Menu Monday: October 6, 2014

It’s going to be a busy work week for me.  As such, I’m planning accordingly.  I’ll be using the crock pot and making a couple of casseroles.  And honestly, one of my meals is just an idea at this point, I’m not exactly sure how it will work out…

Experimentation is good, it’s part of creating.  And creating is one of my favorite things to do.  I’ve always felt like a creative person, but I’ve almost always followed my scientific mind.  Remember in school how you were either good at math and science or you were good at language arts?  I was one of those kids that liked and did well at both.  Now, I’m not trying to toot my own horn, but even back in my school days students were tracked: left brain dominate or right brain dominate.  I never felt I was one or the other.  When Emron was five years old he wanted to be an artist and a super-hero; right brain and left brain.  Now, we tend to label our children even more than when I was in school…  It’s an interesting aside.  And has nothing to do with Menu Monday, but it’s my blog, so I can go stray from topic if I want to.

The photo below is one of my leftover meals from last week.  I make leftovers look good, right?

Leftover steak salad, yummy and easy.

Here’s what we are eating:

Sunday:  BBQ Chicken Thighs, Paleo Coleslaw, Sweet Potato Chips

Monday:  Spaghetti Squash Casserole with Italian Sausage and Tomato Sauce, Green Salad

Tuesday:  Beef Tacos, Paleo Tortillas, Guac,

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday:  Slow Cooker Maple Ribs, Veggies and Dip, Sweet Potato Fries

Friday: Butternut Squash, Rosemary, Bacon Casserole (this is the experiment recipe of the week), Green Salad

Saturday: Leftovers or Out, probably out (just being honest!)

What are you making this week?  I hope it’s a good one!

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Menu Monday: September 29, 2014

Can you believe that on Wednesday this week we will enter the month of OCTOBER?  What the what?!!  How was the weekend?  Mine was fantastic; had two great workouts, hung out with amazing friends, ate some yummy food, and spent some quality time with the fam.  Which, looking back, is pretty great, because my week was sort of crappy.  Car didn’t start Monday morning at 4:45 a.m when I was supposed to get to work, Eli threw up several times on Tuesday, worked quite a bit, felt sick on Friday… It was just one thing after another and it made for a long week.  So, yeah, I guess a good weekend was in order!  And, as a way to end this wonderful weekend, I had sushi for dinner tonight.  I know it’s not Paleo.  But remember that 85/15 rule I’ve talked up several times…  Well, delicious sushi falls into my 15 percent.  So there.

Paleo Lunch Idea

Here’s the menu for the week:

Sunday:  Sushi

Monday:  Lemon and Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Mashed Cauliflower and Green Beans

Tuesday:  Grilled Flank Steak and Peppers with a Green Salad

Wednesday:  Leftovers

Thursday:  Spinach Andouille Sausage Bowls (Remember when I always made spinach bowls?)

Friday:  Leftover Steak Pizza (I’m thinking homemade whole wheat crust, cilantro, avocado, red peppers, onions, no sauce…) with Green Salad

Saturday:  Butternut Squash and Spinach Curry

And there you have it!  Another week of menus.  Let me know if you have questions or comments!  I’d love to know what you are making this week, too!!

Menu Monday: September 15, 2014

Phew!  What a busy week!  The training I attended was long and at times painful (one of the workouts they put us through left me with a swollen and tender right knee), but it’s over!  Thank goodness for that.

Looking back at last week, keeping it paleo wasn’t terribly difficult.  I didn’t follow the menu plan exactly, but I was happy with the food choices I made throughout the week.  I’m even happy I took a couple of recovery days during the week, too!  I struggle a bit with days off.  I want to push myself every day, but I know that it’s my body needs a break every once in a while.  So there you have it.

Now, looking forward.  This week is another busy one but instead of being trained I will be spending most of my working hours working as a personal trainer!  WOOT!  I can’t say it enough, I LOVE my job.  That’s the rant, nice and short.  And here’s the plan for the week:

Sunday: Tostones (twice fried green plantains), Coconut Lime Shrimp (recipe testing), Guac.

Monday: BBQ Ribs, Corn (not strictly paleo, and leftover from last week’s menu plan), Sweet Potato Chips, Paleo Coleslaw.

Tuesday: Eggplant Bolognese.  Eggplant was on sale this week and I grabbed a huge one.  I’ll use part of it for the Bolognese, the other part I’ll roast and turn into some sort of baba ghanosh.  If you need more eggplant ideas here’s one for you, or just ask!

Quick leftover idea! Steak, eggs and lots of veggies.  Good for breakfast, lunch or dinner,

Wednesday: Leftovers, see above.  Leftovers get such a bad rap, but the steak and egg dish above was made with leftover steak from the crock pot, a couple of freshly fried eggs and lots of veggies.  And I bet you are thinking that it looks pretty dang good!  Am I right?  Give leftovers a chance…

Thursday: Maple Cinnamon Butternut Squash Soup (recipe coming soon) with Veggies and Baba Ghnanosh, see notes for Tuesday.

Friday: Spaghetti Squash Pie with Green Salad.  This item was on last week’s menu, too, but when I went to the store they didn’t have any spaghetti squash, so I bought a butternut squash, but as it turned out last week we didn’t eat that either!  It’s a big squash week over here!

Saturday: Out for dinner – or leftovers, which ever sounds better.

And that’s the plan.  Even if I do not follow the plan perfectly, I love having it down on paper, like really, I have a notebook full of menu plans!  I’m just sort of old school that way…  I love making my grocery lists based on the menu because I don’t love going to the store every day, I’ve got other things to do!  Hope it’s a great week!!

