Category Archives: Menu Planning

Weekly Preview – June 12

It seems like now is a good time to link up with one of my favorite blogs, which I’ve been following for several years, Mommy Run Fast, to talk about what I’m doing for fitness and diet since my cesarean in the form of my plans for the week ahead.

During my pregnancy, I tried to keep up with my running and I was successful for a while. Then, right around Christmas I ended up with a horrible cold. After that, I just couldn’t manage to keep my heart rate down, so I ended up switching over to walking. I resumed walking about 5 days after my surgery at about a 30 minute pace with a quarter mile. Now, I’m walking up to 3 miles between a 15 and 16 minute pace. I’m happy with that progress i less than 5 weeks time, but that still means I haven’t run for 6 months. UGH!

On Thursday of this week, I have my 6 week postpartum visit with my doctor and I’m hoping that means I’ll be cleared to start running again. I won’t technically be at 6 weeks until next Monday, so I’m not planning to start mixing running in until that day, but this week I will continue my brisk walks to prepare my body for running when I get the all clear. I am still taking a rest day very frequently because a cesarean is major surgery and I want to make sure I am treating my body kindly to allow it to properly heal. I’m also leaving out strength training because I am not cleared for core work yet and I get enough upper body work carrying around the baby and pushing the stroller.

Here is how my week will look:

Monday: 35 minute walk

Tuesday: REST

Wednesday: 45 minute walk

Thursday: REST

Friday: 30 minute walk

Saturday: 1 hour walk

Sunday: REST

I’ve also been taking a bit of a break from meal-planning while I’ve been recovering. I have an amazing husband who has been meal-planning, grocery shopping, and doing most of the cooking since the beginning of my third trimester. I’m working on starting to make that more of a collaborative process again now that I’m feeling more recovered and have another month at home before the end of my maternity leave.

We can also plan some slightly higher maintenance mid-week meals right now, because I can typically get a some prep done during the day. If something happens and I have less time, we just switch the planned meal to something a little easier. What has made our meal planning much easier is buying a small dry erase board for the refrigerator. I picked up this days of the week dry erase board by Quartet days of the week dry erase board by Quartet from Amazon for less than $10. It is heavy duty and is magnetized so the dry erase marker sticks directly to it rather than having to stick it on the refrigerator next to it. We tend to stay much more organized with our meals when we use it. We also add when we have special things going on so it helps us to keep track of when we don’t need to plan meals or we need to make some other type of special arrangement. I only wish that the week on the board ran from Sunday to Saturday instead of Monday to Sunday as that is how we plan our meals.

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For this week we are planning to have a real mix of things:

Sunday: Summer Vegetable Risotto

Monday: Big Salad with Tuna Medallions ($6.99/lb at Harris Teeter this week)

Tuesday: Grilled Chicken & Brussels Sprouts with a Shallot Mustard Sauce

Wednesday: Pork Tacos

Thursday: Skillet Gnocchi with Spinach and White Beans

Friday: Cookout with friends

Saturday: Eat out or get takeout

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Weekly Meal Plan: Cooking With Gas

You know what stinks? Running out of propane in the middle of cooking dinner. That’s what happened to us in the middle of making our grilled vegetable salad last week. Fortunately, the veggies had already started cooking, so we decided to pinch hit. While Nathan pulled the veggies off the grill, I threw our two largest skillets on the stovetop and we finished them off by turning the heat to medium and covering the skillets. As one batch of veggies would finish, I threw them on a cookie sheet sitting in a 200º oven to stay warm as the rest cooked. It wasn’t our best veggie salad, but it was still tasty.

Now that we have a full tank of gas, we can get back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Here is what we have in our plans for dinners this week:

I still have a good amount of edamame hummus and oatmeal “cupcakes” left, so I don’t have to make extra snacks this week. I also have 2 varieties of soup in the freezer, so I don’t feel pressed to cook soup this weekend.

Last week's batch of cabbage soup yielded several servings for the freezer!

Last week’s batch of cabbage soup yielded several servings for the freezer!

 

It’s a good thing there isn’t much extra prep to do this week. I have a ton of work I need to be doing this afternoon. Such is life…

Have a great week of eats and be sure to check out more weekly meal plans with Mommy Run Fast and Jill Conyers!

Weekly Meal Plan: Meals on Repeat

We have been REALLY bad about not cooking at home over the last few weeks. Fortunately, we’ve been buying mostly ingredients that have a little longer shelf life, so we’ve been able to push some meals to the next week (we finally cooked that tempeh stir fry last night).

We ended up having dinner out on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday this week, so we have two meals that will be on repeat this week, the grilled pork tacos and grilled veggie salad.  On top of that, I’m planning on Blackened Chicken with Cilantro-Lime Quinoa one night and Black Bean and Veggie Tostadas another night (might as well use up our leftover corn tortillas from taco night). They also have grass-fed filets on sale at Earth Fare this week, so I’m going to grab 4 of those. They’ll probably go straight to the freezer, but if we are in need of an extra dinner, we can grab a sweet potato to split and some type of green veggie to go with them later in the week.

It should be a good week for dinners!

