Welcome!Hey there! I'm Holly. A 40+ year old insurance-nerd wife, mom, beauty lover, and about a million other things in between. This is the place where I share about our lives, what I'm currently loving, books I'm reading, plus-size style, beauty recommendations, health + fitness endeavors and anything else I'm finding interesting at the moment. Thanks for stopping by!
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Category Archives: Menu Plans
I want to get back to re-capping workouts and meals because I enjoy getting inspiration from others in this area (I’M ALWAYS INTERESTED IN WHAT YOU ARE HAVING FOR DINNER, TELL MEEEEEEEEEEEE!) but I was sick this week and I’m a little rusty at remembering to photograph our dinners so this week is not really starting off with a bang now is it.
Studies show people should invest in home gym workout equipment to improve their mental state. I had some wins though, chest cold be damned, so here’s what last week looked like:
That night I also hit up a yoga class over at CorePower Yoga in Fair Oaks. They were doing a friends and family night and my friend Amy is teaching there so I joined because my body has been craving a bit more yoga lately.
Dinner was a Beef Pot Roast with Cauliflower Mash and Carrots that I had made in the crock pot. My crock pot regularly saves my ass on Monday nights. 🙂
Tuesday morning when I woke up (after doing two workouts the day before) I thought to myself “Maybe that cold *wasn’t* actually over.” GRUMBLE. I took it easy that morning (usually I will go to spin) and then by the end of the day I felt okay so I thought I would see if a little hot yoga would help me sweat out whatever my body was trying to get rid of. I know, just go with it. It made sense in my head. Look – even the Mayo Clinic says it is good to workout when you don’t feel well! Usually working out *does* make me feel better, but I think this cold was getting good and ready to move down into my chest. Asshole.
Came home and on tap for dinner was Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs. I cooked them in the Trader Joe’s Bolognese sauce and seriously — THAT IS THE BEST JARRED TOMATO SAUCE! (I mostly hate jarred tomato sauce, so that is quite the compliment coming from me.) I wasn’t super hungry so I ended up just making a smoothie and going to bed, but that made some BOMB lunch leftovers! 🙂
Wednesday was the day that my body woke me up saying “NO MORE WORKING OUT, YA DICK! GET SOME REST.” So that was nice. :/
Dinner was Garlic Pork Chops that I had sous vide on Sunday (thank god! because I did not want to cook.) + Green Beans from Trader Joe’s.
Garrett was stoked. I went to bed early.
Thursday was more of the same. More rest, more coughing, less working out. I considered going to Crossfit but the workout was The Filthy 50 and even I’m not that stupid.
Dinner was some basic Burgers + Salad + Sweet Potato Fries. I am currently obsessed with Brianna’s Italian Vinaigrette. I wish it wasn’t true, but it is!
I had high hopes for Friday but I was mostly chugging cough syrup and leaving work early. I would like to tell you we ate something super duper healthy. Instead, I made BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Nachos.
I don’t even regret it. I made sure my corn chips were organic you know. BAHAHAHAAHHA
Sat + Sun
We spent the weekend eating leftovers and mostly I was chugging water and taking monolaurin.
It was sexy, as you can imagine.
I have higher hopes for this week. I’ll still balancing rest, but I’m on the mend for sure and I’m just ready to get back to real life! Cross your fingers for me, and have a great week, friends!
Garrett was out of town last weekend and instead of relaxing and just enjoying my alone time I ran 900 million errands and cooked enough food for an entire town. Our freezer is overflowing. I have a tendency to do things like that when I have a long stretch of free time ahead of me, and then I get to Sunday night and I’m like “Wait what, I have to go back to work? BUT WHERE WAS MY BUBBLE BATHING AND COUCH LAYING TIME?”
It turns out this week has been (somewhat unexpectedly) busy, so even though I didn’t relax a ton this weekend I am so freaking happy to have so much ready to eat food in my fridge. I made some yummy stuff and thought I would share because most of them are good recipes for batch cooking and popping in the freezer or for just enjoying throughout the week – ALREADY COOKED!
