10/11/2021 Weekly Meal Plan & Life Update

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgWe are starting week three with no full-size fridge and no freezer. Still living that #coolerlife.  We did buy a mini-fridge last week, so we are able to keep some fresh food in the house. Milk and creamer and drinks live in the cooler in the kitchen. I’m hoping the warranty company makes up their mind this week and we can get our new fridge. Life without condiments is rough, y’all.

We’ve been eating a lot of shelf-stable stuff (beans and rice, crockpot chili), and I’ve been hitting the store solo to pick up salad kits, and bananas, and apples. Last week we ended up having the share a lot of our CSA box as I wouldn’t store some of the items in the cooler without freezing/damaging the more delicate items.

The CSA box will be here today while I’m at work. I’ll do the prep work this afternoon/evening.

Veggies and fruit are delivered by Yasukochi Family Farms CSA. For $25, it’s a great deal. I don’t have to pick anything, go to the store, or carry it upstairs. I can’t go to the store and get the same amount we get weekly for $25. Seriously. It’s a deal.

I’m super stoked that I’ll be getting flowers this week too as my add-on. Look over at my Instagram and Facebook for pics later today.

And I’ve been getting a lot of really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for a kitchen inventory printable, I have made my own and you can find them for sale here on my Etsy Store.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. The Ancient Grain bagels from Einstein Bros. are the current family favorite. I pick them up on Mondays when a dozen is only $7. I slice them and freeze them to keep them from going bad too quickly.

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. I’m back to packing lunches again. However, school lunches are free this year, but so far, there is nothing on the menu that appeals to the kids.

Dinner: Until this fridge debacle is over, I won’t be doing any meal prep beyond the stuff in the CSA box. We’re trying to eat up as much of the produce as possible. We’re eating a lot of salads early week, and more hardy stuff (roasted potatoes and baked apples with grilled cheese and soup) towards the end of the week, with our usual Friday night takeout. I want a new fridge- I miss bacon!

  • Sunday: We had bowls from El Pollo Loco, and the kids had leftover pizza.
  • Monday: Roasted Veggies, Salad, Quesadillas- Produce is delivered today and I roast up a pan of veg as soon as I can!
  • Tuesday: unknown
  • Wednesday: unknown
  • Thursday:  unknown
  • Friday:  Takeout Night
  • Saturday: Leftovers (if we have any)

Please stay safe you guys!

New Recipe: Italian Pot Roast

I got a roast the other day because I really wanted something beefy and comforting, but I didn’t want to make Moosie’s Pot Roast, because while it’s so good, it’s a tad heavy.

I wanted to make something beefy, flavorful, and rich, but not heavy. I pulled out a few cookbooks, looked through the cupboard and the cooler where the veggies are chilling (pun intended), and came up with this. It’s like Oso Bucco, Bolognese sauce, and beef stew had a complicated tryst. All of the fresh vegetables came from our Yasukochi CSA Box.

 

 

 

 

Italian Pot Roast

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 Chuck Roast (2-3 lbs)
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 Bell Pepper, sliced (I used Red, but use whatever you’ve got)
  • 2 Carrots, Peeled and diced
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, diced
  • 6-8 fresh tomatoes, chopped (You can substitute 2 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes if you don’t have fresh)
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 T. Italian Seasoning

Directions:

  1. Salt and pepper the roast and set aside. I recommend allowing the roast to warm up to room temp before searing it.
  2. In a large pan, heat 2 T. olive oil, and saute onions, peppers for about 10-15 minutes, until soft and browned.
  3. Add in carrots and garlic, and allow them to cook for about 5 minutes. Garlic will be slightly browned and fragrant.
  4. While veggies are cooking, chop up tomatoes and add to slow cooker.
  5. Add tomato paste to slow cooker.
  6. Add cooked veggies, bay leaf, and Italian Seasoning to the slow cooker.
  7. Add remaining 2 T. olive oil to the previously used large pan, and allow to warm.
  8. Sear the roast on all sides.
  9. Add roast to slow cooker.
  10. Pour wine into the large pan and turn heat to medium-high. Scrape all browned meat and veggie bits with a wooden spoon. One wine comes to a brief boil and all browned bits are scraped off the pan, pour liquid into the slow cooker.
  11. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  12. Put roast beef from the slow cooker, and shred with forks. Return the meat to the slow cooker and stir. Cook for an additional hour.

Serve with mashed potatoes or pasta/noodles of your choice.

Get Cookin with Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto (Review and Giveaway)!

Disclaimer: I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links. For more information about the use of affiliate links and partnerships, visit my disclosure page. 

