Meal Plan Monday: September 16-22

Where did the weekend go? I spent mine working on my new blog! I’m switching to a self-hosted blog soon, and have spent a great deal of time learning enough html code to get into the CSS editor and switch some things up. It still isn’t perfect, so I’m not ready to reveal it yet. But I’m changing blog names, and am very excited about what is on the horizon!

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I also spent a good chunk of time painting the living room gray. Well, kind of. We started painting it last weekend, only to discover the paint color we chose didn’t look right after it covered 2 entire walls instead of one little chunk in the testing area. After borrowing a gray from another friend and testing a patch, we decided on the new color. Still needed is a second coat, painting the dining room a darker gray, and painting the baseboards and ceiling white. In less than two weeks.

Why in less than 2 weeks? Because little miss G will soon be 1! We’re having a birthday party and need the place to be presentable. Hopefully without all the furniture in the center of the room too!

photo(31)p.s. Thank God for Elmo! He kept G mildly entertained as we finished that last wall!

We also attended my nieces birthday party. I attempted to get a shot of the 3 little ladies. “Look at Aunt Leila,” didn’t work as well as we hoped.


Oh well!

This week is a busy one! Friday my co-teacher is taking an all day Masters class, so I’ll be teaching all day. With no prep. Save me! Meal planning helps though 🙂 Thanks for hosting again Racheal & Deneene.

Running with Racheal
* (F) indicates freezer meal (L) indicates leftovers

Monday: tomato basil ravioli with salad and homemade shallot honey mustard

Tuesday: chicken & dumplings w/salad & homemade shallot honey mustard

Wednesday: girls night out at Downriver Grill

Thursday: (F) tacos with the most delicious organic local beef from Wild Aspen Ranch

Friday: (L) chicken & dumplings w/salad & homemade shallot honey mustard

Saturday: sweet potato veggie burgers – this is a recipe I pinned forever ago. I really hope it’s tasty!

Sunday: wild card, hopefully something with lots of leftovers!

  • last weeks wildcard menu item was chili from the freezer, which I need to get around to posting. And on the side I made my favorite zucchini cornbread muffins. I HIGHLY recommend making these. So good!

Workouts will be 12 miles walking/jogging again. I didn’t meet my goal last week, but I’m already 6 miles in to this weeks goal 🙂

What is on your menu this week?

Meal Plan Monday: Sept 9-15

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? The hubs and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary on Friday with a very sick baby. Poor G was miserable all weekend long, but appears to be mostly back in good spirits now. Hopefully we’ll go out to dinner this coming weekend instead.

photo by Hannah Bergman

photo by Hannah Bergman

Today marks the first day of the first full week of school. Last week was all about establishing routines, procedures, and expectations. This week I’m adding in more academics, while still practicing what we’ve established. It is mentally exhausting! Hopefully we’ll get in our grove soon so I can start attacking my curriculum. I have a lot to pack in this year!

I’m happy to be participating in Racheal and Deneene’s meal plan link up again. Being organized at school is something I excel at. I’m trying to bring my structured work-self home a bit, and be better about meal planning. Thanks for helping me be accountable ladies!

Running with Racheal

* (L) indicates leftovers

** (F) indicates a freezer meal (read my method here)

Monday – black bean burgers with zucchini chips

Tuesday – (L) taco Tuesday with Sunday’s wild card menu item: pot roast tacos with horseradish sour cream. I added garlic, cilanto & lime juice to the horseradish sour cream and was quite pleased with the results.

Wednesday – (F) Mustard lime chicken with red wine pasta and zucchini

Thursday – (F) paleo mini meatloaves and quinoa with roasted zucchini and carrots

Friday – (L) pot roast burrito bowls over zucchini cilantro lime rice

Saturday – dinner out for our belated celebration

Sunday – wild card

Workouts will be walking, elliptical, and painting. I did not meet my 12 mile goal last week (only clocked 6), which I’m okay with. The first week was too tiring and overwhelming to stress about such things. I’m going to be more on top of things this week though!

Oh, and if you have a moment, pop by my friend Jill’s blog – The Pinspired Mama. She just started it, and it looks great! I’m going to add some of her recipes into next weeks meal plan for sure!

What should I make this weekend for my wild card menu item? Something in the crock pot would be awesome since we’ll be painting all day.

Meal Plan Monday: Sept. 2-8

It’s that time of year again. The flutter of loose leaf paper and smell of sharpened, (ok, mostly broken), pencils fills the air. The first week of school is the most important of the entire year, and I need to be on my A game.