***I made a batch of Mel’s Persian Spiced Winter Vegetable Soup and it might be the thing that made my kitchen smell the best all weekend! Onions, garlic and butternut squash softening in ghee is about the most blissful thing ever. And that’s before you add in all the spice deliciousness.
The only change I made was upping the Aleppo Pepper to 4 teaspoons because we are crazy people who love spicy/hot food. We ate this for dinner on Monday night with some crisped up kielbasa chunks on top to make it a meal. This recipe is a 10 and would freeze beautifully and we ate it while watching Ohio State trounce Oregon. Besides tasting good this soup might also be a good luck charm! 🙂 (A few people have asked me why we Californians love Ohio State so much. It’s a family thing – this is Garrett’s grandpa’s brother so his family has a lot of OSU pride that has rubbed off on me.)
***I also had 4 lbs of stew meat on hand so I used half of it to make AndreAnna’s Asian Orange Beef. I’ve sung the praises of this recipe so many times (it’s an all time favorite of Garrett’s) and we usually either make cauliflower rice or roast cauliflower like we did last night because it pairs so well. I add an extra yellow onion to the simmer, use mandarin oranges in a jar from Costco as well as add a few Tablespoons of red pepper flakes because, again WE LOVE THE HEAT. It’s bomb diggity!
***With the other 2 lbs of stew meat I tried a new (to me) recipe for Slow Cooker Garlic and Rosemary Beef Stew. I was stranded at home for a bit on Saturday because I had to wait for AAA to come replace my VERY DEAD battery in my car so while I was waiting I browned the meat and got it all crockpot ready.
It was a quick assembly but when it was finished cooking it was a little bit…gray? The flavor was SUPER good though so I salvaged it by adding some Kitchen Boquet. I feel like the fact that I own (and occasionally use) this product is some sort of culinary crime, but we’re all friends here so I’m just going to tell you I sprinkled a few drops in and it turned my stew the perfect brown. I obviously prefer a stovetop/oven but desperate times, you know. Like I said, the flavor was great!
***Lastly, I made a completely unhealthy, completely comfort food dish which I know is just so not a “January” thing to do but I could not resist. On Christmas Eve my aunt makes this really delicious (completely non-paleo) lasagna that everyone just dies over. She sent me the recipe in the mail and I happened to grab the mail on my way to the grocery store on Sunday. When I opened the envelope, my impulsive nature reared its head and I was like “I’m making a gluten free version of this IMMEDIATELY.” And I did.
I would actually call myself someone who DISLIKES lasagna. It’s just never all that great to me, but for some reason this lasagna recipe is life changing. Now I wouldn’t call it nutritious at all, but sometimes you just have to live a little. I gave some to Garrett in his lunch on Monday and right about noon he sent me this:
*As the icing on the cake I baked this Ground Beef and Spinach Egg Casserole but I used pork because we had some on hand. Still delightful!
I also mixed up some smoked salmon salad with tons of celery and Sir Kensington’s Chipotle Mayo. Yeah, you need to run out and pick some of THAT up, lemme tell ya. I am also not a fan of mayonnaise (unless it’s homemade) so we rarely have it in our fridge but I picked this up on a whim at Whole Foods since Juli is always raving about it and I feel like it doesn’t even taste like mayonnaise. It’s more like a chipotle sauce and now I want it ON EVERYTHING. #WORTHTHEHYPE #AMAZEBALLSWITHSALMON
So that’s a wintery little dose of the freezer food we’ve got cooking up lately.
What kind of hearty dishes are happening in your kitchen?
I posted a picture of my #SundayPrep on Instagram and a couple of you suggested I blog it. Not sure what to write about except what we’re eating, so here we go!
Breakfasts in our house usually come in a box. Not the sexiest food styling, but it is what it is. 🙂
I have time to eat mine at home on most days but Garrett is out of the house by 6:45 so he needs to be able to take his with him.