Yesterday we had an amazing dinner! We’re still without a full-size fridge, so we’re without meat or a lot of our usual ingredients, thankfully Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto to the rescue! I paired the pesto with farfalle (bowtie pasta), and roasted veggies. It was tasting, filling, and a great way to get veggies into your kiddos.

I wrote down the recipe to share with you. The Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto sauce is so rich and creamy and pairs really well with the veggies I chose.

 

 

 

 

Roasted Veggies and Farfalle with Creamy Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 1 6.2 oz jar of Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto
  • 1 box of pasta (I used Barilla Farfalle)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 1/2 sweet onion, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded, and cut into slices
  • 1 zucchini, cut into coins
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • parmesan to taste

Directions:

  1. Roast Veggies (complete directions can be found here)
  2. While veggies are roasting, bring a pot of water to a boil.
  3. Cook pasta per box directions.
  4. Reserve 3 T. of pasta water when draining cooked pasta.
  5. Mix a jar of Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto into the cooked pasta.
  6. Add roasted veggies to the pasta/sauce mixture. Stir to combine.
  7. Serve with a little extra parmesan cheese, as needed.

This is a great, easy dish that’s perfect for meat-free nights. This Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto is so versitile. In addition to using on pasta, it makes a great veggie dip (I might be guilty of dipping some of the raw veggies into the jar while I was cooking), a sandwich spread (in place of mayo or mustard), or for marinating meat. Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto does not need to be heated prior to eating, and it’s shelf-stable prior to opening. You can find it in the store near the jarred pasta sauces. I found it at Target, but you can also find it on Amazon.

Giveaway: I want to share Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto with you! I’ve got 2 coupons each for one free jar (up to $3.99) of Barilla Pesto (expiration 12/31/2021). I will choose 2 winners on 10/8/2021 and notify them via email. 

Entering is easy: Leave a comment on this blog post with how you would use Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto!

 

La Mesa Dream Dinners: Restaurant Week Deal Special Offer!

Did You Know Interesting Fact Instagram Post (Email Header) 3
OH MY GOSH Y’ALL! Check out this amazing offer! La Mesa Dream Dinners is participating in 18th Annual Restaurant Week with a special offer for you. This is a great way to participate in Restaurant week without leaving home.

Special Offer Price $35 – Serves 3: For a limited time you can purchase 1 medium meal from the selection below. The Dinner package includes Garlic Bread and a 6 pack of Hope’s Chocolate chip cookies to bake at home.

The staff will assemble and freeze your meals for you to pick up and take home to cook.

Choose from the following menu:

Maple Glazed Pork RoastThai Coconut Shrimp over Jasmine RiceChicken and Pasta with Lemon & Artichoke Sauce
  • Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin
  • Chicken & Artichoke Pasta
  • Thai Coconut Shrimp  over Jasmine Rice
This offer is not available online -please call/text 619-460-6800 or email lamesaca@Dreamdinners.com to place your order.

The staff will contact you for an appointment to pick up your meals at our curbside service.

I think we’ll be getting the Chicken and Artichoke Pasta- What option are you going to choose?

Great Deals on Spices and Seasonings from Penzey’s!

Penzey’s is having a great sale through the end of business today!

1/4 cup Northwoods AND 1/4 cup Arizona Dreaming (value $9.54) free with $5 purchase. No need to add any items here. Enter code Together in the Apply Code field at checkout. I love Arizona Dreaming- It’s a great spice blend that is perfect in Huevos Rancheros or a Southwestern Chicken Stew.

If you are looking for some solid additions to your spice rack, check out these sweet deals:

No coupons or codes are needed for the regularly $3.59 French Tarragon for $1 or the regularly $6.69 Sunny Paris for $2, those two deals are automatic for everyone. These deals do not expire until 10/3/2021.

For the free-with-$5-purchase $9.54 quarter-cups of Arizona Dreaming and Northwoods Seasoning, in stores show or print this coupon. When you order online at penzeys.com, once you have $5 in spending just enter Together in the apply code box at checkout.

9/26/2021 Weekly Meal Plan & Life Update

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgSo, we are still without a Fridge/freezer, so no real meal plan for this week at this point. After the fridge repair guy comes on Tuesday, we’ll know if/when the warranty is going to cover a replacement, or if Sears is going to continue to throw even more money at this lemon. At this point, they have paid over $1500 in lost food reimbursement and repairs for a refrigerator that cost $1100. So.. yeah.

We’ve been eating a lot of shelf-stable stuff (beans and rice, crockpot chili), and I’ve been hitting the store solo to pick up salad kits, and bananas, and apples. Last week we ended up having the share a lot of our CSA box as I wouldn’t store some of the items in the cooler without freezing/damaging the more delicate items.

