What We’re Eating 4/24-5/2

Hey! I know it’s been a hot second since I’ve updated the good ol’ blog, but frankly I’ve been feeling uninspired and I don’t want to post when I have nothing to write about! That being said, I’d like to get back into the habit of sharing our weekly meal plans to help inspire you in the kitchen! I’ll be sharing what we are eating and how I try to make each meal a little healthier. As you hopefully know by now, my husband has a strong love for calzones, so every Friday we will continue to eat them until we are sick of them. I doubt that will happen!

This week we are eating:

  • Burrito bowls  — We don’t add the cheese and skip the corn salsa. What is so great about these tasty bowls is you can customize them however you’d like and they still taste fantastic.
  • Thai Chicken Meatballs — Serve these up on top of brown rice and with roasted broccoli. I try and lighten these up a bit more by using light coconut milk and whole wheat breadcrumbs.
  • Asian Salmon — I know I’ve shared this recipe before but it is worth sharing again! It comes together quickly, which makes this an easy weeknight meal. Serve with quinoa or brown rice on the side for some complex carbs.
  • Calzones — Made with this whole wheat crust. Pick your toppings and stuff them in the crust and bake! Our favorite toppings are mushrooms, green peppers, onions, and turkey sausage. And cheese, of course.
  • BBQ Chicken Salads — Does this salad scream summer, or what?!
  • One Pan Lemon Chicken with Brussels sprouts and butternut squash — The sauce makes this dish!

 

What are you eating this week?

My Favorite Weeknight Meals

I have a mountain of recipe books (thanks family!). I have pinned countless recipes on my Pinterest page. But for some reason I like to come back to some of my favorite weeknight dinner meals over and over again.

Some of the reasons why I come back to the same ol’, same ol’ recipes is because of a couple of things:

  • Ease – I have to be able to whip up the recipe quickly, or be able to prepare it ahead of time. With crock pot meals I’m able to chop up everything the night before and before I head to work all I do is dump the ingredients in the pot and turn the crock pot on! Trust me, you want to make sure you turn your crock pot on. I’ve come home to raw food before and it’s as disappointing as you think it is.
  • Healthy – or mostly healthy. Gotta have a punch of protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats. I might have to add these on my own whether it be adding a veggie, subbing brown rice for white rice, or adding in some avocado.
  • Adaptability – Don’t have an ingredient on hand? No problem. It won’t make or break the recipe.
  • Husband approved – Mitchell has only disliked one meal I’ve cooked our entire marriage, so we are a-okay in that department… for now. 🙂

Here are some of my favorites:

Crispy Baked Asian Salmon | iowagirleats.com

 

What are your favorite go to meals?

What’s Cooking: Holiday Edition

Even though Mitchell and I spend our holidays bouncing around from family to family and house to house and never formally host a party  (unless it’s for our friends — I’ll get to that later) we still manage to cook and bake as if we were hosting!

Today I’m sharing with you what we have made thus far this holiday season and what we are planning to make for this week’s festivities!

Sunday we went to our annual family bunch (which I totally look forward to all year because, um, it’s BRUNCH) and we contributed Pumpkin Coffee Cake. It’s become a favorite in our household — I’ve made it no less than 6 times since October. I doubled the recipe to feed the crowd and let’s just say, it could have stayed in the oven a little longer. However, it was still scrumptious!

That night I longed for something not quite as sweet. Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas fell off our menu last week and onto Sunday (which I’m not complaining) due to some unripe avocados *whomp whomp*. Prepped and cooked within 30 minutes, my favorite kind of meal.

Last night we kept things light and dined on one of our favorite big salads (Seinfeld, anyone?): Chinese Chicken Salad. Totally hit the spot and wasn’t too heavy at all.

Chinese Chicken Salad - Restaurant quality that you can easily make right at home, except it's healthier and a million times tastier!

Today I’m headed to my Christmas work party where I’m bringing Peppermint Mocha Cookies.  I sampled one last night after I made them and they have just the perfect amount of peppermint. Since they were so delightful I will also be bringing these to our Christmas dinner celebration with my side of the family. I’m also making Creme Brulee for our fancy Christmas dinner dessert, too! I can’t wait to bust out the torch!

Instagram media molly.packard - peppermint mocha cookies for coworker cookie exchange! 🤗🍪🎄 #tistheseason #sallysbakingaddiction

And what’s Christmas without a small appetizer?  Roasted Garlic and Bacon Dip will also be made! My mom is hosting Christmas dinner so I offered to bring a small dish. I’ve already made it once before and it was a huge hit! You roast a whole head of garlic and mix it with cheese and bacon, how could you go wrong?!

Creamy warm spinach dip made with roasted garlic, crispy bacon, and parmesan cheese. This dip was gone in minutes! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Even though we don’t host a family Christmas, we host a Friendsmas party with our nearest and dearest friends from high school. This year, our Friendsmas celebration falls right when the Hoosiers are playing in the Pinstripe Bowl, so we are keeping things simple and football food friendly. Here’s what we have planned so far:

And after all that eating I think I will be ready for a diet overhaul come next week.

Merry Christmas to you and yours! ♥

Instagram media molly.packard - christmas kisses for my sweet girl. 💚😚 #dogmom #rescuedog

What We’re Eating, 5/6-5/12

Before I jump into this week’s meal plan, I thought I would give you a quick little recap of how my half marathon went. Spoiler alert: I didn’t beat my PR but I still finished in 1:55 and some change.

