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Weekly Menu

(Courtesy of Org. Junkie)

Weekly Menu for the week of 2/1-2/7 – Now that the days are getting longer and it’s time to come out of hibernation, I want to eat more protein, fewer carbs, and slightly less fat.  My goal is to gently make that change by eating more protein at lunch and dinner, and instead of using granola with my yogurt & fruit, I will use nuts & seeds.  In exchange for the added nuts, I will reduce my almond butter consumption and use a little bit less olive oil in my cooking. I will also add whey protein shakes here and there.

  • Monday
    • Lunch & snacks – Leftover 10-minute broccoli dish, orange, hard-boiled egg, sliced apple & almond butter
    • Dinner – Butternut squash risotto, crumbled turkey burger patties on fresh spinach, broccoli
  • Tuesday
    • Lunch – Salmon salad w/ carrots & Wasa crackers, orange, yogurt w/ apples and nuts, hard-boiled egg
    • Dinner – Butternut squash risotto, broiled steak, broccoli (note to self: soak beans overnight)
  • Wednesday
    • Lunch – Leftover salmon salad w/ carrots & Wasa crackers, low fat cheese stick, banana, orange
    • Dinner – Large pot of mixed bean soup
  • Thursday
    • Lunch – Leftover bean soup, yogurt with apples & nuts, carrots, hard-boiled egg
    • Dinner – Leftover bean soup
  • Friday
    • Lunch – Standing Friday lunch with friends
    • Dinner – Leftover bean soup
  • Saturday
    • Dinner – Veggie scrambled egg sandwich
  • Sunday
    • Dinner – Super Bowl Sunday – pizza with friends
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Lovely Saturday

I’ve had a lovely Saturday so far. 🙂  I slept in a bit and then went downstairs and used my new French press to make two cups of seriously aromatic coffee, sipped while I checked my email, caught up on blogs, ran a load of laundry and dishes, and planned my day.  I made my usual breakfast topped with natural apple butter and Barney Butter almond butter.  From there it was into jeans and a sweatshirt (this is a college town), a whirr of the toothbrush, and out to the farmer’s market.

Because it was chilly and damp outside there weren’t many vendors set up at the market.  However, I did buy six beautiful naval oranges and a couple of heads of fresh broccoli.  Next, I drove to a local health foods store where I finally found farro!  I also bought a pound of French lentils, 1/2 lb. of fresh spinach, and some regular and decaf coarsely ground (did it myself!) fair trade organic coffee.  Then I stopped into a gourmet cooking shop to replace my old spatula with a pretty aqua spoonula and added an inexpensive bamboo spoon to my order for use with my French press (after pouring water over your coffee, you are supposed to gently stir with a plastic or wooden spoon to avoid breaking the glass).

After that it was off to the second health foods store for a red onion, a pound of  walnuts, and a pound of organic arborio rice.  I have a bunch of leftover butternut squash from Thursday night so I’ll either make the same dish again or perhaps a lighter version of this butternut risotto.  Each store was only a couple of miles away from the last but due to my lazy, indulgent browsing the whole trip took about two hours.

By the time I got home I was hungry again and feeling a little low on energy despite having had a banana while I was out.  I had four wholesome cookies and one of the juicy oranges I’d bought earlier.  I still didn’t feel as if I had enough energy for a good, strong run so instead I decided to break out my yoga mat, which I’ve been meaning to do for months!, and flow my way through a YouTube yoga class with Sarah:

It was just what I needed.  In fact, I encouraged D to join me for round two so I ended up doing it twice.  I feel relaxed and more thoughtful now.

I’m off to grab another snack, take a shower, and make cookies for game night.  M&M are bringing dough made from scratch for homemade pizzas and the rest of us are bringing toppings (mine is spinach and possibly some mushrooms 😀 ), drinks, and dessert (cookies!).  Have a relaxing Saturday night!

Weekly Menu

(Courtesy of Org. Junkie)

Confession:  For the first time in my life, I am really enjoying having a weekly menu plan.  It has not only made my life easier during the week and saved me from almost-daily dinner waffling with D (“What should we have for dinner?”  “I don’t know, whatever you want.” “I dunno, what do you want?”  “I don’t know.” “Aghhh, I hate this!”), but it has also saved me money and trips to the grocery store.  The small block of time on Sundays spent planning our meals for the week provides much more payback than flying by the seat of my pants.