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G has decided one wake up a night isn’t enough, and instead is waking regularly at 1:30, 3:30, and 5:30.* And not only does she wake up, she wants to nurse for 30 minutes, or more, at a time! This girl is normally a 3-5 minute nurser. This round the night nursing has led to an insatiable hunger, much like the one I experienced when she was a newborn. A combination of the lack of sleep + revved up supply I suppose. As a result I’m making protein packed breakfasts, like my chicken sausage breakfast burritos, to get me through the morning, and being diligent about meal planning. I’m also trying to be more creative with my leftovers, which I’ll explain below.

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*sidenote, I’m now a zombie. And sock buns are the only way Iook professional these days.

Thanks for creating this link up Racheal! It inspired me to get back into my meal plan groove 🙂

Running with Racheal

Meal Plan

*(L) indicates leftover

Monday: burgers with local organic beef from Wild Aspen Ranch, zucchini sauted with garlic & parm, kale chips & watermelon.

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday w/(L) Mexican stuffed bell pepper filling (recipe tested and approved for the blog – will be up this week) mixed with black beans. I’m looking for a good corn salad to go with – ideas?

Wednesday: (L)  Scooters Spaghetti – this is from my last freezer meal stock up. I highly recommend it! Served with a salad, or more sauted zucchini, depending on how our garden is looking.

Thursday: (L) Mexican stuffed bell peppers with zucchini cilantro lime rice (recipe tested and approved for the blog – will be up this week).

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Friday: Pesto ranch chicken thighs (from my freezer meal stock up) over quinoa, and a salad.

Saturday: Going out for our anniversary (which is really on Friday, but I’ll be in bed by 5 for sure!). I’m thinking Clover, Central Food, Casper Fry, or Sante´. I can’t decide.

Sunday: wild card. Something that will provide leftovers. It can be a little more time involved. I have chicken, fish, and ground beef. Suggestions?

Lunches throughout the week will be roast beef sandwiches + fruit/veggies or a black bean dish made with the leftover zucchini cilantro lime rice, feta, tomatoes & corn.


I plan to walk/run 3 miles, 4 times a week. Let’s see if the first week of school has other plans for me.

What’s on your menu this week? Doing anything different with your leftovers?

#elf4health Meal Plan [Monday]


This weekend’s challenge was to create a meal plan for the upcoming week. I used to do this all the time. There was something thereapeudic about pulling out my favorite cookbooks, opening a ridiculous amount of tabs with my favorite blogs, pulling up my DVR, and planning the week ahead. Maybe it’s my type A tendencies. Maybe it is my previous eating disordered self wanting to come through and control things. Or maybe I just like to look at pictures of food. Whatever it is, I got out of the habit when the school year ended, and I need to get back into the habit! Meal planning saves time, energy, and money!

I’m trying some new recipes this time around, thanks to Pinterest. I’m hoping I find some new favorites to add to our normal rotation.

Monday, December 10

lunch: green monster w/oatmeal, protein powder, chia seeds, spinach & frozen blueberries

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 11.02.22 AMvia

Avocado egg salad sandwiches & tomato soup

Tuesday, December 11

Lunch: ham sammy

Lemon Pasta w/turkey Italian sausage, asparagus, shrooms, onion, and lemon/garlic/olive oil/shallot sauce

Wednesday, December 12

lunch: leftover lemon pasta

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 11.00.11 AMvia

Slow Cooker Chicken & Barley Stew & salad

Thursday, December 13

Lunch: ham sammy

Leftover soup & salad

Friday, December 14

lunch: leftover soup



Sweet potato black bean burgers


Saturday, December 15


Lentils w/kale & bacon and salad

Sunday, December 16

Grilled steak, roasted brussel sprouts, garlic mashed potatoes

What’s on your menu plan this week? Trying anything new?

Just another manic Monday

Conferences are almost all wrapped up, which is a wonderful feeling. I had back-to-backs all afternoon Thursday and Friday, and the wonderful hubs brought me a soy chai each day. Friday night I also volunteered at Turkey Bingo night until 8 p.m. (where winners walked out with turkeys and/or Costco pies – one of my kids won two of each!). This meant that I completely missed my debut on Foodista as their featured drink blogger of the day!

Foodista Drink Blog of the Day Badge

Sigh. Once conferences are over I’ll be a bit more on top of things. I am on top of things just enough to make a meal plan, however.

