Weekly Meals

Weekly Menu Planning

March 19, 2012

How was everyone’s weekend? Did you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? I usually don’t go all out with this holiday, however we were invited over for dinner that night and I decided to get creative and bring a green dish. I made deviled eggs, tinted green, along with some green veggies and my new favourite brownie recipe, with some drizzled white chocolate, also tinted green on top. It was really good, and the Canucks won that night. Win-win.

A green smoothie also made an appearance. My current fav. Almond milk, ice, spinach, banana. Blend well.

So here we are again, another Monday. I’m counting down the minutes until class is over, and I’m starving. I had some overnight oats for breakfast, first time trying them. I can’t decide if I love them yet, but they aren’t bad. I’ll try them again with different flavour combos.

I had to have an early lunch because I was heading up to the university early to get work done on a presentation, so I had a small bowl of leftover Turkey, Black Bean & Sweet potato Chili.

I had seen this recipe quite a few times and never thought about adding sweet potatoes/yam to chili ( still not sure which term is correct for that vegetable! ). It was really quite simple, I went with my usual throw together recipe, I just browned some ground turkey with onion, added my regular veggies (mushrooms, red peppers, celery etc) a can of rinsed & drained black beans, and chopped up a medium sized yam/sweet potato along with two cans of pureed plum tomatoes. I let it sit for about an hour simmering until the potatoes were cooked and the veggies tender. Adam and I both really liked this! The sweet potato/yam with the chli spices was really delicious and it was really hearty. Packed with veggies and nutrients. We both had leftovers for lunch today.

Now, it’s 5 pm and I’m starving. I only brought a couple peach cups with me for a snack and regret not bringing a small bag of granola I made last night (supposed to be granola bars..but turned out more like granola. Still tastes good!) My class is four hours long so I get a little hungry in the middle.

Lately I’ve been trying to plan ahead meals for the week. I’ve seen many other blogs create templates or give tips on meal planning and grocery shopping. When it comes to grocery shopping I usually get the same things every time, aside from special/specific ingredients for a meal I know I’ll want to make. Sometime’s I’ll make whatever we feel like, but this way is much more structured.

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Every time we shop its mostly veggies, fruit, lunch meat for Adam’s sandwiches, cereal and milk (for Adam) and other staples we might need like Almond milk for me. I think we’ve (read: I ) have only ever bought one package of frozen pizzas since I moved in. I do 90% of the grocery shopping, since I do 100% of the cooking. I never buy frozen meals mainly because I love to cook and its easy to buy fresh. We really never venture into the frozen foods aisle, I can’t eat ice cream due to an allergy so the dessert section is also out, and we don’t buy many chips or packaged snacks aside from crackers for Adam (he loves Cheeze-its). Neither of us drink Pop, aside from carbonated water.   I mentioned before that we’ve never ordered in. Ever. No take out menus here. The only thing we will pick up is Sushi, as I can’t make it, and it’s cheaper to buy it than all the ingredients you need to make it yourself. And it tastes better! We also never get fast food, no drive-thrus (aside from a burger in a food court for Adam occasionally, and Tim Horton’s snack wraps in the summer on a long drive). We hardly ever eat out, both because I like to cook and also we don’t have lots of money to spend eating out as we are both students right now. If we want pizza for dinner, I’ll make the dough and we’ll make our own pizzas. Cheaper than ordering in, and healthier. Also, it’s delicious ;)

On night’s that I don’t feel like cooking, which is rare but it happens, Adam will open up a can of soup, make a grilled cheese sandwich, a salad or something else that doesn’t really require much ‘cooking.’ He’s the dishwasher of our relationship, I’m the cook. It works for us and I think we’re both pretty happy. Adam gets delicious food, I don’t have to worry about the usually large mess that I leave behind me once dinner is ready. (I’m a messy cook!) I don’t love doing the dishes, and Adam really doesn’t like to cook, aside from grilling.

(Plus, he’s a cute helper!)

