Menu Monday

I’m tired of that sinking feeling that accompanies the question, “What’s for dinner?”  I’ve committed to making weekly menus and reporting on how cooking for the week went.

So the first week of the new diet was really great!  The second week has been good, but not quite as easy. I have a little most of the menu done for the week.  Now I just have to figure out what to serve my friends who are visiting on Saturday!

Monday: Chicken Korma with Veggies. Quick, easy, yummy!

Tuesday: Turkey burgers with salad

Wednesday: Lentils con prosciutto

Thursday: Black beans and brown rice with local peppers and lots of Cajun seasoning

Friday: Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings from Eating Well.  I’ve never made chicken and dumplings before…and this looks so good!  (I didn’t make them last time it was on the menu either.) I’m looking forward to the experiment!

Saturday: Cooking for our friends Chris and Rachel.  I really need to plan this one out.

Sunday: To be honest, we’re probably going to eat leftovers.  We have a busy Sunday, and will be getting ready for Thanksgiving.  I’m hitting the grocery stores with my friend Jenn to prep for the occasion, so I’ll need all the fridge space I can get!

Hopefully this will all work out well!  What are you making for dinner this week?

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Menu Monday Had Too Many Carbs

Yes.  That title sounds pretty pretench somehow.  Lately I’ve been eating too many refined carbs.  Bread and butter people.  Lots of pasta.  Tasty and carb-o-licious.  It wouldn’t be such a problem if refined carbohydrates hadn’t become about 70% of my caloric intake.  YIKES.

So, I’m making a big effort to change my diet over the next few weeks.  Here’s what I’m doing:

  1. Eat lean protein at every meal.  Three to four ounces.  This could be made up of poultry, pork, nuts, legumes, or quinoa.
  2. Eat one serving of whole grains at every meal.  With “one” and “whole grains” being the key words here.  As opposed to “four” and “baguettes”.
  3. Eat all of the veggies you want.  Snacks and meals.  Preferably two servings per instance.
  4. Get dairy from yogurt (preferably plain, could be Greek) and small quantities of cheese.  I love cheese.  Good, fancy cheese.  A little a day can really punch up my salads without going overboard.  Mainly this rule is here so I won’t just chug Dark Chocolate Almond Milk all day.  While it is super tasty, I’m just drinking calories like there is no tomorrow.
  5. Substitute fruit for chocolate, candy, and sweet treats.  I really love some frozen grapes.  This one shouldn’t be too hard.
  6. Drink 80 ounces of water a day.  Drink only water.  Quit it with the almond milk, cow milk, and fruit juice.

So there’s my quick and dirty detox plan.  This week I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going.

And this basically is my updated Menu Monday post for this week.  It was full of pasta and rice.  Seriously.  I made a lasagna.  Which I never make.  It was tasty and carb-tastic.  I will let my husband finish the leftovers and move on with my life.  ::deep, serene breath::

Menu Monday

I’m tired of that sinking feeling that accompanies the question, “What’s for dinner?”  I’ve committed to making weekly menus and reporting on how cooking for the week went.

I love getting recipe ideas from friends.  This week I got some from Facebook sharing and Pinterest.  (OMG Pinterest is CRAZY FUN!!)  Here’s what I came up with.

  1. Chipotle Pork Quesadillas with Smashed Black Beans, and Corn SalsaDoesn’t that sound FABULOUS?!  I’m not going to go as all-out as the original recipe, but I think it will be a nice change from tacos.  Thanks to my friend Jenn for the recommendation.
  2. Turkey and Cheese Lasagna Roll-ups.  Found on Pinterest.  Cute and easy!
  3. Dinner out with my awesome friend Jenn.  We’re going to get spicy Indian food at Lejha again.  It’s going to be awesome.  And since it’s Richmond Restaurant Week, it’s for a good cause!
  4. Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings from Eating Well.  I’ve never made chicken and dumplings before…and this looks so good!  It will be nice and comforting when the weather turns super cold later this week.
  5. Lentils con Prosciutto with Balsamic Pork Chops and Sautéed Beet Greens.  These lentils are totally becoming a weekly staple, and the leftovers keep really well.
  6. Pizza Night!  We are big pizza fans, so we have a weekly pizza night!  This week will be Prosciutto and Mozzarella.  I’m going to finally attempt making pizza dough.  You’ll get the full scoop soon!
  7. Dinner with a gang of friends.  We’ll all be hanging out.  It’s going to be awesome.

So there’s the plan!  What are you making this week?

Pumpkin Obsession

I’m a little crazy over pumpkins.  I have to work really hard to resist buying anything and everything pumpkin related. Stoneware, embroidery patterns, pumpkin flavored pasta, that evil pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks.

You guys, I buy one of those lattes every year and I think they are gross.  To me they taste like bologna and Play-Doh.  And I still buy one every year.  I have a problem.

