Sunday, January 24, 2016

January 17-23, 2016

Sunday:  Sausage Gravy with Biscuits & Eggs

  Sometimes, you just need comfort food.  J  I don’t often make gravy, but this one turned out pretty tasty.  I used turkey sausage, and it was just right.  I also whipped up some biscuits using Bisquick. 

Monday:  Grilled Duck with Rice & Broccoli

  Chad offered to grill, and I always take him up on that offer!  He marinated some duck (from one of his hunts) in soy sauce with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic.  I roasted broccoli inside and also made some brown rice.

Tuesday:  Hawaiian Chicken with Whole Wheat Pasta, Pesto, & Tomatoes & Roasted Green Beans

  I had some Hawaiian Chicken already cooked and diced in the freezer from making a big batch a few weeks ago.  I thawed some of it and then warmed it on the stove.  While the chicken was warming, I boiled some whole wheat spiral pasta.  Then I tossed the pasta with a little pesto sauce and diced tomatoes.  This was a super simple, healthy meal that came together in no time.

Wednesday:  Dinner with Small Group

Thursday:  Ground Chicken & Venison & Veggie Tacos with Homemade Whole Wheat Tortillas

Ground Chicken & Venison & Veggie Tacos
  This is a wonderful meal that can use any ground meat and any veggies you have on hand.  Just cook your meat and then add your small, diced veggies (I used zucchini and carrots that I diced up really small in my mini food processor).  If I have tomatoes on hand (which I did), I add those at the end as well.  I season mine with salt, pepper, and taco seasoning.  This meat is so wonderful on tacos, quesadillas, nachos, salads, or even with pasta sauce.  So, I decided to use both ground chicken and ground venison and make a double batch so that we would have some leftover for meals during the week and also some to toss in the freezer to add to a meal later on.

  I haven’t made these in a while, but we enjoy them!  They aren’t going to be exactly like a regular tortilla since they are made with whole wheat.  But, they are a little thicker and chewier, which we kind of like for a change. 

Friday:  Quesadillas for Us, Pizza for the Kids

  Hooray for family movie night!  I bought some little frozen pizzas for the kids, and then Chad and I had quesadillas with the meat and veggies I made the night before. 

Saturday:  Ranger’s Birthday Cookout!

  We had a few friends and family over for a cookout to celebrate Ranger’s upcoming 7th birthday!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

January 10-16, 2016

Sunday:  Lunch – Leftover White Chicken Chili
                 Dinner – Chicken Tenders, Roasted Broccoli, Macaroni & Cheese

  For lunch after church, we had chili leftover from the night before (see last week’s menu).  For dinner that night, Chad and I had a date night with friends, so our niece Addy came to stay with our kids.  I baked some chicken tenders, roasted broccoli, and made macaroni & cheese for the kids’ fun night with one of their favorite people  J

Monday:  Stir Fry

  A very simply, healthy, and quick meal is stir fry.  I almost always have some sort of cooked, shredded chicken in my freezer (either from a rotisserie chicken or diced from grilling when we’ve prepared more than we needed to eat).  Having cooked chicken in the freezer can make a meal come together very quickly.  I set it out a few hours before dinner to thaw a bit. 

  When I was ready to cook, I warmed a little avocado oil in a skillet on the stove and then tossed in the chicken to reheat it.  When the chicken was warmed through, I scooted it around the sides and tossed in some frozen stir fry veggies and cooked those.  I added in soy sauce and a little rice vinegar I had.  Then I seasoned it with salt and pepper to taste.  I added a small amount of Sriracha sauce, but not much so it wouldn’t be too spicy for the kids.  (Chad and I always add more to our portions when we dish it out.) While all that was cooking, I made brown rice in my rice cooker.  That’s all!  Dinner was ready in no time at all, and it included our protein, veggies, and whole grains.

Tuesday:  Turkey, Cheese, Pear, & Blackberry Preserve Paninis with Kale Salad & Fruit

  Chad was out of town, and my mom was over for dinner.  The kids and I had been gone all afternoon for various activities, so I needed to make us a quick, kid-friendly dinner.  Adding thin-sliced pears and a little layer of blackberry preserves makes an ordinary grilled cheese just a little bit more special.  J

Wednesday:  Chad’s Venison Chili Frito Pie

  We hosted small group, so Chad wanted to make venison chili for our group.  Chili is a great way to feed a large group of people!  I added a fresh veggie tray with hummus and some mini corn dogs for the non-chili-eating kids.

Thursday:  Chicken & Waffle Skewers with Eggs

  Just a little change on chicken!  My kids love eating food off of a stick!  We had done a good job on our fruits and veggies during the day, so I didn’t even add any to our dinner.  I made the chicken nuggets myself and whole wheat waffles, and even that didn’t require much work on my part.  But, this meal could be thrown together completely homemade or with frozen chicken and waffles.  Whatever works for you!

Friday:  Pizza Night with Nonnie!

  The kids stayed the night with my mom so Chad and I could go to dinner with the other adults from our small group.  J

Saturday:  Honey BBQ Turkey Meatloaf with Carrot & Zucchini Sauté

  This is a family fave that we haven’t had in a while!  It comes together so quickly, and we all enjoy it.  I usually top the kids’ portion with a little ketchup rather than the spicier BBQ sauce.  I sautéed diced zucchini and carrots in a little olive oil with pepper and season salt to round out our meal.  There was also enough meatloaf leftover for Chad and I to have for lunch after church the next day.  But, my kids are small, so if you have more kids, older kids, or bigger eaters, you will likely go through the whole meatloaf.  You might even make two! 