I’m also playing around with a few ideas for other food throughout the week. I’m going to try making a Paleo version of my Roasted Cabbage Soup as a contribution to a cookbook a friend is writing. I also want to play around with a recipe for edamame hummus a little more.  We’ll see how this batch turns out!

My last attempt at edamame hummus. It looked pretty, but I need to work on the balance of flavor.

I also have built up to a good stock of super ripe bananas in the freezer, so I think it’s time to make my version of these breakfast oatmeal “cupcakes” again.

It’s a good thing I have an extra day off this weekend!

Check out more weekly meal plans over at Mommy Run Fast and Jill Conyers!

Weekly Meal Plan and Recap

I seem to be writing a lot of these two for one posts lately, but such is life.

Last week ended up being even busier than I anticipated. Couple what is typically my busiest week of the year with spending two evenings looking at houses, and you get one tired Katie. The university where Nathan teaches part-time was kicking off all of their beginning of semester meetings at the end of last week so he had a crazy week as well.

All that to say, we didn’t follow our weekly meal plan very well. We ended up eating out both Wednesday and Thursday nights. We did cook at home on Friday, but then I left early Saturday morning to go to DC for a baby shower and didn’t get back until late in the afternoon on Sunday. We managed to meal plan and grocery shop, and then, we were so exhausted, we ended up eating the leftover sweet potato pasta we made for dinner Friday night.

I also did not work out last week. At all. I pulled very late nights finishing presentations on Monday and Tuesday and just couldn’t get my energy level back up, even after throwing in extra sleep the next couple of nights. I had every intention of getting up and putting in just a few miles on Sunday morning, but I ended up sleeping in until 8. By that time, the family was up and I decided to spend my precious last few moments with them since I’m not sure when we’ll all get to be together again.

I’ll do better this week. Here are the meals we have planned this week:

Omelet – Nathan has a late departmental meeting with the music majors and minors, so I’ll be on my own for this meal. It’s a last-minute addition to the meal plan, but I’ll scrounge toppings from the fridge and eat it with a small salad.

Tempeh and Broccolini Stir Fry – We never cooked this last week, so it will be tomorrow night’s dinner.

Grilled Salmon and Roasted Broccoli – Nathan saw a strategy for grilling salmon by laying it on a bed of thinly sliced lemon, so we’re giving it a try. We’ll have broccoli on the side.

Grilled Veggie Salad – The weather is supposed to be great for grilling this week, so why not add another grilled meal to the mix? We love this one!

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Our last grilled veggie salad!

Pork Tacos – This is one of the first meals that Nathan ever made for me and we love to dig it back out every so often. This will probably be dinner on either Friday or Saturday.

I’m also planning to get in 5-6 workouts this week. I need to go easy this week so I don’t mess myself up moving forward. My knee is still bothering me some, but if I don’t get restarted and moving, my motivation will take a downward spiral. So, I’m going to run 3-4 times this week, lift twice, and maybe hit the stationary bike 1-2 times (I’ll couple that with lifting). Wish me luck!

Be sure to check out more posts over at Mommy Run Fast!

Last Minute Meal Planning

When we travel on the weekend, meal planning gets complicated. We should have looked at meals and plans for the week ahead during our drive home, but after stopping for an amazing lunch (and dessert) in Richmond, Virginia, neither of us were really ready to think about more food.

Once we finally got home, we decided on a few quick meals and then we played divide and conquer. Nathan went grocery shopping while I stayed at home to wash our laundry from the weekend and get the refrigerator cleaned out. I also managed to find time to whip up a little batch of edamame hummus for snacks this week.

This was my first time making edamame hummus, so I turned to the internet to give me a little inspiration. It’s not bad, but not quite ready for a published recipe. I’m going to play around and make it a few more times to see if I can make one that just knocks my socks off.

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Snacks this week! Edamame hummus with carrot sticks

Of course, we won’t be able to live off of edamame hummus, so here is what else we’ll be eating…

  • Tempeh and Broccolini Stir Fry – As usual we’ll add extra broccolini and some red bell pepper to make this even more tasty
  • Grilled Mahi Salad – At least this is what I think we’re going to do with the mahi Nathan bought at the grocery store. We originally planned for grilled shrimp salads again, but Nathan said the mahi looked great AND was on sale. You don’t want to pass that up!
  • Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Pasta – We love this one! The goat cheese makes it so creamy, but it is full of vegetable goodness as well.
  • Chicken with Italian Sweet-Sour Fennel – Another of our favorites. It’s just so good.

It should be a good week of eats! Make sure to check out what everyone else is eating through the menu planning linkup over at Mommy Run Fast!

It’s a Two-fer! Meal Planning and Weekly Recap

That’s right! I stayed on the go this weekend, so I never had a chance to sit down and write my meal-planning post for this week. Lucky you, that means you get meal-planning and my weekly recap all rolled into one!

