Archive for the ‘menu planning’ Category


menu planning

   Posted by: liz

with all this blowing wind and snow covering us deeper and deeper…..i’m craving a good old fashioned meatloaf and mashed potatoes meal. not great timing having just won all these great healthy foodie magazines. i have a standby recipe that i love, but i’m ready to “spice” it up a bit with a zesty topping, and more roasted garlic for the taters….my mouth is watering just thinking about it. at least i only have to wait one day to eat it.

i think my menu planning needs a dash of salt. so…beginning with next week’s menu, i’ll be trying at least one (maybe TWO!) new recipes a week, with a full review from each member in the family of how it tasted. it should be at least interesting, and i’m hoping it inspires YOU to try new recipes for your family (i have a very picky 6 year old who seems to change what he’s picky about on a weekly basis. he keeps me on my toes, to say the least!).

without further ado, this week’s menu…

Monday breakfast: baked oatmeal, clementines

dinner: meatloaf, mashed potatoes, petit pois

Tuesday breakfast: malt-o-meal, oranges

dinner: fiesta salad (shredded chicken with homemade taco seasoning served over rice with lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, black beans, coconut, and salsa as toppings)

Wednesday breakfast: eggs and toast (adam and sawyer), oats-n-toast (rowan and me)

dinner: sweet and sour meatballs over rice, steamed edameme

Thursday breakfast: homemade cinnamon pretzels and oatmeal, clementines

dinner: OUT

Friday breakfast: cold cereal and fruit

dinner: roast chicken, baked rice, big ol’ salad

Saturday breakfast: daddy’s famous pancakes with homemade berry sauce/compote

dinner: homemade pizza, big ol’ salad

Sunday breakfast: pumpkin bread french toast, homemade applesauce

dinner: OUT


menu planning

   Posted by: liz

it’s just “menu planning” now and not “menu planning MONDAY.” because i’m actually posting this sunday night, and some of you might even be reading this on sunday night and i don’t want to confuse anyone. ya know.

our breakfasts were very relaxed this past week. i can’t pinpoint why, except that the boys have all started sleeping in really late. like 9:15 late (thursday-saturday) and we had a few days of sick boys and tired parents. so yes, it’s an excuse, but i will try harder this week. because i love the idea of warm, home-baked breakfasts most of the week.

monday breakfast: english toasting bread with nutella, mandarins

dinner: shepherd’s pie, big ol’ salad

tuesday breakfast: company muffins, mandarins

dinner: red lentil coconut curry over rice, steamed edameme

wednesday breakfast: homemade granola with yogurt or milk

dinner: Beef Stew over Irish Soda Bread, raw veggies with dip

thursday breakfast: cocoa wheats, toast, clementines

dinner: Sweet and Sour meatballs over Rice, big ol’ salad

friday breakfast: gingersnap oatmeal, strawberry-yogurt smoothies

dinner: LEFTOVERS (our dinner out was canceled again, due to illness in OUR family…so we’re having leftovers this friday night. maybe our plans for leftovers will be canceled and we’ll actually get out!)

saturday breakfast: daddy’s famous pancakes

dinner: spaghetti and meatballs, big ol’ salad, garlic breadsticks


menu planning…

   Posted by: liz

…i don’t know about you, but i’m eager for the temps to go above 60. i can’t wait to get the grill going again – i’m dreaming of our grilled dinners with fresh-from-the-garden greens: a glass of wine on the deck while kenny grills and the boys play; dinner under a hot summer-setting-sun; cookouts at moraine after a dip in the lake, or at the local pool.

i know it’s only the end of january, and the farmer’s almanac is predicting a cold, snowy february. so i am merely dreaming.

this week, i’m preparing for the cold and snow to return…warm bellies, happy kids!

Monday:  Ground turkey breast “sliders”, cumin sweet potato fries with lime dipping “sauce”, green vegetable (the ground turkey can be dry, but this recipe adds moisture to the mix…SO good!)

Tuesday: Red Lentil Coconut Curry over rice

Wednesday: Beef Barley vegetable soup, beer biscuits

Thursday: Spaghetti with Red sauce, breadsticks, salad (i make the breadsticks using my pizza dough recipe.)

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Chicken tenders (aka “popcorn chicken’), butternut squash soup, salad

Sunday: Sweet and Sour Meatballs over rice, steamed edameme


menu planning monday

   Posted by: liz

it’s monday again – a new week, a new menu!

monday - pizza! with salad. my pizza crust recipe is this one. i use all bread flour instead of all-purpose flour. you can certainly use whole wheat for half the flour it calls for but my thought on that is that if you make your pizza instead of getting greasy shop pizza, you’re already doing yourself a huge favor, so you can splurge a bit on the white flour. we put green pepper, onion, mushrooms on our pizza.

tuesday - african chicken stew, steamed edameme

wednesday - tomato sauce with butter and onion over angel hair, salad (the sauce recipe is being lauded over foodie blogs, and i’m eager to give it a try. seems simple enough! this one is from smitten kitchen).

