Ok so I don’t ever use the word “ya’ll” but I just had to throw it in there after returning from my amazing two nights away in Austin, TX for a bachelorette party. I haven’t had a chance to write about my trip since I just got back yesterday afternoon (and was in bed by 7:00pm ha ha), but I wanted to do a quick Monday Meal Plan post. I will also quickly say that Austin was AWESOME, and since I’m on the subject of food I must say how impressed I was by our wining and dining experience there. I had totally planned to cheat on eating healthy by diving into some southern comfort food but let me tell you, I had such a misconception of eating out in Austin.
Did you know Austin is actually ranked in the top 10 healthiest cities to live in? I sure didn’t! The food was wonderful…organic…fresh…healthy…and delicious!! At one restaurant the bartender actually apologized for the only drink on their menu that had some syrup in it because everything else on their menu was completely fresh and natural. I was so impressed! It was as though all the restaurants there are trying to outdo one another by being the healthiest. So, thank you Austin!! I really did want to indulge this weekend, but you didn’t even allow me the opportunity to do so.
Now that I’m back, and my Austin fog is lifting, I am trying to jump right back into our Monday routine. Although I should probably start by unpacking my suitcase, I know that our refrigerator needs some restocking first. Here is what I have on the lineup for this week’s clean eating Meal Plan Monday menu!
Monday- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Tuesday- Ground turkey and veggie chili
Wednesday- Pineapple pork kabobs
Thursday- Zucchini Turkey burgers with sauteed onions and sweet potatos
Friday- Mushroom Chicken marinara over spaghetti squash
Saturday- Dinner out with the fam
Sunday- Shredded Salsa chicken – tacos or salad
I’m excited to try a few new recipes this week and I think the boys are too! Happy Monday everyone and I hope your week is off to a great start!
I know every family runs dinner time differently in their household, but around here I like to have every day planned out ahead of time. I’m terrible at doing laundry, you will never find me scrubbing anything, I don’t think I’ve ever emptied a trash can and our bed is only made when I know people are coming over. Crafty? Sure! Domestic? Not even close. But I will make an exception when it comes to dinner…it’s always planned, and always ready by the time Greg gets home from work. I don’t think he has any expectations for my day besides making sure our kids survive so I know he really appreciates this after he has had a long day. Twelve hours of our day are spent on completely different wave lengths, and when our worlds collide at 6:00pm, sitting down to dinner as a family is the best way for us to get back on the same page. We may only get 10 minutes to actually eat our food, and sometimes dinner is spent standing around our kitchen island but we know this routine will get easier and easier as the boys get older. It’s important to us, so we try our best.
Since changing to eating primarily clean meals, I’ve also found that planning ahead makes all the difference. I used to buy a lot of premade foods from Trader Joes to make preparing dinner easier. Frozen meatballs, premade stuffed peppers, frozen turkey meatloaf, etc. At the time I thought we were eating fairly healthy (I mean isn’t everything from TJ’s healthy?), and I loved being able to throw these items together last minute with some side dishes, but now I know that dinner can be just as quick without taking the less healthy short-cuts. The best part is Greg hasn’t noticed any difference in the taste and portion department, but he has noticed a difference in how his clothes are fitting him. Since the new year he has lost almost 30 lbs on our diet changes alone!!! It’s truly shocking to both of us that this lifestyle change has made such a huge difference to our bodies without actually feeling like we have changed anything at all. I’m not going to lie we have cut back on alcohol. WAYYYYYY back! I think I can count on 1 hand how many times we have had drinks the past 4 months in comparison to having wine/beer a few nights a week to unwind. I’m sure as the warm weather approaches we will find ourselves outside with a drink in our hands, but for now this hasn’t been a difficult change to make.
There are so many awesome resources out there now for clean eating recipes, but like any creature of habit, I have found our favorites and just rotate them throughout the weeks. I’d love to know what some of your favorite “go-to” meals are during the week. Do you meal plan? If so, what’s on this week’s lineup? I try to do one new recipe a week and will add it to the rotation if it ends up being a hit. I’d love to hear new ideas!
Here is what I have planned for the week:
Monday- Hummus crusted chicken with roasted veggies
Tuesday- Zucchini turkey meatballs, marinara sauce over spaghetti squash (over brown rice pasta for boys)
Wednesday- Chicken fajitas with guacamole
Thursday- Rosemary pork with a sweet potato/mixed veggie quinoa side
Friday- Southwestern chicken and bean chili
Saturday- Buffalo turkey burgers and sweet potato fries
Sunday- BBQ!! Chicken kabobs and grilled veggies
I just realized it’s not very nice to talk about all this food without sharing a recipe too. I made a new quinoa salad last week that was great! I suggest making a large portion of it…I was able to stretch mine out for a dinner meal for the family and then had enough for lunch the next 2 days. Hope you enjoy!
VEGETABLE QUINOA SALAD w/ FRESH BASIL
1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa (I used Trader Joes Organic tricolor quinoa)
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
3 roma tomatoes chopped
1 yellow bell pepper chopped
1 1/2 cups corn
3-4 green onions thinly sliced
1 handful fresh chopped basil
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
To prepare: Whisk together the EVOO, lemon juice and vinegar and set aside as dressing. Prepare the quinoa as stated on the package. While quinoa is cooking prepare/cut the above listed vegetables and throw into a large mixing bowl. Once quinoa has slightly cooled add to the cut veggies and toss together with dressing. Enjoy right away or keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Tired of the same old boring salad for lunch? I was too, and wanted to try something a little different yesterday. I am constantly eating fruit throughout the day, but I’m not sure why I never thought to put some on my salad come lunch time! This was such a nice change to my usual all veggie salad and will become a regular addition to my weekly lunches! It was SO good I think I’ll be having it again today!
2 large strawberries sliced
1 small “cutie” tangerine peeled and divded
1/4 green apple cubed (sliced up the rest for the kids)
A tablespoon of raw sunflower seeds
A tablespoon of dried cranberries
2 pieces of Trader Joe’s grilled sliced chicken
Top with a little EVOO and balsamic vinegar