Saturday, January 22, 2011

Another week, another plan

The past few weeks have been a bit crazier than usual around here. Since Christmas, someone in the house has been sick in one way or another. Caleb had strep throat before Xmas, stomach bug as soon as we arrived at my parents' house for Xmas, and an ear infection the first week back at pre-K. Ellie had snots for most of that time, but it didn't seem serious. After Caleb had recovered from the ear infection, Ellie told me her ear hurt. I was surprised enough to take her to the doctor and discovered she had a double ear infection. The spot where Caleb's amoxicillin had been became the spot for Ellie's amoxicillin. During the kids' various illnesses, Aaron and I also caught the stomach bug 2 days after Caleb had it and contracted some kind of upper respiratory/bronchitis bug after we came home.

Why am I telling you our sick story? Because meal planning has been sketchy at best and quite boring often. We have enjoyed a lot of soup, with Caleb eating vegetable broth for one of his meals when he had the ear infection. I think we are coming into a clearing this week, so I'm going to brainstorm some food ideas and let you know how they go.

The meals from my previous meal planning post were generally well-received. Caleb enjoyed the Turkish Vegetable Stew much more than the first time. I loved my bean soup (tweaked the recipe on the bag to replace ham with chicken sausage, skipped tomatoes) and the turkey chili mac. Both the soups and the chili mac really hit the spot. It's still wicked cold here, so comfort food is in order.

The Plan:
  • Chili - Aaron declared that we had too many containers of leftover tomato "product." What this means is that I use canned tomatoes (diced, crushed, etc.) but I don't use the entire can for a given recipe. I save the leftovers and sometimes forget to use the leftovers in the next recipe OR need to use whatever I didn't have leftover (e.g., recipe calls for diced and I have crushed leftover).
  • Cheesy lentil rice casserole - This came up at lunch today when I was explaining to Caleb that he did in fact like the cheese we used for his grilled cheese sandwich (shredded cheddar). I told him I use shredded cheddar on the lentil casserole he likes, and Aaron said we should have that this week. I'm kicking myself for not buying more broccoli to add in, but it will be yummy without it.
  • Chicken quesadillas - IF I can find already shredded chicken, I want to try the Weight Watchers recipe I found last week. We haven't had pseudo-Mexican food in a while, and we all usually like it a lot.
  • Leftovers! We have most of a quart of butternut squash soup, oven chicken fingers, and a hodgepodge I can't remember while away from the kitchen. We might even have a pasta night in which we use up leftover chili as the sauce (nom nom nom - think Skyline Chili for those of you from the midwest).
Lunches for the kids will be leftovers, sandwiches, and tomato soup from Trader Joe's. Tomato soup became a favorite for Ellie this week, so I want to take advantage of the fad. I think we still have some chicken tacos from Trader Joe's too. Although I won't generally eat them (a bit too rich for my preferences), the kids really love them. I also want to have them make their own mini-pizzas in the near future, but that will require a bit of grocery shopping, so I'm pretty sure that project isn't happening this week.

Tonight what I'm really craving (again...*sigh*) is a really good moist brownie. This does not help my weight loss efforts in the least, and I'm so ridiculously close to my goal that I almost want to just fast for a day to be there. Not a healthy choice AT ALL, but I'm less than a pound away!! Anyway, my body is rebelling and begging for baked goods. Damn winter for triggering my desire to carbo-load and hibernate! Still if anyone has a truly magnificent brownie recipe, please let me know. :)

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