Meal Plan Monday

My meal planning and grocery shopping was pretty easy for this week because luckily I bought more than enough food on my last grocery trip. Also, almost every week there is one day that I have planned a meal that I don’t end up making. This is usually because I’m either too lazy to cook or I’m just not in the mood for that particular food. That’s the only problem I run into with meal planning. You can’t really predict what you’ll be craving or in the mood for ahead of time. I usually move that food into next weeks meal plan if I don’t end up making it. I did that this week with the Pan Roasted Chicken with Mushrooms and Rosemary which I ended up cooking tonight instead of last Wednesday.

I am still following the elimination diet although I have to admit that I am really over it! I also have to admit that I drank coffee today (which is not allowed) and it was DELICIOUS! And now I want more. I’m not disappointed in myself to be honest. I stuck with it pretty religiously for 23 days with only one or two minor slip ups. I’m still going to add things back gradually to see how I react, but I’m pretty positive I’m drinking coffee tomorrow too….and the next day and the day after that and everyday until I die (or get pregnant or want to torture myself with another elimination diet). As for now though, my meal plans are suitable for someone on an elimination diet (minus the coffee).

Click here for this weeks meal plan.

Spa salad from Roly Poly. A healthy, fast lunch idea for when meal planning is a fail.

Spa salad from Roly Poly. A healthy, fast lunch idea for when meal planning is a fail.

Recipes

Italian Turkey, Bean, and Spinach Soup

I really enjoyed this recipe. It tasted like some kind of delicious Italian pasta dish, but without the pasta and in soup form. It had tons of flavor! I, sadly, left the parmesan cheese out in an effort to stick with my diet, but I’m sure that would have made it even better. I found this recipe from Pinterest from this really great blog. Click the link above to check it out. Her pictures will make you want to make this soup ASAP!

Chicken and White Bean Chili

This recipe is from my It’s All Good cookbook, but I’m sure you can find similar recipes online if you search. I haven’t made this before, but hopefully it will be yummy.

Caesar Salad with Gluten free pasta and chicken with Paleo Caesar dressing

This is pretty self-explanatory, but it is basically this recipe with a few adjustments to suit my “diet”.

Then for the dressing I am going to TRY to make my own using this recipe. We’ll see how it turns out. I’m a little nervous/grossed out by the anchovy aspect.

Crock pot Balsamic Chicken

I have made this once before and I really liked it, but I just forgot about it. It’s another one I found while searching Pinterest. It’s made in the crock pot, so the chicken turns out SO tender and delicious. For another option, Lynda has her own Balsamic chicken recipe that you guys should check out.

One of my go-to meals for when I don't feel like cooking. Wild caught salmon and steamed green beans.

One of my go-to meals for when I don’t feel like cooking. Wild caught salmon and steamed green beans.

Well, that’s my meal plan for this week. I hope you got some foodspiration or at least found some new blogs to check out from this! I am thinking about doing a healthy meal plan for men for next week. I am going to TRY to make a meal plan for my (very picky, meat and potatoes loving) boyfriend that is healthy, but still satisfying to him. Would you guys be interested in something like that? It’s going to be a challenge! Anyway, thanks for reading!

Bows and Arrows,

Ashley

Lynda’s Balsamic Chicken Recipe

So you have a giant bottle of balsamic vinegar in your pantry and you want to know how else to use it besides as a salad dressing?  Well, you’ve come to the right place, because I use balsamic vinegar in many of my own recipes, and I thought I’d go ahead and share one with you now!

For this dish in particular, I generally add a lot of liquid in order to have somewhat of a sauce to use on rice or pasta as my side dish.  But if you wish to skip out on the carbs, feel more than welcome to drain your diced tomatoes, to make a more hearty main course.

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Ingredients

1 Whole Onion, diced

Chicken Breasts (I usually do between 2 and 4), thawed

1 Can Diced Tomatoes

2/3 Cup Balsamic Vinegar

Approx. 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 teaspoon Oregano

1 teaspoon Rosemary

1 teaspoon Basil

1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

Garlic Salt

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Let me just start off and say that when I cook, and make up my own recipes, I never measure anything.  So I went to a length to take measurements just for you guys, and if I forgot to measure out something, I’m sorry!

How to Prepare:

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Step 1: Take thawed chicken breasts and cut into small pieces, equalling about 1 cubic inch and place into a mixing bowl.  Coat the chicken breasts with a decent amount of garlic salt, but don’t get too carried away (this is where I didn’t measure, so use your best judgment).  Set aside.

