January 2010 Archives

Meal plans: 1-31-2010

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Starting out the week typing out last week's plan and this week's at the same time.  Last week was a hard week for me, I was extra sore and needed more rest, and that slows down everything, including healthy eating.  There were several days when I failed to track my points and didn't make it through normal amounts of exercising.

But, we are starting off a new week, with goals intact, and some healthy meals planned based around fruits and veges.  We had hoped to see Megan today (Sunday) and that didn't work out, so now she's coming over for dinner tomorrow, and that has us doing some fast thinking to plan on what to grab at the grocery store.

  • Monday: plus Megan and Liam - Red pepper soup (trying again after disaster at beginning of month, from @allrecipes), polenta with ricotta, and challah bread.  We got a delicious apple spice cake at whole foods and tried some already Sunday to make sure it was good!!!
  • Tuesday: Ricotta Gnocchi (from @allrecipes) - to use the leftover ricotta from Monday.  We made this recipe several times last year and enjoyed them.
  • Wednesday: quick food for knitting night: Baked potatoes and butternut squash.  I bake the squash with a little brown sugar and apple sauce in the center.  Apple Pear crisp for desert.
  • Thursday: Asian meal - peanut sauce (from @tasteofhome), rice (or fried rice), stir-fried broccoli and snow peas.  Bought some vegetarian potstickers at whole foods to try out with this.
  • Friday: leftovers
  • Saturday: out to library meeting and girls day out.
The nice thing about this is we planned all this on the fly in Whole Foods and won't need another shopping trip on Monday night like normal!

meal plans: 1-25-2010

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Looking back at last week meal plans, and it seems so long ago (I'm writing this a week out) that I don't have much to supplement how it went.

  • Monday: out for groceries
  • Tuesday: Broccoli Cheese soup (adapted from recipe @allrecipes) with asiago cheese bread.
  • Wednesday: Lasagna - E has Milton's Vegetable lasagna in the freezer from Costco and I have SmartOnes lasagna in the freezer.  A quick meal for knit night, but I didn't end up going.
  • Thursday: Sandwiches - cheddar paninis?
  • Friday: Crepes (low fat crepes from @about.com) with lemon curd and jam, potato cubes, and striples
  • Saturday: out?
  • Sunday: Mexican - quesadillas, soy chorizo burritos.
 Ideas came from what was leftover from last week.  We didn't get to do crepes, so it was moved.  Lasagna had been in the freezer and we were looking forward to eating that.  The soup meal was inspired by wanting bread bowls, but Safeway was out of them, so we went with some soft squishy other bread.  Paninis was meant as a use for leftover bread from the soup meal.  So it was pretty much a kristine-is-being-lazy-with-barely-any-ideas week :)

meal plans: 1-18-2010

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I was excited when writing up this week's list, considering that I would get to blog about the plans :)  It's been a while since I've been this excited about blogging, truthfully.

Recap of last week: We had several meals with new recipes to test out.  I tried getting jarred red peppers at Costco to use in soup instead of roasting them myself.  As my tweet said, I didn't think to rinse the peppers first, and we ended up with vinegar-y soup!  Sandwiches with the leftover herb rolls the next day turned out great (a little high in points, but paired with a salad wasn't bad).  Our asian meal was completely new: a lot of dirty dishes and two sets of wontons (potstickers and apple dessert wontons) later, and we decided the potstickers weren't necessary, but the fried rice worked very well and E's new wok was awesome.  Finally, the roasted vege idea for Friday was great: used breakfast links cut into little rounds, and that was delicious.

For this coming week, I had 5 meals to plan in a row because we aren't going anywhere again until next Sunday.

  • Monday: out to Sweet Tomatoes (are you on Club Veg to get their coupons?) and groceries at Trader Joe's. 
  • Tuesday: Vegetable soup (broth, peppers, celery, tortellinis, and charrizo) with cornbread (healthified version of @allrecipes).  Maybe no-pudge brownies for dessert?
  • Wednesday: (quick food for knit-night) hamburger without the bun, baked Kettle chips
  • Thursday: Risotto (lemon, celery, peas - modified slightly @tasteofhome.com) with chicken, herb-y salad
  • Friday: Breakfast for dinner: crepes (low fat crepes @about.com) with lemon curd and berry preserves, potatoes, striples.
  • Saturday: freezer lasagna (SmartOne meal for me, vegetable for E), broccoli, and breadsticks (from herb bread dough from Trader Joe's)
  • Sunday: out to Clackamas and ABC for vegemeat sale.
Inspiration-wise, I had a short idea list leftover from last week to start with.  Watching an episode of Giada at Home (episode More for Less) where she used lemon juice in her chicken soup reminded me it had been a while since I made risotto.  The vegetable soup came out of having leftover peppers from our Costco trip last week, and I looked in my newest cooking magazines for ideas using them and didn't see anything new so I'm just making it up based on the last few soups I made.

E got a bunch of lunch meals, I've got plenty of cereal and applesauce, and the week is looking to have a good healthy plan.  Yay!

meal plans: 1-11-01

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Taking the time to write out my meal plans again this week.  This may become a regular segment!

Recap of last week:  We were pretty successful in eating on plan.  Our cottage cheese for the baked potatoes went bad before we could use it.  The frozen steam-in-bag veges (Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers) were both a great success - Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrot with Cheese sauce and Buttery Rice with Vegetables - I'll certainly get these again.  I didn't end up making the pizza crust thinner as planned because I just couldn't imagine how it would roll out.  And I ate it all instead of saving some for lunch, it's just too good to pass up.  Omelets turned out *great*, I'm excited to try this again.

