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.