was working late on Monday, so we used the very last of the frozen turkey burgers for a quick meal. I promise this is the last time you’ll see them on the blog for a while! I always tell people who are interested in learning how to meal plan efficiently to make recipes or ingredients that you can use for multiple meals. These turkey burgers are an excellent example. I only had to prep them once and they served as dinner 3 times, and lunch once, for me and Michael.

Tuesday- Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki and Mediterranean Orzo Salad

chicken souvlaki

As I’ve said before, I’m a huge fan of Mediterranean flavors as well as Greek yogurt and this recipe combined both! The chicken was very tender and flavorful and paired well with the creamy Greek yogurt tzatziki. I used a recipe for Mediterranean farro salad that I’ve made many times and substituted whole wheat orzo for farro because that’s what I had on hand.

Wednesday- Cobb Salads

cobb salad

There’s nothing I hate more than a boring salad. Cobb salads are typically very indulgent, with plenty of blue cheese, dressing and bacon. I made a healthier version using romaine lettuce, tomato, avocado, scallions, hard-boiled eggs, turkey bacon, and a lightened up blue cheese dressing. I even made the dressing lighter than the recipe called for by taking out the tablespoon of mayo. I never buy it, and didn’t think it would make much of a difference taste-wise, so I left it out.

Thursday- Swiss Chard and Potato Shakshuka

Shakshuka is basically eggs baked in tomato sauce. It works great as a breakfast or as a quick and easy dinner. This shakshuka added peppers, potatoes, and swiss chard to the mix for more veggie power. I added a couple extra eggs to our recipe for more protein.

Friday- Pad Thai

This was attempt number one of a new recipe I’m working on. It turned out good, but still needs a little work. Recipe coming soon (okay probably not soon, but eventually)!

Weekly Meal Plan #4

Sunday- Greek Sheet Pan Chicken Souvlaki and Potatoes

greek

I’m a huge fan of Mediterranean flavors and this one fits the bill. I liked this recipe because it didn’t require a lot of dishes, was easy to prepare, and tasted great! I got some help from my brother, who has always been a picky eater. Besides the sundried tomatoes, he gave this recipe a thumbs up (so you know it’s good).

Monday- Salmon with Mustard Dill Sauce with Asparagus and Brown Rice

salmon with dill sauce

Salmon is good on its own, but this sauce kicked it up a notch. You probably have caught on by now that I use Greek yogurt in everything, this recipe included. It only took a minute to mix together and was sooooo worth it! The brown rice soaked up some of the sauce making it taste even better too.

Tuesday- Buffalo Chicken Tacos

buff chick tacos

For ease of preparation, I made the chicken in the crock pot instead of on the grill and tossed it in some buffalo sauce. The tacos were filled with chicken, romaine lettuce, celery, blue cheese, a Greek yogurt (told you) based dressing. These could also pass as wraps for a more portable option.

Wednesday- Caprese Sandwiches with Strawberry, Almond and Goat Cheese Salad

caprese sandwich

There is no better flavor combination than tomato, mozzarella, and basil. I made mine grilled-cheese style so the mozzarella was warm and melty, but you could also toast the bread and add the tomato and mozzarella after. Drizzle on some balsamic vinegar and olive oil with a sprinkle of salt and pepper to really make the flavors pop. I wanted more than just a garden salad on the side and strawberries have been on sale lately, so this strawberry, almond and goat cheese salad came to life!

Thursday- Greek Turkey Burgers and Salad

I told you these turkey burgers would make another appearance! We used the frozen, leftover patties from last week and the leftover strawberry, almond, and goat cheese salad from the night before, so no extra prep was involved.

Friday- Homemade Margherita Pizza

We were craving homemade pizza on Friday, so I threw together some homemade, whole wheat pizza dough and used the leftover tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil from the caprese sandwiches to top the pizza. Delicious!

Chicken Rollatini with Prosciutto and Asparagus

This chicken dish not only looks fancy, but is simple to put together! With only a handful of ingredients and less than 15 minutes of prep time, this dish is easy to make but sure to impress! Serve with a side of roasted vegetables and brown rice for a complete meal.

Ingredients:

  • 6 chicken cutlets (about 1.25 lbs.)
  • 6 slices prosciutto
  • 1/2 bunch of asparagus
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbls. olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a 9×11 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Combine lemon juice and olive oil in one bowl and panko breadcrumbs in another.
  3. Lay chicken cutlets flat on a clean surface (I used my cutting board). Lay a slice of prosciutto on each cutlet. Place 5 asparagus spears on the edge of each cutlet and roll cutlet until fully wrapped.
  4. Dip cutlets in lemon/oil mixture then coat with breadcrumbs. Place on baking dish.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes until chicken is fully cooked through.

