Meal Planning Monday


Lunch: ham and cheese wraps, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots

Snack: fresh pineapple, vanilla yogurt

Supper: Italian sausage, potatoes, baby carrots, all done on the grill (yay for barbecuing baskets!)


Lunch: spaghetti and meat sauce, cucumbers, carrots

Snack: microwave popcorn, chocolate milk

Supper: Maple Salmon (recipe from, Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli (a Barefoot Contessa recipe), whole wheat rotini


Lunch: grilled cheese sandwiches, spinach salad with berries and feta

Snack: strawberry-banana smoothies

Supper: honey garlic chicken thighs on the grill, Zucchini and Carrot “Fries” (recipe from Voracious Vander), quinoa


Lunch: hot dogs, cucumbers, steamed broccoli

Snack: apple slices, cherry yogurt

Supper: grilled pizza (recipe from Sunset, probably one margherita and one with leftover honey garlic chicken), spinach salad

Note: we tried the pizza crust from the Sunset recipe last week and it was SO GOOD.  Put half in the freezer for this week.  However, in the future, I will divide the full recipe into thirds and freeze two portions, as each third portion of the recipe will make two decent-sized pizzas.


Lunch: cheese and grilled chicken quesadillas, celery, baby carrots

Snack: mini bagels with cream cheese and fruit (green grapes, pineapple, strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries – note the Olympic colours in honour of the opening ceremonies Friday).  Idea from

Supper: leftovers

I really tried to keep my meals simple this week, and I’ve been doing a lot on the grill.  That’s what summer’s all about, right?

Migraines and a Meal Plan

Last night a kinda bad tension headache snaked north and morphed into a migraine that laid me out.  I think it’s the worst migraine I’ve ever had.  It was not preceded by an aura, which is my “normal” and which usually allows me to avoid the worst of the headache pain because I can hit it with mega Advil and hide in the dark.  Once the Advil kicked in and I iced my head for awhile, I did feel better and went to sleep, since it was bedtime anyway, but wow, did I feel terrible while the headache had me in its grip.

Unfortunately, that means I will be nursing a migraine hangover today in hope that I won’t trigger another one.  This is the first migraine I’ve had in quite awhile, and I can pinpoint the triggers that brought it on:

  • Yesterday was HOT.  It got up to 32 degrees C here (yes, that’s hot for where I live), with enough humidity that it felt more like 40 degrees (that’s 88 degrees F and 104 degrees F).  Now, I rather enjoy the heat, but it can definitely be a migraine trigger.
  • I sat out in the sun reading for a lot of the afternoon.  Bright light and reflected sunlight can be triggers.
  • It was so hot that I had a very light supper consisting mostly of vegetables.  Skipping meals is considered a trigger, and I know from my history that if I don’t eat enough, I can get a migraine.
  • My cycle.  Eh, what can you do?

Today is going to involve me focusing on eating a healthy diet, staying cool, avoiding sunlight, and staying hydrated.  I’m watching my kids and my nieces today, so I’m trying to come up with activities that will keep them out of my hair and keep them (relatively) quiet.

I was going to post my meal plan last night, but that didn’t happen so here’s my plan now, somewhat belated:


Lunch: grilled cheese sandwiches, vegetable soup

Snack: banana blueberry smoothies and pretzels

Supper: honey garlic chicken skewers (which will involve me throwing cut up chicken breasts in a 50/50 mix of honey and soy sauce with a couple of cloves of minced garlic), leftover basmati rice, grilled mushrooms


Lunch: soy butter and jam sandwiches, baby carrots and cucumbers

Snack: snack mix made with popcorn, cheerios, and dried cranberries; yogurt or milk

Supper: grilled beef tenderloin steaks on spinach with blueberries, chives, feta, cucumbers, and pomegranate vinaigrette


Lunch: leftovers

Snack: fresh cherries, apple slices, baby carrots, and After-School Dip

Supper: Grilled Chicken Thighs, quinoa, grilled baby carrots (I have a barbecue basket)

I’ll be back, hopefully later today, with an update on my workouts and some exciting travel news!


