Back To Basics


I looooove making a menu!

It doesn’t matter if it is for a single event or a week’s worth of dinners, I just love flipping through cookbooks, magazines, scrolling through my Pinterest boards— ALL OF IT!

I’ll be back tomorrow to share what we’re eating next week, but in the meantime, in case you want a refresher on how I get inspired to plan meals, here are some useful links:

My Past Menu Plans
My Favorite Clean Eating Food Blogs
How To Meal Plan (Part One)
How To Meal Plan (Part Two)

What’s For Dinner

You know my life is out of control when I can’t even come up with a weekly menu, or make time to blog it.

How To Menu Plan

I’m taking back my life this week though, so I’ve at least scribbled down a template that I am damned determined to follow!

We’re getting back to basics (and I can’t wait!):

Lunch: Taco Salad + Kale Chips
Dinner: Tri Tip + Roasted Butternut Squash + Salad

Lunch: Carnitas Salads
Dinner: Grilled Chicken + Bacon + Egg Spinach Salads

Lunch: Grilled Chicken Salads
Dinner: Chile Relleno Casserole (again, it was bomb!) + Salad

Lunch: Leftover Chile Relleno Casserole + Raw Veggies
Dinner: Turkey Burgers (the type TBD) + Sauteed Snap Peas + Salad

Lunch: Ground Beef Hot Plate + Cauliflower Rice
Dinner: Steak with Garlic + Mushrooms + Sauteed Swiss Chard + More Brussels Sprouts

Lunch: Out // Leftovers
Dinner: Out // Leftovers // Must Go



What’s cooking in your neck of the woods?

What’s For Dinner?

Last January Garrett and I headed down to the central coast and spent a long weekend looking at a lot of this:

Avila Beach

This coming weekend we are headed down again to celebrate one of my besties’ 30th birthday and her recent engagement! I’m hoping the weather will give us a repeat performance.


What does this mean to you? Well, it means my menu post is a little bit light. But here is what we are eating all the same:

Lunch: Taco Salad (I know, same old! But it’s easy AND delicious.)
Dinner: Slow Cooker Coconut Ginger Chicken over Cauli Rice

Lunch: Chile Rellenos Casserole (I’m making this ahead of time)
Dinner: Chicken with Pepperoni Marinara + Garlic Sauteed Zucchini + Salad

Lunch: Sonoma Chicken Salad in Lettuce Cups (or leftovers for Garrett since he hates Chicken Salad like a crazy person.)
Dinner: Spinach Stuffed Turkey Burgers (a riff on this recipe) + Kale Chips + Salad

Lunch: Leftover Spinach Burgers + Veggie Mustgo
Dinner: Cajun Turkey Chili (This recipe is my own. If it’s good, I will post it.)

Friday through Sunday

The Pier on Avila Beach


What’s For Dinner?

I asked Garrett if he had any requests for meals this week (as I do most weeks) and he said “I want Indian-y food and Asian-y food.” And then I asked him if we had vindaloo seasoning in the spice drawer and (standing right next to it) he looked at me and said “Yeah, I have no idea.”


Anyway, we do this dance weekly when we are coming up with a menu. I talk about what recipes have been inspiring me, he tells me what he is in the mood for and of course then I make him open every door and cupboard to find out which ingredients we do and and don’t have in between bouts of him yelling at the football game on the television. I’m sure there are more efficient ways to do this, but this works for us. Sometimes I wish it was a little more like that book Porn For Women, but we always nail down a menu no matter what. Real Life Meal Planning, you know?

Anyway — Asian-y and Indian-y…here we go!

Lunch: Grilled Chicken Thighs and Sunshine Sauce + Roasted Broccoli
Dinner: Dinner with friends!