Menu Monday: September 8, 2014

It’s a funny week to start Menu Mondays.  I have three days of training for my work which takes me out of the house from 5 in the morning until 6:30 at night.  Most likely I be packing breakfast and lunch.  And maybe dinner.  The game plan involves lots of grilled chicken, salads and portable food.  The boys will be fending for themselves…

It’s a good week to keep in mind the beauty of 85/15.  Make 85% of your eating choices the best they possibly can be; allow 15% to account for life.  And apply the rule over time, not just for one meal.  To aim for perfection is to set yourself up for failure; it’s simple.  Now, obviously, there are times when you need to be closer to 100% perfection and there are times when you will allow for more than 15% life choices.  Nonetheless,  keeping the 85/15 rule in mind helps you maintain your sanity.

Easy to make and pretty to look at, enjoy this PALEO Cobb Salad

On to the menu…

Sunday: Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad -I used grilled chicken, bacon, hard boiled eggs, spinach, tomatoes, red cabbage, avocado, and pepitas.

Monday: Sweet and Sour Chicken over Cauli-Rice, recipe coming soon!

Tuesday: Crock Pot Beef Tacos with Paleo Tortillas and Guac.

Wednesday: (first day of my training) Spaghetti Squash Pizza Casserole (Hooray for Fall!!) with Green Salad.

Thursday: (training day number two) Leftovers!

Friday: (last day of training, woot!) Kids and Murry will probably go out for a boy’s night while I’ll have leftovers, again.  I don’t mind leftovers, thank goodness!

Saturday: BBQ Chicken with Corn (not strictly Paleo) and Veggies with Salsa.

And that’s it!  I’m not going to lie, this training is kind of throwing me off, but again, the 85/15 rule.  I can do!  Perhaps I’ll be super motivated and post some eating on the go strategies.  GOOD IDEA!!  I hope you have a wonderful week.

Happy Valentine’s Day 2014

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays, because it celebrates the purpose of life.  No, not chocolate, LOVE!  This year we are keeping it low key.  A little chocolate, a lot of love.

You're just like BACON, you make everything better.

With all the snow on the ground, school was canceled again today, which means I’ve been able to spend extra time with the littles.  I made the boys strawberry and whipped cream waffles and pancakes for breakfast.  We made our own play-dough and spent time playing with it together.  Lunch was made by request.  We have plans to exchange small gifts when Murry comes home.  Easy peasy.  I’m going to get back to playing.  I hope it’s a great day for you however you spend it!

Parental Truth #2: Your Kid is Going to Grow Up

I know most of you come here for delicious recipes that are mostly paleo.  But sometimes I feel the need to ramble a bit about being a mom.  This post is a mom rambling.  You’ve been warned.

It’s been two days now that I haven’t gotten my “thingy” upon dropping Emron off at school.  I usually walk him to the corner, give him a quick hug and kiss, he will tell me, “Don’t forget your thingy,” then runs ahead twenty feet, turns back around and blasts hugs and blows kisses my way.  We both mouth “I love you,” before he takes off to begin his day at school.

diy-string-heart-03

As I stood waiting in vain for my extra dose of love today, I lamented on growing up.  I thought on all of the milestones that we so readily embrace; first words, first steps, first days of school.  But what about the lasts?  The last day I got my “thingy.”  The last diaper I ever changed.  The last time I made baby food.  I didn’t write these events down, didn’t keep track of them.  But they are just as valid when it comes to tracking growth, maybe more so.

Do I miss changing diapers?  Heck no!!  But I wish I could go back to that last diaper changed, pause the mechanical motions, and just soak it in.  “This is the last diaper I will ever change, this is a moment that will never happen, ever again.”

Sometimes it feels like we are so quickly racing toward firsts, that we forget to embrace the lasts.

I don’t know what tomorrow will hold; if Emron will remember to do our “thingy.”  If he doesn’t, I have marked the day and I know that the last time I got blasts of hugs and kisses floating in the wind was February 7, 2014.  I am okay with that.  I know that Emron feels secure in his school and at home, because if he didn’t, he wouldn’t be able to go so easily.  Giving him that gift of security feels pretty good, even if it only further proves Parental Truth #2.

Stay warm out there.

I Am Project

I stumbled upon the I am… Project a few days ago and found the idea touching.  From the Facebook page creator, the goal of the project is to: flood the internet with more uplifting of kids than shaming of kids.  She goes  on to say:

I am saddened by the amount of kid-shaming photos and stories I see all over the internet.  My proposal is that we flood the world wide web with kid-positivity and uplifting stories and photos.  So, grab a kid (preferably your own; if not get permission) and ask them to finish the sentence, ‘I am…’  Write down what they say (I guarantee it’ll be positive) snap a picture of them holding it and post it everywhere!  Post them here as well and let’s see how many uplifting, positive things we can learn about our children!

I could not wait to let Emron, who is almost six, go crazy with this.  I thought he would have so many good things to say about himself; so many that it would be difficult to make a workable list.  I was a little surprised by his anxious reaction when I asked him to finish the sentence: I am…  Don’t get me wrong, I am glad my kid doesn’t have an inflated ego, but as we talked about ideas of what to write he still seemed a little stressed.  In the end Emron decided to write: I am STRONG. 

I am...

Isn’t he the cutest?

I not am overly praising in my parenting style.  I don’t hand out complements for every-day tasks like brushing your teeth or getting dressed.   But as I watched Emron struggle with this project something inside clicked.  Now I feel re-committed to giving genuine and specific complements.

I am happy to have found the I am… Project.  In participating, I have learned more than I thought I would.  I was oblivious to the “kid shaming” that is all over the internet.  I was also reminded of how integral my role as a parent is.  There is so much truth in the saying that parenting isn’t for the faint of heart!

If you are interested in learning more about the I am… Project, you can check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

Make it a great day!!