Weekly Meal Plan

I thought I would participate in the weekly meal plan linkup this week.  It’s my first time!  I did our grocery shopping on Saturday and came home with three bags full of groceries.  I had gotten in the habit of stopping at the grocery store throughout the week to pick up any extra groceries that we needed.  Those multiple 10-18 dollar midweek trips can really add up.  So, in an effort to be more aware of how much we spend on groceries and to first use what we already have, for the past couple weeks, I have been getting everything on the weekend.  It’s been working really well!  Especially with this new strategy, meal planning has been essential.

I’m linking up with mommyrunfast to share what we have on the menu this week!

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Sunday- Healthy Tostada for Two with a garlicky massaged kale salad

Healthy Tostada for Two v.2

Monday- Asian Black Bean Burgers with roasted sweet potatoes and green beans

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Tuesday- Orange-Maple Glazed Salmon (recipe to come!), mashed sunchokes, roasted broccoli with a Maple Massaged Kale Salad

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Wednesday- Leftover Asian Black Bean Burgers with roasted sweet potatoes and Mustard-Garlic Brussels Sprouts

Thursday- Coconut Mahi Mahi (we make this fairly often and it’s delicious, I’ll post the recipe soon) with bok choy, roasted broccoli, and a kale side salad

Friday- Orange-Maple Glazed Salmon with green beans, Mustard-Garlic Brussels Sprouts, and a massaged kale side salad  (celebrating Valentine’s Day next week along with our 10 year anniversary).

Saturday- Out

Hope you all have a wonderful Sunday!

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Weekend Recap and Healthy Tostada for Two

This past weekend has full of many fun things!  It was a combination of really busy and relaxation.  Saturday morning I went on a 10 mile run, it was sunny and the temperature was perfect (slightly crisp) while Cathrine went to work for a few hours.  Then we met at the barn and went riding, showered quickly at the house and headed to the Pantages Theater to see The Book of Mormon (hilarious!).  Afterwards we inched our way back home (thanks to LA traffic) and continued our night with dinner out at a nearby favorite and watching The Heat which I may or may not have fallen asleep during.  Luckily, I had already seen it.  The past couple of weeks, we’ve been on a roll with watching our DVD’s from Netflix where we used to hold on to them for five months, now we’ve been watching one disc almost weekly.  It’s been kind of fun!  Sometimes it’s the simple things.

photo (66)Sunday was a rest day.  Literally.  I made a simple breakfast, meal planned and went grocery shopping, saw Armani (our mini), and did some food prep.   It was a much needed quiet day.  Lately, we’ve been going going going.  Breakfast was an egg fried in coconut oil, steamed kale, and Cholula on either an english muffin or whole wheat Ezekiel bread with a splash of carrot juice on the side.  Cathrine also had one slice of black forest bacon and one of coffee bacon from Whole Foods.  It’s her Sunday treat and she talks about it all week.

For dinner, I made tostadas.  We really enjoyed them and couldn’t not share the recipe with you.  They have protein from multiple sources, a variety of vegetables, and tons of flavor.

Healthy Tostada for Two v.2

 Ingredients:

2 corn tortillas

1 sweet potato

1/2 cup chopped broccoli

7 1/2 ounces black beans (half of a 15 ounce can)

2 chard leaves

8-10 shrimp (thawed and shelled)

2 garlic cloves

coconut oil

spices: cumin and chipotle

garnish: Cholula

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray olive oil in bottom on glass baking dish.  Peel and cut sweet potato into 1/2 inch pieces and place in baking dish.  Sprinkle with cumin and chipotle (to taste).  Roast in oven for about 40 minutes.  Stir occasionally.

Cut broccoli into bite size pieces and set aside.  After the sweet potato has been roasting for 40 minutes, add broccoli to pan and roast an additional 10-12 minutes.

While the sweet potato and broccoli are roasting, dice garlic and add to saute pan along with some coconut oil (to prevent sticking).  Turn the stove on medium to allow coconut oil to melt.  Add shrimp and saute until the shrimp are about half cooked.  Add torn pieces of chard leaves.  Cover and cook until the shrimp are done and the chard is wilted (stir occasionally).

Meanwhile, place two corn tortillas on a baking sheet.  Once the sweet potatoes and broccoli are done, divide them between the two tortillas then evenly distribute the black beans.  Place in oven and let bake for about 10 minutes (until beans are warm and broccoli is fully roasted) at 400 degrees.  Check periodically.

Then top each tostada with cooked shrimp and chard, sprinkle with Cholula if you like some heat, and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

Maple Massaged Kale Salad


I recently discovered that Trader Joe’s sells bags of pre-washed and already cut organic tuscan kale.  I don’t know about you, but I always find the process of washing and cutting or ripping kale to be tedious and time consuming.  So, I was excited when I saw the last bag on the shelf this past weekend.