Lunch: Butter Chicken over Sauteed Garlic Rainbow Chard
Dinner: Orange Chicken + Broccoli + Salad — I know this keeps appearing on my menus, but it has been the meal we end up skipping because we have leftovers or something. I WANT TO EAT THIS DAMN ORANGE CHICKEN! So this week…we will. :)

Lunch: Spinach Salads with Eggs + Warm Bacon Dressing
Dinner: Spicy Honey Chicken Thighs + Sauteed Zucchini + Salad

Lunch: Turkey Satay Burgers with Broccoli Slaw + Sweet Potato Fries
Dinner: Asian Beef with Cauliflower Fried Rice Bowls

Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Vindaloo Burgers + Roasted Garlic Brussels Sprouts + Salad

Lunch: Brunch
Dinner: Grilled Ribeyes with Baked Potato Bar (oooh, getting crazy!) and Salad


Christmas Menu!


What’s cooking in your neck of the woods?

What’s For CHRISTMAS Dinner? The All Day (very un-Paleo) Menu

As an annual tradition, as soon as we finish Thanksgiving dinner, we start planning Christmas dinner — like while our dishes are still on the table. Garrett can not understand how people who are full can talk about food so he is guaranteed to be grossed out every year. The rest of my family and I LOVE LOVE LOVE meal planning (obviously) so we have a great time debating whether to cook turkey again or ham (not my favorite) or to do something completely different. This year, we’re going for the latter and doing an All Day Menu.

You see, we have a Breakfast Tradition on Christmas and that is Menudo — a Mexican soup made with a beef/chili base and hominy. My grandfather (who was Mexican) used to make it every year, but even though he is gone we still keep the tradition alive. It’s served in big bowls with tons of oregano, lemon and freshly chopped onions and buttery corn tortillas on the side. Most people think it sounds a little different, but honestly it’s totally amazing! Even Garrett was unsure of it his first Christmas with my family but now he loves it — and even eats it full of tripe! Which, um…ACK! I eat the tripe-free version, I’m not THAT hardcore.

So after Menudo, and our traditional egg casserole (which I will post sometime soon, man it is it tasty and easy!) and pastries, and appetizers and yada yada yada — well you get the picture. Everyone ends up being full at dinner and we have a giant ham in the oven that no one’s *really* hungry for. Don’t get me wrong — WE EAT IT — but then everyone is full and sick and “Hey, what’s for dessert?” You know what I mean?

So this year, to combat that problem, we are doing mostly appetizers and dessert. A grazing ALL DAY LONG Menu.

Here’s how it’s breaking down:

*Menudo with the fixins
*Egg Casserole
*Traditional Pastries

Out All Day
*Pot of chili in the Crock Pot with shredded cheese, avocado, onions, sour cream and corn chips
*Cornbread + Honey Butter
*Ham + Asparagus Rollups
*My Grandma’s Chex Mix
*Veggies with Dill Dip
*My Mom’s FAMOUS Teriyaki Chicken Drumettes
*Cheese Tray (There will *definitely* be Cambezola for my aunt, probably some Smoked Gouda, my favorite Champignon Mushroom Brie and I’m not sure what else.)
*Bacon Wrapped Dates — because OMG, they are deliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiish!

*Cream Puffs
*Red Velvet Brownies with White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
*Possibly Oreo Rice Crispy Treats
*Mixed Fruit because Garrett had the audacity to ask if there would be any Paleo Dessert options. DEAR GARRETT, IT IS CHRISTMAS! LET LOOSE A LITTLE! 😉

*Cranberry Ginger Fizzes at my mom’s request (Virgin and with Bombay Sapphire, of course!)
*Coffee and Hot Chocolate Bar — I think A’Dell has some good ideas for this.

And that’s it.


No wonder Garrett thinks we are gross discussing this with full Thanksgiving bellies!


What Christmas Food Traditions do you guys do in your house?

What’s For Dinner?