Meal Planning Monday

Time to get back to meal planning!  Strange how even though you’d think it would be easier to prepare meals in the summer months, what with a more flexible schedule, more produce, and the ability to grill without freezing my butt off, but I actually sometimes find it more difficult to plan ahead because our schedule is so much less rigid.  I also don’t really have a good collection of grilling recipes, so that’s something I’m going to have to work on.

I have added a few new cookbooks to my library recently and have bought a few magazines with recipes I want to try, so I had a hard time narrowing down what I wanted to make this week.  You’ll also note that, since my kids are home with me, I’m planning lunches for the week, except for Wednesday and Thursday, when I’m planning a roadtrip with the kids to Calgary to watch my husband’s cousin qualify for the Canadian olympic team.  Without further ado, here’s this week’s lineup:

Monday lunch: Not Your Average Grilled Cheese (Parents Magazine July 2012), steamed broccoli and carrots

Monday supper: Farmhouse Chicken and Corn Chowder (pg 10 America’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution), whole wheat baguette, spinach salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and sunflower seeds

Tuesday lunch: Salmon with Hoisin Glaze (, Garlicky-Spicy Snow Peas, quinoa, spinach salad with feta crumbles, sliced apples and celery

Tuesday supper: on the road

Wednesday: on the road/Calgary

Thursday: Calgary/on the road

Friday lunch: Shredded Barbecued Chicken (pg 154 America’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution), corn on the cob, mixed green salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, feta, and Greek dressing

Any favourite grilling or salad recipes you can share?

Meal Planning Monday and a Beaver Jaw

The last few months were really busy with school, so much so that I wasn’t really meal planning or even cooking.  That’s not usual for me.  The typical arrangement around here is that I cook and my husband cleans up.  It wasn’t pretty around here, with a lot more take-out and pre-packaged food in rotation than what I would like.  We often had our babysitter, or my husband,
prepare/heat up the food, so meals had to be quick and super-easy.  Now, I know there are tons of quick and healthy recipes out there, and I’m familiar with the whole “it takes longer to order take-out than it does to prepare a healthy meal” argument, but to be perfectly honest, healthy, fresh food moved down on the priority list as my schedule got fuller this term.  You know it’s bad when you cut back on showering to save time in your day.

I’ve got more time now that classes and exams are done, so along with showering more frequently,  it’s back to home cooking more often.    Now, in addition to wanting to cook from scratch more, I’ve also been reading about how Holly over at The Runny Egg has been using up the food she’s got on hand and stretching her grocery budget as part of a Grocery Challenge this month.  In the same spirit, I’m going to try to use up what I’ve got in my freezer, since there are things in there that probably haven’t seen the light of day in over a year.  For this week’s menu, here’s what I’m planning:

Monday – scrambled eggs, toast, and raw veggies; kids had a soccer game and practice tonight

Tuesday – Sweet and Sour Meatballs (a favourite family recipe – see below), quinoa, steamed broccoli (I think the stuff in the fridge is still good)

Wednesday – more soccer; Sticky Sesame Chicken thighs, quinoa, spinach side salad, peas

Thursday – multigrain fish fillets, crinkle-cut fries, oven roasted veggies

Friday – going out with friends

Not anything too exciting.  I’m still easing back into cooking and am not feeling that adventurous yet. 🙂

Also thought I’d share my family’s favourite sweet and sour meatball recipe:

This recipe comes from a cookbook dating back to 1977, which was 2 years after I was born.  The St. Brieux Parish Cookbook was so popular that they actually reprinted it when the town celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2004.  Talk about staying power.

Back to the meatball recipe, my mom usually makes this for one of the meals Christmas Day and it’s frequently requested by me, my siblings, and my kids.  And even though I use the same recipe, my kids insist that their grandma’s meatballs are better than mine.  Huh.

Relaxed some more today, but also met up with my trainer for a strength/aerobic workout.  It was good, of course, but my left hip is bothering me now.  That hip has been feeling really out of whack lately – it’s the one with the recurring IT band injury – and I’m seeing a physical therapist about it Wednesday morning.