I’m not saying buying pre-made food is bad, and if you really don’t have the time or love of cooking I completely understand. I however really do love cooking and looking up recipes and meal planning so I choose to make most of our meals from scratch.

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I’m trying to plan each week’s meals so that for one, we don’t have to figure it out last minute, and two we can plan ahead and change it up a bit instead of having the same three or four options every week. Some days, like Monday’s, Adam is home before me and can take out ingredients we need if they need to thaw or cook for a little while before I get home. With both of us in school, most nights and weekends are filled with homework, studying and writing essays. It’s nice to plan out meals one day each week, leaving the rest of the time free instead of answering the old question of..

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It’s also a good way to make sure you’re getting a variety of veggies, meats and seafood each week.

So here is the potential meal plan for this week including links to the recipes I’ll be making:

Monday:

One-pan roasted chicken breasts with veggies and potatoes along with salad

Tuesday:

Spinach pesto pasta 
(this is actually a recipe for spinach pesto pizza, but I used the pesto sauce for pasta after seeing other spinach pesto pasta recipes, and this one was really good!)

Wednesday:

Ribollita Soup
(as per Adam’s request!)

Thursday:

Shrimp stir fry with rice noodles

Friday:

Homemade Turkey Burgers
(
these are so good!! Moist and super easy to make)

 

So, do you meal plan? Do you use an online program or template? 

If you don’t meal plan, do you think you might start?

Life

A-Z

March 16, 2012

As I was typing this I wondered how people pronounce the letter ‘Z’? I say, ‘Zee,’ while others might say ‘Zed.’ I think it’s a Canadian/American thing? How do you pronounce it?

Today I got out of class early, and decided instead of going home I would meet Adam after his class at the mall, his school is close to Metropolis at Metrotown. So istead of taking the skytrain home, I took it to the mall. We shopped around for a bit, but left empy handed. I had my eye on a dress from Zara for Easter, but wasn’t sure.

This afternoon the weather turned for the better. It has been quite sunny! I hope it sticks around for the rest of the weekend.

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s day, but I don’t really get into celebrating it. Do you? My mom is a red head! Does that count? haha.

Here is another fun little survery circulating the web that was made from Janetha at Meals & Moves that I thought would be fun for a Friday afternoon!

Have a great weekend!

A is for age: 23

B is for breakfast today: Bowl of Rice Krispies.. getting old.

C is for currently craving: Dinner.

D is for dinner tonight: Leftover vegetable lasagna! I was in a pasta mood yesterday, so I made the sheets and felt like we both needed a good dose of veggies. Pasta is always even better the next day.

E is for favorite type of exercise: Running. Dancing! I really want to get into Zumba, after dancing for most of my life I need something to get my moving again!

F is for an irrational fear: Drowning. I hardly ever go swimming in an ocean, but my worst fear would be drowning, specifically while scuba diving. I don’t think I will ever be able to scuba dive. I would FREAK out!!

G is for gross food: I grew up having to eat basically whatever was placed in front of me (Adam however did not! You can read about it here). I’ve eaten chicken hearts, lambs brain.. other random things. Italian’s like their food, and my Nonna can make pretty much anything taste delicious. I probably can eat just about anything. I would not however eat Fois Grois. I just can’t stomach the thought of it. But most common everyday foods I will probably eat most of.

H is for hometown: A very small town outside of Vancouver – Near the ferries

I is for something important: Family

(mom, brother, me)

 

J is for current favorite jam: Rhianna and Drake – Take Care, or Glad you Came by The Wanted

K is for kids: None yet! But Someday =)

L is for current location: My living room ;)

M is for the most recent way you spent money: Groceries. We needed them.

N is for something you need: A new camera! Soon…

O is for occupation: Student! Becoming a teacher :)

P is for pet peeve: When Adam doesn’t turn off lights ;) I inherited this from my dad. I remember he would turn lights off in our rooms, even when we were in them lol. Now if we are in the living room and I see the kitchen light on or the bathroom light I have to go turn them off.