Because I’ve had leftovers for lunch and “planned” how we would use the produce and refrigerated foods in our house, there has been less food wasted.  I’ve also spent less money on food this month than normal, yet I feel as if we are eating better than ever.  Once again, allowing myself the flexibility to swap meals among different days has been key.

Here’s our weekly menu from the past week (1/11-1/17) and what we really had in red:

Week of 1/11-1/17

  • Monday
    • Lunch & snacks – Already packed: tuna sandwich with mustard and fresh spinach on wheat, small orange, carrots w/ almond butter, one low fat cheese stick, banana
    • Dinner – Pounded walnut strozzapreti
  • Tuesday
    • Lunch – Leftover strozzapreti with veggies, orange, banana, low fat cheese stick
    • Dinner – Mushroom casserole
  • Wednesday
    • Lunch – Leftover mushroom casserole, strawberry greek yogurt, low fat cheese stick, carrots, banana (hamburger with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, mustard, fries courtesy of work; yogurt/apples/granola for snack)
    • Dinner – Veggie lasagna
  • Thursday
    • Lunch – Salmon salad, yogurt with apples & granola, zucchini spears (leftover mushroom casserole with yogurt/apples/granola and veggies)
    • Dinner – Girls’ Night for me; leftover veggie lasagna for D
  • Friday
    • Lunch – Standing Friday lunch with friends (no Friday lunch this week so I had leftover veggie lasagna, raw veggies, a low fat cheese stick, apples/yogurt/granola, and a banana spread throughout the day)
    • Dinner – Easy mushroom sauce on whole grain pasta with veggies on the side (breakfast for dinner – hash browns cooked in olive oil, veggie scrambled eggs w/ a sprinkle of cheese, and donut holes with guests as a treat 🙂 )
  • Saturday
    • Dinner – Breakfast for dinner (whole grain pancakes, hash browns cooked in olive oil, scrambled eggs w/ cheese and veggies) (leftover veggie lasagna & veggie scrambled egg sandwiches on sandwich thins)
  • Sunday
    • Dinner – Lean turkey burgers with thick slices of fresh mozzarella, spinach, mustard, and any leftover mushrooms

Weekly Menu for the week of 1/18-1/24

  • Monday
    • Lunch & snacks – Tuna sandwich with mustard and fresh spinach on wheat, small orange, carrots w/ almond butter, one low fat cheese stick
    • Dinner – We are having guests over and they are bringing dinner.
  • Tuesday
    • Lunch – Tuna sandwich with mustard and fresh spinach on wheat, veggies, orange, yogurt w/ apples and granola, nuts
    • Dinner – Large pot of ribollita
  • Wednesday
    • Lunch – Leftover ribollita, strawberry greek yogurt, low fat cheese stick, carrots, banana
    • Dinner – Leftover ribollita
  • Thursday
  • Friday
    • Lunch – Standing Friday lunch with friends
    • Dinner – Leftover butternut squash dish
  • Saturday
    • Dinner – Leftover butternut squash dish or odds & ends
  • Sunday

Weekly Menu

(Courtesy of Org. Junkie)

Week of 1/11-1/17

  • Monday
    • Lunch & snacks – Already packed: tuna sandwich with mustard and fresh spinach on wheat, small orange, carrots w/ almond butter, one low fat cheese stick, banana
    • Dinner – Pounded walnut strozzapreti
  • Tuesday
    • Lunch – Leftover strozzapreti or salmon salad with veggies, orange, yogurt w/ apples and granola, nuts
    • Dinner – Mushroom casserole
  • Wednesday
    • Lunch – Leftover mushroom casserole, strawberry greek yogurt, low fat cheese stick, carrots, banana
    • Dinner – Veggie lasagna
  • Thursday
    • Lunch – Salmon salad, yogurt with apples & granola, zucchini spears
    • Dinner – Girls’ Night for me; leftover veggie lasagna for D
  • Friday
    • Lunch – Standing Friday lunch with friends
    • Dinner – Easy mushroom sauce on whole grain pasta with veggies on the side
  • Saturday
    • Dinner – Breakfast for dinner (whole grain pancakes, hash browns cooked in olive oil, scrambled eggs w/ cheese and veggies)
  • Sunday
    • Dinner – Lean turkey burgers with thick slices of fresh mozzarella, spinach, mustard, and any leftover mushrooms

I almost always have the same breakfast 🙂 – a toasted sprouted grain english muffin (I have to visit 3 or 4 stores to find them these days, not sure what’s up with that) with natural apple butter or natural peanut butter (sometimes both) and coffee.  These days I’ve been trying to reduce my caffeine consumption so I make half-caf coffee.

