Monday, November 7, 2011

Here we are already in November. We have been so busy (not to mention knocked down with a stomach bug) that we've simply been treading water the last few weeks. Some spaces in life are just like that. I hope to get back to our meal planning this week and to also begin planning for Thanksgiving. We have decided to have a vegan holiday this year and we are also adopting a turkey from the lovely folks at Farm Sanctuary. Our eldest has been asking a lot of questions around meat-eating so I think this is the year we talk about turkey. (gulp)

I love this photo of the turkeys enjoying their own pie!

Celebration FOR The Turkeys

Stay tuned for more updates including our inaugural vegan Thanksgiving meal plan.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Using What You Have

First things first, road trip was a success! No fried foods, no restaurant food on the drive either way. Instead, we stopped at picnic areas and a gigantic Sonic playscape (where I had a much-needed coffee) and the girlies spent the respites running, climbing and jumping. Wonderful. We restocked before the drive home (and I was shocked to find NO organic produce in East Texas groceries) and made the trip back with a single pit stop (for gas and pita chips at an HEB Grocery store that offered a gas station as well).

This week, in recovery from trip mode still, I'm concentrating on using what we have in the pantry/fridge.

This meant eating leftover vegan quiche and boiling fresh corn on the cob from our CSA for dinner when we got home Monday evening. It meant a big salad for dinner yesterday, coupled with leftover hummus and baba ghanoush. It means that I've got pintos my dad sent home with me (frozen, from his garden) simmering on the stove as I type this. These will make a simple meal in and of themselves with greens and cornbread, but I'm also going to deviate from my black bean burger recipe and sub these instead for dinner tonight. I'm also planning to use the fresh tomato sauce I froze last Friday (made with fresh tomatoes and basil from our CSA) for a simple pasta meal this week. And I'm pretty sure there is a frozen tub of Greek lentils in there as well, to which we'll had vegan sausage links.

I'm hoping we'll only need a small restock at the grocery this week (various milks for the girls, fresh-roasted coffee, greens for smoothies and other).

For the weekend, I'm going to concentrate on making room in my kitchen for easier cooking. I'm often balancing a cutting board on the edge of the sink because counter space is limited/full. That's just bad cooking chi. Must amend because I've realized that it's become an impediment to weeknight cooking. If I have to clear a countertop to chop veggies, et al, it's less likely to happen.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Road Food

So, the girls and I are taking a road trip in a few days and I'm facing the dilemma that many of my vegan friends face regularly of how best to have adequate and healthy food available away from home. I have been thinking through food ideas as I prepare.

In particular, I have been trying to eat mostly dairy-, egg- and oil-free and certain parts of this state are, to put it mildly, less than vegan friendly, not to mention health friendly. What to do?

First things first, I'm planning to pack a cooler bag to bring not only shelf-stable food. For starters, I'm packing organic milk for one child, and soymilk for the other. Deciding to take the cooler allows me to expand my road food options.

Next, we are going to try to stop at parks rather than restaurants. This way the girls can stretch their legs and we won't be tempted to eat french fries and ice cream, which will just make us feel yucky for the remainder of the drive. I'm even staying away from fast-ish food veggie burgers (like the Boca used at Texas Burger) b/c, really, need I say more?

Here's my list so far:

pretzels and pita chips
homemade hummus and baba ghanoush
boiled organic eggs (for the girls)
organic cheese cubes (for the girls)
cold pasta salad
fresh and dried fruit
vegan peanut butter and chocolate chip fudge (our treat)
hope to make: vegan broccoli quiche, which is super yummy cold

The idea of eating this way on a road trip actually excites me. No more gas station food!

Please share other good healthy road trip food ideas!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Catching Up Again

Last week was rough. We are still on some crazy schedules with our girls' school and classroom construction and I needed to attend a funeral of a family member and it just seemed that in all the craziness, plans got set to the side. Sometimes, we just survive our weeks. Thankfully, we have green smoothies every morning. That single item often saves my day, nutritionally speaking.

