Tag Archives: meal planning

Mid-week meal prep + menu ideas

Sunday seems like the most popular day to meal prep, but I seem to get my best work done on Tuesdays or Wednesdays or Thursdays… or days that aren’t Sunday.  Mid-week meal prep suits our current schedule, as Sunday nights are often reserved for commutes back to the city from the Cape, frantic searches for missing lunch boxes, and dining on popcorn and apple sauce (for me… don’t worry, the kids are always well fed) while I stare into a nearly empty fridge.  

I got all of this (fairly simple, hardly impressive) prep done during baby Nick’s hour and a half nap on Wednesday, with the exception of the muffins, which Grace and I made together this afternoon.

And with that… here’s what I prepped this week, along with a few (non-popcorn) menu ideas.

MID-WEEK MEAL PREP + MENU IDEAS

mid-week meal prep + menu ideas

In the pot: My 900th batch of Sprouted Kitchen’s everyday lentil soup.  I’m pretty sure it’s called everyday lentil soup because you’ll want to eat it every day (eternal thanks to my friend Laura for sharing the recipe).  If you’re in the market for some lemon pepper, I use Frontier Co-Op (found it at WFM) and love it.  (You know, as much as one could love lemon pepper… or whatever.)  Other things I love: this cast iron dutch oven.

For breakfasts and snacks, I made a few jars of Lee Holmes’ Energizing Chai Chia Breakfast Pudding from the Naturally, Danny Seo website (scroll down on this link for the recipe).  I skipped the stevia and used almonds and walnuts (no cashews in the house… that’s going to be the title of my next jam).  Semi-related: this magazine is so beautifully designed.

mid-week meal prep + menu ideas

These are my usual (meal prep) suspects: chopped vegetables, cooked quinoa + a salad (cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper, Crave Brothers perline mozzarella, fresh basil).  I stocked up on these glass, 4 cup Pyrex containers at Target in February, but I believe they’re still available online.

mid-week meal prep + menu ideas

While the soup was simmering and I was chopping vegetables, I threw a few sweet potatoes in the oven (pierce with a fork, bake at 400 degrees F for 45-ish minutes). I like to reheat these and top with lentils and/or black beans, salsa and some shredded pepper jack for a quick and satisfying lunch or dinner.  The kids love them mashed up a bit with a pinch of cinnamon.

mid-week meal prep + menu ideas

And last, but not least, best my mini chef and I made a batch of mini flourless banana and chocolate chip muffins (and a half batch with blueberries instead of chocolate).  I goofed around with the recipe a bit and forgot to take notes, but I have a feeling we’ll be making these again very soon.  Like… maybe tomorrow.  In the meantime, I’ve heard good things about these recipes from Clean Food Crush and Averie Cooks (both are gluten free).

Oh… and popcorn.

Also On Tap for Today:

What is your favorite make-ahead meal?

Meal + workout plan for the week of 4/3

I just went on an aggressive Pinterest spree in anticipation of hosting Easter at the Cape in two weeks.  Nick and I are really excited to have our families down here for lots of good food, egg hunting and (hopefully) lovely spring weather.  

Ya hear that, Mother Nature?  Just kidding.  Do you thing, girl.  Sorry for the hole we burned in your atmosphere with our hairspray.

meal and workout plan 4/3

While I was at it, I started a new Pinterest board for some of my favorite meal prep + planning resources.  If you’re interested, you can check those boards out here:

My main nutrition goal for the week is to increase my water intake.  We are in the process of having a whole house water filter installed and in the meantime, we’ve been living the Brita pitcher life.  And not surprisingly, I keep forgetting to refill it.  Tonight I’m brewing a bunch of spearmint iced tea and filling a few water bottles for tomorrow.  The glamour and interestingness of my life abounds.

On to the meals + workouts for the week.

Meals for the week of 4/3

…And probably a night of takeout or leftovers.  Breakfasts will be some combination of English muffins, yogurt, fruit, smoothies, oats and/or the children’s table scraps (again… let’s be honest).  Lunch is usually a big salad and/or leftovers.  