Honey Barbecue Meatloaf

1 – 1.25 lb lean ground turkey
2/3 cup oatmeal (old fashioned or instant is fine)
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1/2 cup smoky barbecue sauce, divided
2 tablespoons honey, divided
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, use your hands to mix together the ground turkey, oatmeal, 1 tablespoon of the Worcestershire sauce, the spicy brown mustard, 1/4 cup of the barbecue sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, egg, salt, and black pepper.
Shape the mixture into a long, thick log and place in an oiled baking dish. Be careful not to pack the meat too tightly or you’ll end up with a very dense, tough loaf.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup barbecue sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, and 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce. Spread half of this mixture evenly all over the meatloaf. Reserve the other half for serving.

Bake for 45 minutes. Slice and drizzle with reserved honey barbecue sauce.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

January 1-9, 2016

Friday:  Girls Dinner with Mom
  Chad and the boys were hunting, so Payton and I went and had a New Year’s dinner with my mom.  J

Saturday:  Venison Pasta with Salad & Bread

Venison Pasta
  Chad has brought home deer meat for us this fall and winter, and I love it!  Venison is such a lean, versatile meat, and ground venison can be used just like ground beef, chicken, or turkey in just about any recipe.  I browned a pound of it and added in a can of crushed tomatoes and several different herbs and spices.  (Really…sorry that’s not exact, but I just grabbed a few things like garlic salt, pepper, Italian seasonings, red pepper, and eyeballed it to our tastes. J)  I boiled some pasta and added salad and whole wheat garlic bread, and dinner was ready!

Sunday:  Lunch – Leftover Pasta / Dinner – Balsamic Flank Steak with Baked Garlic Butter Spaghetti Squash & Roasted Green Beans

Balsamic Flank Steak
 Flank steak is an inexpensive cut of meat, but it needs to be seasoned and cooked well so that it’s tender and tasty enough to eat.  This recipe came from Pinterest, and we really enjoyed it!  For some reason the recipe isn’t showing up on the original site anymore, so I have it below from memory.  Chad actually grilled ours outside (instead of cooking it inside as the recipe suggests).  I actually only had ¼ cup of regular balsamic vinegar, so the other ¼ cup was blackberry balsamic vinegar.  I wasn’t totally sure how it would turn out, but it was delicious!  I marinated mine for about 7 hours.  The original recipe said to marinate it overnight.

½ cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup chopped parsley
*Stir all ingredients together and pour over a 1 - 1.5 pound flank steak.  Marinate and grill.

  We love spaghetti squash this way!  If you haven’t ever tried spaghetti squash, this is great first recipe.  It takes a lot like macaroni and cheese, I think.  I added some fresh cherry tomatoes to ours this time.  (Recipe courtesy of Steamy Kitchen)

Monday:  Breakfast for Dinner – Whole Wheat French Toast, Scrambled Eggs, Bacon & Berries
  I can’t believe how much French toast my kids ate!  They love it!  I mean, let's be honest.  Other than the "whole wheat" part, French toast is basically dessert. J

Tuesday:  Dinner at Mom’s

Wednesday:  Pizza with Small Group
  We were the host family this week, so I took the easy route and went to Walmart and picked up pizzas from their deli.  I also served fresh fruits and veggies.

Thursday:  Hawaiian Grilled Chicken with Coconut Rice & Roasted Broccoli

·  My friend, Sharon, shared this recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything last year.  I am so glad she shared it…it’s delicious!!  I marinated the chicken for about 9 hours, and I used chicken thighs like she suggests because we really like dark meat.  I also made the coconut rice she suggested, and we all gobbled it right up.  Throwing in some roasted broccoli was all that was left to round out our meal.  Our family certainly can’t eat 3 pounds of chicken in one dinner, but I went ahead and marinated that amount and had Chad grill it.  What we didn’t eat, Chad sliced up and vacuum-sealed it for the freezer.  It will be a wonderful chicken to add to a recipe in the near future.  Prep once for 2 dinners…one of the best ways to save time on a busy weeknight.  This chicken is wonderful in any other recipe…pasta, pizza, salads, quesadillas…anything!

Friday:  Cheeseburger Sliders, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, & Salad

The kids love this meal for family movie night!  I love that they can have cheeseburgers…one of their faves (especially Ranger!), but having burgers at home means I can have healthier sides that really don’t take much time at all.  Once you’ve peeled and diced your sweet potatoes and tossed them with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, they only take 20-25 minutes at 425 degrees.  Stir them around a time or two during roasting.

Saturday:  5 Ingredient White Chicken Chili

Yummy, simple, easy.  I topped ours with avocado, tortilla chips, and shredded cheese.  It really hit the spot on a cold day.  Plus, we can have the leftovers for a simple, warm lunch after church on Sunday.  (

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things in the New Year...

We so enjoyed our Christmas season, but now life is settling back into our normal routine.  I have our menu all planned out for the next 2 weeks, and Payton and I went grocery shopping yesterday.  There should be a full weekly menu posted next week!

Happy New Year!