Saturday, February 28, 2015

Weekly Menu

Hello weekend… yay!

I always feel a little fried (but happy) by the time Friday afternoon arrives. There's just a lot going on right now. And no snow…:(

Wait! Now there is snow!

What do I want to do? Make donuts. Probably a good thing I don't have have a pan to make them in.

We did have chili on national chili day, Thursday.

We've totally binge-watched the show Suits.

It is about to be way overplayed, but this song makes everyone smile in my car.

If you found the original article interesting, you might find this one hilarious.

Sometimes you just gotta welcome a distraction to change the pace of things for a little while so that you can focus when it counts. That's my method and I'm sticking to it.

My brain is full of new learning on several fronts. School being one and the other is that I've been doing some new stuff at the gym (and getting my butt totally kicked)... but it is fun...

Here's our menu plan for the coming week. (Sprouts, Price Chopper, and Aldi for the food.)

eggs, bacon, kale
pb&j mug cake or pancakes (kids)
coffee, cream

leftovers (adults)
ham and cheese roll-ups
or gf mac and cheese (kids)
carrots, bell peppers
potato chips

Saturday - tacos!
Sunday - 2 ingredient slow cooker roast beef, salad with dressing
Monday - bacon-crusted chicken strips, roasted asparagus
Tuesday - primal pizza
Wednesday - sausage and sweet potato hash
Thursday - shredded beef ragu and sweet potato gnocchi (new recipe)
Friday - leftovers

Enjoy your weekend!!

sharing this menu at the real food round-up

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Groceries + Weekly Menu

I had no idea so much snot could come out of my head. That's the story of my weekend. Thankful for some time at home. And that I thought to buy more kleenex yesterday.

Anyways. I spent $75 at Sprouts. I think everything was on sale of some sort except for the cilantro and corn tortillas :)

I spent $45 at Aldi, but didn't take a picture.
And we have more farm eggs now, yay.
Here's our food plan for the week.

vegetable omelets
sausage & potato bake for the non-egg eaters
3 ingredient fluffy paleo pancakes
coffee, cream

leftovers (adults)
sun butter and jam rice cakes
mini hot dogs
pears or apples
jerky or cheese cubes

preschooler's snack:
veggies straws (his pick)

after school snack:
full fat greek yogurt with gluten-free granola

Sunday - slow cooker pork tacos/salad  with cabbage-cilantro slaw
Monday - leftovers
Tuesday - chocolate chili
Wednesday - parmesan chicken sausages, roasted red pepper sauce, green beans
Thursday - sloppy joes, alexia sweet potato fries
Friday - tbd

I better go put the pork in the crock pot!!
Thanks for reading. I hope you have a good Sunday.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Weekly Menu

Has your weekend been full of chocolate? (Dark, of course.)

My littlest valentine woke me up on Saturday asking me to make a heart shaped blueberry tart. Seriously, where does he get this stuff? I didn't have the ingredients, so we got around to it this morning, instead, adapting a recipe from Primal Cravings (affiliate link).

This also was my valentine treat… when I saw they were $2 at Natural Grocers I had to stop in and get one for me and one for my husband.

I spent way too much on groceries this week. I made a trip to Costco that I'd been putting off for a long time. We needed restocked on coconut oil, olive oil, and butter and some other things like trash bags. We were so completely out of fat in this house by Friday at dinner that my husband had to raid his camping supplies for some coconut oil, or else we would have had some super cranky people on our hands. We also shopped at Sprouts and Aldi. I'm enjoying my little routine at those two stores. It's the Costco run the put me way over, sheesh.

ha, that looks like a tiny amount of meat and asparagus, but it is really just a huge plate, promise :)

The menu.

lemon raspberry swirl muffins from The Paleo Kitchen (affiliate link)
breakfast casserole (we only have store-bought eggs right now which the kids despise so I have to be creative for them) - and I owe you a recipe for this one
leftovers + eggs + hot sauce (my go-to breakfast)
coffee, cream

sun dried tomato chicken over spinach
gf mac and cheese (kids)
pb and jam rice cake (kids)
red bell peppers, baby carrots, sour cream ranch
clementines, strawberries

Preschooler's snack:
dried mango

Sunday - kale salad with chicken (totally cheating: bought a bag mix from Costco)
Monday - salmon, roasted green beans
Tuesday - meatballs, roasted asparagus
Wednesday - greek salad (greens, seasoned beef, olives, goat cheese, sun dried tomatoes, avocado, dressing)
Thursday - burgers (no buns) & tots
Friday - dinner with friends
Saturday - cracklin' chicken? I've never made this recipe, but I bought some chicken thighs from Sprouts for 99¢/lb. - marked down - and stuck them in the freezer. Gotta balance out the $5-7/lb. beef somehow ;)

What are you eating this week?