Speaking of: Leftovers is such a sad word.  We need a better word that is like, Hey... I am so incredibly in charge of my life that I  didn’t just make one meal… I made two meals… AT THE SAME TIME!  Or whatever.

Workouts for the week of 4/3

I did some recon and there is a brand new track a mile or so from our place at the Cape.  I dug up some of my track workouts from my marathon training years of olde (honestly, that feels like a lifetime ago) and am hoping I can survive fit in one this coming weekend.  

But first, another glass of water.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on the menu for you this week?

Weekend musings

Spring is just on the other side of this weekend.  We are almost there, my friends.  Pay no attention to the snow storm in the forecast.   With the Well Summit’s Day of WELLness, the parade and a mind full of weekend musings, I’ve got plenty to keep me preoccupied (and my weather app closed).  

weekend musings

WEEKEND MUSINGS

  • I love how this mini sketchbook (above) I made turned out.  I cut down some 140lb. hot press watercolor, painted and mono printed several sheets and then bound them using a simple pamphlet stitch.  I ended up having enough paper to make four mini books, and each one (painting aside) took less than 5 minutes to assemble– it was a surprisingly simple + meditative process.  I’ve been using them for daily sketching and jotting down notes.  
  • Related: My friend and fellow Get Messy creative team member Vanessa just released a wonderful online class called Basic Bookbinding.  It’s a steal for $15 and covers 4 different methods (I am really excited to try the more complicated coptic stitch) for making your own sketchbooks and art journals.  
  • Unrelated: March Madness is here.  I came in third (I think?) in my sister’s office pool last year, and have high hopes for this year’s bracket too.  It should be noted that there is essentially no method to my (March… lololol) madness.
  • I’m only half-way through this Guardian story, but I think it’s worth a read: ‘London Bridge is down’: the secret plan for the days after the Queen’s death. It’s partly morbid, but fully interesting.
  • The South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade route has been shortened (again).  We would normally watch from the top of our street where it’s fairly quiet and far less crowded than Broadway.  Grace has basically been looking forward to the parade… since last year’s parade, so I expect we’ll be braving the circus.  Seeing her enthusiastically shake hands with politicians is sort of the best thing ever.
  • A little meal plan inspiration from The Kitchn: 5 No-Brainer Dinners for the Week Ahead… I have a feeling you’ll see a number of these in my plan on Sunday night, mostly because No-Brainer is one of my current life keywords.
  • And because I know I’ll be taking notes at Day of WELLness, here’s a fascinating post on taking more efficient notes from Rescue Time.

Catch you (and spring) soon.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Making plans for this year’s flower + garden show 
  • Taking a quick stroll through Beacon Hill (one of my favorites)
  • Researching “how to talk basketball tournament smack” or whatever

What are you musing over this weekend?

 

Meal + workout plan for the week of 3/13

…Coming to you live from snowy Cape Cod with this week’s meal plan + workouts.  The babes are napping, so I figured I’d make an attempt to get my act together for the week before we head back to the city.

this week's meal plan + workouts

Note to the entire internet self: I need to figure out if Tuesday’s storm is the real deal or not and plan my grocery shopping accordingly.  My favorite meteorologist (yes, I have one of those) seems to be on vacation, so I am essentially lost.

THIS WEEK’S WORKOUTS

+ (a decidedly wintery) MEAL PLAN

  • Spinach + black bean quesadillas
  • Vegetarian chili for lazy people
  • Spiced lentil + sweet potato stew (recipe from Rachel Ray)
  • Flatbreads + salad
  • Stuffed baked sweet potatoes + salad
  • Grilled cheese + tomato soup

Breakfasts will likely be some combination of yogurt, fruit, cottage cheese, English muffins and/or a porridge made from my children’s table scraps… Lunch is usually a giant salad.  I expect these dinners will make for really good leftovers to tag along with my greens.  And my peasant parent porridge.  