Last week’s menu plan and what I really had in red

  • Monday
    • Lunch – Leftover ham/bean/veggie soup and one leftover slice of spinach/mushroom/olive pizza; raw veggies for snackiness
    • Dinner – Leftover turkey & veggie chili
  • Tuesday
    • Lunch – Natural peanut butter & apple butter sandwich, hard-boiled egg, veggies (tuna, Laughing Cow cheese, and spinach sandwich)
    • Dinner – Hamburger ‘n beans, veggies
  • Wednesday
    • Lunch – Egg salad sandwich, blueberry greek yogurt, veggies
    • Dinner – Leftover hamburger ‘n beans, veggies
  • Thursday
    • Lunch – Egg salad sandwich, blueberry greek yogurt, veggies (tuna, Laughing Cow cheese, and spinach sandwich – the egg salad turned out pretty poorly and I couldn’t take another day of it, ha)
    • Dinner – Open-faced scrambled egg & veggie sandwiches, or black bean burgers (Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwich w/ honey mustard, fries)
  • Friday
    • Lunch – Standing Friday lunch with friends
    • Dinner – Shrimp & veggie stir fry (lentil, brown rice, veggie soup)

Weekly Menu

(Courtesy of Org. Junkie)

Week of 1/4-1/8

  • Monday
    • Lunch – Leftover ham/bean/veggie soup and one leftover slice of spinach/mushroom/olive pizza; raw veggies for snackiness
    • Dinner – Leftover turkey & veggie chili
  • Tuesday
    • Lunch – Natural peanut butter & apple butter sandwich, hard-boiled egg, veggies
    • Dinner – Hamburger ‘n beans, veggies
  • Wednesday
    • Lunch – Egg salad sandwich, blueberry greek yogurt, veggies
    • Dinner – Leftover hamburger ‘n beans, veggies
  • Thursday
    • Lunch – Egg salad sandwich, blueberry greek yogurt, veggies
    • Dinner – Open-faced scrambled egg & veggie sandwiches, or black bean burgers
  • Friday
    • Lunch – standing Friday lunch with friends
    • Dinner – Shrimp & veggie stir fry

Hot Ham Water

Hello!  Merry Christmas to all and an early Happy New Year! I hope everyone is having a safe, warm, and fantastic holiday.

We visited D’s family for Christmas and ate mounds of terribly tasty treats.  My contribution was this peppermint bark (of course, would you expect anything else?).

It is for holidays and special occasions like these, where people make splendid, high-quality goodies from scratch with real ingredients and lots of TLC, that I save up serious splurges and “letting go.”  And boy did I ever. 🙂  I’ve probably eaten five desserts a day since Friday.  I have some exercising to do to work off these extra couple of pounds but it was totally worth it.

Exercise this week:

  • Sunday – 4 mile run
  • Monday – 30 min. lifting, 10 min. stationary bike level 6 over 85 rpm’s
  • Wednesday – 30 min. lifting, 1 mile walk/run through snow (had to turn around halfway because the snow was too icy and packed for running), 2 mile run on a different path

Big news, everyone

I am officially registered for my first half marathon. 🙂  I am so excited.  I finally bit the bullet and decided to do the Nashville Country Music Half that I mentioned a few weeks ago.  I am road tripping with a group of friends and we will split hotel rooms to save dollaz.  I am not a country music fan but I know it’s going to be a blast nonetheless  And also my first time visiting Nashville. Aw snap!  No, I don’t ever actually say that.

I pushed my training plan out a few weeks but otherwise it looks just like this.  Week 1 is actually this week!  I’m currently running enough on my own to satisfy the first few weeks of the plan so I won’t officially be following it until late January/early February.

News, everyone

I took this week off from work to catch up around the house and take a breather from work.  It has been wonderful.  I have cleaned out and reorganized our master closet, put together a 1,000 piece puzzle with D, exercised several times, grocery shopped, run payroll for D’s company, returned some things, cooked, read, blogged, caught up on some TV shows, and on and on.  Happy sigh.  Monday is going to be a rude awakening.

