Tag Archives: food

January Meal Calendar

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I like to sit down and plan a month’s worth of meals, that way when the day comes I don’t even feel like thinking about food, I can refer to my list. The decision’s already been made.

This also helps me build my grocery list. Breakfast and Lunch are usually simple and easy ( eggs, sandwich, soup, or oatmeal ) so I don’t plan those.

Blue marked meals mean its the week my stepson is with us, so I choose things I know he will eat ( or we can at least get him to try ).

I am attempting to move towards more healthy meals filled with veggies and more proteins and less creams and carbs. Big M wants to lose some weight, and the only way that’s going to happen is by changing our dinner menu.

I bought a 7 Qt. dutch oven and I plan on getting some good use of it this year!

Without further ado,

  1. I
  2. suck
  3. at
  4. planning
  5. ahead
  6. Spaghetti and meat sauce using veggie pasta
  7. Perfect chicken with asparagus and rice
  8. Chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn
  9. Steak, sweet potatoes, roasted veggies
  10. Clam chowder/Potato Soup & grilled cheese sandwich
  11. Healthy fried chicken, sautéed veggies & baked potato slices
  12. Beef stew with potatoes and carrots
  13. Chicken Stir-fry with rice
  14. Tacos
  15. Perfect chicken & cheesy baked cauliflower
  16. Spinach artichoke shrimp pasta (using veggie pasta)
  17. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, smothered green beans
  18. Burgers and Fries
  19. The Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat. Ever. with roasted potatoes and veggies
  20. Steak, Crispy Potato Roast, Baked Broccoli and cheese
  21. Salmon Patties with pan-fried veggies
  22. Chicken Fajitas
  23. Braised Beef & Mushrooms (do)
  24. Soy-Glazed Salmon
  25. Honey Garlic Chicken
  26. Breakfast for Dinner
  27. -Chipotle Salmon with broccoli
  28. Crustless Broccoli-Cheddar Quiches
  29. Parmesan Crusted Chicken
  30. Dutch Oven Pizza
  31. Spinach Ravioli with Chicken

If you have a meal plan you would like to share, please leave it or a link to it in the comments. I would love some more ideas!

Cupcakes!

 

Taco Meat Loaf

Image courtesy of Taste of Home Recipes

So I haven’t been keeping up with this blog but I make sure to cook at least 75% of the time now. I still don’t like grocery shopping and I don’t think I ever will, but until Whole Foods and Chuck’s start their own delivery service, I am stuck!

I can’t even remember where I found the recipe that inspired me to make this – maybe pinterest. Modified it a bit to suit my own inspiration. Big M loved it, it was a little spicy for Little M, but that was my bad, mistakenly grabbed the “medium” salsa. (woops!) He liked it anyway, it was just a bit too spicy for him to fully enjoy it.

Definite Keeper

Ingredients

  • 1 cup crushed ritz crackers
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup your favorite salsa
  • handful of sliced crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • Salsa, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and additional olives, optional

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Press into a greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan.
  2. Add layer of salsa over meat.
  3. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 1-1/2 hours or until no pink remains and a meat thermometer reads 160°.
  4. Add layer of shredded cheese on top and let melt before serving. Top with sour cream.

Recipe modified from: http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Taco-Meat-Loaf

The thing that sucks about cooking blogs….

Is you can’t share the absolutely amazing delicious smell of the food while its cooking.

Sweet Potatoes, Bacon, Chicken, Leeks = Heaven

Restaurant food sucks (Vacation to Ocean Shores)

Yes.

I just said that. Me. The girl who grew up eating a buffet of delivery and drive thru for the majority of 28 years.

I just got back from a wonderful vacation with my best friend Roz at Ocean Shores, WA. We stayed at the resort, indulged in horse back riding, long walks on the beach, romantic dinners at the lounge… interrupted by drunk couples asking if we were lesbian.

So Anyway, about sucky restaurant food. It has been about 2 months now that I’ve been cooking nearly 3 meals a day, not including whatever random snack experiment tickles my fancy. I eat 2-3 eggs every morning for breakfast, scrambled, with Cayenne pepper, garlic salt, and black pepper. It never gets old. When it’s getting late, around 9pm, and the dinner has already been burned off by my new metabolism, I start thinking about next morning’s breakfast eggs. This is obscene behavior too – I never liked eggs before…

So Morning #1 at Emily’s in the resort, Roz and I sit down to what looks to be a promising meal. They put our water in fancy wine glasses.

