Monday, April 28, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

Somehow I have been so productive today, that it feels like Wednesday already!  Here is my menu plan for the week, and then back to the productivity streak I was on!

Monday (beef)
Breakfast: cranberry orange muffins
Lunch: turkey slices
Dinner: beef burgers, asparagus, strawberries

Tuesday (vegan)
Breakfast: bean and veggie saute
Lunch: beef burgers
Dinner: quinoa pasta with squash sauce and peas

Wednesday (pork)
Breakfast: lemon poppyseed muffins and green smoothie
Lunch: sunbutter and apples
Dinner: crockpot pork roast, roasted beets, peaches

Thursday (fish)
Breakfast: pork sausage and cinnamon roasted butternut squash
Lunch: pork
Dinner: shrimp skewers, buckwheat ramen noodles, green beans, cherries

Friday (turkey)
Breakfast: sweet potato black bean saute
Lunch: veggies and hummus
Dinner: white bean turkey chili, spinach salad with oranges

Saturday (beef)
Breakfast: turkey sausage and potatoes O'Brien
Lunch: turkey corn dogs
Dinner: beef stir fry over quinoa, grilled pineapple

Sunday (vegan)
Breakfast: pancakes with berry reduction
Lunch: sloppy joe
Dinner: lentil soup

Monday, April 21, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

Monday again.  This week brings delightful spring weather and a bouquet of activities to keep us busy.  Lots of easy meals this week!

Monday (fish)
Breakfast: pork sausage, pancakes
Lunch: ham
Dinner: salmon, grilled asparagus, mandarin oranges

Tuesday (turkey)
Breakfast: bean and veggie saute
Lunch: salmon salad
Dinner: turkey meatloaf, peas, roasted sweet potatoes

Wednesday (beef)
Breakfast: turkey sausage and biscuit sandwich, green smoothie
Lunch: meatloaf
Dinner: irish cottage pie, peaches

Thursday (vegan)
Breakfast: cream of buckwheat cereal
Lunch: beef dogs
Dinner: pizza, spinach salad with balsamic berries

Friday (pork)
Breakfast: baked apples and quinoa granola, smoothie
Lunch: sunbutter and jelly sandwiches
Dinner: pork basil burgers, carrot salad, green beans with caramelized shallots

Saturday (fish)
Breakfast: bacon, herb roasted potatoes with onion and peppers
Lunch: pepperoni rolls
Dinner: crispy baked lemon cod, coleslaw, berries

Sunday (turkey)
Breakfast: apple carrot muffins
Lunch: on your own
Dinner: turkey enchiladas, corn cake, broccoli, applesauce

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Potato Leek Soup with White Beans

Spring weather is so fickle!  In Ohio, we can be wearing shorts one day and have snow the next.  It's a great time to embrace warming soups that use fresh spring produce.  This week the grocery had wonderful looking leeks, which are not in the menu plan, but called to me regardless.  This recipe is a great way to use those garden fresh leeks, with white beans and lentils added in to make it hearty enough to be a satisfying main dish on a vegan night.

Potato Leek Soup with White Beans

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 large leeks, white and light green parts only
1 stalk celery, chopped
3 large carrots, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp himalayan pink sea salt, coarse kosher salt, or herbamare
4-5 yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2" thick half moons (4-5 cups)
6-8 red potatoes, cut into 1/2" thick half moons (4-5 cups)
1 can navy beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 c red lentils, rinsed
6 c vegetable broth
1/2 c white wine (I use moscato! It adds a hint of sweet the kids like.)
black pepper to taste

Trim the dark green tops and roots from the leeks and toss them in the garden to compost.  Slice the remaining leeks in half lengthwise and rinse.  Cut crosswise into 1/4" thick half moons.  Heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a heavy bottomed soup pot.  Add leeks, celery, carrots, minced garlic, and salt.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are softened and lightly browned, about 7-10 minutes.

While the leeks are cooking, cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and then slice into 1/2" thick half moons.  Remember to give the leeks an occasional stir!

