Monday Meal Plan

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We adore getting produce from Bountiful Baskets. One of the REALLY fun parts about it (aside from the awesome and inexpensive produce that allows us to eat the way we do on a pretty strict budget) is that we get to try new things ALL the time! Without Baskets, I never would have figured out that I LOVE brussel sprouts or how to cook cauliflower so that I like it. This week is all about plantains. I contributed for two baskets and as a result have a PLETHORA of plantains. I also have a whole lot of apples so I looked up plantains and this menu is full of those and all things apple! One recipe even combines them! I will report through the week on our thoughts. Here it is!

Breakfast

  • Egg Scramble
  • Fried eggs and Fruit
  • Blackberry Crepes (paleo)
  • Apple Cinnamon Muffins (paleo)
  • Energy bites

Lunch/Dinner

  • Italian Sausages and Peppers
  • Paleo Tamale Pie
  • Tropical Beef with Peppers
  • Stuffed Peppers
  • Swedish Meatballs
  • Fajitas with Plantain Shells
  • Plantain and Apple Fritters with Sausage and eggs
  • Herbed Steak
  • Meatballs in Marinara
  • Mediterranean Chicken Salad
  • Colcannon
  • Asian Lettuce Wraps

Snacks

  • Plantain Crackers
  • Plantain Chips with Guacamole
  • Fruit
  • Apples and Almond Butter
  • Ants on a Log

Paleo Italian Meatballs in Vegetable Marinara

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It’s been super busy around here lately. Not only did I start working again, but I recently expanded and took on more work. Since I quit daycare, I technically should have more time. Except that I don’t have more time with a new baby.

Nursing my little Squiggle means I am starving as often as she is, which is basically 24 hours a day. The concept of smaller, more frequent meals is a sound one but it only really works if you have food that you can eat with one hand, fairly quickly.

Meatballs are sort of the perfect food on all counts. They can be frozen for quick meals, they are versatile, and alone they actually make a tasty, easy to eat snack that is high in protein. This version is quick and easy. I frequently double this recipe of meatballs so that I can throw them in the freezer and make something like Swedish Meatballs later on in the week or even the following week.

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My favorite way to make THIS recipe is to make the meatballs, freeze them then throw some in to the crockpot with the sauce in the morning for an amazing dinner later that night. We serve with broccoli and a salad or even spaghetti squash!

The sauce might be the most amazing thing about this recipe. Full of vegetables, easy and delicious. What more can we ask for?

Italian Meatballs

  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 TBSP dehydrated garlic
  • 1 tsp each dried rosemary, parsley, oregano, and basil
  • 2 TBSP dehydrated onion
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together with your hands. Roll in to balls and bake at 350 for 30 min. You can make larger meatballs, but I make them about golf ball sized. This recipe makes enough for our family to have this meal plus either Swedish meatballs or snacks.

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Veggie Marinara

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 oz of chopped or sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • a drizzle of olive or grapeseed oil
  • 6 roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 eggplant
  • 1/2 zucchini
  • Handful of spinach (optional)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Fresh or dried Italian herbs (to taste)

In a medium pan, saute the onion, mushrooms, pepper and garlic in the oil. Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes in half, and the eggplant and zucchini in chunks. Throw those plus the seasonings and spinach into the the blender and pulse until a thick, chunky sauce forms. Put the sauteed ingredients and the sauce into a crockpot and heat on low for 8-10 hours. You can also just heat it all together on the stove. It’s still REALLY good that way, just not fully melded.

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Paleo Ranch dressing and dip

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Growing up, I only liked “white dressing”. As a kid, my grandmother only had to ask which kind of dressing I wanted if she had BOTH Bleu Cheese and Ranch. Now I appreciate all TYPES of dressings, especially Vinaigrettes, but I grew up with a VERY processed, typical American diet and DROWNED that poor lettuce. I mean DROWNED. That being said, I still really like white dressing, though it isn’t store bought and nothing is drowned. This is good enough that it’s tempting though.

1 a ranch

I make this as both a ranch dip and a thinner salad dressing. The kids like it FAR better than store bought dressings, as does the hubby. As a dip it’s GREAT with raw veggies and as a dressing it’s used as a base for all kinds of dressings!

Paleo Ranch

  • 1 cup Mayo (homemade or a paleo version)
  • 2 cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp dried Dill
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 TBSP Brown Mustard
  • Almond or Coconut Milk (OPT: for dressing)

Mix it all together and that’s it! For a Fajita ranch, we add 1 TBSP Taco seasoning. For (my current favorite) Avocado Ranch I just add one mashed avocado. That one NEVER lasts long enough to refrigerate so I don’t know how it holds up the next day. We usually use that one on veggies and Taco Salad. The sky is the limit on this one, and we ALWAYS have the base made up in the fridge.