One win from last week? We successfully used all our veggies from our CSA box - save a tub of okra that I am going to put into a vegetarian gumbo tomorrow. And yes, I did roast some of it just to see what it was like. It wasn't half bad in its roasted state. As someone who only eats okra largely of the sliced and fried variety, this is a big step forward.

With the remains of the CSA, I basically jumbled everything together into a veggie soup. Some weeks, this might turn into homemade veggie broth as well. But I set that okra aside specifically for gumbo.

This week, things are still crazy - mixed up schedules and swim lessons, doctor's appointment and community potlucks. But the big news, and the one that greatly affects my ability to plan for the week apparently, is that I have an impending birthday this weekend. So, it's feeling a bit like a week of indulgence. (Throw caution to the wind! Be Spontaneous!). Meal planning has taken a back seat to making plans for the weekend (where to eat? what to do? and most important, what kind of cake to make? This one, btw!).

So, what are we doing so far this week?

Monday was Tofurkey pizza (I couldn't resist trying their supreme made with vegan cheese/Italian sausage) along with the vegetable soup.

Last night, the girls succesfully lobbied for mac and cheese (which they would eat every single dang night if I let them) with fruit. David and I ate the last of the soup and we all snacked on an appetizer of pita chips and hummus (that would be the hummus I whipped up Monday morning because my littlest wanted it for breakfast). And everyone had a before bed snack of carrot sticks.

Tonight is a late appt night so I am not at all sure what we will cobble together but we do need to make a quick run to the market to refresh fruit, carrots and onions. Choices for lunches this morning were a little slim.

Tomorrow we'll have the vegetarian gumbo served with rice. Since I'll be working from home, I'll also cook our black beans for the week that I should have cooked over the weekend.

On Thursday, I am going to turn some of those black beans into the simple black bean burgers we love.

Friday is community night at our girls' school. Thankfully, the school is providing dinner this time so I don't have to think about what to bring (whew!) and Saturday, well, Saturday's the big day. Suffice it to say that we'll likely be eating some version of Italian food since *I* get to choose. Along with bellinis if I can make that happen. And, the cake.

On Sunday, I'm running my first official 5k since having babies. Yay, me!! I figured this was a good way to celebrate the anniversary of my birth as well as my renewed commitment to health as I, ahem, get older. And since it's a race, migas at Curra's are certainly in order afterward. Let the celebration continue.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Meal Plan, week of 9/5

Yes, I know it's Wednesday. Late, late, late to start meal planning. Actually, I just want to take a moment to write down what's in my head.

A few notes:

  • I missed posting a meal plan last week due to a stomach bug that I couldn't shake. Nausea does not work well with meal planning. Mostly, we just limped along with feeding the girls out of the pantry and me living off of scrambled eggs and crackers - the only thing my body seemed to want.
  • the fires, y'all. Da-yum. 
  • our a/c is out. Thankfully, it hasn't been super duper hot lately (hooray!) but I still don't want to fire up the oven if I can help it.
  • before the a/c went out, I made some vegan, oil-free, ww chocolate zucchini muffins. The taste was okay but they were "sticky," kwim? Anyone care to weigh in on that? Maybe underbaked? I was afraid that sans oil, they'd dry out to much and I may have jumped the gun. Still, the girls ate a half dozen mini muffins either not long after I pulled them out of the oven.
  • in some really good news, we start our CSA today (farm share). So you may see some generic reference to "vegetables" below. I did get a list yesterday of this week's offerings, and I'll say this much, I'ma try roasting okra. Yes, I wrinkle my nose too but everyone seems to swear by it. We'll see...

This week's plan:
Monday:  was a wash. Labor Day. Not as fun as I had anticipated since we spent the day hanging hooks and room-darkening curtains and following the wildfires news - wondering if we just might need to decide what to take with us in an evacuation. We also began to notice that the a/c was out...

Tuesday: I bought these (note: I did not purchase these at WF, but at Wheatsville Coop; WF just came up in my search for a picture). Last week my vegan friend Claire had a baby, I volunteered to bring supplies from the store, and these were requested. They were also on sale so it seemed a great idea to try them out because I lust after their apple/sage sausages. So, last night I grilled them along with ears of fresh corn and served them on ww buns with fixin's and a salad on the side. David and I both agreed - two thumbs up. If I can keep these on hand, we definitely prefer them to Smart Dogs. The texture makes the difference.