So, I was very proud of myself when I came home from the Farm to Family market with only four pumpkins.  It took me 15 minutes to decide which ones to take home.  I wanted them all!

cinderella pumpkin

In the end I chose three pumpkins that could be used for cooking, and only one that was purely decorative and more traditional.  That one was for T.  I pick the crazy knobby, warty, veined, weirdo ones over the traditional orange every time.

In the coming months I look forward to enjoying my pumpkins in a couple of ways.

  1. Just staring at them.  It makes me happy to enjoy them sitting around my house looking pretty.
  2. Cooking them. I’m excited to try some new recipes and see what kind of results I get.  You’ll get to see if I totally wreck them, or actually make something tasty!

So, yeah.  My name is Julie, and I’m obsessed with pumpkins.  At least it is a seasonal love affair.

carving pumpkin

Menu Monday

I’m tired of that sinking feeling that accompanies the question, “What’s for dinner?”  I’ve committed to making weekly menus and reporting on how cooking for the week went.

Going to the Farm to Family Market makes planning meals a little harder. I’m working to find recipes that go with all the amazing food that I get, with just a little supplementation from the grocery store.  It’s not easy, but it’s totally worth it.

  1. Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili with Chili-Cheese-Corn MuffinsI have all but 3 ingredients for this meal on-hand after my trip to the market.  That is an accomplishment!
  2. Lentils con Prosciutto with Balsamic Pork Chops and Sautéed Beet Greens.  These lentils are totally becoming a weekly staple, and the leftovers keep really well.
  3. Pizza Night!  We are big pizza fans, so we have a weekly pizza night!  This week will be Prosciutto and Mozzarella.  I’m going to finally attempt making pizza dough.  You’ll get the full scoop soon!
  4. Taco Night!  We haven’t had tacos in a couple of weeks.  It’s time.
  5. Salad with Roasted Beets and White Sweet Potatoes, Feta and Balsamic Vinaigrette.  Over the weekend, I made my first attempt at roasting beets.  They are going to become part of this yummy salad!
  6. Marinated Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Patty Pan Squash with Basil. This is a super easy dinner that fits squarely in the “comfort food” category.  YUM.
  7. Farfalle with Ground Turkey and Roasted Pepper Sauce.  Another one of our go-to meals.  I’m making a big batch for a group of friends that are coming over.  I’ll serve it with a big salad.  Quick, easy, filling, yummy.

So that’s my plan!  What are you making this week?

Work in progress

I’ve learned a lot this first year tending a garden.  It takes daily work, interest, and love.  When you lose sight of what you’re doing, your plants won’t produce.

I’ve found these same lessons apply to my blog.  When I lose sight of why I’m writing things get stale.  I copy the same post over and over.  I don’t even want to read my blog, much less write for it.

So, I’m going back to my original intention: to write about my journey in bettering myself.  To realize my ideal self. This return feels like a breath of fresh air after months of stale recycled office funk.

My blog and my life are works in progress. Every moment of your life is a choice.  You practice living the life you want most. I hope you’ll join me in my daily practice by making meaningful choices for yourself, and maybe even sharing them with me.

Menu Monday

I’m tired of that sinking feeling that accompanies the question, “What’s for dinner?”  I’ve committed to making weekly menus and reporting on how cooking for the week went.

This week I’m working to use  the last of the great produce from my first Grab and Go box from the Farm to Family Market.  I don’t want those fabulous squashes to go to waste!

  1. Butternut Squash Soup with Biscuits.  I have roasted butternut squash and onions hanging out in my fridge.  I’m going to puree them into a lovely soup using the chicken stock I made last weekend.
  2. Lentils con Prosciutto with Balsamic Pork Chops.  We love this lentil dish.  I’m serving the leftovers from Sunday night with some fresh pork chops.
  3. Chicken Korma over Quinoa. I have a lot of prepped quinoa.  I think it will be a lovely base for some tasty chicken korma.
  4. Buttery Patty Pan Squash, Marinated Port and Mashed Potatoes.  Lots of whole foods prepared simply. I always crave comfort food when the weather changes.  I’m making this on a very chilly night.
  5. Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew.  Suggested by my friend Jenn, I’m going to make this lovely stew.  And I already have all the ingredients on hand.  Score!
  6. Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs and Marinara Sauce. An interesting alternative to our standard pasta night.  I’m curious to see how it works out.

Sunday will be “leftover day”.  That sounds so lame, but with so many new meals, especially when there is soup, I know we’ll have lots for lunches and a one more dinner. So there’s the plan! I’m excited about getting back on the menu making wagon.

What are you making this week?  Add a link to your favorite recipes or a menu you publish on your blog to the list by clicking the link  below.  This is a new way for us to share our ideas with one another. So add your link today, and let me know what you think of the new feature!

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