(sharing ideas here!)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Weekly Menu

What's up. I'm just trying to catch up on life on this gorgeous day.

Last night I made paleo empanadas, which I hadn't made in over a year.

Red bell peppers are 3 for $1 at Sprouts, so I bought 6. It's "add red pepper to everything" week. Maybe I'll roast some and make some sauce to go with the meatballs :) :) :)

turkey sausage, onions and peppers, eggs, salsa
almond dutch baby (kids)
coffee, cream

adults - leftovers, greek salad, grilled sausages, etc.
kids - sun butter and jam on rice cakes, cottage cheese, apples

yogurt smoothies

Monday - crock pot balsamic beef, roasted asparagus
Tuesday - chicken in jalfrezi sauce, roasted broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots
Wednesday - meatballs, roasted green beans
Thursday - leftovers
Friday - shepherd's pie, salad with dressing

My preschooler asked me several weeks ago when we were riding in the car if we could make chocolate dipped strawberries sometime (specifying 3 kinds - dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate - ha). I told him maybe we could for Valentine's Day. He doesn't often ask for much. I think we'll be doing that this week or next weekend. I'm pretty sure he got the idea from the Russell Stover billboard.

I shopped at Aldi and Sprouts this week and spent $156. I might spend $10 Price Chopper, too.

It is my turn to make birthday treats for someone (not paleo)… I'm leaning towards making this gluten-free sour cream cheesecake and serve with fresh berries and whipped cream. I hope it turns out OK!

Salads always leave me hungry soon. But I made one of leftovers last week for lunch. And added bacon, because bacon makes everything better. (It was pretty much a BLT salad with chicken.)

Unrelated: I love this post about kids doing their own laundry. I totally started a modified version of this since we moved to the new house…. because I suck at keeping up with large amounts of laundry. I actually like the fact that we have a smaller washing machine now because it makes me keep up better. I got everyone their own small laundry basket that they keep in their closet and they know that when it is full, they gotta bring it down to the laundry room and I will do their laundry (because that's the easy part for me). Then I put everything back in their basket and they haul it back to their rooms and put their clean clothes away. (Because that's the part I suck at.) Myself or my daughter will help my 5 year old with the hanging up of shirts… but not for too much longer :) Sometimes I remind my kids that their basket is almost full, because I can totally see them not caring and just wearing dirty clothes and that would be gross.

Wanted: this Q&A book (affiliate link). I found the idea here.

Idea: Anyone could make this post-it note valentine!

Reminder: Dream + hustle.

That is all. Time to get busy.

Have a good week.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Simple & Delicious: Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

We spent a week in Baja. We ate a lot of tacos. Every place had a little different flavor. We had pork, beef, fish….But, the commonalities were the self serve toppings of shredded cabbage (or lettuce), onions, cilantro, salsas, a shake of salt, and a fresh squeeze of lime. Oh, and soft corn tortillas (which are usually gluten-free which made me happy). Once or twice we had cheese or chopped avocado or flour tortillas, but most of the time we did not. Never did we have sour cream. Many of the taco stands did not have refrigeration. We didn't get sick! Until I got home and caught strep but that's another story.

Anyways, that's all to say I now make tacos differently. Here is my latest favorite kind, using carnita meat. The recipe is partially inspired by and adapted from this awesome one. What I love about these changes is I just throw the meat it in the crock pot, set it and forget it.

2-3 lbs. of boneless pork loin*
2 T. chili powder
2 t. ground cumin
1 t. oregano
1/2 T. coarse salt
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. crushed red pepper
pinch of ground cloves
1 bay leaf
1 6oz. can of pineapple juice

*Also, you could use the equivalent in boneless pork chops if you wish.