Wednesday:  That's today. I'm pretty sure we're having tacos. One of the things we did last weekend is go through our pantry and clean out, make note of what we have in there. I discovered some unopened organic blue corn taco shells and I've been meaning to try lentil tacos, so...there you have it. I also happen to know that I have two very ready-to-be-eaten avocadoes just waiting to be sliced and diced. We are also trying a new Roasted Roma Salsa from Texas Texas that I picked up at Central Market.

Thursday: Chickpea patties. Yes, those patties, the ones from Veganomicon. Everyone loves them and I've never made them, so it's time. Served with "vegetables" from CSA on the side.

Friday: We've got family in (for a funeral, rather than for celebratory reasons). My dad loves simple meals and I've got frozen limas in the freezer, so I'm planning to make maple cornbread muffins (using the last of the fresh roasted corn) and a pot of seasoned limas. Served with fruit and salad. voila, the simple meal.

Saturday and Sunday: Plans are up in the air due to houseguests and schedules. I imagine we'll eat out at least once and I'll see what I can do with the rest of that CSA box (roasted okra, anyone?).

Monday, August 22, 2011

Meal Plan: week of 8/22

Last Week's Retrospective:
It went much as planned, meaning, we ate out more than we usually do due to it being the last week Grammy was in town. We had dinner once at Mr. Natural (though were a little sad to see that the line option is now gone for dinner), indulged one evening at Mandola's (where the elder even tried a pasta in -gasp! - tomato sauce), and  ate one evening at Central Market (where I made the unfortunate mistake of tasting the girls' mac 'n cheese - yuck! Why a foodie grocery store can't get their cafe act together, I simply can't understand.).

This Week:
This is quite a week. The girlies start back to school, well, they start interim camp while construction continues on their new classrooms. This means that I'm responsible for planning meals, lunches, AND two snacks a day. Believe me, this weekend this took all the effort I had to plan for. I had very much gotten used to making sure there were "options" in the fridge before leaving the house.

 Monday: Sweet potato and lentil curry. Yes, the same one I made a few weeks ago. It's a winner. Plus, I packed up half of it and delivered it this morning to a coworker and friend with a newborn. Made it yesterday, steamed the rice this morning.

Tuesday: tacos. Ah, the beauty of previously made and thawing black beans. Avocado, salad, fruit will accompany.

Wednesday: Fakess. This recipe here, which I was turned onto by my friend Erika. Note: I follow the crockpot version and leave out the oil entirely. I serve it with field roast sausage. I made it this weekend in the crockpot, so there's a ready-to-eat batch in the fridge and two more batches in the freezer.

Thursday: Black bean burgers; these were my triumph last week, served with sweet potato fries. Such a quick and easy meal and so so so delicious. I served them sans buns but garnished with ketchup for the girls and on sandwich thins for the adults.

Friday: pizza. I will, I will, I will make my own pizza crust. Seriously, y'all. I can do this, right?

The lovely thing about this week's plan is that M-W are already prepared. I also made more of the scrumptious chickpea "tuna" salad for my lunches as well as these oatmeal chocolate chip muffins with sugar tops. They are actually pretty low in sugar and we subbed in half wheat flour for the all-purpose. We also left out the pecans. Quite yummy.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins
makes approximately 12 full-sized muffins

1 1/4 c quick cooking oats
1 1/4 c milk
1 egg
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/2 c packed brown sugar, plus 1/4 c for dusting on top
3/4 c semisweet chocolate chips
1 c chopped pecans (optional)
1 1/4 c all-purpose flour (we subbed ww for half)
4 tsps baking powder
1 tsp salt

Combine oats and milk and let stand for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin. Combine flour, baking powder and salt.

Stir egg, oil, 1/2 c brown sugar, chocolate chips and 1/2 c pecans into the oats and milk.

Add flour mixture to oats mixture, stirring just until moist. Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full. Sprinkle tops with remaining sugar and pecans.

Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Meal Plan: week of 8/15

Last Week's Retrospective
Meal Plan Fail. Seriously. Maybe having the date wrong last week (Monday was the 7th, not the 8th, just threw off my mojo for the week). Also, the heat got to me. And my running (discovered at the end of the week that I had almost doubled the running I was supposed to do as part of my couch to 5k plan). And time constraints. Everything piled up and meal plans went off the rails.

We ended up grocery shopping on Monday and eating at Central Market. Then we caved and went to eat at Buffet Palace on Tuesday after swim lessons. On Wednesday, desperate to get back on track, I pulled out my friend Claire's recipe for sweet potato and lentil curry and made it. Thankfully, it's a super quick dish to cook. Thursday we ended up at Kerbey Lane Cafe for dinner (yes, that makes 3 trips out to eat; thankfully, my MIL likes to take us out while she is visiting and KLC is my favorite restaurant in town - I won't deny that I loved me some home fries Thursday night).

Finally, on Friday, I was home a little early, so I used the time to whip up two batches of hummus and a batch of this delicious chickpea tuna salad. We made pita pizzas for dinner for the kids. FWIW, I have seen versions of the chickpea salad that were a bit more complicated. This one is super easy and super delicious. Don't neglect the kelp powder though.

Saturday night we ended up eating out again (!) at Jason's Deli b/c we were school clothes shopping for the girls. And then Sunday we spent the day in Wimberley and tucked into leftovers Sunday evening (Jason's Deli mac 'n cheese remains, hummus, chickpea salad and the curry from Wednesday).

What a week.

This Week
Monday: We have swim lessons tonight at 6pm, so we will try to eat something quick beforehand (maybe some version of sandwiches) and baked sweet potato fries.

Tuesday: I'm going to try to get the lentil soup I wanted to make last week made.

Wednesday: I'm not going to lie. We're probably going to Mandola's for dinner. MIL loves Italian and there's a certain little toy store in the same shopping center we've been wanting to visit.

Thursday: Not lying again. Mr. Natural for a night of healthified Tex Mex before Grammy leaves.

Friday: pizza

That is a pretty lame meal plan.

Somewhere during the week I will try to make Catherine Newman's cheese crackers and Fat Free Vegan's chocolate blueberry cake. Yum and yum.

Next week our interim end-of-summer camp begins in lieu of incomplete construction at the girls' school. Grammy will be back in Virginia (and sorely missed) and we'll try to start working on our fall routine. This week and last week are very unlikely to be the norm in the future.

Monday, August 8, 2011

This week's menu....

Here is the menu in our home this week. Since Josh started a new job in North Austin, he doesn't come home for lunch anymore. (Insert a sad face) The boys miss seeing Daddy for lunch everyday. This being said, I have made sure to cook meals that have leftovers, so he will have a hearty lunch for the next day. Here is what we will be eating.
Monday: Roasted hatch chile Corn pudding, greens, & blackeyed pea cakes w/a chipotle mayo sauce
Tuesday: Black Bean Enchiladas
Wednesday: Ratatouille w/homemade foccacia
Thursday: Roasted acorn squash & pinto tacos w/fresh cilantro and avocado
Friday: Black Bean Burgers w/roasted potatoes
Saturday: leftovers since Josh will be working 9-9

I will also make some chickpea crunchers as a snack for the little guys as well as some mac and cheeze in case there is a picky night and we can't forget the occasional pb&j.

Hope you have a lovely week.

Krys and the boys

Meal Plan: week of 8/8

Wow, here we are in the second week of August! Time is flying, which is a good thing b/c it's hot as Hades in Texas and I, for one, can't wait to get to Autumn. Still focusing on a lot of meals that don't require cooking. For example, last night, feeling too worn down after going running in the morning and being with kids all day to do the grocery shop, I made do with what we had in the fridge. This resulted in a dinner of fresh organic egg salad, steamed broccoli dusted with nutritional yeast, fresh cherries, fresh grapes and veggie straws. Also, lots of cold ice water for all. And since I am eating more vegan these days, I eschewed egg salad to fill up on what was left of last week's lentils and field roast sausage.