The CSA box will be here tomorrow morning. I’ll do the prepping after I get home from work Monday afternoon.

Veggies and fruit are delivered by Yasukochi Family Farms CSA. For $25, it’s a great deal. I don’t have to pick anything, go to the store, or carry it upstairs. I can’t go to the store and get the same amount we get weekly for $25. Seriously. It’s a deal.

Oh yeah, I got a job out of the house. It’s working on-site at a local elementary school. I’m not going to go much more into it than that. I’ll still be blogging, and the kids and I will be having adventures, I’m working while they are in school.

And I’ve been getting a lot of really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for a kitchen inventory printable, I have made my own and you can find them for sale here on my Etsy Store.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. The Ancient Grain bagels from Einstein Bros. are the current family favorite. I pick them up on Mondays when a dozen is only $7. I slice them and freeze them to keep them from going bad too quickly.

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. I’m back to packing lunches again. However, school lunches are free this year, but so far, there is nothing on the menu that appeals to the kids.

Dinner: We’ve got a pretty good schedule down for dinners. We have nuggets (vegetarian for the boy child, chicken for the rest) on the nights that we have respite. It’s quick to prepare and clean up, and I can serve it on our cafeteria trays with other fingers foods (we have trays like these) like cut-up fruit, crackers, and cheese. I have been posting our meal plans on Instagram too- As well as pics of stuff we are doing to keep busy.

  • Sunday:  Shakshuka, Rice We didn’t have this last week, and we have a lot of eggs in the cooler to eat.
  • Monday: Roasted Veggies, Salad, Quesadillas
  • Tuesday: unknown
  • Wednesday: unknown
  • Thursday:  unknown
  • Friday:  Takeout Night
  • Saturday: Leftovers (if we have any)

Please stay safe you guys!

9/19/2021 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI spent all weekend at home, hanging with kiddos and doing meal prep. I made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies (recipe here), and roasted veggies for various meals. I also made some omelet starters- various cooked veggies, ready to be added to eggs (along with cheese, because c’mon- CHEESE!)

I went grocery shopping on Thursday, and I split a share from Porchlight with my buddy Brooke.  The only thing I need to buy for the week is maybe some milk later in the week.

The CSA box will be here tomorrow AM and I’ll prepare some salads, more roasted veggies, and maybe even some soup (fingers crossed!).

Veggies and fruit are delivered by Yasukochi Family Farms CSA. For $25, it’s a great deal. I don’t have to pick anything, go to the store, or carry it upstairs. I can’t go to the store and get the same amount we get weekly for $25. Seriously. It’s a deal.

And I’ve been getting a lot of really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for a kitchen inventory printable, I have made my own and you can find them for sale here on my Etsy Store.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. The Ancient Grain bagels from Einstein Bros. are the current family favorite. I pick them up on Mondays when a dozen is only $7. I slice them and freeze them to keep them from going bad too quickly.

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. I’m back to packing lunches again. However, school lunches are free this year, but so far, there is nothing on the menu that appeals to the kids.

Dinner: We’ve got a pretty good schedule down for dinners. We have nuggets (vegetarian for the boy child, chicken for the rest) on the nights that we have respite. It’s quick to prepare and clean up, and I can serve it on our cafeteria trays with other fingers foods (we have trays like these) like cut-up fruit, crackers, and cheese. I have been posting our meal plans on Instagram too- As well as pics of stuff we are doing to keep busy.

  • Sunday: Roasted Veggies, Salad, Quesadillas
  • Monday: Veggie Chili, Sourdough Rolls, Fruit
  • Tuesday: Shakshuka, Rice, Fruit
  • Wednesday: Nugget night, fruit, cheese, and crackers
  • Thursday: Parm crusted Turkey Breast, Fruit Salad, Kale Salad
  • Friday:  Takeout Night
  • Saturday: Leftovers, fruit

Please stay safe you guys!

Easy Hummus Recipe!

Yesterday in my tabouli recipe, I mentioned I’d be sharing a hummus recipe soon. Here we are!

This recipe is super easy, and you can pick up all the ingredients in any grocery store, on Amazon, or even at Target.

Ingredients:

  • 2 15.5 oz canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup tahini (I like Tumeric Tahini from Havens Kitchen)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped (or you can use 1 teaspoon chopped jarred garlic)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 t. cumin
  • salt to taste
  • Garnishes (optional): additional olive oil, everything but the bagel seasoning, toasted sesame seeds, a sprinkle of cumin, sumac, chopped parsley)

Directions:

  1. In a food processor/blender, blend all of the ingredients (except the garnishes)
  2. If the hummus is too thick, add 1 teaspoon of water and blend again. repeat as needed, adding up to 3 teaspoons of water.
  3. Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to meld.
  4. Pour into a bowl, top with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and any other additional garnishes as needed.
  5. Serve with veggies, pita, or chips/crackers.