thursday - katie’s potato soup with irish soda bread

friday - leftovers

saturday - homemade rotisserie chicken breasts, baked rice, salad


during the winter months, i find it really important to have lots more fruits and veggies than i normally have on hand. we always have oranges, clementines, bananas (stacy…your comment just came to mind about bananas in january!), and frozen fruit for smoothies on hand. i sometimes set out a plate of carrots and cut-up green peppers with salad dressing dip before dinner or lunch for the boys to snack on. i figure that by having afternoon tea with bread and honey more regularly makes me want to fill them with the raw stuff too.

what are your cold-month snack ideas for your kids? or for yourself?


requested recipes…

   Posted by: liz

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

1 lb ground beef (or chicken, turkey, pork…whatever)

1 egg

1/4 cup dry bread crumbs

1 onion, diced

1 cup brown sugar

3 T. flour

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 cup white vinegar

3 T. soy sauce

Combine meat, egg, bread crumbs, and onion. Shape into golf-ball sized balls. Bake in 350-degree oven for 20-25 minutes on baking sheet.

Meanwhile, in large saucepan, combine brown sugar, flour, water, vinegar and soy sauce. mix thoroughly. Add meatballs and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often 20-30 minutes.

Serve over rice.

Wild Rice Vegetable Bake (or Sweet Potato Barley Bake)

1 cup wild rice (I use brown rice for this as I’m never able tfind wild rice here)

2 cups chopped onion

1 cup pearl barley

2 cups EACH sweet potatoes, winter squash, parsnips (peeled, and cut into 1″ chunks)

1 pound mushrooms (i omit. i don’t eat fungus) :)

1 cup apple cider or 100% juice)

3 cups chicken or vegetable broth.

Rince rice in cold water and drain. Boil in 4 cups water for 10 minutes (2 1/2 cups if using regular or brown rice). Drain (if necessary).

Saute onion in 2 T olive oil or butter. In large casserole dish (9×13), mix drained rice, sauteed onions, and barley. Stir.

Spread potatoes, squash, and parsnips over grains (along with mushrooms if using). Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Pour cider or juice and broth over top. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 375 for 1 hour.

Whole Wheat Bread

Whole Wheat Bread

this is a long recipe, so i just included it as a link to the one i’ve been using lately because it is easier than the one i’ve been using for years AND the boys LOVE it (especially with butter and honey drizzeled over).


our kettle is getting a major workout these days. i’m glad that my boys enjoy a good cup of tea just as much as a good cup of hot chocolate. of course, they drink it “muddy” like their momma.

i’ve been baking a few loaves of whole wheat bread these weeks as we have been eating a lot of buttered toast with our cups/mug of tea. so our oven is getting just as big a workout. i’m SO THANKFUL for a good, working stove/oven during these coldest days of the year.

this week’s menu…

monday: coconut chicken curry over rice, samosas (the samosas are from the indian grocer across from kenny’s office in oakland)

tuesday: crockpot beef lasagna, homemade breadsticks, salad

wednesday: sweet and sour meatballs over rice, steamed edameme

thursday: leftovers

friday: dinner group…make appetizer large enough to serve 10 adults, 9 children (suggestions anyone? anyone?)

saturday: clean out the fridge/leftovers

sunday: pork roast with sour kraut, macintosh applesauce, mashed potatoes


more menu planning

   Posted by: liz

i’m happy to be menu-planning again. if there are any specific resolutions that i make (and not the general ones i made a few days ago here on the blog), it’s getting a better menu planning system. i haven’t found anything to replace my handy-dandy notebook and pen with calendar system. i’d love an online database system that i can just add recipes to and it creates a shopping list for me. ironically, i’m married to a database and web systems developer. but i’ve already got his spare time filled up with looking for new blogging software.

any way…to kick things off, i thought i’d share this week’s menu with you. one of these days, the menu planning system will include all three meals AND snacks. when i get organized.

and is it completely obvious to you how i crave big green salads in january? they’re most expensive this time of year to throw together, but oh, how i crave them!

  • sunday – homemade pizza with salad
  • monday – chicken stirfry over rice with steamed edameme
  • tuesday – baked ham, scalloped potatoes, peas
  • wednesday – chicken coconut curry over rice, salad
  • thursday – angel hair with ground turkey red sauce, salad
  • friday – leftovers, salad
  • saturday – oven BBQ chicken with sweet potato and barley bake
  • 12

    one local summer, week 2

       Posted by: admin

    i missed week one because i couldn’t pull together a meal with strawberries and asparagus – the only two things in season right now! week two will be published at farm to philly. stay tuned for more delicious meal ideas!

    so i did more searching and purchasing this week. i splurged and went with local meat sold at a local family farm. i’m also leaning on their strawberries this week as we’ll probably be picking and freezing some from another local u-pick farm later in the week for our fall and winter months.

    i’m turning this meal into a lunch as this is so up the boys’ alley for lunchtime goodness.