Since we do have an out of town guest, we also did eat out a bit. On Saturday we joined friends for lunch at Enoteca after watching a live stage version of Peter Pan at the Scottish Rite Theater downtown. I had a super yummy salad and roasted tomato soup (yes, in August, in Texas!). I want to get my hands on the restaurant's recipe for creamy vinaigrette and will be hitting up my friend Heather for the goods. The girls adored eating plain rigatoni with parmesan "sprinkles," as R referred to them. The little one, btw, had a pretty good nosh through some zucchini fries (win on the veggies!). And yesterday, we followed up a visit to Book People with a drive out to Lake Austin for lunch at Hula Hut (yum to their chopped salad/mango quesadilla combo!). Thanks, Grammy, for taking us out for some weekend fun!

Last Week's Retrospective: We did well, not many breakout shops in the middle of the week. We stayed pretty true to the plan except for Thursday. I had the good fortune to have a girl date with two friends to see Attack the Block at the Alamo Drafthouse, which meant that I had an Asian Tofu Salad for dinner accompanied by a strong IPA! I left pizza and applesauce for family members staying home. We didn't have pizza two nights in a row, though, I went ahead and made a quinoa salad for Friday night and I served a snack plate built around simple black beans for the girls for dinner, since they were not too thrilled about quinoa salad. I often do snack plates for the girls in a vaguely Mediterranean style, filling compartmentalized plates with items such as whole beans, nuts, fruit, hummus and pita chips. This is also a good way to use up small remains of assorted leftovers.

This Week:
Monday: I'll confess, this one's gone to be a bit of winging it. I remembered to cook a batch of chickpeas last night about 9 pm (they'd been soaking since mid-afternoon but I got distracted watching Sherlock and forgot to go ahead and cook them). So, I'm either going to make a fresh batch of hummus (btw, I make a really awesome hummus, if I do say so myself - it's important to know what you do well, right?) or roast some chickpeas. To this, we can add a fresh greens salad, fruit (we still have cherries and grapes) and roasted pita bread. The other option is that, since I skipped it this weekend, we are likely doing our grocery shop this afternoon which gives us the opportunity to eat at Central Market Cafe or from the CM deli/salad bar. I always find this a fun outing with family in town so we'll play the evening by ear.

Tuesday: post-swimming lesson tacos. I am hopeful I can get a lentil taco filling made tonight so that we don't just have to rely on plain beans. But we also have fresh tortillas, avocado and greens. I am also hoping to get a side of Spanish rice made since R eats it by the handful.

Wednesday: Heidi's lentil soup with saffron yogurt sauce. I've been dying to make this soup. So, here goes!

Thursday: A chickpea "tuna" salad, served either over greens or on toasted bread. I can't find the recipe readily on the 'net. Thankfully, I printed it out a few weeks ago. It's basically chickpeas, cashews and sunflower seeds, spices, vegan mayo, etc. all mashed up together with a little kelp powder. It's addictively good.

Friday: I'll confess, I'm planning to go out. The girls have a swimming lesson at 4:30 and they are always hungry after. I see a Friday afternoon of changing out of wet clothes and hitting up Mr. Natural where I can go ahead and stock up on tofu and sunflower seed tamales (my very fave!).

Weekend: Also, a bit up in the air. I'm getting a hair cut Saturday afternoon and we may take a day trip on Sunday, so there's possible picnicking in our future.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

meal plan: first week of August + lasagna recipe

Last Week's Retrospective: um, did anyone notice that I'm missing Thursday in last week's plan? Well, neither did I. All week something felt off in my planning and we ended up having one night where we just winged it. I imagine that's why. Otherwise, we stayed close to the plan except for Friday. Instead of pizza we had salads at Central Market, courtesy of my parents being in town (a hastily planned visit). Aside: we also had the pleasure of eating at Threadgill's for lunch Saturday, also courtesy of my parents. I really love Threadgill's veggie plate and all the vegan and vegetarian options that can be combined for that. (shhhh, I snuck a few fried okra bites off of my mom's dish so that I didn't have to order that for myself!) They also brought us a home-grown watermelon all the way from the Pine Belt.