I’ll start off with the good news. My doctor’s office called on Monday and offered me a slot for an appointment the next afternoon. I’ve never been so happy to go to the doctor in my life! At first glance, it appeared that my totally non-expert self-diagnosis was correct; it was a reoccurrence of patellar tendonitis. However, the more we talked (myself, the doctor, and the resident) the more my doctor felt like we needed to do a scan to make sure their was nothing else going on. So, we hit the ultrasound room, where we were also joined by a professor in orthopedics from a local college who is on sabbatical to study with my doctor. They all took turns looking at knee with the ultrasound and what they ultimately found is something called a traction spur. He said it is caused by the tendon actually pulling on the bone. So, the week the pain developed, I had significantly ramped up my squats and lunges (as part of Body Pump and my 30 day challenge for July). He thinks following up those workouts with running was just too much for my body at this point. My tendons are probably super tight from being a runner, so that is something I’m going to need to work on. He gave me some exercises and, the best news, permission to run!

I’m going easy, really low mileage. I’m giving myself 48(ish) hours between runs, and I’m trying to find flatter routes to run (not easy given the area’s geography). But, I’m running! I did 2 miles twice last week, and I’ll start out with 2 more 2 mile runs this week, and then try for three. I’m walking when I need to and I’m just trying to relax and give myself time to heal properly. I’m supposed to go back if my pain isn’t better after 6 weeks.

Our weekend was fun, but busy.  We were in Suffolk, Virginia, for a get-together with Nathan’s family on Saturday. It was a very nice time, but a long day. We managed to squeeze in our runs before we left, but with getting up to run, driving over 3 hours there and again on the way back, and spending a few hours there with everyone, we were spent by the time we got home. We grabbed some dinner at our favorite pizza joint, and called it a night pretty early.

Sunday morning, Nathan had to break down all of his instruments and headed over to Graham, North Carolina to perform at a church service. While he did all that, I engaged in some quick meal-planning and put together the grocery list for the week. Aside from Nathan taking a pretty nasty spill coming back into the house while loading his car, the morning went smoothly. I chose a slow-cooker meal for yesterday’s dinner, so after I shopped I got that prepped and cooked the rice to go with it. (I’ll be sharing more about the recipe tomorrow, so be sure to stay tuned for that.)  I also roasted the gorgeous purple tomatillos, jalapenos, and tomatoes a friend gave me from her garden earlier in the week.

IMG_4215Then, I was off to Graham myself for Nathan’s afternoon recital. His recital was lovely, and his new version of “EvenStar” was absolutely beautiful. Our friends that played on the recital stuck around afterwords to help us break his instruments back down and load the car. Then, we were off for a celebratory adult beverage before we headed home to dinner.

What a great weekend!

Now, on to the week ahead. As I mentioned, we’re going to be looking at houses some in the evening this week, so I wanted to make sure I had two meals that could be ready super fast. I elected for leftovers one of those nights and the other night we’ll have a big salad with either shrimp or chicken on top (we have both in the freezer right now). Here’s how it looks:

Sunday: Slow Cooker Lamb Curry – Check out tomorrow’s post for more info on this!
Monday/Tuesday: Leftover Lamb Curry & Grilled Something Salad (We’re flexible on this since we don’t know exactly what these evenings will hold.)
Wednesday: Stacked Roasted Veggie Enchiladas
Thursday: Fish of some sort with sauteed veggies – I didn’t buy this on Sunday since I don’t like to keep fish in the refrigerator that long. I’ll see what is on sale and/or looks the freshest when I stop in at the store later this week to finalize this meal.

On Friday, we’re off to Virginia again. We’re seeing Nickel Creek in concert on Friday night with my mom and stepdad and then we’re heading to Busch Gardens on Saturday. We’re fully taking advantage of our last real weekend of summer!

Weekly Meal Plan: Eating In

Last week was so crazy busy and, on occasion, indulgent that we’re completely looking forward to a week of eating at home!

We have a couple of meals planned that will take a little longer to put together, but we’re keeping our Monday-Thursday dinners easy by using a combination of leftovers and quick dishes. Nathan has a couple of evening rehearsals this week and we are hoping to put in some house-shopping on Wednesday night, so this is really essential!

Here is our plan for the week:

Sunday – Paella – Nathan has been dying to make this again since we now have a gas grill he can use for it. Trying to do it on the stove top with our gargantuan paella pan just proved a little too difficult.
Monday  – Leftover Italian Bean Balls and Spaghetti Squash – We made these on Friday night and they were so good! I’ll stored the leftover balls separate from the leftover marinara to keep them from falling apart. I’ll heat up the balls in the oven and use the microwave for the other stuff.
Tuesday – Grilled Chicken Salad – No explanation needed!
Wednesday – Leftover Paella (this way we don’t wear ourselves out on it too quickly)
ThursdayCaramelized Onion Frittata
FridayArgentinean Pork – I haven’t decided on sides for this yet, but since I’m off on Fridays for a couple more weeks, I’ll see what inspires me Friday morning.
Saturday – We’re leaving this one open. We’ll be traveling to Suffolk, Virginia for Nathan’s family reunion for the day, so I don’t know if we’ll have any energy left to think about putting together dinner at home by the time we get back. We would both prefer to cook in, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Some of the ingredients for tonight's paella!

Some of the ingredients for tonight’s paella!

I’m really looking forward to a week of eating in! Be sure to check out what everyone else is eating this week over at Mommy Run Fast!