I prep them once on Sunday and then don’t give it another thought until I’m eating it. It’s nice. This week in Garrett’s boxes I put hashbrowns, chicken sausage, and two hard boiled eggs. That may sound fancy but it’s just about the simplest thing ever.
The chicken sausage is from Trader Joe’s, I cook it up all at once and then with the fat leftover in the pan I dump in potatoes, onions, peppers and spices. I make one pan of hashbrowns for him and split it into 5 containers. It doesn’t seem like much but it actually works out to the perfect little serving. Top it off with sausage and then slice up a couple of hard boiled eggs (which I also purchase those from Trader Joe’s because paying for the convenience of not having to peel hard boiled eggs has MADE MY LIFE!) and it’s a yummy little package.
Lunches are boxed up too (tupperware how I love thee) and this week I cooked up a batch of soup for myself (it’s a new recipe to me but it sounded easy and tasty) but there ended up being so much of it that I’m planning to serve it as a dinner as well one night after we go to the gym. Clearly I’m one of those people who can eat the same thing over and over and not get sick of it. I figure I’ll top it with cheese one day, avocado one day, olives another — that’ll spice it up enough for me.
Dinners are going to be meat + veg. (Shocker! LOL)
Two of them came from Whole Foods – these are also new to me but they looked and sounded good:
*Saturday Night Steak Grill Sauce – the name just called to me, what can I say? It’s basically a garlic and peppercorn marinade but the plan is to eat it on Friday because I DO WHAT I WANT.
*Sweet Hickory Chicken BBQ Sauce with Agave + Orange seemed like it could be good. Gluten free marinades that aren’t full of TONS of sugar are hard to find. This one, while certainly not sugar free seemed like a fun option.
And with the two strip loins I had leftover I decided to mix up this delicious little marinade that is always a crowd pleaser.
I tossed them in the sous vide for a couple of hours so they are perfectly cooked and just ready to sear off and eat on the night’s they are scheduled. I do stuff like this (or crockpot receipts) on night’s when we go to the gym because we won’t get home until after 6 and by the time we shower and all that I am usually not interested in cooking a fussy or time consuming meal, you know?
I know prepping once a week and meal planning sounds a little automated and regimented, but for the two of us — both working outside of the house full time — it’s mostly welcomed to always know there is at least something tasty and nutritious that is basically ready to eat in the fridge.
Go-To recipes, convenience food, and par cooked meat/protein is what keeps our house going on the week nights. What do you do to eat healthily during the week? I’m always looking for new tips!
Woo hoo! It’s the final week and all I can think of is “just get food on the table until it’s over.” My creativity is gone with the wind, and I don’t mean Gone With The Wind Fabulous. While that may sound sort of boring, I actually think it’s an indicator of success. By the time I get to the end of the Whole 30 I’m basically eating because I have a need to nourish, not to feed any cravings or particular emotions. SCORE!
Breakfast: will be the same all week. I made Italian Brunch Bake and roasted up some brussels sprouts. Breakfast in boxes all week long!
Lunch: Rogan Josh (straight out of Well Fed. HOLY CRAP this is a simple, but flavorful dish.)
Dinner: A variation on Nom Nom Paleo’s Slow Cooker Kalua Pig (smoked paprika instead of bacon. Oh bacon, how I miss thee!)
Lunch: Chicken Salad with Avocados + Sliced Cucumber
Dinner: Burgers TBD + Roasted Broccoli + Sweet Potato Fries
No idea what to do with the burgers Thursday night, so riddle me this…what is your FAVORITE way to make/dress/serve a burger?
Happy Last week of Whole 30 you all! Thanks for keeping me (mostly) inspired in the kitchen! ha!
So! I’m a few days late, but I promise I’ve still been meal planning. This is the last FULL WEEK of the Whole 30. Can you even believe that? Just yesterday we were talking about Make Ahead Meals and now we are less than 10 days from finishing. My mind is BLOWN! It’s going by pretty fast I think, and a stocked fridge and a menu plan full of ideas just keeps me chugging along.
