Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Monday, February 7, 2011

Meal Plan

I'm still not sure if I want to do this before or after the week the menu is for... Makes sense to do it before b/c it's about the whole planning part, but in our house, things don't always go as planned. Plus, I try a lot of new dishes and would want to say whether or not something worked or what I would change, etc. Eh, I'll figure it out. Anyway, here is this week's menu...

Lunch: Frozen pizza and apples. We're usually in a hurry b/c of grocery shopping after church, so we make it home just in time for lunch. (We go to the early service.) Aiden ate while the pizza was cooking and had some pasta with parmesan cheese and peas, but he was already pretty tired, so he didn't eat much and went to bed.
Dinner: Vegetable Lentil Soup. My friend that started posting about meal planning, giving me the idea...she got the idea from one of her friends (that I do not know). I looked at said friend's blog, saw this recipe, and thought it sounded really yummy. It was. Very. I added cumin...because I have a thing for cumin with lentils. I used 1/2 tsp this time but will try it with 1 tsp next time to see if I like that better. I think next time I might add some more carrots, too. I also use homemade chicken broth - I'll have to post the recipe for that soon. It is so much easier than I would have thought, is much cheaper than the organic broth we used to buy (even getting a free-range chicken from either the Farmer's Market or Whole Foods), and tastes sooooo good!Anyway, we will be making this soup a lot more. So good. Try it.

Lunch: Leftover pizza, leftover vegetable lentil soup, and walnuts. Might not be things that typically go together, but we managed. ;) We had some mozzarella cheese on the soup, and it was really yummy. Aiden ate about half of his. He never spit it out, so at least he doesn't hate it. I think he normally would like it, but he's in that fun toddler phase where something being new automatically makes it suspicious. Aiden is pretty crazy about walnuts, which I am loving. He will eat at least three handfuls at a time! And we're not talking Aiden handfuls but MAMA handfuls. That's a lot of walnuts!PS - Do you really know how good walnuts are for you? Check this out to learn a bit more than you might already...
Dinner: Corn Chowder (my friend Sonia's recipe - so good!) from the freezer, mayo (vegenaise for us) rolls. We had this on the menu last week but put it off until this night. Like I said, things never go just as planned. Aiden and I also made some zucchini coins. Apparently Aiden loves raw zucchini! While making the coins, he kept eating the zucchini by itself. The rest of us liked the baked result just fine (and I'm not a fan of cooked zucchini), but he preferred them raw. Guess I know what we need to buy more often!

Lunch: Pasta with parmesan and peas. This is always a good meal for Aiden. We had some leftover pasta, so this is a great way to use it up. He'll have some fruit with it and maybe something with hummus. That kid *loves* hummus. I want to. I really do. But I don't.
Dinner: Vegetable Lentil Soup, bread. This stuff is really filling. When I served it on Sunday, I kept thinking we didn't have enough to eat. Not true. Even hubby, who always goes back for seconds, no matter what we have or how full I fill his plate...even he agreed it didn't take much to fill up with this meal. It's those little lentils. :)

Lunch: Either pasta w/ parm and peas (if there's any left) or strawberry soup w/ bread, pb, and raisins.
Dinner: New recipe - Pizza casserole. Figured we needed to throw something in there that was more kid-friendly. Camden's excited to try it. I'm not sure how Aiden will feel (remember he has this problem w/ pasta and marinara...).

Lunch: Strawberry soup, bread w/ pb and raisins.
Dinner: Pizza casserole

Lunch: Leftovers...
Dinner: Veggie Stir-Fry w/ Sweet and Sour sauce. YUM. This is the best ever. We add in way more veggies than it calls for and never regret it. I can't get leftovers out of this dish because everyone eats it all up, no matter how much I make! We'll be making it w/ bell peppers, mushrooms, carrots, onions, maybe a bit of spinach...

Lunch: Whatever leftovers are in the fridge or sandwiches.
Dinner: KY Hot Browns. Oh, yes. I just hope making these are as good as the ones I've gotten at some favorite places in KY. The recipe is from my Food Network Mag and is supposedly from the original recipe from the Brown Hotel (though I've never eaten at the Brown). We're leaving out the egg. I'm excited to make it...I've never made it before, and it's been a while since I had one! I'm already drooling thinking about it. Here's the recipe on the Brown Hotel website. It's actually a bit different than what is in the magazine, even though it states it's the recipe from the hotel...so, really, it's not. But we bought ingredients for the FN version, so...