My list for the rest of my time off includes cleaning and reorganizing our master bedroom, shipping a few packages, and more quality time with D, who has also taken this week off.  Tomorrow morning we are doing a Movie in the Morning, complete with snuggling blankets, peppermint coffee, and banana steel cut oats.  I can’t wait! 🙂

Onto foodier things

My company gives out holiday hams to employees each year.  I don’t normally eat ham as I find it to be too heavy, high in sodium, and generally too salty for my taste, but, hey, multiple free dinners. 🙂  For those I make a once-a-year ham allowance.

I received mine a couple of weeks ago but had refrained from using it until after we returned from our Christmas visits.  We got home late Saturday night so I decided to cook it on Sunday.  Well, reheat it, really, as it comes pre-cooked.  My goal was to avoid a trip to the grocery store and use up leftovers.  I wanted to see how far I could stretch it.  I did end up having to go to the store today for essentials but I think I will be able to stretch it to Thursday, or possibly  even Friday. 🙂

Weekly Menu 12/27-1/1

  • Sunday – sliced ham, stuffing, broccoli
  • Monday – ham sandwiches, stuffing, broccoli…these sandwiches were much tastier than we had anticipated they would be!  Definitely worth two rounds.
  • Tuesday – ham sandwiches, broccoli
  • Wednesday – ham, bean, and veggie soup
  • Thursday – tentatively leftover soup
  • Friday – tentatively ham & veggie scrambled egg sandwiches

The ham, bean, and veggie soup (a.k.a. hot ham water) that I made today is really delicious and uses almost all leftovers from my fridge and pantry.  The only things not left over were the zucchini and mushrooms.  I had two bowls tonight and semi-seriously contemplated a third.

I googled ham & bean soup and found this recipe.  It became my inspiration, and from that I created my own version:

Ham, Bean, & Veggie Soup

You’ll need:

  • 4 cups low sodium organic veggie broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 16 oz. mixed dried beans
  • chopped veggies – onions, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, fresh spinach
  • garlic
  • salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, chili powder, oregano, no salt zesty seasoning to taste
  • leftover chopped ham – somewhere between 1/2 lb. to 1 lb.?  I just kept adding ham until it looked like a ham, veggie, and bean soup rather than a bean and veggie soup.

Directions:

  1. Cover beans with cool water in a large pot and soak for 8-10 hrs.  I set the beans out to soak this morning on my way to the gym.
  2. Discard water, rinse, fill pot of beans with 8 cups fresh cool water and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 10-20 minutes to soften the beans a bit.  If you use dried red kidney beans, be sure to boil for 10 minutes to remove the phytohemagglutinin.
  3. Discard water, rinse, fill with veggie broth and water as directed above.  Add all ingredients except for spinach and ham.  Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce soup and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Add the ham and spinach.  Simmer for another 30-40 minutes or until the beans are tender.  My mom called at this point so the time went by quickly.
  5. Serve and yum.

Weekly Menu

(Courtesy of Org. Junkie)

Last Week’s Menu (what I really had in blue)

  • Monday
    • Lunch – Subway tuna sub or black bean veggie burger (egg, cheddar, lettuce, tomato sandwich on whole wheat from local coffee shop)
    • Dinner – Huge pot of six bean soup
  • Tuesday
    • Lunch – Leftover bean soup
    • Dinner – Veggie lasagna (leftover bean soup)
  • Wednesday
    • Lunch – Leftover bean soup (Cobb & spinach salad)
    • Dinner – Leftover veggie lasagna (leftover bean soup)
  • Thursday
    • Lunch – Sandwich? (grilled chicken & spinach salad courtesy of work)
    • Dinner – Chili or lentil stew (the last of the leftover bean soup)
  • Friday
    • Lunch – standing Friday lunch with friends
    • Dinner – leftover chili or lentil stew (veggie lasagna – finally!)

Week of 12/21-12/25 – This week I will focus on using up fresh items in the fridge since we’re going away for a few days for Christmas.

  • Monday
    • Lunch – Tuna, spinach, cheese, grape tomato sandwich
    • Dinner – Lentil stew with veggies or chili with meat and veggies
  • Tuesday
    • Lunch – Sandwich or leftover lentil stew or chili
    • Dinner – Leftover lentil stew or chili
  • Wednesday
    • Lunch – Sandwich
    • Dinner – Whatever’s left in the kitchen
  • Thursday
    • Lunch – on the road
    • Dinner – with family
  • Friday
    • Lunch – with family
    • Dinner – with family