Next Week: We have another guest this week, my husband's mother, who will be here for three weeks. So the next three plans will be for a family of 3 adults and 2 children. She's a joy to have around the house and she seems to appreciate my cooking more than anyone.(hooray!).

And now, I seem to have lost the list I made for the week. Seriously. It went something like this:

Monday: Lasagna, since I know it's a meal our houseguest enjoys. I have included my cherished lasagna recipe below, one I can't find anywhere on the internet and that I've been making for years. I don't even know where I got it.

Tuesday: veggie and bean tacos with fixin's. I will attempt fresh salsa/pico de gallo b/c I love it so.

Wednesday: Greek lentils with field roast sausage and salad. I made the lentils weeks ago and froze them just for this purpose.

Thursday: summer peas and maple cornbread with fruit. Last week I made a pot of zipper creams, up this week? baby limas. My dad also stocked my freezer with pintos and purple hulls. (whee!)

Friday: pizza night, though I'll serve it with a quinoa salad since pizza hasn't been on my personal meal plan of late.

Meaty Vegetarian Lasagna


the equivalent of 1 lb ground beef (any meat substitute will do, my favorite is Quorn, which is not a soy-based substitute, in case that matters)
2 T. veg. oil (split)
1 1-lb can of tomatoes
1/2 c water
1 6 oz can of tomato paste
1/2 c diced celery
1 pkg spaghetti sauce mix
1 T. sugar
1 T. prepared mustard
salt to taste
1 8oz pkg lasagna noodles
2 bay leaves
1 lb cottage cheese
1/4 c grated Parmesan
6-8 oz thinly sliced or grated mozzarella


Preheat oven to 350 F. 

Brown ground meat substitute in 1 T of the oil and add next 8 ingredients (can of tomatoes, water, tomato paste, celery, spaghetti sauce mix, sugar, mustard, salt). Simmer 15-20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions, adding 1 T oil and bay leaves to boiling water. Drain and remove bay leaves.

Oil a 12 x 18 inch baking dish. Layer noodles, sauce, 1/2 of the the cottage cheese, 1/2 of the Parmesan and 1/3 of the mozzarella. Repeat layers. Make top layer of noodles and sauce. Decorate with strips of mozzarella. Bake 30 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Meal Plan: week of July 25

This week, some neighbors of ours went out of town and unloaded (much to our delight) their CSA box on us. So, in addition to planning meals for the week, I wanted to take advantage of our extra bounty. We have lots of great salad supplies, so in addition to the meals below, we'll sprinkle the week with salads.
  • Today: I am making zipper cream peas and vegan cornbread. We have a giant honeydew melon from the neighbors to dig into as well. This is a meal from my childhood. There's almost nothing I like better than fresh boiled peas and zipper creams are one of my absolute favorites.
  • Monday: this used to be our build-a-bowl night and I'm going back to that routine. I serve a whole grain (often quinoa), a protein (tomorrow it will be chickpeas or leftover peas) and a green for mixing up into a bowl with toppings. The girls can eat the items separately and I often offer them whole-grain crackers or veggie straws along with the meal. Husband and I add Sriracha or toasted sesame seeds.
  • Tuesday: this is our taco night. I've got Quorn ground round sitting in the freezer; I'll take advantage of that by adding taco seasoning and sauteed onions to make a veg "beef" filling. I'll serve with beans for the girls and traditional taco toppings.
  • Wednesday: This chickpea salad. I am taking another batch into work for our staff luncheon on Thursday. I'm also making a batch of Heidi Swanson's amazing chocolate chips cookies to send in for the luncheon and some extra as an end-of-summer camp surprise for the girls' teachers. These are my absolute favorite chocolate chip cookies. They are not healthy, FYI.
  • Friday: pizza night. E and I went through cookbooks yesterday to see what pizza dough recipe options we have on hand. If we get inspired and have the time, we may try to make our own dough. If not, we'll fall back on pita pizzas.
This weekend has been incredibly productive so far. I made about 8 cups of fresh cooked garbanzos last night and today I have already made two batches of fresh hummus, one plain and one with a roasted pepper. One will go in the freezer. I also made a batch of Swanson's Grandma's Grain hot cereal which I will eat from all week (sadly, I was out of walnuts this morning). And I used some overripe bananas in this recipe for vegan blueberry banana muffins. I can't eat them b/c I'm allergic to bananas (though I can say they smell divine!), but they'll go in the girls lunches (and an extra dozen will go in the freezer). I made them with ww flour because it was all I had on hand. And I added about a quarter cup of almond milk because they seemed a little dry.

