Meal Planning: May 26th – June 1st

I am still a little behind in getting my meal plans up before the week starts. This weeks excuse was it was Memorial Day weekend and we had family in town 🙂

Quick weekend summary: It was a busy fun weekend with the hubby’s family. On Friday evening, we went on an electric boat. For two hours we cruised around Lake Union. Afterwards, we grabbed a happy hour dinner at Ivar’s Salmon House. I hadn’t been there since they finished remodeling. The bar area has definitely been improved. And, the food was way better than I remembered! Saturday we all headed over to Bainbridge Island for a day of exploring the downtown area and beer/whiskey/vodka/wine tasting! While there, we had a great lunch on the deck of The Harbour Public House. This spot had a great view all the way back to downtown Seattle. Saturday evening we had a pizza dinner in as we were all exhausted from our Island adventure. That night, the Mr and I sneaked away from the family to celebrate my good friend Morgan’s 30th birthday! On Sunday, we met for brunch at Serious Biscuit in South Lake Union (give it an ok rating) and then went to the Mariner’s game. That evening, the East Side Pieps grilled steaks for the family and we played a few games of Apple’s to Apple’s. Yesterday, the Mr. and I played golf (I only did 9 as I had plans with some girlfriends) and then had a quiet evening at home!

Here is a list of the meals I have planned for this week. Trying to keep it simple as I feel like our overall quiet week could change to be a busy one! Hope you are all well!

Weekly Meals: May 26th – June 1st

Sunday: Out

Monday: Spanish Spaghetti with Olives and green salad

Tuesday: Rice & Bean Bowl (Black Beans and rice with ground turkey, avocado, red onion, red peppers and cilantro)

Wednesday: Leftovers / Quick Creation (the Mr. has roommate night so I am on my own)

Thursday: Thai Peanut Soba Noodles (did not end up making this last week, so will this week as I have all the ingredients)

Friday: Out – Dinner with the Ochiltrees!

Saturday: Out – we have 3 birthday parties and a farewell party between 5pm and 10pm…goal is to make all 🙂

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BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad

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BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad (slightly adapted from What’s Gaby Cooking)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 can sweet corn, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cup chicken breast, shredded and tossed in BBQ sauce (amount up to you!)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • BBQ sauce for drizzling on top
  • 2 – 3 scallions, chopped

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Directions:

In a large bowl, toss chicken and BBQ sauce. Then add quinoa, corn, black beans, tomato, black olives, scallions and avocado. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture into serving bowls and drizzle BBQ sauce over top. Then top with shredded cheese (it also recommends cilantro which I totally forgot to do but would definitely be a good addition). Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Results: AMAZING…definitely making this one again 🙂

Enjoy!!!

Meal Planning: March 3rd – March 9th

Overall this last weeks meals went OK. On Wednesday I really didn’t feel like cooking so instead I made nachos (I just wanted something easy..not health, but sure tasted good!). As a result, I delayed the Skillet Eggplant Parmigiano and made it last night and totally postponed the Turkish Eggplant and Farro until this coming week (still have 2 eggplants I need to use!!!).

This coming week will be the week of the crock-pot. I have a goal to clean out some stuff from our freezer (as usual out of control). And, what better way than to cook it in the crock-pot!

Yay for Friday! Hope everyone has a great day/weekend. So looking forward to this weekend.

Weekly Meals: March 3rd – March 9th

Sunday: Turkish Eggplant & Farro (or Quinoa) and Beet Salad with Feta

Monday: Crock-pot Sesame Honey Chicken (from Skinnytaste)

Tuesday: Braised Coconut Spinach & Chickpeas with Lemon

 Wednesday: Crock-Pot Flank Steak Fajitas (keep saying I am going to do this and haven’t…this is going to be the week)

Thursday: Crock-pot Pork and Green Chili Stew (from Skinnytaste)

Friday: Out (Dinner at the Ingle’s! I am in charge of dessert, still searching for something to make. So looking forward to the Chicken Saltimboca Jessica is planning to make!)