With Christmas Menu planning happening and zero desire to go grocery shopping today, this menu was hard to come up with. Also — SO MUCH FOOD INSPIRATION EVERYWHERE. I am a Libra and with too much inspiration, I get paralyzed. Anyway, after looking at food porn for an hour, finalizing Christmas Day goodies with my mom and getting really freaking hungry, I’ve come up with a menu for the week. It’s mostly stuff that I felt screamed — Have a nice dinner just the two of you! Before the holiday crazy begins!


And here it is:

Lunch: Kale + Roasted Vegetable Soup with Chicken
Dinner: Thai Pork Sliders (based on this recipe but with tweaks) with Cabbage Slaw and Asian Shallot-Pepper Green Beans (these are amazing. I should blog this soon.)

Lunch: Grilled Sausages with Zucchini and Feta
Dinner: BBQ Glazed Meatballs + Roasted Cauliflower + Caesar Salad

Lunch: Taco Salads
Dinner: Crock Pot Pork Chili Verde (using this recipe minus the white beans) and Salad

Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Baked Ham + BBQ of the Americas Sweet Potato Slices + Salad

Lunch: Leftover Ham + Mustgo Veggies
Dinner: Sweet and Spicy Honey Grilled Shrimp + Garlic Sauteed Green Beans + Tomato Salad

Lunch: Brunch!
Dinner: Our Favorite Annual Holiday Party!


What’s cooking in your neck of the woods this week?

What’s For Dinner?

Pike Place

It’s a new week and I’m feeling excited to cook. I’m actually stealing a few things off last week’s menu because we didn’t get to eat everything. I made lots of extras last week apparently so we spent some lunches/dinners eating leftovers instead of trying new recipes.

This looks like a pretty mellow week socially (which for December — WHAT A RELIEF!) so we will probably be laying low, working out, enjoying some good eats and resting up for next week, since that includes one of our favorite holiday parties of the year!

Lunch: Turkey Chili (The pot is simmering right now and my house smells delicious!)
Dinner: Crock Pot Pot Roast + Cabbage and Onions + Carrots

Lunch: Green Curry Chicken with Broccoli Slaw
Dinner: Turkey Spanikopita Burgers + Sauteed Zucchini + Squash w/ Fox Point Seasoning

Lunch: Gyro Salads with ground beef
Dinner: Pork Chops with Sweet Onion Jam + Roasted Brussels Sprouts + Caesar Salads

Lunch: Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Chicken Sausages w/ Roasted Broccoli
Dinner: Chicken with Balsamic Peppers + Spinach Salads

Lunch: Grilled Chicken Thigh Salads
Dinner: Chili Burgers + Sweet Potato Fries with BBQ of the Americas (This combo is newly discoverd for us and make the BEST FRIES EVER!) + Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Lunch: Bacon, Leek and Feta Frittata
Dinner: General Tso’s Chicken + Cauli Rice (From last week’s menu but we didn’t get to try it!)



Are you trying any new recipes this week?

What’s For Dinner?

So this week we are back to a more strict Paleo menu. This means a whole lot of:

A quick note about why I generally don’t include breakfast in my menus, since a reader asked. It is for a few reasons:

*I enjoy dinner leftovers for breakfast sometimes
*I make smoothies on occasion
*It’s generally a game time decision
*If I’m not working out I generally do a bit of Intermittent Fasting in the morning since I eat lunch around 11:30 usually

Intermittent Fasting (which for me means skipping the traditional breakfast) usually works phenomenally when I am not eating sugar. (I ALWAYS eat breakfast post workout on the mornings I CrossFit though, don’t worry!)

Here is a little background on it (if you’re interested) just so you don’t think I’m skipping meals willy-nilly. There is actually some rhyme + reason behind it and it generally works well when my blood sugar is super stable (ie: when I’m eating a pretty strict Primal/Paleo diet).

But having the sugar creep back in over the past few weeks means I’m very hungry in the morning and then in addition when I don’t plan breakfast I inevitably do the “What’s lurking around the office that I can eat?” scavenge and well, obviously this has been bad news lately. While I may IF a bit this week, I’ve also stocked up on some eggs to hard boil, some berries and some bacon I’ve cooked for easy grabbing, so I may work some breakfast in this week a little more since I’m getting back on the wagon. We’ll see.