Q is for a quote:

R is for random fact about you: I was an extra in a Megan Fox movie, Jennifer’s body. my 15 minutes of fame. You can see me as a cheerleader in the very beginning of the film snapping my fingers and acting all peppy! I also cannot wink for the life of me.

Me behind Megan’s right shoulder!

My friend and  I in our costumes. They were not flattering lol

S is for favorite healthy snack: Green smoothie, Raw Vegan Almond & Date protein balls

 

T is for favorite treat: Anything Chocolate, right now Nutella spread on a Rice Cake. Yum.

U is for something that makes you unique: Hmm that’s a tough one!!

V is for favorite vegetable: It’s a toss up.. Yams/Brussel Sprouts.. Zucchini..tomatoes.. could not live without tomatoes.

W is for today’s workout: Going to the gym tonight! Treadmill, eliptical, weights

X is for X-rays you’ve had: Hmm.. Never broken a bone! (oh, I guess that’s unique?!) haha. But I have had a few ultrasounds on my Kidneys from when I had a kidney stone. Not fun.

Y is for yesterday’s highlight: Spending time with my mom for the afternoon after she got back from her trip to Cuba.

(Valentine’s Day!)

Z is for your time zone: Pacific Standard Time!

Have a great weekend!!

Join the fun and re-post! Or choose a couple and answer below :)

WIAW

WIAW: Week 2, Italian style

March 14, 2012

Late post today! But here is my second week of WIAW. This time, the Italian edition.

For the past year I have been volunteering each week at an Elementary school in preparation for my application to the Teaching Program. I hope to start it in September. It has been a great experience working in the classroom and getting to know all of the students. I was in a grade three classroom for the end of last year and since September of the beginning of this school year. It was fun to help them with their work, marking assignments and corrections, teaching them cursive and new math skills. The kids were all very sweet and it was sad to say goodbye yesterday, my last day, as it was the last Tuesday before their Spring Break, and when they return I will begin my final exams and projects. I would defininitely vist them again, as Adam’s cousin is also a teacher at the school! Bonus. I would love to get a teaching job in the same district.

The children surprised me with a giant thank you card. It was so sweet! I will definitely miss them too.

I did not spell check these haha- and apparently they still need a little help with their spelling ;)

And apparently I am also married according to some of them ;)

From Peas and Crayons!

Breakfast was early Tuesday. Thanks to Daylight Savings time. My 7 am wake up, was more like a 6 am wake up. Not cool. The usual, Rice Krispies with Almond milk – as per my allergy diet.

The school is in my hometown, where I lived before I moved in with Adam, and where my brother and Nonna still live. So, every Tuesday I see my Nonna for a visit or lunch, or dinner. Depending on when I make it to her house, and my schedule in the classrooms. Yesterday was lunch.

When I’m at Nonna’s, I tend to throw the allergy-diet out the window. I just can’t say no.

First course, Pasta. My Nonna said she sauteed peas in oil, with artichokes and garlic, and then poured it over the pasta. It was so light and delicious. I love oil, all kinds, and this was simply delicious.

Second course was Salad, a simple oil and homemade red wine vinegar. Note the homemade white wine also. It was noon. Nonna likes a little vino with lunch.

There was also tomato, I can assume only freshly picked from Joe’s extensive vegetable garden (her live in boyfriend/companion since my Nonno is no longer with us) Joe also makes the red wine vinegar and wine. Topped with fresh mozzarella, bocconcini with basil and more delicious oil.

I ate these by themselves and atop some crackers. I probably ate about three, before being told to “eat more!” and to “finish, finish.” Thus, I ended up eating about half of the plate of cheese and tomatoes. I was fine with that.

Dinner was the usual right now, yam/sweet potato topped with black beans, goat cheese and cranberry sauce with lettuce drizzled with oilve oil, and a non-appealing looking piece of chicken breast. The yam was the best part.

Do you participate in WIAW? 

Did you eat anything delicious yesterday??