Saturday: Out / Pesto Pasta Salad / Leftovers – will have to see what we end up doing that day…may not be around to cook 🙂

Walnut Tacos with Cashew “Sour Cream”

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At the Superbowl party we attended two weekends ago our friend made Walnut Tacos. Yes, I know it sounds weird, but man were they good. Trust me…you would never know you weren’t eating a real taco 🙂

Anyhow, for the family birthday party this past weekend, I was asked to bring an appetizer. Instantly, I knew I had to make these tacos myself and bring them to share with my family. At first I got a few odd looks but once they each took a bite they were all (well most) pleased and really liked them 🙂 I couldn’t make the tacos fast enough. Absolutely no leftovers. Highly recommend giving these a try if you are looking for an appetizer or a light dinner! Enjoy!

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Walnut Tacos with Cashew “Sour Cream” (from Shape)

Taco Ingredients:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon chipotle pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Bibb Lettuce or Romain Hearts

Taco Directions:

Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse just to mix. Don’t over-blend. To serve, put a few spoonfuls of the filling on lettuce leaves. Top with Cashew sour cream (recipe below) and your favorite salsa.

“Sour Cream” Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cups cashews
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 5-8 teaspoons water

“Sour Cream” Directions:

Put all ingredients except water in a food processor and blend, adding water one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken

This week has been absolutely exhausting! Thank goodness it is the weekend! I was good this week and followed through on all the planned meals. Guess as it was only three, it wasn’t hard 🙂 All three recipes were a big success. I absolutely LOVED the BBQ Chicken Chickpea Chopped Salad. It was so easy and so, so, so tasty. Even worked great for lunch the next day! This one is definitely a keeper to use again! Will share this one soon. Too good not too. The crock-pot jambalaya turned out amazing and was perfect for a Saturday night in. It made a ton and will work great for a day or two of lunches! The Mr. highly approved of this one!

On Thursday night I made the spaghetti squash boats with chicken and they turned out delicious. Both the Mr. and I enjoyed them. They did take a little longer than expected (wonder if my squash wasn’t quite ripe enough) but once we were able to eat them, the wait totally seemed worth it! Based on the ingredients I had, I did change the recipe up a little bit, but overall, I followed it fairly closely. Highly recommend trying this one out! Only changes I would make are: 1) add a little extra marinara sauce, 2) add fresh basil at the end, and 3) not forget to add garlic.

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Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken (adapted from Skinnytaste)

Ingredients:

  • 1 small/medium spaghetti squash
  • salt and fresh pepper, to taste
  • 1 chicken breast (boneless & skinless)
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 3 artichoke hearts, canned & chopped
  • 3 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • 2 tablespoons reduced fat ricotta cheese
  • Garlic (fresh or powder)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and fibers with a spoon. Place on a baking sheet, cut side up and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast about an hour to hour and a half. Meanwhile, boil chicken breast for approximately 15 minutes (or until cooked through). Once cooked, shred chicken and set aside.

Remove the spaghetti squash from the oven and carefully “fluff” the spaghetti-like strands on each half with a fork, leaving the squash in the shell. Season with salt and pepper. Top each half with the artichoke hearts and ricotta, followed by the shredded chicken. Then spoon about 1/2 cup marinara (with added garlic) in each boat. Lastly, top each with cheese and place back into the oven and cook until the cheese is melted and the sauce is hot, 10-12 minutes.

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To go with our dinner I made a simple arugula salad. I used about 3 cups arugula (2 good handfuls), a cup of sliced cherry tomatoes, crumbled blue cheese (probably 1/8th of a cup) and 2 tablespoons or so of chopped pecans. I then added a teaspoon of good olive oil and topped it all by a tablespoon or so of balsamic glaze. Such a simple salad but super tasty!

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Hope you all have a great your weekend!

Enjoy!

Meal Planning: February 3rd – February 9th

I am so, so, so far behind on posting about meals I have made lately. I have plenty of good ones to share (especially since I have been meal planning) but I just haven’t found the time to write-up the recipes I use and share pictures! I am amazed by those who can post daily. It is such a commitment. Maybe when work slows down and I am not so tired at night 🙂

Here are this weeks meals. Looking forward to them. Been wanting to try these recipes for a while!

Weekly Meals: February 3rd – February 9th

Sunday: Superbowl Party (lots of finger foods) – I made Chicken Curry Wontons (always a crowd pleaser)

Monday: Chicken Chickpea Chopped Salad (Dinner) and Butternut Squash Soup with Apples (for rest of week lunches/leftovers)

Tuesday: Out to Tavern Law to Celebrate the hubby’s 31st Birthday!