My strategy this week is to rely on leftovers. I’m making a few larger meals for dinner and then serving them up for lunch the next day. I’m also still relying on some convenience food (Trader Joe’s Turkey Burgers and Microwave Green Beans mostly) but hey…ya gotta do what ya gotta do!
Breakfast: will be the same all week. I made an egg casserole with Chorizo + Kale + Onions and roasted up some butternut squash. Breakfast in boxes all week long!
Lunch: Leftovers (we did some fridge clean out)
Dinner: Rogan Josh (straight out of Well Fed. HOLY CRAP this is a simple, but flavorful dish.)
Lunch: Leftover Rogan Josh
Dinner: Paleo Minestrone Soup
Lunch: Leftover Minestrone
Dinner: Kielbasa Steamer with Stir Fry Sauce (Less recipe more method: Chop up Cauliflower, Carrots and Broccoli and steam with Kielbasa over the top. Serve up with Ghee and Stir Fry Sauce. Plain. Simple. Delicious.)
Lunch: Trader Joe’s Turkey Burgers and Green Beans. Sounds kinda simple and boring but I am LOVING this meal right now.
Dinner: Turkey Curry Shepherd’s Pie
Lunch: Leftover Shepherd’s Pie
Dinner: Pork Chops — TBD — if you have a suggestion I’d love to hear it. Also, roasted brussels sprouts and broccoli.
I’ll post a new menu on Sunday! THE LAST MENU. Yesssssssssssssss!
So how many of you are still going strong?
Have a great week everyone!
Twelve days in and I have already lost my desire to be creative in the kitchen. This time around I have a lot more going on in my work life, so this week I have to put kitchen creativity low on my priority list. I still want to make delicious, compliant meals but I think there will be little pomp and circumstance surrounding them.
This week I’m not trying any new recipes and I actually picked up some convenience food at Costco and Trader Joe’s yesterday, including: chicken sausages, pre packed microwave in bag green beans, pre-chopped kale, and frozen turkey burgers. All will be yummy yet will require very little brain power. Plus, I’m calling in the big convenience guns and doing breakfast for dinner one night.
Sunday meals are going to be slapdash. Garrett isn’t around so I’m sort of slapping together leftovers and doing food prep today. Nothing exciting, but definitely sustaining.
Breakfast: will be the same all week. Beef + Spinach Egg Casserole. The recipe will be on the blog this week!
Lunch: Cinnamon Beef Stew This is a total repeat and I don’t even care. It’s awesome, I made a batch this morning and it will work for lunch for two days. Score!
Dinner: Paleo Krabby Patties with homemade tartar sauce, salad and roasted golden beets.
Lunch:Cinnamon Beef Stew
Dinner: Breakfast for dinner
Lunch: Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers I really enjoyed these last week so I made another batch for lunches this week.
Dinner: Trader Joe’s Turkey Burgers with Zucchini + Sweet Potato Fries
Lunch: Chicken Sausage over Spaghetti Squash topped with roasted kale. (This is my new fave comfort food. Sounds plain, tastes delicious.)
Dinner: Taco Salad. Convenience or not, I must have my taco salad. 🙂
We are going to be gone at an all day event on Saturday so I have not planned this day at all. I’ll probably figure it out as we go. Have any suggestions for portable food that is compliant? Let me know!
I’ll post a new menu on Sunday!
So Hey — Let’s Talk About Homework
I want to see your grocery haul, folks! Where do you go? What do you buy? What are your time savers in the kitchen? What convenience foods are helping you get through this? Show me, show me, show me! And tag your photos with #hwisc for next week’s roundup.
Have a great week everyone!
We’re having WINE for dinner!
Ok, not really. But we are spending this coming weekend in Sonoma for my cousin Jim’s wedding, so our menu is somewhat short and sweet.