Weekly Meal Plan #3

Sunday- Simple Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Like most families, Sunday dinners at our house are a little more special than the rest of the week. There’s more time to cook, so I’m free to try out more complicated and/or time-consuming recipes. On the menu last week was this simple pasta dish (with a sneaky amount of veggies in the sauce) and roasted cauliflower. The cauliflower was served with whipped goat cheese and feta, made healthier by excluding the cream cheese and replacing the heavy cream with a splash of 1% milk. This is my absolute favorite way to eat cauliflower, and it’s definitely worth the extra time and effort!

Monday- Turkey Burgers with Tomato, Cucumber, and Avocado Salad

t burgs

I’m sure I’ve blogged about these turkey burgers before, but we make them all the time and I always have people asking me for the recipe. I add some fat back into these burgers by using regular feta and the whole egg, which has a ton of vitamins and minerals so there is no need to fear. I actually made a double batch of the recipe and froze half so I’m sure you’ll seeing them again on the blog soon! I served these on a whole wheat bun with tomato, avocado, and the leftover goat cheese and feta dip from the night before. On the side was a simple tomato, avocado, and cucumber salad.

Tuesday- Chicken Taco Chili

taco chili

This is another recipe I’m sure I blogged about before, but I love it so much! I prepped it on Sunday and just had to turn the crock pot on Tuesday morning! I used a mix of chipotle chili powder and regular chili powder, which I think gave it an extra kick because the recipe was much spicier than usual. Spicy food always gives me the hiccups so I toned it down with some plain Greek yogurt.

Wednesday- Steak with Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Beets and Carrots

steak

While I mostly stick to lean protein, I mix red meat in every so often to keep it interesting. I did choose sirloin steak, as meats labeled “round,” “chuck” or “loin” tend to be the leanest cuts. I marinated it the morning of with some lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, olive oil, pepper, and rosemary. Michael made it in the cast iron skillet and prepared the sides which were mashed potatoes mixed with milk and a bit of Earth Balance butter and roasted beets and carrots.

Thursday- Vegan Naan Pizza with Tomato, Cucumber and Avocado Salad

I cannot get enough naan, but needed to branch away from just serving it with curry. When I saw an article about 9 naan pizza recipes, I knew that was the next step. I added some roasted red pepper to the pizza since I had some in the fridge. I also cheated by not sautéing the onions and mushrooms for as long as recommended, but the pizzas still turned out great. The recipe uses nutritional yeast, which I love, instead of cheese. It has a cheesy flavor, but is incredibly nutritious. It is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the amino acids that your body cannot produce on its own, which is very uncommon for non-animal products. It’s also packed with iron, zinc, many B-vitamins, and fiber!

Friday- Take out from by CHLOE

Our plan on Friday was to get sushi delivered by Postmates or another meal delivery app, but this was a huge fail. After taking a few minutes to decide on and place an order, we found that no drivers were available to pick up the order. We tried a few different sushi places on a few different apps with no luck. After 40 minutes of trying to order we switched to plan B which was to try out the new vegan fast-food restaurant in the Seaport, by Chloe. I ended up super happy with plan B! I got the Classic Burger, which is actually made with tempeh, lentils, chia, and walnuts, topped with beet ketchup. On the side I had Kale and Artichoke Dip. Both were delicious! Michael got the Pesto Meatball sandwich and Sweet Potato Fries which he really liked too! I’ll definitely be back to by Chloe!

 

And that was our week! Enjoy your day!

Weekly Meal Plan #2

Sunday- Chickpea Coconut Curry 

chickpea curry

I’ve made this recipe over and over again because it’s so delicious yet so easy. Instead of using shrimp, I used chickpeas which made it even easier (and cheaper!). I served it over brown rice instead of basmati for the whole grains!

Monday-Shrimp and Tilapia Curry with Whole Wheat Naan 

shrimp and tilapia curry

Another curry! Ever since we went to South Africa Michael and I have been curry crazy! This is a recipe from “Cooking for Jeffrey,” the newest Ina Garten cookbook. I didn’t use quite as much butter as the recipe called for, and I substituted tilapia for curry since swordfish is expensive and high in mercury. Instead of serving it with rice, we had it with a side of whole wheat naan because naan is SO GOOD.

Tuesday- Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup 

My mom worked at a Greek restaurant when I was growing up and they had a chicken egg-lemon soup that I loved. This soup was a rift on that, made with whole wheat orzo, homemade vegetable broth, chicken thighs, and fresh vegetables. To make it easier, I had the soup prepped earlier in the week and just reheated it on the stove on Tuesday night!