Meal Plan Monday

Meatless Monday

Spicy Lentil Wraps (Trader Joe’s – I plan to re-create this soon, so I had to buy one for the ingredient list)


Prosciutto Leak Red Quinoa Lasagna


Turkey Italian Sausage Orzo Stoup (recipe to come)


Happy Thanksgiving! We’re going to the hubs’ parents and are responsible for the salad and a veggie. The salad will be mixed greens topped with toasted pecans, dried cherries, goat cheese and homemade shallot honey dijon dressing. The veggie will be roasted butternut (from our garden!) with sweet onions and crimini mushrooms. Mmmmm, heavenly!


Leftovers 🙂


Coconut Lime Chicken with Chiles


Something in the slow cooker…suggestions welcome! I’ve been pinning away, but am always looking for tried and true recipes. I linked up at the Once a Month Mom Linky Party – and plan to check out the other blogs. If you haven’t been to OAMM yet, check it out – great time saving tips!

What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

How Pinteresting: Pumpkin Recreation x2

As per usual, my weekend flew by and Monday smacked me in the face this morning with unrelenting fury. I cursed myself for Sunday afternoon’s chai tea and got on with my day. Luckily I had a delicious meal lined up, and many others to warm me up as the temps drop (to 28 degrees!) this week.

Meal Plan Monday

Meatless Monday

“Cheesy” quinoa with garbanzo beans (similar to this recipe) with zucchini, cumin, salsa and avocado.


Slow cooker black beans and cilantro lime rice (recipe coming soon)


Lazy girl’s chili (recipe coming soon)


Ground Turkey tacos


Homemade pizza

Saturday & Sunday

Pinteresting finds: Enchilada Pasta and Light Lasagna Soup

Other pinteresting finds this week include this pumpkin seed recipe,

*Edited to add, I think the recipe only needs 1 TBS butter, as my seeds were still soggy after the additional 10 minutes, but also burnt. Odd?

and this owl pumpkin.

I’ve got my pumpkin seeds in the oven*, and my pinteresting recreation on my porch. Thanks Camille for hosting another pinterest recreation linky party!

Cute, eh?

Did you carve pumpkins this year?

I carved a pumpkin this weekend for the first time in years! Usually the hubs carves our pumpkin. But this year we invited some friends over for chili, Elysian Night Owl, Scream 4 and pumpkin carving. The hubs carved two pumpkins, and I carved one.

The hubs purchased a Dremel specifically made for pumpkin carving.

Quinoa with Turkey Italian Sausage

It’s MPM time again, and this week I’m sticking to the plan!

Monday, Oct. 10

Quinoa with Turkey Italian Sausage (recipe below)

Tuesday, Oct. 11

Slow-cooker black beans atop brown rice

Wednesday, Oct. 12

Mini cheeseburger cupcakes

Thursday, Oct. 13

leftovers…I have a night class 😦

Friday, Oct. 14

Portabella burgers and zucchini fries

Saturday, Oct. 15

Around the World potluck party…yes, just like the one you attended in college, but with food.

Sunday, Oct. 16

Hubs birthday! We’re going out to a restaurant of his choosing.


Last week my friend, Veronika, asked for my tried and true quinoa recipes. I sent her a few, and decided it was time for me to create another. I decided to whip up a batch of Italian inspired quinoa for two reasons. One, I already tackled Greek(ish) and Mexican(ish) quinoa dishes, and two, I had a jar of opened pasta sauce that needed to be eaten. Quinoa with turkey Italian sausage was born.

Quinoa with Turkey Italian Sausage

Serves: 4

Nutritionals: cal: 303, carb: 37g, fat: 10g, pro: 20g, sugar: 4g, fiber: 5g


1 cup quinoa, rinsed

2 1/2 cups water or chicken broth

1 chicken bullion cube (if you use water)

2 1/2 links hot turkey Italian sausage, casings removed,  crumbled

1/2 cup sweet onion, diced

1/2 bell pepper, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup frozen chopped spinach

2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/3 cup nutritional yeast*

salt to taste

2 TBS-4 TBS pasta sauce of your choosing

*can sub shredded mozzarella if you don’t like, or don’t have, nutritional yeast.


Brown turkey Italian sausage, (I brown all 5 links and freeze half for later).

Meanwhile, bring water, bullion cube (or chicken broth), and quinoa to a boil. Reduce to simmer, adding the bell pepper, onion, spinach, garlic, Italian seasoning and black pepper. Cover, and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add nutritional yeast. Mix well. Add browned Italian turkey sausage.

Serve, topped with pasta sauce. Enjoy!

What is your favorite dish from another country?

I need a fun dish or app to bring to Around the World. Last year the hubs made a Russian apple cake. The year before I think we made something from Mexico…I can’t remember. I