Lunch: Grilled Chicken Andouille with Vegetables
Dinner: Grilled Ginger Lime Shrimp + Cauliflower Rice + Salad
Lunch: Italian Antipasto Salad (recipe soon. It’s delish!)
Dinner: Grilled Fiesta Chicken Thighs + Broccoli + Salad
Lunch: Flank Steak Salad with Blue Cheese
Dinner: Breakfast for dinner! (Or Mustgo!)
…and then we’re off! Long weekend in wine-country here we come!
What’s cooking in your neck of the woods?
This is a short work week for me and we are taking a long weekend in Tahoe for Fittest of the Sierras. This means I’m mostly trying to just get stuff on the table this week in anticipation of getting out of town. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s way more fun to plan vacation menus than it is to plan everyday menus!
That said, here’s what we’re chowing on:
Lunch:Grilled Chicken Salads — we have a lot of prepped grilled chicken and I don’t feel like eating it for dinner tonight. 🙂
Dinner: Grilled Herb Shrimp + A Basket of Grilled Veggies I want to have this side dish basically every night this summer, I swear. So pretty!
Lunch: Taco Salad because it’s easy and because we just got in a new shipment of Carmen’s Habitual Habanero Dressing, so it’s all Garrett wants to eat.
Dinner: Chicken Thighs. Preparation as yet to be determined. + Cauliflower Rice + Steamed Broccoli
Lunch: Grilled Chicken Sausage + Salad
Dinner: Burgers + Avocado Broccoli Slaw + Salad
Leftovers. Eat whatever would just sit in the house all weekend!
This weekend isn’t even over and I’m already ready for next weekend! What’s cookin’ in your neck of the woods, folks? Any links to new fun recipes you’ve been loving? Leave ’em in the comments.
So it’s been hot as balls over here this weekend, and apparently on Monday it’s going to rain and be in the 60s. Whatever, Mother Nature. I’m going to take advantage and roast vegetables! 🙂 Then when it gets hot again it will be back to grilling and eating salads because the oven does not go on in this house when it is over 90 degrees.
Here’s what else we are chowing on:
Lunch: Greek Salads with Lemon Oregano Vinaigrette
Dinner: Southwest Turkey Sliders with Spicy Avocado Slaw and Sauteed Squash
Lunch: Cobb Salads with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette
Dinner: Grilled Shrimp (something spicy) + Grilled asparagus and salad
Lunch: Taco Salad
Dinner: Indian Spiced Turkey Curry over Sauteed Greens
Lunch: Chipotle for lunch!
Dinner: Cajun Bison Sausages with Peppers + Onions and Salad
Dinner: WILD CARD — Leftovers//Mustgo//Go Out//Figure it out on the fly
It’s grocery day again! Time to stock up on goods for this week’s sweet eats. I’m trying to get as much as I can get done early today because I think I’m getting sick. BOO. Also, we have guests stopping by at noon. Convenient, right? 🙂 Cross your fingers for me would ya, I don’t waaaaaanna get sick!
I’ve run myself a little ragged over the past few days and combined with EVERYONE at my job having the hacking cough plague and NOT STAYING HOME, I think I’m racing the clock of good health and time is not looking to be on my side. Operation: Afternoon Nap is definitely happening today. But not until the groceries are procured, food is prepped and guests are fed. So let’s get this party started.
Time to chat about what we’re eating:
Lunch: Grilled Chicken Caesar Salads
Dinner: Asian Beef + Cauliflower Rice Bowls (at Garrett’s request. It’s partly because he loves this dish and partly because I think he kind of misses AndreAnna)
Lunch: Garlic + Mozzarella Chicken Sausages + Sauteed Squash with Peppers
Dinner: Chicken in Pepperoni Marinara + Caprese Salad
Lunch: Brunch + Shopping. Woooooooooooooooooooot!
Dinner: Leftovers/Must Go!
What’s cooking in your neck of the woods, friends?