Anyway, here’s what we’re eating in our neck of the woods:

Lunch: Turkey Cobb Salads with Homemade Blue Cheese Vinaigrette
Dinner: Paleo Orange Chicken (made extra spicy!) + Roasted Garlic Broccoli + Salad

Lunch: Thai Curry and Coconut Butternut Squash Soup
Dinner: Turkey Burgers (TBD — prob something that goes with avocado) + Balsamic Brussels Sprouts + Salad

Lunch: Turkey Chili with fixins!
Dinner: Paleo Chicken Piccata + Steamed Broccoli + Salad (Yeah, we have a metric ton of broccoli in the fridge this week!)

Lunch: Spinach Salad with Eggs and Bacon + Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
Dinner: Mini Meatloaves + Cauliflower mash + Salad

Lunch: Greek Salads w/ Sarah at Petra (I think it’s Friday, regardless it is one day this week! YAY!)
Dinner: CrossFit Holiday Party — Woot!

Lunch: Brunch
Dinner: Paleo General’s Chicken with Cauliflower Fried Rice


What’s cooking in your neck of the woods this week?

What’s For Dinner?

So, hey — let’s be honest — this is a “stick to it if you feel like it” kind of menu because this week is ALL ABOUT THANKSGIVING. I just looked at my fridge inventory and figured out some meals I could make if necessary…but there will probably be some take out eating and some leftover eating.

Lunch: Chicken Vegetable Soup — this is some protein mixed with all the leftover veggies in my fridge and our entire spice drawer. How’s that for a recipe? 😉
Dinner: Crock Pot Honey Garlic Chicken — Pinterest made me do it + Roasted Carrots + Onions + Salad

Lunch: Taco Salad — because we have A LOT of lettuce in the house right now
Dinner: Grilled Chipotle Chicken Thighs (love affair!) + Roasted Broccoli + Salad

Lunch: Leftovers — mini Must-go (gotta make room for Thanksgiving leftovers, right? If I play my cards right)
Dinner: Take Out — With working out and prepping the food I’m bringing to Thanksgiving the next day, I don’t think I’ll feel like cooking.


Lunch: Light brunch? Leftovers? Nothing? We’ll play it by ear.
Dinner: Grilled Chicken Salads — Light! It’s all about light!

Lunch: Brunch
Dinner: Leftovers


What’s cooking in your neck of the woods? Have you posted your Thanksgiving menu? If so, leave me a link!

What’s For Dinner

photo credit

Oh you all — cold weather food! Isn’t it just the best??? I can hardly wait to dig it, and I haven’t even started cooking.

Here’s what’s on our menu this week:


Lunch: Leftover Bodino Stifado Mi Praso (Tonight’s Dinner) This will make your house smell just like fall! And it tastes pretty amazing too.
Dinner: Shepherd’s Pie — I make a version of this recipe and sub cauliflower mash + Green Salad

Lunch: Chipotle Chicken Sausage + Chili Rubbed Squash Sautee
Dinner: Out with friends!

Lunch: Greek Salads
Dinner: Easy Braised Brisket I’m trying a new recipe. This is my usual go-to brisket recipe and it’s pretty damn easy, but we’ll see how I like this one + Garlic Zucchini + Salad

Lunch: Turkey Taco Burgers with sliced avocados + Spinach Salad
Dinner: Maple Mustard Chicken Thighs + Szechuan Peppercorn Green Beans (using my new Penzey’s Peppercorns!)+ Cauliflower Mash

Lunch: Must-go! (As in, everything in the fridge that’s edible Must Go!)
Dinner: Italian Pub Burgers + Pan Satueed Brussels Sprouts + Olives

Lunch: Bacon + Egg Brunch!
Dinner: Leftovers



What’s cooking in your neck of the woods???

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