This recipe is vegan, and gluten-free.

 

Easy, Tasty Tabouli Recipe!

I love tabouli (tabouleh)- It’s easy to make, and it keeps in the fridge for up to a week (if it lasts that long). It’s a delicious, easy summer salad.

This is my spin on traditional tabouli- I use Right Rice in place of bulgar wheat, but you can use whatever grain you like. Couscous, quinoa, or Israeli couscous are all great choices. My kids don’t like bulgar wheat.

This week in our Yasukochi Family Farms CSA box we received: Tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, lemon, and parsley.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups grains of your choice, cooked as directed ( I use garlic herb or original Right Rice)
  • 1-pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 cups cucumbers, diced (I used larger English cucumbers, but you can use the small Persian cukes and slice them into “coins”)
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint, diced
  • 1.5 cups parsley, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped finely (I like yellow or red)
  • 1/4 cup your favorite oil (olive or avocado are my favs)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • cracked pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook your grains per the package direction, and set them aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the oil, lemon juice, and salt. Whisk and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all veggies and toss with oil and lemon juice mixture.
  4. Fold in the cooled grains.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours minimum before serving.
  6. Season with additional kosher salt, and black pepper to taste as needed.

This salad goes great with hummus, pita, and grilled protein. I’ll have an awesome hummus recipe up in a few days!

This recipe is naturally vegan. If you use Quinoa or Right Rice, it is gluten-free as well.

 

9/12/2021 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgThis week is our busy week. I have appointments for the kids Monday Tuesday Wednesday, in addition to all the other appointments and things that I have to do throughout the day. The weather is supposed to remain hot throughout the week, so my usual easy-to-cook/busy day meals aren’t really appropriate. Nobody wants to tuck into a bowl of soup when it’s still 85° outside at dinner time. So we are relying on some family favorites: breakfast for dinner, and the do-it-yourself salad bar.

I went grocery shopping on Friday before my job interview and picked up about 80% of what we needed for the week. I underestimated the amount of cream cheese we go through, and ice as well. So there will be a trip to the store later today.

I’m very much looking forward to our produce box this week. I plan on making up a big fruit salad for us to enjoy early on in the week, as well as roasted vegetables and a healthy-sized salad. Our CSA box provides us with so many delicious, farm-fresh vegetables and fruit. One thing that I love about it is that the company has a presence at so many southern California farmer’s markets throughout the week. So you can go and pick up produce at the farmers market, or order a CSA box. Whichever works best for you.

I also love that they have a fundraising offer for local nonprofits. So if you have a scouting troop or your local youth sports team, or if your PTA is tired of selling cookie dough and wrapping paper… You can sell CSA subscriptions instead! Click here to find out more about it, I’m kind of hoping that maybe our school PTA will give that a shot.

Veggies and fruit are delivered by Yasukochi Family Farms CSA. For $25, it’s a great deal. I don’t have to pick anything, go to the store, or carry it upstairs. I can’t go to the store and get the same amount we get weekly for $25. Seriously. It’s a deal. I did a great deal of meal prep today after the box was delivered- You can see some of what I did over on Instragram.

And I’ve been getting a lot of really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for a kitchen inventory printable, I have made my own and you can find them for sale here on my Etsy Store.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. The Ancient Grain bagels from Einstein Bros. are the current family favorite. I pick them up on Mondays when a dozen is only $7. I slice them and freeze them to keep them from going bad too quickly.

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. I’m back to packing lunches again. However, school lunches are free this year, but so far, there is nothing on the menu that appeals to the kids.

Dinner: We’ve got a pretty good schedule down for dinners. We have nuggets (vegetarian for the boy child, chicken for the rest) on the nights that we have respite. It’s quick to prepare and clean up, and I can serve it on our cafeteria trays with other fingers foods (we have trays like these) like cut-up fruit, crackers, and cheese. I have been posting our meal plans on Instagram too- As well as pics of stuff we are doing to keep busy.

  • Sunday: Breakfast for dinner: hashbrowns, egg bites, fruit salad
  • Monday: Salad bar night, garlic baguette
  • Tuesday: Beans, rice, roasted veggies, quesadillas
  • Wednesday: Nugget night, fruit, cheese, and crackers
  • Thursday: Protein shakes, fruit, toast
  • Friday:  Takeout Night
  • Saturday: Leftovers, fruit

Please stay safe you guys!