Friday, May 28, 2010

Monthly Menu Planning

As a new month is on the horizon, I've begun gathering recipes to menu plan for June. I usually begin with gathering the recipes, then move to looking at our calendar to see what days we might be out of town or might need a quick meal. Then, I move to actually entering menus for each day. At the beginning of each week, I'll look through the menus for the week, tweaking here and there to tastes and grocery sales.

So, to start off for June, here is my recipe collection:

Taco Salads with some variation of this dressing
Chicken Fajitas
Black Bean & Sweet Potato Quesadillas (recipe to come)
Southwest Chicken Salad
Layered Taco Bake

Baked Teriyaki Chicken with stirfried veggies & Sesame Noodles
Asian Chicken Salad -- some variation of it :)
Fried Rice -- using chicken instead of pork & adding in pineapple
Chicken Stirfry -- this recipe was great, except I left out the honey -- OJ made it sweet enough!
Peanut Butter Chicken

Family Favorites
Turkey Burgers
Asian Meatballs
Roasted Sausage & Veggies with penne pasta
Dijon Chicken
Chicken Tetrazzini
Baked Tilapia
Roasted Chicken & Veggies
Greek Kabobs
Sausage & Pesto Pasta Salad (recipe to come)

New Recipes to Try
Curry Chicken
Grilled Chicken with Lemon Pasta
Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Sweet & Sour Chicken

Friday, May 14, 2010

Favorite Summer Recipe

I LOVE this recipe! It's great as a dip with Scoops chips or as a side dish to grilled chicken...really good as a summer lunch or easy to make a batch to take to a BBQ. So yummy!!

Black Bean & Corn Salsa
Mix together in a large bowl:
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans (pinto or Great Northern can be substituted), drained & rinsed
1 small can corn (or half of a regular size can), drained
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
3/4 mango, peeled & chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
handful of cilantro, remove large stems & chop

Heat in a saucepan, until bubbly & incorporated:
1/2 cup oil (I use olive oil)
1/2 cup vinegar (I use apple cider)
2 Tbsp brown sugar

Pour sauce over bean & veggie mixture. Add the juice of one lime or 1/2 lemon. Add enough salt
& pepper to taste.

It's best if you marinate it at least several hours or overnight.

New to Us Recipes

I tried some new recipes this week, and after tweaking them a bit to better fit our family, I have some new favorites!!

"Glazed" Chicken Stirfry (based on this recipe)
Chicken breast strips -- about 12 strips
1 Tbsp raw honey
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp orange juice
2-3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp oil
4 cups cut-up vegetables -- I used sugar snap peas, carrots, squash and mushrooms

Mix honey, vinegar, orange juice, soy sauce and cornstarch in a bowl. I marinated the chicken strips in the sauce.

Heat oil in a skillet; add chicken (not the sauce) to the skillet and stirfry until no longer pink. Add vegetables and enough of the sauce to glaze the stirfry to the skillet. Cook until vegetables are tender but still slightly crisp.

Serve over rice, noodles or sauteed cabbage.

This Dijon Chicken Marinade was really good. I left out the cayenne pepper since I was serving it to the kids as well. It had a great flavor!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Kid-Friendly Snack Chart

In an ever-continuing effort to teach my kids about healthy snacking, I posted a "Healthy Snack Chart" :) They can choose a snack off the list pretty much anytime they would like throughout the day as they are all healthy options. If they would like something that's not on the list, then they need to ask Mom for permission.

What's on the list?

-boiled egg
-carrot sticks
-celery sticks
-avocado slices
-black beans
-berries (strawberries/blackberries/blueberries/raspberries)

In addition, I keep a bowl of fruit on the table (usually small apples and/or bananas) that they can grab if they are hungry.

I do not mind snacking throughout the day as long as it's a "mini meal" and not empty calories! I found when we did The Maker's Diet that if they were not filling up on cereal/crackers/bread throughout the day, then they ate SO much more real food!! So I'm trying to continue that, but in a more long-term manner. So far, I see them check the list pretty much anytime they are hungry. They talk about the various food groups, and they know what is healthy and what is not (for the most part). So, we'll see how it goes...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: May 10, 2010

Friday: Sausage Pesto Pasta
Saturday: BBQ
For more menu planning ideas, visit!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Kids' Favorite Breakfast

I thought I'd share the kids' favorite breakfast lately -- super healthy, about as easy as pouring cereal & healthy -- my kind of breakfast!!

Yogurt "Parfaits"
bowl of plain goat milk
mix in 1 Tbsp flaxmeal to each bowl
maybe 1/3 cup rice Chex cereal gently mixed in
fresh or frozen berries mixed in
original/plain coconut milk Kefir poured over the top

I usually add a couple of pieces of turkey sausage or bacon, and they are full!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: May 3, 2010

After 4 weeks of following The Maker's Diet, we are entering Phase 3 and adding grains back in! We will still use gluten-free grains and use them as a side dish rather than a large portion of our meal. I am still amazed at the variety of foods that our kids eat after cutting out grains for 4 weeks! I will definitely be offering protein, vegetables and fruits before offering a lot of grains. So, here is our menu plan for this week...complete with some added grains :) And as usual, I will post the main dish and will add in green salad, fruit or whatever vegetables I have on hand (unless the main dish includes enough!).

Monday: Baked Tilapia with Quinoa Salad (adapted from this recipe)

Tuesday: Peanut Butter Chicken with Rice Noodles

Wednesday: Black Bean & Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Thursday: Chicken & Wild Rice Bake

Friday: Quiche

Leftovers over the weekend & eating out for Mother's Day!