I went into this race with a goal of just to finish (which is always my #1 goal in a race) but in the back of my mind I really wanted to beat my personal record (PR) of 1:51:24 set in October 2014 on a VERY hilly half marathon. I knew I could run this race faster because this race course is flatter than a pancake. So flat in fact it almost gets a little boring. I tried so hard to hold onto my pace but for some reason, the heat was getting to me. At about mile 9 or so I really started to feel pretty bad. My stomach was not settling and eating my fuel seemed like a chore. I could barely swallow my fuel, let alone water. The last few miles seemed to take FOREVER. I stopped and walked more than I care to admit. I was so elated when I looked over into the crowd on the last mile and saw my husband and father waving me on to finish. Another one for the books! Not my best race, but sometimes you don’t have much control over other external factors and I just did my best to listen to my body and slow down when I needed to.

Okay okay, enough about running! I know what you came here for… this week’s meal plan! I hope you enjoy this one. One of my favorite summer recipes is included in this plan- the chipotle quinoa salad. It makes enough for the whole Russian army (as my Grandma Phyl would say) and is so wonderful for work lunches! The skillet shrimp recipe is one that’s an oldie but a goodie. I learned how to make this recipe my junior year of college, when I really started to care about what I ate.

Here’s what we’re eating 5/6-5/12:

What are you eating this week?

What We’re Eating, 4/29-5/5

Hi friends!

Thank you all for taking the time to read my little corner of the internet. I’d love to hear your feedback on what you might like to read about in the future! I love to talk about nutrition or fitness or both! Feel free to post on my Facebook page and ask questions.

Since last week’s meal planning post was such a hit, I decided I’d share another week of our meal plans. For this next week, I am “carb loading” for my half marathon this weekend. Carb loading is a term used by endurance athletes for increasing carbohydrate intake. By increasing your carbohydrates, you can max out your glycogen stores… and let me just take my science hat off and if you’re super interested in this topic, I’ll point you in this direction. But simply put, this means I’ll be eating more whole grains such as fruits, oats, and other carbohydrate rich foods. My nerves are at an all time high but I couldn’t be more excited to complete my 11th (I think?) half marathon.

mini

After my 9th half marathon!

Okay, enough about running!

Tonight I’m fixing a crock pot soup that I shared last week which will be great as I am heading to the grocery store this evening and will have no desire to actually cook by the time all that is said and done.

This week’s plan:

Now I’m officially hungry.

Tip: don’t go to the grocery store on an empty stomach! You’ll end up with extra food you probably will regret buying later. That’s why I never let Mitch come to the store with me! 😉

What’s on your meal plan for this week?

Tips for Meal Planning

Meal planning… what is it?! My definition of meal planning includes planning meals eaten throughout a period of time. In my case, I plan my meals about a week in advance. I find produce doesn’t last much longer than that, if at all! I love meal planning. My type A personality thrives on it. I come home from a long day at work and know exactly what I’m eating for dinner. I also think meal planning really helps keep my husband and I healthy. I plan specifically dinners because our house runs on leftovers.

I’m sure some people probably hate cooking, but for me, I truly enjoy spending time cutting vegetables, or searing lean proteins. I almost find it therapeutic after a long day. I first learned how to meal plan when I was was growing up. My mom had everything planned out and would tackle the grocery store with a list in hand organized by aisle. Now, that’s how I plan and go through the grocery store, too (thanks Mom)!

Here are some of my favorite tips to keep meal planning fun and enjoyable:

1.) Keep it simple: Have a few go-to meals that you know you are going to love and enjoy. My husband loves calzones. I think I have made them every Friday night since we’ve been married (which means we’ve eaten way too many calzones). I also love making fritattas. I made (and still make!) these all the time because it is cheap and a quick way to get a decent amount of protein and a chunk of veggies.

2.) Get inspired: Sometimes I really lack when it comes to coming up with meals. If that ever happens, I flip through my latest Food Network magazine or pull up Pinterest for a quick burst of inspiration.

3.) Check the forecast: Yes, you read that right. The weather. It helps me plan nights that we might be able to grill out. Let’s be honest, BBQ chicken doesn’t taste quite as good when it’s made in the oven. Also, who craves a salad on a rainy day? No one. Soups and comfort food make their appearance in our household on those days!

4.) Plan your shopping day: I try to avoid going to the grocery store more than once a week. That’s how you can really end up spending lots of extra money on food you might not even need. This tip can also tie into days sales are taking place. Pay attention to those ads that you receive in the mail. They can help you plan your menu and save money at the same time based on what is on sale.

5.) Organize the list: Like I mentioned earlier, my mom listed every item by order of the aisle. By doing this, you avoid overbuying and food waste. I absolutely hate wasting food and sticking to the list made from your meal plan will eliminate both of those problems.

6.) Stock your pantry (and your fridge!): Have the essentials on hand at all times so you can create a meal with minimal fuss. Bon Appetit has a great list to check out. This list probably varies by household depending on what you eat.

7.) Prep: When you get home with your meal planning grocery stash, prep what you can! I love chopping up veggies, (this is a huge lifesaver for me as veggies are my grab and go snacks for the week), throwing proteins in marinades, making salad dressings… the list goes on! You future self will thank you.

So, what are we eating this week?

Meal plan for 4/21-4/28

Hopefully some of these tips can be helpful to you and maybe give you a little inspiration to start planning on your own!

Do you menu plan? What are some of your favorite recipes? Share below!