Terrible eggs at Emily's

Ugh. The eggs were terrible. I had ordered it with cayenne pepper and garlic salt, thinking I would salt/pepper to my taste at the table… No amount of spice could save this atrocity. I thought the reason i disliked eggs all my life was because they were gross. No – just restaurant eggs. The organic eggs I get from the grocery store with Omega-3, with that rich colored yolk, they make me want to go to bed every night just so I can do breakfast in the morning.. The bacon was sufficiently greasy, hence the disappearing act pictured above. ( it was good – my southern roots squealed with delight. I haven’t had an honest piece of bacon in quite some time )

The next morning (Sunday) we cruised over to Shilo Inn right on the beach, now their bacon was freaking AMAZING! and the waitress’ name was Silver. She was pretty like silver. Very fitting… Anyway, the eggs though,  again – terrible. This time I tried to just ask for plain scrambled and some garlic salt on the side. Did not work out. It’s not pictures because, I ate all the bacon again ( hastily ) and I figured 1 picture of bad eggs was enough.

Sunburn Raccoon Face. Tongue sticks out. (tm)

Being at a resort with no kitchen literally meant living off the absurd snack cart in my room ( hell no, it was priced like movie theater! ) or eating fruit, or eating out.

I had been good for 2 months, I figured I would just be bad and eat the restaurant food. I found it hard to decide what to eat, or deciding if I even wanted to eat it. And then once I did get it, i’d maybe eat 30%. It just wasn’t working for me. I actually missed cooking a meal and picking at it.

While breakfast at Ocean Shores was less than amazing, The lunches were pretty good. We had Mexican! Now I have quite the obsession with bean burritos. They are like snowflakes – no two mexican joints make burritos the same. Maybe this applies to every type of mexican food – I don’t know, but the huge HUGE difference between one and the next amazes me, and I love to eat the hell out of them.

Las Maracas Burrito Goodness

So I pretty much 99.9%* of the time order a bean burrito with rice on the side. Its been awhile since I had mexican food, and Boy do I love it – but it reminded me very loudly why I am trying to live as paleo as possible. Sunday before catching my train home, Roz and I made one last stop at her local favorite mexican restaurant, and I had a burrito. It too had that unique flavor I love to experience.

Two days of mexican food has not been kind to my gut. It just feels rather unclean in there…

On the train - coupon for more terrible food or fruit

After I got off the train, Mike asked me where I wanted to eat. Uh… Shari’s? I ask… that place has a good turkey club, and amazing french fries, if I’m going to eat out, I’d go there, because they also have ridiculously amazing peanut butter chocolate pie. But Mike says, “You can eat anywhere and you pick Shari’s??” and decided he was going to go out with a bang ( he had spent the entire weekend eating like a sinful devil. Rib City barbecue ! ) So he took us to Boppin’ Bo’s, a place around here with a great 50’s Elvis theme – Like a slice of Memphis, TN placed right here in Vancouver, WA. Even my folks dug it when they came and visited in 2010.

I got a turkey bacon club sandwich – which had entirely too much mayo and bread. Really? you need 3 slices of bread for a sandwich? No wonder America is so fat! I took about 3 bites before I was uncomfortable. So I just pushed it aside and played Trivial Pursuit with Mikey.

Another pretty waitress asked if we wanted dessert – Mike ordered a banana split for himself and Mikey, and I order “the cookie dough thing”. Mike had been reading the dessert menu, and I was half listening to him, I heard cookie dough, and said yes, ignoring everything else.

I don't even remember what this was called

Can you say ridiculous? There was no way I was going to consume even HALF of that monster. It’s sad how wasteful restaurants really are – look at all the money spent on that ice cream, melting away.

I dug a tiny hole in the side and had a couple bites. I was already pretty full from a “double-decker” sandwich. ( Sadly I believe this was one of the smallest meals they had, not including the kid’s menu )

Once I got home from my whirlwind weekend, I had a moderately unclean house ( though not bad for leaving 1 adult-child and 1 child alone for 3 days ) and one smelly fridge. All my fresh produce from last week expired, and it looked wretched. I had to throw that mess out, and unfortunately that left us with pretty much nothing to cook or eat that was healthy.

I ran late with work, so dinner was late too, I did not get to the grocery store until after 8pm, which means that Chuck’s Produce was already closed. So Safeway had to suffice. It took me forever to find something organic, my only choice being some ground beef or some chicken. I picked up both. Well Mike wanted burgers, and being that the only meat choice is burger meat, so be it. I googled up some paleo burger recipes, and found one that looks great at Enjoying Every Bite.

I do not normally eat burgers, but these looked so good, I even chose to postpone the return to paleo for one last meal. I added BBQ sauce, a slice of medium cheddar, and a bun, and it was grubbin’! I microwave baked some potatoes and added the clarified butter for taste.

No pictures unfortunately, we were starving!

Back on schedule though, with my delicious morning scrambled eggs, spiced to perfection. Headed to Chuck’s this afternoon to get some real meat and dinner cooking again. I’m looking forward to more kitchen time this week!

* – the .01% I order nachos with jalapeños – I’d order more, but they don’t play well with my tender stomach.