Wednesday-Jambalaya

We had jambalaya leftover in the freezer from a few weeks back so I took it out to thaw on Sunday, added in some rice, and had it for a portable lunch on Wednesday night!

Thursday- Pina Colada Chicken

IMG_2696

See the recipe!

Friday- Whole Foods Salad

I had to close on Friday night, so I wasn’t home to cook anything. Instead I made a salad from the salad bar at Whole Foods to get a hefty dose of vegetables.

Saturday- Dinner at Amrhein’s

On Saturday Michael and I treated ourselves to dinner at Amrhein’s in South Boston. I had the salmon burger with a side salad and Michael had the lobster mac and cheese.

Piña Colada Chicken

When I first moved to South Boston I frequented a Mexican Place up the hill from my place called Salsa’s. The first time I was there I ordered the Piña Colada Chicken and never looked back. I love the taste of coconut and this dish was the perfect combination of creamy coconut, sweet pineapple, just a touch of spice, and texture from the addition of slivered almonds.  You can imagine how devastated I was when Salsa’s closed its doors for good last year.  Although I’ll never be able to completely mimic the taste of my beloved Piña Colada Chicken (I’m sure it was loaded with fat and sugar anyways), this version is healthy, delicious, and simple to prepare with the help of the crock pot. Serve with brown rice (we added cilantro and lime to ours) and a vegetable for a complete meal.

IMG_2696

Piña Colada Chicken

Ingredients  

  • 1 ½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 can (14 oz.) light coconut milk
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cups diced pineapple
  • 2 gloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup unsweetened, shredded coconut

Directions

  1. Combine chicken thighs, coconut milk, onion, pineapple, garlic, jalapeño, and cilantro in crock pot. Set on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
  2. Once the chicken is done cooking, turn off crock pot and add in lime juice.
  3. To serve, remove chicken and pineapple from crock pot. Spoon the desired amount of sauce on top and sprinkle almonds and coconut on top.

Weekly Meal Plan #1!

The name “What I Ate This Week” was starting to sound very conceited to me, so we are going with another name for now. Anyways, here is the meal plan last week. It is very rare for me to go out to dinner 2 nights in 1 week, but we had a snow day thrown in the mix which threw things off. There were also a disproportionate number of traditional Irish-American meals thrown in because of St. Patrick’s Day. Here’s how the week went:

Sunday: Rosemary Lemon Chicken Thighs with Mashed Potatoes and Pickled Cabbage

Michael actually made most of this dinner since I was working until 6 and then we were rushing to catch a movie at 7:45 (which we missed by the way. It’s okay though because there was an 8:20 showing). We used the recipe linked above but used boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead. The mashed potatoes were made a healthier by using 1% milk and a small amount of Earth Balance “butter”. You are probably thinking that pickled cabbage is a weird choice of a side, but we had a half a head of purple cabbage in the fridge that we seriously needed to get rid of. I love pickling my own vegetables, and they look so beautiful in their jars!

Monday: Shepard’s Pie

I saved some of the mashed potatoes from Sunday night’s meal to top this Shepard’s pie off with, which made it much easier to put together. This served as dinner and lunch for me, Michael, and his co-worker the next day!

shep pie

Tuesday: Out to dinner!

Michael was staying in a hotel Tuesday night because of the snow storm we had in Boston. Since the gym closed early, I was able to join him! I spent the day drinking lattes and doing work in the hotel lobby, enjoying some wine and cheese, and going out for dinner at J.M. Curley’s downtown. I got a grass-fed burger with a side salad and possibly a beer or two.

Wednesday: Brussels Sprout Pizza with Goat Cheese

We decided we wanted to try out Brussels sprout pizza after seeing a Hello Fresh delivery at our friends’ apartment in New York. I love experimenting with pizza toppings and love Brussels sprouts and goat cheese, so this was a perfect new combo to try! As usual, I made a homemade whole wheat pizza crust to serve as the base.

Thursday: Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

As you may recall from my last post, I prepped this meal on Monday so it was ready to throw on the crock pot when I left for work in the morning. Corned beef may not be the healthiest protein choice, but it was paired with plenty of vegetables including parsnips, carrots, onion, and cabbage.

corned beef

Friday: St. Patrick’s Day!

No cooking on Friday. Instead, I was out with some friends drinking Guinness and eating nachos! Balance, my friends.