Time to Google the weather.  Catch you on the other side… of the Sagamore.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on tap for your week ahead?  

Meal plan for the week of 2/6

I’m typing this up while half-watching the game, and currently craving pistachios + Skittles.  Neither factor into this week’s meal plan… but advertising, man.  It’ll get you.

MEAL PLAN FOR THE WEEK OF 2/6

meal plan for the week of 1/16

Breakfast:

  • Cottage cheese + fruit 
  • Erewhon crispy rice cereal with skim milk
  • Baked oatmeal (I liked this recipe for baked oatmeal cups from The Kitchn)
  • Fresh juice or smoothie (Current favorite combination: Cranberries, pineapple, grapefruit, lemon, kale, orange + kale with a splash of almond milk)

Lunch:

  • Salads, wraps + leftovers

Dinners:

  • Spinach pie
  • 3 bean soup with salad (working on a recipe for this soup… will share if it turns out non-poison decent)
  • Spicy chickpea taco salad
  • Greek lentil salad (going to try this recipe from Delish Knowledge— looks so good) with pita bread
  • Sweet potato, black bean + spinach quesadillas (an old staple)
  • Caprese quinoa bake (…or vegetarian sushi)

Can you bake Skittles?  And chopped pistachios over arugula… a very good idea, right?

Also On Tap for Today:

What was your favorite food-centric ad during the game?

 

Meal plan for the week of 1/8

After a relaxing, snowed-in weekend at the Cape, we are back in the city + I’m pretending to be ready to take on the week.  

meal plan week of 1/8

Salad is from, um, my fridge… wooden pineapple is from Homegoods.

The laundry’s done, the gas tank is full, workouts are scheduled + I even blocked out some time for painting this week.  I apparently only imagined I did the dishes and I have lost all motivation to unpack… but hey.  Can’t win ’em all.

I found last week’s meal plan was really helpful in my efforts to not eat Cheez-It-type-things for dinner.  It motivated me to try a few new recipes and revisit some old favorites. So here I am, avoiding the dishes and cooking up this week’s meal plan.

MEAL PLAN FOR THE WEEK of 1/8

  • Salads and veggie wraps for lunch
  • Lemon potato chowder from The Kitchn (I’ll vegetarian-ify it with vegetable broth, obvi) 
  • Quinoa caprese salad (or quinoa caprese bake… TBD)
  • Spinach, sweet potato and black bean quesadillas on Ezekial tortillas
  • Some sort of lentil soup (can’t stop, won’t stop with the piping hot lentil soups… until, like, at least April)
  • Make-ahead snacks + breakfasts: chai protein bites, garlic + dill kale chips, baked oatmeal 

I know some people prefer to plan meals for specific days (and maybe one day I will be that organized slash maybe one day my children will keep a reliable routine lasting longer than three days), but for now a more flexible approach seems to work well.  

I like being able to look at a fairly limited list (as opposed to searching through an entire cookbook, or the entire internet, or my entire memory of anything I’ve ever made or eaten), assessing what I have time and energy for, and making whichever option makes the most sense. This generally indecisive lady is all about limited (yet delicious) choices.

Plus… taking the guesswork out of what to make each night leaves me with just enough extra time to, you know, come up with an excuse to not do the dishes.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • 5 ways to keep your fridge clean + organized from The Kitchn
  • Celebrating a belated Christmas with my family, now that we’ve all survived the stomach bug that tried to take down the entire city of Boston
  • Ice skating in my driveway (but not on purpose)

What are your favorite sources for new recipes or meal planning tips?

