Meal Plan: Where's the beef?!

Okay, I will admit to being a carnivore.  I know it isn't the sustainable choice.  It isn't always the healthiest choice either.  But I love a good bloody steak from time to time!  That being said, with our eating habits of fresh and organic where possible, cutting down on red meat and some of the white meats helps considerably with the grocery bill.  Not to mention, when you work on getting protein from plant or fish sources, you find some yummy recipes!  This week, between our meal plan, our green smoothie breakfasts, and my light lunches, I did not have an animal (other than fish) protein until Friday evening.  Let me tell you, I feel great.  Am I advocating for a lifestyle change for everyone? Nope.  Everyone knows what is good for their families.  And trust me.  There will be med-rare filet or hangar steak on my plate again in the near future, but it was a nice change of pace this week.  Here is my second attempt at a meal plan on my own, with results, and recipes where I'm able to share the links...

Sunday: Salmon, Green Beans, Rice

Evie picked this meal herself.  We asked her what one of our meals should be when we were planning and she answered "Rice and green beans."  I said, okay...but we need a protein.  Then a conversation began. Have you ever had to explain to a 5 year old what a protein was? But, I digress.  In the end, she picked her favorite: Salmon.  Since we were doing this on a Sunday with more time, we went a little fancier and tried a Bobby Flay recipe with the salmon.  It was pretty tasty!  A little sweeter than we like, so Mark and I added sriracha to ours.

Monday: Black Bean Soup

It had been awhile since we made a meal from our Food To Live By cookbook.  Don't know why, because this was a great "Meatless Monday" meal.  We had some bread leftover from another meal (remember the pasta I forgot I had the bread for?!), and not all was used for the awesome french toast Mark made over the weekend, so it made it a really filling meal.  What you do really, is use two cans of black beans, and then whatever veggies you have in the crisper.  Following the recipe, we used celery, carrot, onion, and bell pepper.  The flavorings were garlic, cumin, oregano, and chili powder.  Veggie stock rounded out the cooking ingredients, and goat cheese and chopped chives were the garnish.  The Vitamix was the rock star.  The recipe in the book is actually called "Silky" black bean soup.  Thanks to the Vitamix, it really was.  We made this awhile back and used our immersion blender.  It did NOT have the same effect. 

Tuesday: Grilled Ricotta Sandwiches with Cold Tomato Soup

This meal was a perfect choice for our 100 degree weather.  Basically, you throw tomatoes, onion, garlic, and red wine vinegar in the Vitamix and make your soup. Then you take country bread slices (we used sourdough), a mix of ricotta with an herb (we used basil), oil the outside of the sandwich, and grill it.  Simple, quick, and pretty good.  Evie was upset because the grilled cheese was not the "right" cheese.  I will say that this meal didn't work out as far as leftovers, neither of us really seemed to want to take the leftover sandwiches to work, so as I type this, they're still in wax paper in the refrigerator.  But, I will state again that it was quick, light for hot weather, and easy as advertised in the Real Simple Magazine we got the recipe from.

Wednesday: Smoothies 

Wednesday night of this week, my runners were signed up for the Millers Mutual Harrisburg Mile.  Evie was slated to run the Half Pint Half Mile, and Mark was looking to break 6 minutes in his heat in the mile.  Heat being the operative word.  It was 98 degrees that night.  So, we had nice, cool smoothies for dinner.  Quick recipe: frozen wild blueberries, coconut milk, Justin's Hazelnut Almond Butter, frozen banana, cinnamon, unsweetened cocoa powder.  I am happy to report that both runners made their goals: Evie ran the entire race without stopping, and Mark came in at 5:58!!

Thursday: Night out

Mark and I both had evenings out with friends, and Evie had an evening out with her Grandma.  So, no cooking!

Friday: Paella...sort of.

We made grill packs with fish a week and a half ago with fish.  We loved them. We decided to try the same recipe with chicken.  We liked the fish better.  The end.

We have put together two weeks of meal plans on our own so far, and so far, so good!  Working on week three now.  Let me know if I've mentioned a recipe but not linked it that you'd like to have.  Maybe in the future I'll do separate blogs with full recipes if the interest is there.  For now...Happy Eating!!


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