Cathrine loves massaged kale salads.  Her favorite is Whole Foods’ garlicky kale salad (a replication is next on my list).  But first, we have a maple massaged kale salad that is the perfect combination of sweet and salty.  The sweet from the maple syrup and the salty from the coconut aminos.  It’s simple, delicious, and quick so it can easily be made during the week.  We had it last night for dinner along with a bowl of slow cooker stew.

Kale is a power house vegetable- filled with nutrients.

One cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and a whopping 684% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K — and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.  Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds. Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.  Source

By massaging the kale with a couple spoonfuls of dressing (recipe below), the crunchy tough leaves become silky and tender.

Maple Massaged Kale Salad

Ingredients:

Salad

2 cups kale (I used tuscan)

1 carrot, shredded

A couple pinches of raw sunflower seeds

Dressing

half a tablespoon olive oil

half a tablespoon maple syrup

half a tablespoon coconut aminos

Whisk olive oil, maple syrup, and coconut aminos together until combined.  Taste and adjust the flavor to your liking.  Some prefer it sweeter or saltier than others.  Divide kale and carrot among two bowls.  Place a couple spoonfuls, about two, of dressing in each bowl and massage the dressing into the kale with your fingers until the kale is tender.  Sprinkle with sunflower seeds and enjoy.

Simple Egg Salad

Over here we’ve been continuing to get back into the groove of having salads for lunch.  With an upcoming trip for the both of us to Washington, D.C. next weekend, a couple international mileage runs for Cathrine, and a Thanksgiving trip, the next month or so will be filled with travel so I’m feeling like we need to make our time home count and eat lots of nutritious meals.  While we both really enjoy travelling, it can be hard to stick to healthy eating and make time to exercise, no matter how lofty my pre-travel goals are.  We’ll talk about my holiday/travel goals soon.

This egg salad has been a staple in our household for a while now.  It’s refreshing, filling, and simple to make.  Great for a weekday lunch or when you don’t have much in your fridge.  You can make it the night before and keep it in the fridge or you can put it together right before.  My preference is to make it the night before because it gives some time for the eggs to cool.

All put together

Simple Egg Salad

Ingredients:

2 eggs

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Pepper

1 carrot

5-6 cherry tomatoes

Handful of mixed baby greens

Small bunch of microgreens

Steps:

Place two eggs in a small pot and add water so the eggs are fully submerged.  Bring the water to a boil.  Boil for 10 minutes.  Drain eggs and let cool before peeling.  Once eggs are cool, peel 1 egg and chop in quarters.  Peel second egg, discard the yolk, and chop egg white in quarters.  Place both chopped eggs in a small bowl.  Add 1 peeled and diced carrot, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, and 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar to the bowl with the eggs.  Using a knife, mix and chop the eggs so it is all combined.  I like to still have a crunch in mine, so I leave my carrots a bit on the bigger side.  Sprinkle with fresh cracked pepper on top.

Egg Salad

 

Place a handful of mixed baby greens and top with a bunch of microgreens in a bowl.

Lettuce and Micro GreensAdd the egg salad and top with 5 to 6 cherry tomatoes cut in half.

photo (39)Then enjoy!

Any recommendations for must do/see in D.C.?  We’ll only be there for the weekend.

 

 

Lime Avocado Salad with Red Pepper and Tomatoes

Whenever I’ve been travelling, I always look forward to getting back into eating healthy when I get back.  I certainly let myself indulge a bit while I am away.  Sweets and carbs are probably the places where I splurge the most.  And I’m known to take advantage of the free snacks and drinks offered in the airport lounges and eat things like cheese and crackers, yogurt covered pretzels, salty snack mix along with a glass of white wine.  It helps with any flying jitters.    

We have been travelling quite a bit lately and while I enjoy exploring news places and nice dinners out, what I was calling my “summer of indulgence” has turned into a “fall of indulgence” and I’m feeling like it’s time to get back on track.

For the past two days, I’ve made this simple salad for lunch.  It’s quick to make with the perfect amount of citrus to give it a pop of flavor when you take a bit.

Lime Avocado Salad with Red Pepper and Tomatoes

(Inspired by Whole Living Avocado with Bell Peppers and Tomatoes recipe)

Salad

Ingredients: 

1/2 a red pepper

1 avocado

Splash of lime juice

Pinch of salt

5-6 cherry tomatoes

Handful of mixed baby greens

Small bunch of microgreens

Steps:

Slice avocado in half and scoop the filling into a small bowl.  Chop half of a red pepper into bit size pieces and place in the bowl with the avocado.  Pour a splash of lime juice on top of the avocado and red pepper and add a pinch of salt.  Mix thoroughly.  Put a handful of baby greens and a couple pinches of microgreens into a bowl.  Place the avocado and red pepper salad on top.  Slice 6 cherry tomatoes in half and place them on the top.  Enjoy!