Farmer’s Choice Box + meal planning

I picked up our first Farmer’s Choice box from Ward’s Berry Farm yesterday and am quite pleased with its contents.  You might remember that one of the 7,000 browser tabs I shamefully keep open on my phone is the Farmer’s Choice Box info page.  

farmer's choice box ward's berry farm

We haven’t been home enough to commit to a full CSA share, but I’ve been keeping an eye on the weekly boxes (a best guess at each week’s contents is posted on Mondays and you can order as late as Wednesday night for a Friday pick up at the farm), which currently cost $23.

ward's berry farm

We’re home all week and you know I love a good bunch of carrots and berries by the pint, so I got my order in right away.  We met my mom at Ward’s (word to the wise: it’s really busy there at lunch time) and I really appreciated having her there to help navigate with Grace and baby Nick.  Our first stop was the animals, or as Grace calls them, “the little friends.”

ward's berry farm

My mom and Grace picked up our Farmer’s Choice boxes at the back of the store and grabbed a table outside in the shade, while I ordered smoothies and tried my best to not knock over produce displays with Nick’s stroller.  Small life goals.  That’s how we roll these days.

Mo’ berry for her, Green Machine for me

Once we were outside, I couldn’t resist taking a peek in the box.

This week’s Farmer’s Choice box contained

  • 1 head of lettuce
  • 1 bunch of carrots
  • 1 lb Romano beans
  • 1 Green bell pepper
  • 2 onions
  • 1 lb wax beans
  • 1 head of fennel
  • 1 pint of blueberries
  • 1 bunch of Bok Choy
  • 1 lb of squash

I picked up a pint of strawberries and some new potatoes at the farm store to round our my order.

Meal planning with the Farmer’s Choice box

  • Lettuce: Use in salads; lettuce wraps with black beans, corn and pico de gallo
  • Carrots and Romano beans: Use in salads; as a snack with hummus
  • Green bell pepper: Greek salad (I’ve been eating a simple mix of peppers, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, feta and fresh oregano all week)
  • Onions: Use in an easy summer gazpacho; and roasted with new potatoes and thyme
  • Fennel: Shaved fennel salad with fresh herbs, parmesan cheese + olive oil
  • Berries: Breakfast and snacks 
  • Bok Choy…. I’d love some suggestions!  In the meantime, I’ve bookmarked these ideas: Chowing down on Bok Choy: 10 Ways to Love this Asian Green from The Kitchn, Bok Choy Recipes from Cooking Light
  • Squash and wax beans: Handed those off to my sister

And now that I’ve worked up an appetite, it’s time for lunch.

Also On Tap for Today:

Do you belong to a farm share?  What the heck should I do with that Bok Choy?  

What to eat in the summer | 4 favorite salads

Most days, my meal planning (if you can call it that) goes something like this:  

  • Consider what we have on the counter, in the cabinets, in the fridge and sprouting on the deck
  • Hold baby Nick with one hand, rummage with the other hand
  • Hope something miraculously falls out and a. doesn’t hit me or Nick in the head and b. somehow lands in my mouth and c. is delicious.  Oh, and nutritious.  

Unfortunately, I’ve yet to have a perfectly made summer salad fall into my mouth.  Or onto my head, for that matter.  As with most (all?) good things, it takes a bit of work.  But not much.  This is summer, after all.  If you’re wondering what to eat in the summer, I’ve got a few (simple, delicious) ideas.

WHAT TO EAT IN THE SUMMER | 4 FAVORITE SALADS

Mixed greens with pears, bleu cheese, walnuts + dried cranberries

what to eat in summer 1

This is really as easy as slicing a pear and throwing it, along with everything else, into a bowl.  I added a drizzle of Champagne vinaigrette because I like to pretend I’m fancy.  In reality: It’s well past noon and I haven’t showered yet.  Also, I just congratulated myself on wearing my “nice” sweat pants.  

Caprese salad

what to eat in summer 2

I basically eat this breakfast, lunch and dinner… all summer long.  The heirloom tomatoes are Canadian, but the mozzarella is from Rhode Island and the basil is from South Boston (more specifically: my deck).  So… it’s mostly #eatlocal.  Or whatever.

Both babes were asleep at the same time for an entire 11 minutes last week, so I made myself an extra pretty platter from which to dine solo while Nick was traveling.  That was a long sentence.  The salad didn’t last nearly as long.