    eggs (from our chickens) – fried. hopefully i’ll be makingsome local butter later in the summer
    local smoked sausage with locally made horseradish cheese (3 miles to the farm where we bought it, 10 miles from the farm that processed them)
    strawberries, grown 3 miles away.

    i’m having trouble finding locally grown grains. i called a place that sells locally milled grains to ask if they also grew it and they said they get it shipped in form the midwest. and that defeats the purpose of this whole challenge, right? i’d like to make a quiche with our eggs soon, but it might have to be a frittata.


    a healthy twist on chicken fingers

       Posted by: admin

    this past week has been a bit of a challenge in the eating department. i struggle with getting food (any food!) into their mouths on most days, or getting quality food, even if it’s not much of it on others. it’s a new challenge every morning. but it’s a learning process, and all of our food choices won’t change overnight, i’m well-aware of that fact!

    some things that we did this past week:

    • after my mom read this waldorf eating entry last week, she showed up at the door with bags of veggies and a bottle of Trader Joes Goddess salad dressing, and that has been the boys’ snack of choice for the past week: raw carrots, broccoli, and grape tomatoes in the salad dressing.
    • i made homemade granola with dried cherries. mmm. but it wasn’t my favorite recipe. if you have a favorite recipe for granola, please share. i’ve yet to be blown away by my homemade granola. and i do like granola! fortunately the boys loved it. and ate it with milk and over yogurt, or by the handful.
    • i made millet bars, from the waldorf kindergarten snack book and it was a total flop. i can’t even bring myself to eat it, even smothered with honey! blech. i’m “x-ing” that one out in the book.

    here’s another recipe i can share with you that was a total hit. whenever we are out at a restaurant, the only thing the boys ask to eat is “macaroni and cheese and chicken fingers with dipping sauce.” they’re palates have yet to move beyond that. but it’s quick and easy and fills their bellies. good thing we rarely eat out any more. so, i brought their favorite restaurant food home, and found a great recipe for it that doesn’t include frying in oil! the best part is that all our plates were clean – even Adam’s (which is rare!)

    Seasame Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
    (I served it with sticky rice and steamed endameme)

    1/3 cup stone ground mustard
    1/3 cup honey
    2 T lime juice
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/8 black pepper
    1 lb skinned, boned chicken breast cut into strips
    1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted
    1/2 cup breadcrumbs
    2 large egg whites, lightly beaten

    Preheat oven to 350.
    Mix together mustard and honey and set aside.
    Season chicken with salt and pepper. Combine sesame seeds and breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Dip chicken in egg whites, and dredge in sesame seed mixture.
    Arrange chicken in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray (or lightly coated with veg. oil). Bake 350 for 15 minutes.

    *I also added some grated parmesan cheese and garlic powder to the sesame seed/bread crumb mixture.

    Kenny: “Make it again!”
    Liz: mmmmm.
    Rowan: Empty plate with no bribing needed!
    Sawyer: “Can I have some more please?”
    Adam: He ate everything but the endameme. Because it was green.


    menu planning monday

       Posted by: admin

    it’s been a while since i posted what we’re having for dinner…so here’s this week’s menu!

    monday: BBQ chicken breasts, baked rice, broccoli (baked rice recipe below)
    tuesday: Roast turkey, mashed potatoes, petit pois
    wednesday: egg salad sandwiches on homemade bread, salad, carrots and hummous
    thursday: feta quiche with baby spinach salad
    friday: Rockin’ Moroccan Pita (recipe below)
    saturday: pasta salad with bread
    sunday: leftovers

    *   *   *   *

    Rockin’ Moroccan Pitas
    1 T. ground cumin
    1 tsp. chili powder
    1 lb. chicken breast, shredded
    4 T. olive oil
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    2 cans chick peas, rinsed
    3 green onions (from our garden!)
    1 red bell pepper, diced
    1/4 cup chopped parsley (from our garden!)
    6 pita pockets
    plain yogurt
    salt and pepper to taste

    Combine cumin and chili powder in a plastic bag. Add chicken and shake to coat. Heat 1 T. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring frequently. Take off heat, cool.
    Combine remaining ingredients, mixing well. Stir in chicken. Add salt and pepper to taste.

    Cut tops off pitas to pen. Divide chicken mixture among pitas. Top with yogurt (if desired…I recommend it!).

    (And yes! Our boys eat this and love it – especially Adam!)

    Baked Rice
    (this is the only way kenny will eat white rice without a sauce.)
    1 T. olive oil
    1/2 cup chopped onion
    1 cup long-grain white rice
    2 cups chicken stock
    1/4 tsp salt (optional)

    Preheat oven to 350.
    Heat oil and add onions. Cook, stirring, until softened.
    Add (raw) rice until well-coated.
    Add chicken stock and salt. Bring to a boil.
    Transfer to casserole, cover and bake until rice is tender and stock is absorbed, 20-25 minutes.
    Let stand, covered, 5 minutes before serving.

    *   *   *   *

    for more weekly menus, check out Org Junkie every Monday!