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.
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.
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..
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:
One-pan roasted chicken breasts with veggies and potatoes along with salad
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!)
(as per Adam’s request!)
Shrimp stir fry with rice noodles
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?