Meal Plan Monday

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It has been such a busy month already!! Our Squiggle is already moving around, trying REALLY hard to roll over and grabbing at toys. Competition season is about to begin for the older girls, which is going to mean a LOT of planning meals to go. This week is a cold, stay in the warm house kind of week though, except for snack on Wednesday. I make a LOT of jerky at once though so we will just take that, from last week’s plan, with us.

It’s a crazy life these days, trying to ‘go back’ to work (from home) with a new baby and the busy season upon us. Planning out our meals with some flexibility is SO helpful!

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Breakfast

  • Berry Banana Pancakes
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Crepes
  • Egg Scramble with Fruit
  • Almond butter energy bites
  • Hard boiled eggs

Lunch/Dinner

  • Colcannon
  • Fajita Salad
  • Swedish Meatballs
  • Chicken Salad Wraps
  • Potato Cabbage soup
  • Beef and Veggie Stew
  • Taco Salad
  • Chicken Stir Fry
  • Garlicky Ranch Chicken
  • Meatloaf

SnacksĀ 

  • Ants on a log
  • Jerky
  • Double Chocolate Cookies
  • Veggies and Ranch
  • Blackberry Smoothies

Meal Plan Monday NEW YEAR EDITION!

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Do you set Resolutions at the beginning of the year? I don’t really, but I feel like it’s a new start. I love January for some reason. As I put away the Christmas decorations, it feels like spring cleaning and gets me motivated for SO much! I feel like the idea of making positive changes in our lives shouldn’t have to be just in the New Year though.

For us, we are making changes in my work schedule for the most part. We have been adjusting to life with the new baby and as a result, put my career on hold. I am slowly but surely getting back into the swing of things and now feel ready to add my baby (this blog) back in! I am also working on making sure I am only working during the day, so that I can actually spend TIME with the hubby. The big girls are back in their swing of things and the baby is eating and sleeping on a bit more of her own schedule now, making it easier for me to get anything done when Daddy isn’t home. Our meal plans had been a MESS for awhile, having eaten all of our freezer meals. Baby made it a little difficult to cook much and Daddy doesn’t cook so unless the teen was home, quick stuff (including uncured hotdogs) became the go to for food. I am really happy to be back on a meal plan! Speaking of, here is ours for the first full week of 2015!!

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Breakfast

  • Bacon Veggie Scramble
  • Egg muffins
  • Paleo Rhubarb muffins
  • Banana Pancakes with Sausage Patties
  • Fried eggs and fruit

Lunch/Dinner

  • Brats and Peppers
  • Chile Verde
  • Beef with Broccoli
  • Taco Salad
  • Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps
  • Greek Chicken
  • Mediterranean Chicken Salad
  • Italian Meatballs with Marinara
  • Artichoke Chicken
  • Salisbury “Steak” with mushrooms

Snacks

  • DIY Jerky
  • Larabars
  • Energy Bites (not grain free, but still gluten free)
  • Carrots and Ranch
  • Apples and almond butter

I usually only plan for five days because we always have a day or two with leftovers or a last minute invite or something. When none of those things happen (which is maybe once every three months or so) we go out to eat as a treat. I hope these help!

Paleo Raspberry Breakfast Cake (and It’s a GIRL!)

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It’s been a few weeks since I posted. Computer viruses were part of the issue, but the best part of my silence has been the simple fact that I’ve been busy. Two and a half weeks ago, our precious squiggle FINALLY made her appearance, two and half weeks late. We had left the sex of our little one a surprise but were leaning toward the possibility that we would have our first boy. She surprised us though, and we are so excited! Our beautiful, sweet little girl was born a respectable 9 lb 9 oz, 22 in long! She is still our tiny bundle, even if she isn’t super tiny!

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We have already figured out that she doesn’t do well if I eat some of my allergens and we feel pretty certain that both dairy and gluten will be an issue since both Daddy and I have those allergies, plus her oldest sister. In fact, only our spunky middle daughter isn’t highly allergic to dairy! I am starving now that I am nursing a voracious little velociraptor. In the past I have always gone for breads, sweet ones. With a need for increased protein, and a bunch of raspberries in the fridge, I altered a great recipe for rhubarb bread to make it paleo friendly, with better nutrients for our little one. It is FANTASTIC, and was exactly what I’d been wanting.

raspberrycake

Paleo Raspberry Breakfast Cake

  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup homemade applesauce
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries

Preheat the oven to 350. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the wet ingredients. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together, then fold in the raspberries. Pour into an 8×8 square baking dish. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.

SO Yummy!