And per Kat’s request, here are pics of the beaver jaw my kids found down at the lake on Saturday.  It’s actually the left half of the lower jaw (mandible).

And speaking of jaws (nice segue, right? haha), on the nutritional front, I food journaled and got my 4 servings of veggies today.

Any recipes that your entire family just loves?

Meal Planning Monday

Lots of leftovers planned for the week!  And some comforting favourites, too.  If you haven’t made friends with your slow cooker, you should consider becoming reacquainted.  It’s a pretty handy appliance in the winter, although I find that a lot of the recipes I’ve tried just aren’t that fantastic.  Pulled pork and pot roast, though, are slow cooker meals I’ve been preparing regularly.


  • Shepherd’s pie



  • Leftover pulled pork sandwiches
  • Spinach salad with feta, Craisins, and raspberry vinaigrette



  • Beef soft tacos/salad


  • Go out


Meal Planning Monday

My household is facing a bit of an upheaval in the near future – more on that later – and with an even-greater time-crunch on the horizon, I finally sat down today and did some major meal planning.  5 weeks worth, in fact.  Not gonna lie, I did quite a bit of repeating (especially this week, where I have 2 slow cooker roasts planned), but it will make grocery shopping easier, so I went with it.  Geez, we’re eating a lot of beef this week!  Pretty sure we won’t be consuming quite so much red meat in the near future.  The cold and dark of winter are getting to me, though, so there’s a lot of comfort food coming up.

Without further ado, I bring you this week’s plan.



  • Leftover pulled pork sandwiches
  • Spinach salad with feta, Craisins, and raspberry vinaigrette


  • Awesome Slow Cooker Pot Roast (I like to make it with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper in place of the onion soup mix)
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Cooked carrots


  • Shepherd’s pie (cube the leftover beef, put in a casserole, top with the gravy, a layer of frozen peas, the leftover carrots, a few handfuls of shredded cheese, and the mashed potatoes)


  • Beef soft tacos/salad


  • Slow Cooker Lasagna II (a recipe I haven’t tried before)
  • Spinach salad with feta, Craisins, and raspberry vinaigrette


  • Awesome Slow Cooker Pot Roast
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Cooked carrots

Meal Planning Monday

UPDATE: I put in links for the recipes I use.  Hope you enjoy!

Meal Planning Monday

It definitely feels like fall around here.  This week, forecasted highs are in the 8 to 13 degrees Celcius (46 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit) range.  Brrrr!  If I had the time, I’d be baking some cranberry or pumpkin muffins.  Maybe another week.

My schedule this week is a little different.  Instead of going to my dental classes, I’m doing a hospital roster, which involves watching some oral surgeries and shadowing other medical residents for most of the week.  Should be interesting, but two things make me nervous: 1) I’m afraid I won’t know the answers to any questions they ask, and 2) I’m missing a lot of classes this week, and I’ll need to catch up!  Plus, mornings will be earlier, and I’m already starting to feel a little run down due to my busy schedule.

What does that have to do with meals?  Well, I’m trying to keep meals quick, easy, and familiar.  Some of the main courses are in the freezer, waiting to be cooked or heated, and I plan to use the slow cooker a couple of times.

Meal Planning Monday

Whoa, where did the weekend go?  Saturday I did some studying, organizing, and reading, but I feel like I accomplished very little.  Yesterday, I spent half the day with my daughter – she was supposed to go over to my husband’s cousins’ place so I could study, but their little boy was sick, so it was a no-go.  So, my girl and I went to McDonald’s for breakfast (hotcakes for her, a muffin and apple slices for me), hit the bookstore for a new addition to her reading collection, did some shopping at SportChek (I picked up a new red Under Armour racerback tank), and bought her some new inside shoes for school at the Adidas Outlet store.  My daughter is cute as all get-out and I love her beyond reason, but she DOES NOT SHUT UP!  Like, EVER!  And she’s ridiculously stubborn.  Needless to say, I was tired by the time we got home, so we put on some Dora and cuddled on the couch, where I promptly fell asleep.