Chopped salad with sprouts

what to eat in summer 3

I tend to chop a bunch of vegetables at the beginning of the week for easy salads such as this.  Instead of the usual greens, though, I used some Earth Salad (sprouted lentils, sprouted chickpeas and alfalfa sprouts) that I picked up at Whole Foods in the South End (it’s in the cooler next to the salad greens, alongside the cooked lentils). 

Heirloom tomato, lentil and arugula salad with green goddess dressing

Speaking of cooked lentils, I keep a package or two in the fridge because I am lazy like to avoid cooking as much as possible when it’s 90 degrees out.  And because I love making this salad.  And because I’m lazy.

I’m thrilled (and grateful!) that my recipe was included in Wayfair’s Simply Summer Recipes cookbook.  The cookbook is free to download and features over 100 pages of summer recipes created by bloggers and tested by Wayfair team members.  I love that they included their own notes after testing each dish.  I hope you’ll check it out!

In the meantime, I’m off to go shower.  Or eat another salad.  Or both.  Not at the same time.  OK.  Bye.  I love you.  And I love summer.  And cheese.  Bye.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • A favorite read: Sam’s weekly meal planning posts 
  • Closest thing to a wonder drug? Try exercise from The New York Times
  • Playing with Grace’s new water table (“All day!  All day long, mummy!  All day!  And when it’s dark!”)

What’s your ideal summer meal?

 

Today: The week ahead + a free planning printable

True Life: If I don’t write it down, it doesn’t get done.  And sometimes even if I write it down, it doesn’t get done (can’t win ’em all).  And sometimes I write down things I’ve already done, just for the satisfaction of crossing something off.  Whatever.  Here’s a free printable.

The week ahead

click here to download your free planning printable

I use a weekly planner (the Get to Work Book — love it) to keep track of appointments, writing and art projects and general “to dos,” and Co-Schedule for an editorial calendar, but I prefer something simple when it comes to my weekly plan.  After a little design trial and error, I came up with this pretty number, and thought I’d share it.  Feel free to download and print and plan all kinds of things.  

I stick with a Monday start partly to pretend I’m a sophisticated non-American (just kidding… kind of) but mostly because I like carving out time on Sundays to plan for the week ahead.  If you’d prefer a file with a Sunday start, reach out or leave a comment below and I’m sure I can help you out.

You might use this weekly planning printable for

  • Meal planning
  • Food log
  • Scheduling workouts
  • A gratitude diary
  • 1-2 must dos (or want to dos) per day
  • Daily doodles

I laminated mine using a 3M self-sealing pouch (you can find them on Amazon in packages of 10 for less than $10, or in the office supply aisle at Target) and use a fine tip dry erase marker, rather than printing a new page every week (I feel like I am forever living dangerously… in the low ink zone).  

Time to go write something down.  And maybe, eventually do that something.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your #1 productivity tool?

Today: Fresh from the farmers market.

First things first: Thank you so much for all the love and kind words about our happy news!

We had great luck at this week’s farmers market at Crescent Ridge.  The farm animals were out and about, the weather was perfect, and we scored some really beautiful produce. 

farmers market haul

  • Eggs for Nick (and eggshells for me to grow little plants in)
  • Raspberries, blueberries and and a basket of “pretty uglies” tomatoes from Ward’s Berry Farm
  • Peaches and peppers from Silvia Farms

Needless to say, we also got ice cream.  With sprinkles.  

We’ve already done some serious damage on the berries, but the rest will go into breakfast parfaits and a blueberry + thyme lemonade I’ve been dreaming about (probably the most pregnant thing I’ve said today).  I’m also planning on a tomato tart and 900 Caprese salads.  As for the peppers, they are almost too pretty to eat.  Almost.  

Anywaaaay…. I hope your week is off to a lovely, delicious start.  To quote my animal-obsessed child, “Bye, goats. I love you.”

Also On Tap for Today:

What is on your menu this week?