weekly plan

I try to meal plan for the coming week, so that I can make my grocery list and have a plan. Frankly, as the type-A person I am, the plan helps me keep my anxiety in check. I tend to plan meals Friday – Thursday and try to grocery shop either Thursday night or Friday afternoon. This allows me to plan my weekend without just completely throwing caution to the wind (or, if it’s a particularly stressful week, we know to plan takeout/delivery and push things back a bit).

Being sick, I’ve not started planning great breakfasts yet but that will come later in the month. Breakfast and lunch are the first things to always fall off when I’m busy but I’m consistent about planning healthy, vegetable-filled dinners.

This week, we are having the following:

Friday — buffalo chicken salads with fries.
I know, I know — this doesn’t SOUND healthy but my husband makes the buffalo chicken with tapioca flour and we bake potato fries for a healthy carb. The rest of the salad is loaded with vegetables and we like to toss a boiled egg or two on it as well! The kids LOVE these salads, which is also great!

Saturday — Chrissy Teigan’s mac & cheese.
I’ve read the ingredients. There is nothing healthy about this. We will have a healthy side of beets to add to it! It’s great to splurge and this is definitely going to be a rich meal!

Sunday — fried pickles; buffalo chicken balls; carrot sticks; shrimp quesadillas
We LOVE making football food for game-day but we don’t like feeling sluggish, so we use a few tricks to keep things lighter. The fried pickles are made in the air fryer with simply an egg wash and crushed kettle chips — simple ingredients; nothing wild. We like to make a big batch of chicken in the crockpot on some Sundays and use the meat for meals/lunches through the week. It makes things so much easier! For the buffalo chicken balls, we will use chicken, a little mayo to bind, and roll in chips. The chips serve the purpose of our carbs and the kettle brand only use potatoes, oil, and salt. Our quesadillas are made largely with goat cheese, shrimp, mole sauce, and GF tortillas (made with tapioca flour). This allows us to enjoy the typical ‘bar food’ at home with ingredients we can pronounce. We are throwing in some floats as a surprise to the kids!

Monday — slow cooker turkey, vegetables & potatoes
It’s easy and warm.

Tuesday — chicken sausage, peppers, and roasted potatoes
This is one of those ‘sheet pan meals’ that make meal prep easy and largely mess free. I don’t handle raw meat, so my husband will have to chop the sausage in the morning and I’ll throw it all in the oven when he and the kids are heading home for the day.

Wednesday — unstuffed cabbage & mashed potatoes
As you’ve probably gathered, we love carbs. I will buy a big bag of potatoes and use them for a few recipes through the week. We make our mashed potatoes with almond milk, a little grass-fed butter (room temperature), and then add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley. My love of cabbage runs deep and this is a great slow-cooker recipe for a cold day!

Thursday — date night
We try to have weekly date nights but the holidays and illness kept us from having one for the last few weeks. When we have date nights, the kids get a special treat too — sometimes, a pizza or homemade pepperoni/spinach rolls — this week, I think I’m going to make them homemade ramen with spinach, boiled egg, and thin beef! What a special treat!

What are your favorite meals to make during the week?

Next week, I will try to add breakfasts — this week’s breakfasts are oatmeal and boiled eggs. I try to make the kids egg sandwiches or something more substantial for breakfast but we also have cereal bars and belvita crackers on hand for the days where that doesn’t happen as easily.


love languages

I start to really reflect as the year comes to a close and the new year begins. I don’t do resolutions to lose weight or better myself — I just have no interest. I’d like to work out more, sure but that’s more of a weekly/monthly goal than an over-arching goal I set. My husband has talked about his love-language (physical touch) but I’ve never really taken the time to think about mine.

I’m reading a memoir/self-help book and the author talks about her love language and her husband’s and it triggered my thoughts about it. So, I did what anyone else would do — I hopped on Google and took a quiz to learn about my language. It’s interesting because it’s not something I’ve ever thought about before.

The highest score you can get in any category is a 12. Quality time was 10 for me and Acts of Service, 9. I think this hits the nail on the head completely for how I prefer to receive love and how I naturally express love. It also makes me think about why I get really upset when I am unable to perform acts of service and/or quality time is stunted due to other engagements.

I am going to try to be more mindful of my love languages and those of my family members in the new year so that I am making more of an attempt to meet the emotional needs of everyone in our household.

What is your love language?

holiday menu

I love to entertain — it’s kind of funny because I’m super introverted and am exhausted by having people in my space, but I really enjoy meal planning and cooking for a crowd. Acts of Service is my love language communicated and so my parents’ visit over Christmas left me feeling stressed that I was unable to really plan and prepare adequately for their visit. (See previous post re: pneumonia, the Christmas gift that makes you miserable.)

Fortunately for me, I’m married to a good man who was able to pick up my slack. He went on a 3-hour grocery shopping trip for the holiday meal and the brunches and dinners to follow. (He was sick too, so I appreciate the effort to take one for the team.)

When our kitchen was under construction, we bought a few new cookbooks. My husband combed through Chrissy Teigan’s, Cravings and Kristin Cavallari’s True Roots. My parents were only in town for the weekend and we planned dinner at the local hibachi one night, so we really only needed three primary meals:

Brunch: CT’s cheeseless cheesy eggs with blistered tomatoes & garlicky bacon; orange juice; berries; cinnamon rolls (gluten & yeast free); and coffee/tea.

This menu was a hit! The eggs were really creamy and the heavy cream made them taste cheesy without the heaviness. The meal with a big hit with my parents, my brother, all three kids, and the two of us! Yes!

Dinner: CT’s scalloped potatoes and a vegetable tray my mom prepared. We subbed out whole milk for almond milk and the the scalloped potatoes were amazing — 5 pounds of potatoes, ham & bacon — it was definitely not the healthiest of meals but it felt fancy and it satisfied everyone’s hunger.

On Saturday, we went with KC’s breakfast sandwiches, which are a favorite lazy weekend breakfast item of ours: Ezekiel bread, prosciutto, eggs, micro-greens, avocado, tomato, and hot sauce — we devoured a dozen eggs and nearly a whole loaf of bread! We added juice, coffee/tea, and berries for a nice, well-rounded meal.

Overall, these meal ideas worked really well for our family! We balanced healthy meals with rich ones and we were all pleased with how everything turned out. Because I was still sick, my husband did most of the cooking and I was his (barely there) sous chef.

Do you have any go-to brunch items that you enjoy?