Wednesday: Crock Pot Jambalaya (possibly cook on Saturday – depending if hubby has Poker night. If so I will make to feed the boys, if not save till later in the week as I am out with Megan on Wednesday)

Thursday: Baked Spaghetti Squash Chicken Parmesan (from Skinnytaste)

Friday: Out (will be up north celebrating Miss Campbell’s birthday)

Saturday: Leftovers (or Jambalaya)

This past weekend the hubby and I spent some quality time together 🙂 We originally were supposed to be in Whistler with family/friends, however, that trip sadly had to get cancelled. Instead, I surprised (well kind of) the Mr. with an overnight trip on Friday to the Salish Lodge in Snoqualmie and then a massage and pedicure on Saturday! The Salish Lodge was awesome. We got there Friday evening and went to one of their restaurants (the Attic) for dinner. Then enjoyed wine and a fire in our room. Saturday morning we were super lazy and enjoyed reading in bed for several hours. Sadly we didn’t get to see the falls as it was SUPER foggy 😦 The Mr. had never had a massage or pedicure so as part of our adventure I booked us both at InSpa in Issaquah (had a few gift certificates from a wedding gift). I think he enjoyed it but not sure he thought it was worth the money! 🙂 Oh well, I will continue to go and enjoy them.

Hope everyone had nice weekends! Happy Monday!

2013 Goal: Learn to Grocery Shop Better And Smarter

One thing I have to say I am really, really, really bad at (yes it deserves 3) is grocery shopping. I am not afraid to admit it, but I do have to say that it does always surprise me. For someone who loves to cook and enjoys grocery shopping I am horribleSorry mom, but I think I got my badness from you 🙂 I can manage to go to the store, buy plenty, but then have nothing to make…or I have the same staples every time so I am only able able to make the same things over and over which absolutely bores me!

In order to train myself, I have set a goal for 2013. My goal is to LEARN TO GROCERY SHOP BETTER & SMARTER. In order to meet this goal, I have decided that I need to meal plan. This is something I have never done. Not only will this help me shop better, but this will also help me hopefully spend less (not buy things we don’t need) and eat healthier as I will think out our meals ahead of time. A good friend of mine (yes you Jessica) has been doing it for a while now and based on her blogging, it really seems to be working for her and what she is trying to achieve, so I am totally encouraged now to try it!

I do worry about my ability to succeed at this goal as we have a very busy schedule. However, as we are really good at keeping our calendars up to date, I think it will be OK as this will allow me to properly plan. Also, I know unexpected things will come up (like Tuesday night I ended up being at work until 7:30pm so my plan for that night got postponed and the hubby made chicken tacos for us) but overall I really think it will be good and will work!

Additionally, the Mr. has challenged me to actually use my cookbooks 🙂 Yes, this is something else I am bad at. I LOVE cookbooks. Like I am obsessed with them. I love to look at them, and mark recipes I want to try, however, when it comes time to needing a recipe, I rarely look to them as it is so much easier to search online or look on Pinterest! So, in 2013, I have been challenged to make a meal from a recipe in one of my cookbook or magazines (yes I get a lot of those too) each week.

So for this week (1/6 – 1/12), here is what the plan is/has been:

Sunday: Veggie and Tofu Stir-Fry (from Cooking Light)

Monday: Salmon Florentine with Quinoa Pilaf (from Self Magazine)

Tuesday: Chicken Tacos (made by the hubby)

Wednesday: Bean & Barley Soup (from Eating Well Magazine)

Thursday: I had book club so the hubby was on his own…I am guessing he had PB&J?

Friday: Shrimp Fried Rice (from Eating Well Magazine)

Saturday: Leftovers or eat out

As we go, I will definitely plan to share recipes with you all! I probably won’t provide links until I actually write about them that way they are easier to reference.

I was a little behind getting this post done but for week 1 as it is now Friday, I think it worked really well. It was really nice to go home and know what my plan was for the evening instead of getting home and blankly staring at the fridge to figure something out! Week 1 done (assuming I follow through and cook tonight), now to come up with Week 2’s menu 🙂

Hope you are all having a great day! Although it is freezing out it is absolutely gorgeous out! My view is AMAZING today. Clear view of the Olympics. Have a great weekend! Will be back with at least one of the recipes I made this week hopefully soon.