And I just have to add, last week I made Sweet Beet Cookies...and Aiden ate them like they were the BEST things EVER. Seriously. He couldn't eat them fast enough and was signing for more while he chewed, very enthusiastically. I'm going to have to make a big batch next time and freeze some (Catherine, from weelicious, told me on facebook to freeze before baking, if you want to try these out.)

What's on your menu this week?


Becky said...

I want to try the sweet beet cookies but beets are my all time most hated veggie. I will give them a try one I get out of the 1st trimester and can think about smelling food again.
The pizza casserole looks good. I make a pasta toss that is similar (although more lasagna like than pizza like).
I wish I could get into stir fry they way you guys do. It sounds so healthy but peppers and mushrooms don't work for me. Peppers because of the strong flavor and mushrooms because of the texture.

Daisy and Ryan said...

Becky - What about making stir-fry with some other veggies? Do you think you would like it better if you just used other things? We just happen to like these. Camden normally does not like many of these veggies but somehow loves them in this dish, so we go with it! But you could use...carrots, celery, onions, bok choy or cabbage, leeks, snow or snap peas (or regular peas!), asparagus, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli or cauliflower, edamame.... Those are just the other veggies listed in the recipe I got from my magazine. You could use just about whatever you like, I'm sure!

The sweet beet cookies will have a bit of the beet flavor come through, but it's pretty mild. Esp compared to what beets normally taste like if you eat them on their own or roasted. I really couldn't believe how much Aiden liked them. Camden didn't care for them too much. Of course, they're more of a thick cracker than a cookie; maybe that was why...

I've tried a pasta toss of Rachael Ray's...it was ok but too much time and effort, not making it worth it to me. How do you make yours? ;) I'm really hoping the pizza casserole turns out good. Of course, I forgot about getting all the extras we normally put on pizza to add to the casserole...

Becky said...

This is my pasta toss recipe:

I use ground turkey and organic Ragu for ours. Everyone loves it. Plus I bet you could freeze it before baking and it would be fine.

Thanks to your inspiration we are having apple cheddar bacon sandwiches and lentil cranberry salad tonight for dinner. I've never had lentils in my life (sheltered!) but I'm hopeful! (http://weelicious.com/2010/01/19/cranberry-lentil-salad/)

question: if some of the lentils pop out of there shell does that mean I cooked them too long or is that just what they do?

The biggest problem with the stir fry is that I don't like most veggies cooked but you know I should give this a try because I'm sure my husband would love it.

Daisy and Ryan said...

YUM on the sandwiches. I absolutely love those. Camden doesn't, which surprised us all (even him), so he has bacon, cheddar sandwich (apples on the side, no red onion mayo, not grilled); Aiden has grilled cheese with everything else on the side. I could eat these sandwiches every week and be happy! I hope you like them!!

We used to eat the cranberry lentil dish a lot for lunches. I think I made it so much I kind of got tired of it - still like it, but whenever I think about making it, I kind of feel "ugh.." even though I know I like it. If that makes sense. Lentils do cook pretty quickly. If you follow the weelicious directions, should be fine. I don't think they usually pop, though... If you get red lentils, though, they cook a LOT faster. If you cook too long, they'll be really mushy. They should be soft but not so soft they're dissolving in your mouth or turning into one big pile of mush. Haha!

I don't normally like things like carrots cooked, but I like them in the stir-fry, for some reason (same thing w/ Camden). Not trying to convince you, though. :)

The lasagna toss looks delicious! I love making lasagna, and this looks like a super easy alternative. I'm sure it would freeze just fine, too! I've frozen lasagna, so this should work out just as well. Thanks!

Daisy and Ryan said...

So, we had leftover lentil veggie soup, and I actually looked at the lentils... There are a bunch that open up some. Hard to tell exactly what you mean by popping, of course, when I can't see. They will still be round, but some will have the outter layer opened up a bit. Not sure if any of this is helping... It's hard to explain b/c they will be pretty soft after cooking.

I'm realizing I like lentils more than I thought I did. I make a dish that I'm sure we'll have on the menu soon (b/c we eat it pretty regularly), and it's one of my favorites that my mom passed on to me. It's a savory dish, though - lentils, beef, rice (and cumin - this is where I get my thing with lentils and cumin!). It's a great comfort dish, I think. I'm wanting it now... Haha!