March 29, 2013

Week 13 – Plan to Not Plan

Printable Version of Meal Plan and Grocery List

I know it sounds funny... or maybe lazy, but I did actually plan to not plan this week.  Or at least to not over plan.  As I was doing up the menu I went to the fridge and it appeared full, the freezer was overflowing with frozen fruit and vegetables and my sister, who recently had to switch her family to a gluten free diet, dropped off grocery bags full of pantry staples. So I headed out with a loose plan figuring it was one of those weeks I could likely pull something together with what I had.  Not the most exotic week of meals but it kept some things out of the green bin and wasn’t too bad on the pocket book either.

Recipe Quick Links:

Before I jump into the week in review I want to share a funny picture… Marin’s been in ‘chef’ mode lately, always wanting to make her own breakfast, snacks, etc… This is what she came up with for dessert one night last week.  We had it with a scoop of ice cream and minus the carrot, it was actually really good!


Week in Review

Sunday – Sunday’s supper was the ultimate convenience meal… Costco pizza and a Caesar salad.  The Caesar deserves a little attention here – Costco had a bag of mixed greens I hadn’t seen before but it included kale so I had to buy it.   As luck would have it croutons were on sale as well and I had a lemon in the fridge.  Years ago a friend gave me a recipe for a homemade Caesar dressing and I haven’t bought a bottle since.  Mixed greens, awesome croutons and a homemade creamy salad dressing – yum!

Caesar Dressing – mix well 1cup of mayonnaise,  2 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese, 1 Tbsp Lemon juice, 1 clove garlic (minced) and just a little milk.  The milk is to thin it out and give it the consistency you want, so base amount on preference.  I scale this recipe back depending on the size of salad we’re having.

Monday – Lunch was Sunday’s leftovers – so for under $20 we got supper and lunch.  Not bad for a takeout-ish meal.  Supper was my knock off “Shake n Bake” chicken. And I lucked out on sales again – broccoli and cheese were both on sale and I’ve been wanting to make these broccoli and cheese patties again.  As a bonus these can be prepped ahead so they make an easy weeknight meal.

Breaded Chicken

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ c Italian style bread crumbs (or regular with seasoning of choice)
  • ¼ c Parmesan cheese
  • 4 chicken cutlets (2 boneless skinless breasts cut lengthwise)
  • Coconut oil (If baking, spray with olive oil)

1) Place egg in one bowl. Mix bread crumbs and parmesan in second bowl. 2) Dip chicken in egg and then in bread crumb mixture, coat well. 3) If frying, heat oil in skillet and fry chicken until coating is golden and crispy and chicken is cooked through.  If baking, bake at 425 for about 20min.

Tuesday – My sister has been making this Pad Thai regularly since I included it in Week 1.  I threw it in this week because I had a block of tofu that needing eating.  I typically use vermicelli in this recipe but that same sister is the one who dropped off bags of pasta so I used linguini instead and it worked fine. 

Tofu Pad Thai (slightly modified from Crazy Plates cookbook)

Cook vermicelli noodles according to package. Drain and rinse in cold water.

Sauce – combine the following ingredients and set aside.
  • ¼ c Ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp each soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
Heat 1 tsp sesame oil in skillet and add the following, cooking until tofu is browned
  • 1 package cubed firm tofu
  • 1 package coleslaw mix (I like the broccoli mix too)
  • ½ small red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
Add sauce and bring to boil. Stir in noodles. Serve and top with fresh cilantro, green onion, chopped peanuts and a wedge of lime.

The plan for supper was a meatloaf but I felt like something quicker when I got home.  So I ended up just browning the beef with carrots, celery and onion and little soy sauce and served it with a side of basmati.  This meal was fine but this was a package of ground beef I bought at the local farmers market a couple of weeks ago and I was a little regretful I didn’t do something more special with it. 

Wednesday – Lunch was Pad Thai, take 2.  Supper was interesting and I can’t decide if I liked it.  I’ve had spaghetti squash on my mind lately and this recipe (Southwestern Stuffed Spaghetti Squash) appealed to me because it called for cilantro, which I needed for the Pad Thai as well.  We typically love anything remotely Mexican but this wasn’t something we were raving about as we ate it.  But… it was light and left us pleasantly full and sitting here typing about it is making me want a serving!  A few things I would suggest – careful with the jalapenos, I used jarred and it was HOT!!  It was the cheesy bites I really liked so I’d suggest mixing half the cheese in with the filling before stuffing the shells.  And we had it with some diced avocado which was good.

Thursday – one big plus for the stuffed spaghetti squash – leftovers for lunch, and actually better the next day I think.  Supper was going to be a beet and goat cheese salad but as I stood in the produce section, beets in hand, I was thinking ‘do we really need these or can I come up with something else?’  In the end I left the beets and we had goat cheese omelettes with a salad made with that kale lettuce mix from Costco.  Good and used up lots of our fresh ingredients.


Friday – Marin made my breakfast – a bowl of cereal.  It was perfect!  She also coordinated snack – she picked an apple, almonds, coconut and soda crackers.  I went a step further and mixed almond butter with maple syrup and the coconut to have as a spread for the apple.  This was so good!  I’m going to do this up as apple sandwiches for work snacks next week – delicious!   Lunch was Annie’s Organic Mac & Cheese with nutritional yeast flakes and raw veggies.  My plan for supper was fish and coleslaw… nothing more specific than that.  I did a Google search this afternoon for pan-fried haddock and coleslaw and both times came up with Chef Michael Smith recipes.  I’m a huge fan, I watched countless episodes of Chef at Home while on maternity leave and own one of his cookbooks.  His recipes never disappoint!  This Pan Fried Whitefish and Coleslaw with boiled potatoes made an excellent meal!
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Then we had strawberry shortcake with whole wheat tea biscuits… mmm… it was a Good Friday!Well... minus the 4 year olds bath time meltdown, but that’s for another blog.  

Happy Easter everyone!

1 comment:

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