For this coming week, we don't have many plans for leaving the house, so I needed more days worth of menu plans.  Only a few leftovers remained from last week, so working off that didn't help for ideas.  A Costco trip means inexpensive red peppers (bag of 6), so I wanted meals to use that.

  • Monday: out (at Olive Garden - Apricot Chicken) and grocery shopping (Costco, Safeway)
  • Tuesday: Red Pepper soup (adjusted from AllRecipes) and yogurt rolls (@theredkitchen) modded with herbs and cornmeal 
  • Wednesday: Salad with carrots, leftover yogurt rolls turned into sandwiches with cheese and vege-turkey lunchmeat
  • Thursday: Asian meal: fried rice (recipe @weightwatchers), chicken strips, steamed dumpling/wontons, and apple wontons (recipe @weightwatchers) for desert.
  • Friday: Roasted vegetables (zucchini, onion, pepper, garlic) over whole wheat pasta with morningstar sausage (recipe @foodnetwork).  maybe desert to go with this?
  • Saturday: out?  No plans yet.
  • Sunday: Mexican meal: quasadillas on corn tortillas with 2% mexican shred, roased veges, chicken strips.  E could make tacos with beans.
The asian meal was inspired from our trip to CA, where we helped make the giant Beeson-Vixie asian meal they do when there's a holiday or something special going on.  It's all vegetarian, with great sauces and fried foods to go with.  When I saw my Weight Watchers app highlighting fried rice, I thought it was about time to try it.

I watched the first episode (Penne for Pennies) of Ten Dollar Dinners from the winner of the Food Network Star (watched some eps on New Years Eve!) this weekend, and I loved her creation.  I'm modifying it for what we like and to be vegetarian, it was a really good base idea.

We ended up with a wide variety of things from Costco that we didn't plan on buying, but all will be useful.  E got hummus and pita crackers for lunches.  I got a couple of microwave dinners with good low WW point values.  I got a WeightWatchers magazine from the 30% off magazine rack, and I'm excited to be inspired with that for next week.  Also, a gift card for Jamba Juice was 39.99 and worth $50, so that will be a good thing to use in the coming months for evening treats here and there.  A lot of our purchases, we had Costco member coupons for (saving $22.25!).

It looks to be a good week, all in all :)

meal planning in Jan 2010

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My dear friend Rina asked on Twitter on how I plan my meals.  I've been using a pretty consistent method for the last year and a half or so, and it's been working well.

I start with the grocery ads.  Safeway sends them in the paper weekly, and I set it and the Sunday coupons aside to review on Mondays when I plan my menu.  A lot of times, just looking at what produce or item is on sale spurs on a menu for me.  For example, eggs were on sale this week, along with green onions and red peppers, so omelets was an easy pick.  I added some vegetarian breakfast links and frozen potatoes is a complete meal.  Basing meals on produce is healthier too.

Generally, we go out on Monday night for dinner and grocery shopping.  I plan an easy meal for Wednesday nights because we have a quick dinner before knitting at 6.  And I don't always know what weekends will bring, so I try planning one meal and then the other day, we'll go out and get some exercise and go out to eat.

My week (Jan 5, 2010) is off by a day because of traveling.  It currently looks like this:
  • Tuesday: Out, grocery shopping
  • Wednesday: (knit night) Baked Potatoes with cottage cheese and sharp cheddar, frozen california vegetables.
  • Thursday: homemade pizza - trying out a thinner crust version - with peppers, pineapple, turkey pepperoni, and 2% mozzarella shredded cheese.  Side salad, and save some pizza for the next days lunch.
  • Friday: breakfast for dinner: omelets with green onions/peppers, frozen potato (southern style) lightly fried with olive oil, breakfast vegelinks
  • Saturday: out?  Eric: egg salad
  • Sunday: frozen vegetarian meatballs, homemade barbecue sauce, frozen green beans and rice.
I write this out on a piece of paper folded in half, and then make the grocery list on the other side.  Coupons go inside.  And then I keep each of these papers to give me ideas of what I put together in the future. 

Another way I get meal ideas is looking in my fridge for any veges or fruits leftover from the previous week.  This week, there was NOTHING left because we were gone for 11 days to CA for the holidays.  But there were things that were in the freezer, so we are having more things based on frozen products this week.

If something is on sale but I'm not sure what I want to do with it, like cottage cheese, I search the internet (google) using "cottage cheese" and/or any other ingredients or the word "lowfat" and/or "recipes".  The place I have the most success is actually All Recipes's Ingredient Search.  (my profile is here)  Once you find a recipe, you can browse comments and make adjustments from other people's good ideas!

Several of my magazines are all food ideas: Simple & Delicious and Healthy Cooking (both Reiman magazines).  And Real Simple also has a whole section devoted to food. I have a folder in my emails called "recipes" and get a lot of helpful suggestions here.
  • Hungry Girl - 5 days a week, they send out helpful stuff.  I tend to read a weeks worth at once and gather some ideas.
  • Kraft foods - even though they are striving to sell their products, they carry such a wide variety and give great ideas.  Sometimes coupons are in the emails too.
  • Cooking Light - they have a variety of emails, I get the main free newsletter but not the magazine.
A lot of the things I look for these days are the healthier options, so the info on Weight Watchers site is helpful to me as a current subscriber.  I think most of their food & recipe info is subscriber only though. 

I have a few foodie blogs in my feedreader.  One of my favorites is Dara, who is a blogging friend from way back, with Chick in the Kitchen.  The food blog I posted to in the past is the group blog The Red Kitchen, which still has family favorites so it's a good reference.

I hope to blog more about this in the future, so feel free to comment with questions or ideas!


...at a glance

kristine is a giggly geeky crafty girl, growing in faith and hope.

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