Mama's Meal Plan 2015 Week Three

Third time's the charm?  I like that phrase better than "three strikes, you're out."  Our meal planning is going well!  I even managed to stick to it last week when the husband was traveling and it was just one and 1/2 appetites in this house.  Seriously, my 7 year old counts as a half serving.  She eats well, just not a lot! "I eat A LOT!" says the little voice looking over my shoulder, watching as Mama types.  "But I don't eat too much."  She does eat healthy, and well, for her age.  Something we're proud, but not prideful, about here in the Cookin' Mama household.  After a health scare with her in the early fall, I'm just glad she can eat at all quite frankly.  But I digress, prayers were answered and she's doing very well. 

One thing we are finding with this plan is that we're leaning more towards veggies than meat.  I did not love having red meat every night last week.  I found myself pushing it to the side of the plate and eating more rice and vegetables.  I'm hoping that going back to a white meat, the OTHER white meat, this week will help, but I'm guessing there might be a new trend in the house soon.  Maybe we'll do a vegetarian or even vegan week coming up.  My husband wants to do a month of vegan.  I say baby steps.  My smoothies and lunches were vegan most of last week, I should be able to extend that to dinners.  Might be a fun challenge, but I'm betting a few of you reading this are thinking "noooo!"  Trust me, you can get some pretty yummy things out of coconut milk based sauces.  At any rate, we're still carnivores for week three of the meal plan:

SUNDAY: Herb Marinated Pork Loin with Brussels Sprouts

Another Ina Garten, this time an herb marinated pork loin.  I just made up the marinade, and it smelled incredible: fresh rosemary and thyme, fresh squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, olive oil, dijon mustard, and salt.  All into a bag, along with the pork.  Tomorrow we'll throw it on the grill for 20 minutes, sauté some Brussels sprouts, and have dinner!

She has decided Brussels sprouts sautéing is her job now.

Once again, we bought more pork than needed for one meal, we'll see it again via leftovers and re-purposing throughout the week.

MONDAY: Leftover Mac N Cheeses with Broccoli and Pork

Yes, that says cheeseS.  I made two different macaroni and cheese meals (macs n cheese? macs in cheeses?) Saturday night, super cheesy for Evie, and buffalo mac n cheese for Mark and I.  Those leftovers, along with steamed broccoli, and perhaps some pork mixed in, will be Monday night's meal.

TUESDAY: Tuna and Couscous

I decided to re-subscribe to Cuisine at Home magazine, as mentioned in our Salisbury steak night, and I am so happy I did!  This is another new recipe to try.  It reminds me of a yummy meal we made last winter with tuna and olives.  This seems a little healthier with the addition of tomatoes.  We'll see how it goes!

Update: This was really yummy!  I didn't take a picture, we were too busy eating.  However, I also made homemade harissa paste because I couldn't find it in the grocery...completely WORTH IT.  I toasted cumin, corriander, carraway, and chili powder and added it to garlic and olive oil.  Might be a new favorite condiment around here.  I like how you can customize it with different flavors, mint, lemon, more heat, less heat, etc.  Smoky, and delicious, I highly recommend it!  

Tuna & Couscous

From Issue no. 109 January/February
Cuisine at Home

1 3/4 cups water
1/2 tsp kosher salt
minced zest of 2 lemons
1 1/2 cups dry pearl couscous

2 tbsp minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 sliced kalamata olives
1/4 cup capers
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp harissa paste

1 can diced tomatoes in juice (14.5 oz)

Stir In:
2 cans solid white albacore tuna in olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Greek Yogurt

Boil water, salt, and zest in a saucepan.  Stir in couscous and return to a boil; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until liquid is absorbed, 10 minutes.  Let couscous sit, covered, off heat.

Sauté garlic in oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until fragrant, 1 minute.  Add olives, capers, tomato paste, and harissa; cook 2 minutes.

Add diced tomatoes and cook until heated through, 2 minutes

Stir in couscous, then tuna; season with salt and pepper.  Gently stir in parsley and lemon juice.  Garnish servings with yogurt.

WEDNESDAY: Spinach Pesto Pasta

A little pasta heavy this week, I just realized, but you know what?  Sometimes you just have to go comfort food!  We go through a lot of spinach and/or kale in a week with our smoothies, but rarely does Evie have any (she prefers her cereals in the morning).  I figured doing a spinach pesto would be a good way to help us get through one of those large containers of baby spinach.  Besides, using that ingredient will (hopefully) keep us away from any debacles like the time I thought I'd get creative with pesto making, we all remember how THAT went. I'll be using a recipe this time, so my family can breathe easy.  The recipe is from the newest Food Network Magazine, I'll be making it minus the chicken sausage and Evie chose fusili instead of whatever that pasta is on their recipe picture.

My proud little sous chef with her plated meal.

THURSDAY: Pork Roast Leftovers with Green Beans

*YAWN* I know, I know, but this is a wickedly busy night, so easy reheat it will be!

FRIDAY: I honestly have no idea.  We signed up for a soccer league for Evie...we usually find out on Thursday what time her game is on Friday.  Makes it hard to plan and we generally end up visiting one of our favorite restaurants afterwards.  If we end up at home, it will be a leftovers evening!


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