1. Mix the seasonings together.
2. Cover all sides of the pork loin with the mix.
3. Place the pork in the slow cooker, with the fattier side up (if there is one).
4. Place bay leaf on top.
5. Pour pineapple juice on and around pork.
6. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours. (I usually use frozen pork and it gets done perfectly in these time frames. Times might be less if pork is not frozen.)
7. When done cooking, remove the bay leaf, shred the pork, mix with juices (or drain the juices if you are my husband), and serve. I recommend the essentials listed at the top. Eat as taco salad without the corn tortillas if you want to be 100% paleo. Enjoy!

We made tacos again during the game on Sunday. And I did not style my food, I wanted to eat.

8. Optional: eat the leftovers (if you have any) for breakfast the next day with eggs and salsa verde!

9. Get daylight photos of the meat :)

Happy Monday to you!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Groceries + Weekly Menu

OK, so last week we had jump back into real life after a little vacation adventure and it was basically spent catching up and fighting sickness. This week, I'm looking forward to getting my butt in gear for real.

Also. My kids will watch football. Huh? I never did as a little kid, even though the games were on at our house on the weekend. I think it is because the viewing, picture, sound, camera angles, etc. are all so much better. It's now like watching a movie!

I was dreading shopping this weekend because of combined factors: the middle of the day of a Saturday, a payday weekend (always busier), the day before the big game, in the rain, with a snowstorm expected. Oh, and with my kids. It actually wasn't so bad thanks to help from my sister. And I bought everyone Larabars to eat while we shopped :)

I think I'll make some crock pot pork carnitas to have during the game tomorrow. (Here's the recipe!) People can make them into tacos if they like. I don't want to spend all afternoon in the kitchen. And we'll have primal fudge. Can't complain about any of that.

Here's what I bought at Sprouts and Aldi, totaling $135. I was bummed that Sprouts was out of their ground beef… it is my favorite. I also spent $20 at Price Chopper.

I bought some kombucha thinking it might be good for my gut while I'm coming off of antibiotics…??

The plan for the week…

apple chicken sausages
breakfast potatoes (kids)
coffee, cream

paleo chicken strips, salad greens, bacon, avocado, grape tomatoes, dressing
nitrate-free ham & bell pepper roll ups
baby carrots & ranch
apples & cream cheese dip

After school snack:
grain free pumpkin muffins

Monday - bacon burgers (didn't get to them last week), roasted green beans
Tuesday - slow cooker primal chicken tortilla (less) soup
Wednesday - sloppy joes, broccoli
Thursday - bratwurst, slow cooker potato soup
Friday - leftovers

Have a good week!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Groceries + Weekly Menu

I ended up shopping this morning…

Aldi ($67) on the left/bottom, Sprouts ($38) on the right/top.

Not pictured: dried mango that I let the kids snack on while we shopped.

We didn't have to buy much beef this week because there is still stuff in the freezer. Still good on eggs, too. Otherwise the total would be closer to $150.

bacon, eggs, spinach, salsa
corn tortillas w/ melted cheese (kids)
extra crispy waffles (weekend)
coffee, heavy cream

ham, spinach, & red bell pepper roll-ups
sweet potato chips, pickles, olives
almonds & raisins
apples or berries with cream cheese dip (kids' request)

Kids' after school snacks:
full fat yogurt-banana-blueberry smoothie
flourless pb cookies

Monday - slow cooker pork tacos/taco salad
Tuesday - slow cooker chicken tortilla (less) soup, sour cream
Wednesday - big O bacon burgers (these are so good, no condiments needed!), oven roasted potatoes, salad w/ italian dressing
Thursday - italian sausage, onion, & bell pepper homemade primal pizza
Friday - chicken parmesan (just bake) with marinara sauce, broccoli
Saturday - salmon, veggies

You see some compromises on here as always. The main things we try to stay away from are wheat and sugar (that includes excessive fruit - just leaves you hungrier).

I usually only shop once a week. So we keep some cheap shelf-stable staples on hand in case of emergency - aka natural peanut butter and fruit jam and rice cakes for when we run out of food for lunches by Friday, ha ;) Not paleo, but that's our choice.

We do what helps us stick with this thing long term. We are coming up our 4th anniversary of being a paleo (-ish?, -mostly? -primal? -whatever label you like) family. Shooting for what makes both our bodies, minds, and budget feel healthy.

I think as time goes on we get a better and better handle on how to eat so that we feel good without complicating our life too much… always learning… have a good week!

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