Meal Planning April 3, 2016

It’s meal planning Sunday over here.  Even thought we have been a bit out of sync with food, meal planning has still continued over here.  This week I was excited because we are back to trying new things.  I am  hoping that my renewed spirit doesn’t come back to bite me.  I have all new items on the menu this week.  So we are trying the following things:

Sunday: Bean and Zucchini Cutlets with seasoned peas

Monday: Leftover Cutlets

Tuesday: Lemony-Garlic White Bean Salad with Arugula Pumpkin Pesto

Wednesday: 7 Ingredient Pineapple Stir “Fried” Rice

Thursday: Sweet Potato Fritters with Citrus Cream and Salad

So we made the Bean and Zucchini Cutlets {from VeganSandra}.  The ladies helped with the patty making.  In my experience {with my ladies at least} when they help in the kitchen or with making the meal they are more likely to eat or at least try it.  We were originally supposed to have sweet potato fried with our cutlets.  I say originally because that was the plan and they even made it into the oven.  While we were cooking the cutlets, Em was still helping, we kept checking them and they were just not cooking.  When they began to cook, they didn’t cook, but started to burn.  I did everything that “best sweet potato” recipe said to do {sweet potato fries are my nemesis.  I have tried to make them on several occasions and I have failed each time.}  While this was frustrating to me, it turned into a great lesson.  We are dealing with frustration and not getting things right the first time in my house right now and how do deal with it.  So while I wanted to yell and scream we tried to “fix” the problem.  We tried to salvage what we could and finish cooking them in the oil from the cutlets while the others were still in the oven.  I would love to say that was the magical fix, but it was not.  So we then had to come up with another plan for our side.  We settled on the peas in which Em added her love to them.   I hope that this little lesson {in burnt sweet potato fries} will help with some frustration that they ladies are dealing with and how to try and fix the problem

I am so happy to say that the Cutlets earned a four thumbs up tonight and that is a win in my book {even with the burnt sweet potato fries.}

Until next time,



Meal Planning January 25, 2015

We are back to weekly meal planning over here.  You know sometimes life takes over and you just have to go with it. I am really excited about our meals this week. All but one are new to us and seem like they will be quick and easy to do at night. I didn’t get to go grocery shopping until later in the afternoon, so I knew that I had to make the most of my time. I went to Trader Joe’s for the majority of the items and then to Publix to pick up a few things.  This weeks total for groceries was just under $100.  I was pretty excited about that.

So here is the menu board for the week:

Menu Board January 25 2015


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Meal Planning January 11, 2015

Today is Sunday so that must mean I was meal planning today.  For this week’s meal plan I decided to see what I had in my pantry (and freezer) and go from there.  We are also having some favorites this week.  After taking stock of the inventory and checking my Pinterest Board and the internet I settled on this plan for the week.

Menu Board- January 11 2015

I am trying these two new recipes this week, The Italian Orzo Spinach Soup can be found here, and the Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken can be found here.  I didn’t realize they were from the same site until I made the shopping list.  The Stir Fry will be veggie based with brown rice.  Silly Sandwiches is something that my girls came up with and are usually grilled apple and cheese or grilled peanut butter and banana.  “Brinner” is breakfast for dinner, I usually decide the day of what we are going to have.  Sometimes its pancakes, or french toast or some egg dish.  You will have to stay tuned to see what tickles my food dreams on Thursday.  Finally on Friday we are going to have Naan Pizza. I love using Naan bread as the base for individual pizzas.