Add the vegetable broth, wine, potatoes, beans and lentils to the softened leeks.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cover.  Cook until the potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Puree soup to desired consistency with immersion blender.  (I like to leave it a bit chunky.)  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm with salad and berries for a colorful meal.


If you are able to have dairy, add in 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and 1/2 c whole milk after blending, and stir to melt.

To add a bit of extra creaminess for dairy free folks, stir in 1/2 cup of your favorite dairy free milk after removing from heat.  Blend to desired texture.

If you are lucky enough to have children who do not boycott any dish with rosemary, add 1 tsp of rosemary with the vegetable broth.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Menu Plan

Starting the week off with a menu plan really goes a long way to reducing mealtime stress the rest of the week.  I know that when I grocery shop, I will shop more efficiently because I know what ingredients I need, and I know that I won't be staring into the fridge playing a rousing game of "What should I make tonight?" while hungry kiddos collapse around me.  Win win win.  I always start the week by menu planning on Monday, making a grocery list as I go.  Grocery shopping is on Tuesday for me, setting me up for success for the week.

Monday (vegan)
Breakfast: cranberry orange muffins
Lunch: beef burgers, grilled veggies, fruit salad
Dinner: lentil sniffle soup, spinach salad with balsamic berries, rosemary cornbread

Tuesday (pork)
Breakfast: cream of buckwheat
Lunch: sniffle soup
Dinner: crock pot pulled pork, peas, spiced peaches

Wednesday (fish)
Breakfast: pork sausage, roasted sweet potatoes
Lunch: pulled pork OR lettuce ham wrap
Dinner: pan seared cod with cilantro vinaigrette, roasted cauliflower and carrots, strawberries

Thursday (turkey)
Breakfast: zucchini muffins and green smoothie
Lunch: sunbutter and jelly sandwich
Dinner: herb roasted turkey breast, green beans with caramelized shallots, stovetop apples

Friday (beef)
Breakfast: turkey sausage, harvest saute
Lunch: lettuce turkey wrap
Dinner: pepper steak stir-fry over quinoa, cherry applesauce

Saturday (vegan)
Breakfast: sunbutter muffins
Lunch: beef burgers
Dinner: ratatouille over quinoa pasta, peas

Sunday (pork)
Breakfast: cinnamon rolls
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: ham, herb roasted potatoes, orange peel broccoli

As always, the protein source is what our rotation diet is planned around.  Protein starts at dinner, and wraps around to breakfast and lunch the following day.  All fruits and veggies are subject to change depending on what is available at the market, and what the weekly specials are, but those will be loosely rotated as well.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Cookies for everyone! (Except you.)

My third grader came home from school and told me:

"Hey Mom, Mrs. Jones gave everyone 4 cookies today at school for testing.  Except me because I can't have them.  So she let me pick from the treasure box and I got this."  (She shows me 4 random pieces of candy from the treasure box.)

I'm so sad about this.  It is a heavy weight.

My daughter does not eat wheat or gluten.  She is not celiac, and she is not allergic.  We have found that eating wheat causes her to be overly emotional and angry, in a way that she can not control.  It's something that makes us all pretty unhappy when it's happening.  Because it is a personal preference with no medical documentation to support us, I do not ask for a documented classroom accommodation.  I simply speak with each teacher and explain the situation. (My older daughter has allergies, and we know how to ask for accommodations.)

It makes me sad that the teacher chose to bring in a treat to share with the class that she knew would exclude one child.  It makes me sad that it happens frequently.  Gluten free treats are so easily come by these days, it takes very little extra effort to include my daughter.  Or to use a non-food treat.

I could use a pep talk right now.  Send me a little hope that the world is compassionate.  That there are people out there who understand how big of an emotional impact it takes to be constantly excluded from the classroom celebrations and treats, to be different.  Other than this tendency, the teacher really does seem fabulous...

But today.  Today it's feeling pretty overwhelming to confront one more time my kiddo was excluded from the group.  Because I know how sensitive she is to it, and how upsetting it is to her...

So. How about that pep talk?