Step 2:  Take your onion and dice it up into small pieces, or big ones if you prefer, it’s really up to you.  I do small pieces because I think it makes the overall flavor better per bite.

Step 3:  In a Saute pan, on high heat, add your 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Once pan is hot enough, reduce to medium heat and add onions to pan.  Stir onions frequently until they begin to brown.  Once onions begin to brown, immediately add your diced chicken breasts  to pan and begin to cook.

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Step 4: Continue moving onions and chicken around in pan and make sure you are cooking all sides of the chicken evenly.  Once chicken is no longer pink in any areas, move to Step 5.  This usually takes around 5 to 7 minutes.

Step 5:  Once chicken is no longer pink, add entire can of diced tomatoes to pan and stir.  If you don’t want a sauce, drain the can of diced tomatoes first.

Step 6:  Add 2/3 cup of balsamic vinegar to pan, along with the combination of all spices.  Stir.

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Step 7: Reduce to medium-low heat and cover for approximately 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing the chicken to soak in the tomato juice and balsamic vinegar.

Step 8 (Optional): If you wish to use a pasta or rice, I generally make it ahead of time, and then add it to the pan while I have it simmering on medium-low heat, to allow rice or pasta to absorb the sauce.

Step 9: Serve!

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Hopefully, some of you can try this out, and let me know what you think!

Bows and Arrows,

Lynda

 

What I Ate Wednesday, 2/5/14

Ok, I failed at putting this up last night, or even writing it for that matter.  This is because after I finished dinner, I got into a super crazy woman cleaning mode, which means I had the urge to start deep-cleaning the kitchen.  Don’t ask me why.  It just came over me, and I wasn’t going to ignore it, because that mood happens essentially once in a lifetime.  So forgive me.

 Breakfast

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I had an early start to my day and had to drop my dog child off at the groomers at 7am, so I stopped by Starbucks and ordered myself a Tall Caramel Macchiato with extra foam.  This was the start to my day.

Around 9am, Ashley and I ventured to a small little bakery in downtown Raleigh, called Yellow Dog Bread Company, for breakfast, and it was absolutely phenomenal! Between the two of us, we split a spinach, feta, bacon bread, and I had an 8 oz  coffee with cream to go with it.  I also ate a bite of the Maple Bacon Scone I bought for myself to have for breakfast today (and it was so so sooo delicious!).

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 In between breakfast and lunch, I drank 16 oz of water.

 Lunch

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For lunch, Ashley and I walked my dog child to the food trucks on Centennial Campus, and I got food from the Chirba Chirba Food Truck, which I have been to many times before, and have always loved.  Yay eating locally today!  My lunch consisted of their glass noodles, which are vegan, and 6 of their dumplings known as “Juicy Buns” which are stuffed with minced pork and scallions.  I dipped them in my own sauce from home, which is a salad dressing that I always use as a dipping sauce.  It is from the brand Old Cape Cod, and it’s a Toasted Sesame and Soy Ginger Dressing.  I drank water with my lunch.

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 Snack

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I bought this Chai Spice Cookie from Yellow Dog Bread Company, and essentially inhaled it as my snack.  One of the best cookies I think I’ve ever had.

Dinner

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For dinner, I made my own recipe, which I just call Balsamic Chicken.  The link to this recipe in detail is here.  I usually make it and pair it with either pasta, or with rice.  We had leftover white rice from Chinese take-out in the fridge, so I decided to just add that to the pan and make it an entire dish on its own, as opposed to serving them separately.  I also made some Steamfresh Corn from the frozen section just to add in another veggie.

My drink was a homemade cream soda, which I have linked the recipe to here.  It looks gross, because it’s white, but I promise you, it is delicious.

After Dinner Snack

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After dinner, while I was vigorously cleaning the kitchen, I drank some Perrier sparkling water mixed with a Grape Zero Calorie Propel Packet.  So it essentially tasted like Grape Soda, but it was just water!  #Winning.  Just kidding.  Only a little.  And I ate a banana.

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Once I decided to stop cleaning the kitchen like a crazy lady, I sat down and ate the rest of this Chanelle Cake from the Grand Asia Market in Cary.  These cakes are always so delicious.  They are soft and spongy, always super moist, and overall just like little clouds for your tummy!

So that concludes my adventurous day in food!

Bows and Arrows,

Lynda