For today’s shopping, I tried out a new shopping list app Grocery IQ, I’m not in love with it.  I looked at the suggestions from last week’s post {thank you for those} and one is an apple only product {android girl here} and the other did not give me the check-ability that I love.  So I am still searching. Given what was on my shopping list today I decided that I could get almost everything that I needed at Trader Joes and then pick up the remaining items at Publix.

shopping-jan 11 15

Here is most of the items purchased.  My husband was very helpful and started putting items away before the picture was taken.  Between the two stores I spent $100 on items for the five dinners, plus some breakfast and lunch items.  Not to bad 🙂  Now on to tonight’s dinner:


There were very few modifications that I made to this soup.  I decided that my girls might like it better if it were a little more colorful so I purchased rainbow organic carrots at Trader Joes.  I also did a fifty-fifty mix of chicken stock and vegetable stock {it’s what I had on hand}.  I found a great multi-grain baguette loaf at the store {not completely clean, but also not entirely junked up} and had that for dipping.  The last difference was that I added a little grated Parmesan cheese to the top, it added a nice salty element to the soup. Overall this was a big hit in the house.  It made a lot of soup and I not only have some for lunch tomorrow, but also dinner if the Stir Fry doesn’t go over well.

Dinner rating: 3 out of 4 thumbs.

Until next time,


Meal Planning January 4, 2015

Sunday’s are my meal planning days around here.  Sometimes I decide on the menu for the week, but most of the time I ask Mike and the girls what they want to eat for dinner during the week.  Today when I asked Mike immediately said he wanted Stroganoff and Lily said she wanted Macaroni and Cheese and Tacos.  We have a few evening events this week so instead of trying to make five meals, I decided that I would stick with three, knowing that at least two of them, if not all three would produce leftovers.

Since now that I have a plan for the week, I need to find either tried and true recipes or something new.  I love adding at least one new recipe to the mix every week.  For the stroganoff, I knew that I would use Mike’s mom’s recipe and make some real food changes to it.  For the Macaroni and Cheese, I ventured to Forks Over Knives and found this recipe that looked interesting (, the test will come later in the week when I make it (stay tuned for the verdict on that one), and finally I decided to try out a new slow cooker recipe, (  I love using the slow cooker, especially on night where we have extra-curricular activities in the evening.

I had previously used ZipList for the shopping list, but since they shut down I am on the search for a new one if anyone has any suggestions. So today I just created a list with my Google Keep app.  I mainly shop at Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Publix,  and occasionally Fresh Market.  About once a month we go to Costco for some great staples (stay tuned for post on my favorite Costco items).  Today the weather was pretty crummy so instead of going to multiple stores I only went to Whole Foods today.  I did really well and stuck to my list (with only a few splurge items that ended up in my cart, I mean who can pass up the mini chocolate croissants. 80/20 remember).  Our grocery bill was $130, but it included some once a month staples such as protein powder and pure maple syrup.  I try to keep our costs to around $100-$125 per week.  Since I only went to Whole Foods there are some items that I purchased that I can find for a better price at the other stores, but the weather was not in my favor today.  So next week hopefully I can shop around.

Whole Foods purchases

Whole Foods purchases

About six months ago I created a command center of sorts for our kitchen area, that accomplished two items.  One to keep the clutter off my counters and two, to serve as a menu board for the week.

Menu Board January 4

As you can see from the board, there are only three dinners planned for this week.  For tonight’s dinner I adapted Mike’s mom’s “Hamburger Stroganoff” recipe into a “LLRealFood” version.  Here are the original ingredients with my modifications in blue:


½ C minced onion

1 lb fresh mushrooms sliced  (or 1 can 8 oz sliced, drained)  (i used 1lb of organic baby portobello mushrooms)                                 

1 clove garlic, minced  (Organic minced garlic from Costco)

¼ C butter or margarine   (Kerry Gold Butter was used, but only 3 tablespoons)

1 can (10 ½ oz) cream of chicken soup  (This was made from scratch from this recipe, 

1 lb ground beef   (I used Organic Ground Chicken)

1 C sour cream (8 oz) (I used Organic Valley Sour Cream)

1 T flour (Organic White-Whole Wheat Flour)

Parsley (omitted)

1 t salt

¼ t pepper

Noodles or rice (I used wide egg noodles from Whole Foods.  Whole wheat noodles just don’t work well with this)


It turned out amazing!  I’m not a huge fan of mushrooms, but I think that the baby portobellos work well with this.  They are a bit meaty and not slimy like some other mushrooms taste to me.  We sometimes like to rate the dinners by a show of thumbs up…tonight’s dinner was 3 out of 4.  I call that a success.

Until next time,