*Serves one

Honey Coconut Roasted Acorn Squash

Fall in Southern California is somewhat different than the fall I am accustomed to.  Even though I’ve lived here for three years, each year I still find myself longing for fall.  The fall I remember from the east coast- the crisp air, blue skies, colorful mountain and hill sides, crunchy leaves, lots of hiking, fresh apples, pumpkin farms, dried corn stalks, scarves, sweaters, tall boots, I could go on.  Here, it takes a bit more effort to foster a feeling of fall, especially since it has been in the mid-80’s this week!  It’s not quite time for scarves, sweaters, and boots……at least, not yet.  For some of the elements that I find myself missing, I need to remember patience.  That in a few weeks or months, I too will be able to wear a cozy scarf but for now, I should enjoy my shorts and sundresses for a bit longer.  For others, we work to create and savor them in our household.  

After a recent trip to Massachusetts, we brought back Mackintosh apples, fresh ginger, and garlic from the local farmer’s market.  I enjoyed an apple every day for almost two weeks.  Since living in California, I’ve found myself loving Mackintosh apples even more than before I moved.  I think I always took their constant presence for granted.  

One way we enjoy fall is in the kitchen.  Making plenty of squash and pumpkin dishes.  This roasted acorn squash roasted with honey, coconut oil, and thyme has been a favorite lately.  We first made it a couple of weeks ago and since then, we have already made it three more times, because it is just THAT good.  This last time was the first time that I was able to get a picture.  Each of the previous times, we ate it too quickly for me to snap a picture.

Acorn Squash

Honey Coconut Roasted Acorn Squash

Ingredients:

1 acorn squash

1 tablespoon melted coconut oil

1 generous tablespoon melted raw honey

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Steps:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Wash and cut the acorn squash in half.  Remove the seeds (save for roasting later).  Place the squash in a shallow baking dish with the center facing up.  Mix the melted coconut oil, melted raw honey, apple cider vinegar, and dried thyme in a small bowl.  Divide the sauce evenly between the two squash halves, pouring into the center.  Using a brush, coat the inside of the squash with the sauce.  Bake until the squash is soft, approximately 40 to 60 minutes.  Every 20 minutes, use a brush to coat the squash with the sauce.  Enjoy!

* For the seeds- I wash them and then roast them for 5-10 minutes on a rimmed metal baking sheet at 400 degrees.  You can top them with this about anything- I’ve done salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.

 

Spring Rolls

Lately we have been enjoying spring rolls for lunch.  These are light yet filling and they keep us feeling satisfied well after lunch.  What I love about them is that they are flexible.  The possibilities of what you include in them are endless.  I tend to always include a combination of textures, flavors, and levels of crunchiness.  Not too crunchy and not to soft.

I usually make them the night before and store them in the fridge so they are ready for Cathrine to take when she leaves for work early (like 6am early!).

Ingredients (serves 2, makes 4 spring rolls)

Spring Rolls

  • 8 spring roll wrappers
  • 1 organic carrot
  • 1 stalk organic celery
  • 4 slices of jicama
  • 4 organic red leaf lettuce leaves
  • 2 slices organic firm tofu
  • 12 organic basil leaves

* I’ve also used mint or cilantro instead of basil, spinach instead of red leaf lettuce, rice noodles instead of tofu, endive instead of jicama.

Dipping Sauce

  • 2 teaspoons Braggs
  • 2 teaspoons organic Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon organic peanut butter (we use fresh ground, low salt)
  • A generous sprinkle of organic garlic powder

Spring Roll Preparation and Assembly

Wash, peel, and slice the carrot lengthwise into four pieces then cut in half (making 8 slices).

Wash and cut the celery stalk the same way as the carrot.

Wash, peel, and slice the jicama into four small pieces.

Wash and break each red leaf lettuce leaf in half.

Cut two slices of tofu and then divide each slice into four pieces.

Elements of one roll

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Group the ingredients together for each roll.  This allows for quick and easy assembly once the spring roll wrappers are ready.

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Spring roll wrappers

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In a shallow sauce pan, heat enough water so you can fully submerge one spring roll wrapper.  The water should be warm but not hot.  Once it is this temperature, turn off the burner.  Evenly submerge a spring roll wrapper into the water and wait until it is soft (about 30 seconds, depending on how warm the water is).

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Place the wrapper on a thin towel, place the filling on top, and roll the spring roll.

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After the spring roll is wrapped, place a new spring roll wrapper into the water and repeat the steps again.  I like to use two spring roll wrappers on each spring roll.  If the water gets too cool, just heat it back up again.

Dipping Sauce

In a small container, combine Braggs, organic olive oil, organic peanut butter, and a generous sprinkle of organic garlic powder.

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Stir until well combined.

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I usually divide it into two containers for Cathrine to take one to work so I can have one for my lunch too.

Enjoy dipped in a little sauce!

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Let us know if you try them and what you like in your spring rolls!  We could love to hear.