When my husband got home from his golf tourney and my son returned from his playdate, we watched the Riders defeat the Bluebombers on TV (that’s CFL football, for those of you wondering what I’m talking about).  It was a close game and worth watching to the end.  After the football game and once we could drag my son away from the game he was playing on my husband’s iTouch, we headed outside, with the kids and my husband on their bikes and me running.  I ran for 18 minutes without any knee pain, so I was really happy.  After quickly getting ready, we went out to a movie and watched The Karate Kid.  While I love Jackie Chan, remaking The Karate Kid was plain wrong.  The original is a classic from my youth, and I tend to think movies like that should be left alone (regardless of how cheesy they are – hahaha!)  And it’s not even about karate – it’s kung fu!  [shaking her head]

It turned out to be a BIT better than I expected, though, so that was good.  However, we usually only take our kids to kid movie matinees, so this was sort of a new experience for them.  I will just say that they were not particularly well-behaved, and each of them received a stern talking to about having respect for the other people in the movie theatre.  They were better after that, but it was not the most relaxing movie experience ever.

Today, I dropped off my kids at their auntie’s house to play with their cousins, caught up on e-mails, and did a little grocery shopping.  Next up: meal planning for the week.

  • Monday: shepherd’s pie (using leftover pot roast from last night); spinach salad with feta, Craisins, and raspberry vinaigrette
  • Tuesday: lasagna; spinach salad with grape tomatoes, cucumbers, and sun-dried tomato vinaigrette
  • Wednesday: leftover lasagna, sauteed zucchini
  • Thursday: Multigrain Fish Fillets, steamed broccoli, Smart Pasta rotini with garlic and olive oil
  • Friday: Sticky Sesame Chicken Thighs, rice (brown or basmati), spinach salad with feta and dried cranberries, peas
  • Saturday: sausages in whole wheat buns, Maple Dill Carrots
  • Sunday: marinated chicken breasts, roasted cauliflower, quinoa

Since we’re getting a babysitter a couple of times this week and I know it will be extra-busy since the kids start school tomorrow, I’ve got a plan to do as much ahead as I can.  This means that today I’m going to:

  • make the shepherd’s pie and package any leftovers for lunches
  • pre-make the lasagna so it can be reheated tomorrow
  • portion out the salad ingredients so that they just need to be tossed together
  • put together the Sticky Sesame Chicken Thighs and freeze
  • put the chicken breasts in the marinade and freeze
  • cut up the broccoli, cauliflower, and zucchini

Do you have any favourite make-ahead meals or strategies?

Meal Planning Monday

Here’s this week’s meal plan.  You’ll notice it’s a little “heavier” than the summer menus I’ve been building.  It’s already getting cold here and feels like fall, so I’m seeking comfort in mashed potatoes and pot roast.

  • Monday: leftover meatloaf and mashed potatoes, carrots
  • Tuesday: multigrain fish fillets, brown rice, peas, cucumbers
  • Wednesday: Shake & Bake chicken (haven’t made this FOREVER!!!), Smart Pasta rotini with olive oil and garlic, steamed broccoli
  • Thursday: Cheesy Chicken Casserole (a recipe from Cooking for the Rushed Healthy Family – it’s already in the freezer), leftover pasta, steamed broccoli
  • Friday: sausages, pork and beans (my husband’s words and his request – actually Heinz Brown Beans; think these are a Canadian thing), carrots
  • Saturday: Curried Chicken with Harvest Fruit (an old recipe from Chatelaine), rice (brown or basmati), spinach salad with feta and dried cranberries
  • Sunday: Awesome Slow Cooker Pot Roast, mashed potatoes (my husband nearly weeps with happiness when I make mashed potatoes), green beans

Alright, now that that’s all planned, I need to buy a few things:

  • Heinz Brown Beans (2 cans)
  • chicken thighs (8)
  • 3 lb beef roast
  • potatoes (russet – they’re better for mashing; 5 lb bag)
  • pears (need at least 1, but might as well get a few)
  • green beans

I think I pretty much have everything else.  Thought I’d post this here so that I can access it from my Blackberry when I hit the grocery store!

Happy Monday!