Saturday: Lasagna

St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Southie is nuts. I had intended on going grocery shopping on Saturday but quickly realized that if I moved my car I wouldn’t be able to find a parking spot until Monday. Luckily, I always keep some pantry staples like jarred tomatoes and pasta in my cabinet! I had some leftover ricotta and mozzarella cheese too so I decided to throw a lasagna together. I didn’t follow any sort of recipe, just layered cooked lasagna noodles with a quick tomato sauce, parmesan/mozzarella cheese, and dollops of reduced fat ricotta and baked for about 45 minutes.

1 Hour of Food Prep

I’m not one to set aside time on Sunday to do food prep for the week. Instead, every time I make dinner I try to utilize the time as best as possible and prep as much food as I can in the time that I have. Earlier this week I decided to document just how much you can accomplish in one hour when you’re focused and have a plan! Full disclosure, I gave myself an hour and 10 minutes to prep all this food so I could take some time to take pictures. Here’s what I prepped:

-I started off browning lean ground beef for shepard’s pie. We were having it for dinner that night and it needed time in the oven to cook, so preparing the beef and vegetables was the top priority. Once the beef was cooked through I set it aside on a plate.

beef

-Next I chopped and sautéed the vegetables for the shepard’s pie. I added the meat, broth, and other ingredients back into the sauté pan and let it simmer for a while.

veggies

-While the vegetables were cooking, I grabbed a gallon bag filled with vegetable scraps to make homemade vegetable broth. I let it simmer for the remainder of the hour.

broth1

-Afterwards, I mixed up some whole wheat Irish soda bread muffins and poured them into muffin tins. They needed to some to bake in the oven so I wanted to make sure they were prepped before I started my next endeavor.

-Once the beef and vegetables were done simmering, I put together the shepard’s pie. We had mashed potatoes the night before so all I needed to do was spray a 9×11 baking dish with cooking spray, spread the meat and vegetable mixture on the bottom, and top with the leftover mashed potatoes. The shepard’s pie and muffins went in the oven at the same time.

shep pie

-Crock pot corned beef and cabbage was on the meal plan this week too (can you sense a pattern…?), so I wanted to get the meat and vegetables ready. That way, I could just throw the crock pot on in the morning and head to work.

crock pot

And that was 1 hour! I was able to make 2 dinners, vegetable broth, and muffins for breakfast throughout the week! Not to mention, both dinners that I prepped were also lunches for the next day!

 

 

What I Ate Last Week #9

I really need to think of a better name for these posts. Ideas? Anyways, here are the meals we ate for dinner last week!

Sunday- Enchilada Casserole

I’ve been making this casserole for a few years now. I usually leave out the tortilla chips because I think it tastes just fine without them. For people looking for a meatless meal option that still includes some protein, this recipe is for you. We had a ton of leftovers, so this ended up being lunch for a few days too!

Monday- Chicken Rollatini with Spinach alla Parmesan with a side salad

chicken rollatini

I love making chicken rollatini because it looks fancy but is actually very simple to make. I had spinach in the fridge that was on its last leg, so cooking it and hiding it in this recipe was a great way to use it up. Even with the spinach incorporated into the rollatini, I needed a little more veggie power so a side salad rounded out the meal.

Tuesday- Clean Eating Fish Tacos

This is typically a recipe I make in the summer, but we had a whole bunch of purple cabbage in the fridge and I knew a slaw would be the easiest way to use some of it up. As you can probably tell, nothing goes to waste in our house! Unlike the famous fish tacos in “I Love You, Man”, the tortillas are not made in house.  I really like Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran, and Whole Wheat Tortillas.

Wednesday- Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Whole wheat pasta is not hard to find, but at the local Stop and Shop there is really only whole wheat ziti and spaghetti. I made a special trip to Wegman’s the weekend before and was delighted to find a large variety of whole wheat pasta available like farfalle and orzo! We had slowly been accumulating the ends of our loafs of bread, which we throw in the freezer to save. To use them up, I made croutons for the pasta salad! Again, never let anything go to waste! This recipe is good for dinner, but would also make a great side to bring to a BBQ once summer rolls around (which can’t be soon enough- I’m typing this as a blizzard is going on outside).

Thursday- Baked Quinoa Chicken Parm

Thursday’s dinner was a breeze because we had quinoa chicken parm in the freezer from when we made it a couple weeks ago! All we had to do was pop it in the oven and enjoy!

 Friday- Veggies Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries

veggie burgers

Veggies burgers are another great meatless meal option. I’m not a huge fan of the frozen veggie burgers you get at the grocery store, but love homemade versions! I served them on top of whole wheat buns and with a side of homemade sweet potato fries