I am pretty sure today's incredible productivity was the direct result of starting my day with a run.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Summer Suppers

I totally forgot that yesterday I was picking up the girls, which meant we had a later start to dinner than usual. So much for my sticky rice and baked tofu idea.

What I did last night is what I do a lot of nights in the summer. I basically went through the fridge and pulled out an assortment of (mostly cold) items to serve. Last night it was hummus with whole grain pita chips, cantaloupe, the last of our steamed broccoli, yogurt and salad. The girls have fun little compartmentalized plates and they enjoy putting a food item in each one. I also served them strawberry frozen fruit bars for dessert.

This feels a bit like cheating, but it's often too dang hot to cook and as I look at the array of food being served - they're clearly getting the right kinds of nutrients: healthy proteins, fruits, veggies.

If I planned ahead for these nights, I could offer a little more variety - perhaps making a wider array of cold salads or dips that could sit in the fridge for a few days. So, I might be hunting down some ideas for that. I know that Isa Chandra Moskowitz's new cookbook Appetite for Reduction contains a lot of creative salad ideas.

I'm curious: what are other folks' go-to quick summer suppers like?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Meal Plan

Here is our meal plan for next week. Sometimes additional food will be made if one of the boys is having a rather particular being picky sort of day.

Our menu plan for next week…
-ShuMai/SiuMai dumplings filled with broccoli & zucchini in garlic sauce! (This is a recipe from a friend’s blog)
-Veggie sushi with a side of miso veggies & udon noodles (in case one of them decides they don’t want sushi)
-Chana Masala with a side of roasted cauliflower
-Corn on the cob, grilled squash, & vegan apple sage sausages
-Pizza night

Chickpea crunchers
Kale chips
Dried fruit
Chcolate chip quinoa muffins

Welcome to Nourish the Family

Hi All,

First post!

What's this blog about? Well, to be perfectly honest, I'm struggling a bit with food. I miss my dinner coop (families cooking for families on a weekly basis) which fell on hard times and I've been working on my diet this summer and trying to make plans for stuffing the most nutritious and yummy food possible into my growing girls (2 and 4). I love browsing the web for recipes, poring over cookbooks and making grocery lists. But I struggle with weekly meal plans and feel like I wing it a lot at night.

Enter the new blog. I thought I'd start this as a space to share weekly meal plans. I'll try to share my own and I hope to add other posters who'll do the same so that we can share ideas (with recipes too). Because I know I need inspiration.

So far, our week has looked like this:

Monday: this was an odd day. E was attempting a piano lesson at 5pm so husband and R stayed home and snacked on black beans and strawberries and crackers. When E and I got home, she wanted mac and cheese so (sigh) I utilized an Annie's microwave pack of mac and cheese (plus black beans and crackers and strawberries). Husband and I had big salads, which we're loading with greens and a veggie protein source - this is part of our summer eating plan.

Tuesday: bean tacos served with Greek yogurt and salsa, tortilla chips, carrots, grapes. Husband and I had our salads.

Wednesday: again the clamor for mac and cheese! I had purchased a frozen variety (supposedly whole grain and healthier) and I took the time to bake it in the oven so it would be extra yummy. The kids ate that while husband and I ate salads. Alongside the mac and cheese, I served steamed broccoli and apple slices. I also made a pot of curried sprouted lentils while the mac and cheese was baking. I have lentils for my lunch today.

Thursday: That's today. I don't have plans yet, though I had thought of doing something with baked tofu and sticky rice, plus the leftover broccoli.

Friday: is typically our pizza night.

The weekend is up for grabs.

We will try a) not to eat out and b) limit mindless snacking.

Going forward, I'm going to try to post our meal plans here and give them more thought.