Final Weekly Meal Plan: Dec 22-28, 2014

This will be the last time I post a weekly meal plan on this blog.

I’ve been writing these posts for almost three years (since March 2012) with only a few short breaks. Including this one, my meal plans category has 123 posts.

I decided to stop posting weekly because I realized I’ve been recycling a lot of the same meals, just in a different order. Believe me, there’s nothing wrong with this! I’m proud of the long list of meals I’ve discovered and now cook on a regular basis. I could make something new every night for over six weeks without repeating anything, and it would be easy to do because I’ve made them all multiple times in the past.

I recently collected these 45 meals into two posts: Top 20 CrockPot Meals and Top 25 Weeknight Dinners.

This means my favorite meals — the ones I make all the time — are now consolidated. I don’t need to write about them every week because whatever I’m making is very likely included in one of those two posts.

You may have noticed those posts link back to my original blog, zandria.us, which has existed since 2002. Three years ago I convinced myself that writing about food would be too much of a departure from subjects I’d written about in the past, so I decided to start a brand new blog — this one. In hindsight, I wish I would have kept everything in one spot.

I’m not going to delete this blog, but I’ll make a decision at some point if I’ll still post here occasionally (like when I want to write about new meals I haven’t made before), or if I’ll just write about food topics on zandria.us. If you’re interested in reading about happenings in my daily life, my travels, what I’m reading, etc, feel free to follow me over there.

And now, here we go! The final weekly meal plan:

Monday: Turkey Zucchini Meatballs with Curry Sauce

Turkey Zucchini Meatballs with Curry Sauce

Changes: 1) Didn’t add green onions or kaffir lime leaves; 2) Used regular coconut milk instead of light (I also use the full can because the meatballs don’t have enough sauce otherwise).

Tuesday: CrockPot Pork Ragu

Changes: 1) Didn’t sear the pork in advance (just added the meat and spices directly to the CrockPot); 2) Didn’t add grated carrots.

Wednesday: Christmas Eve dinner with family

I contributed two desserts: Chocolate-covered Peanut Butter Balls (recipe received from a friend) and Peppermint Bark.

Peanut Butter Balls and Peppermint Bark

Thursday: Christmas dinner with family

My mother-in-law made ham and mashed potatoes. I made four dishes; three of them were recipes received from family members and one from a friend: my mom’s Sweet Potato Casserole, my sister Angela’s Baked Macaroni and Cheese (not gluten free), my sister Elissa’s Beet Salad with Arugula, Blue Cheese and Walnuts, and my friend Jaclyn’s Citrus Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

(Beet salad shown below)

Beet Salad with Arugula, Blue Cheese and Walnuts

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Out to dinner

Sunday: Cuban Picadillo

Weekly Meal Plan: Dec 15-21, 2014

Monday: Country Captain Chicken

Tuesday: Smoked Salmon and Spinach Quiche

First time making this recipe. I liked it! Very simple to make. It would have tasted even better with cheese, so if you’re not following a Paleo eating plan I’d add some.

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: CrockPot Chicken Tikka Masala

Changes: 1) Used dried cilantro instead of fresh; 2) Used coconut milk instead of heavy cream.

Friday: Paleo Turkey Satay Burgers

Changes: 1) Used 1.5 lb turkey; 2) Used minced garlic rather than grated; 3) Didn’t add green onion; 4) Cooked broccoli slaw for a bit in the hot pan (after cooking the burgers) to soften, instead of serving it raw.

Paleo Turkey Satay Burgers with Broccoli Slaw

Saturday: Sausage and Pumpkin Pasta

I made this for my husband and in-laws. They ate their servings with rice pasta; I had mine over CrockPot Spaghetti Squash.

Sausage and Pumpkin Pasta

Sunday: CrockPot Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Cuban Picadillo

This is a simple meal, but also very good. I make it often and have since come up with different proportions from the original recipe so I wanted to post it here.

Cuban Picadillo

Cuban Picadillo

(Adapted from Tessa the Domestic Diva)

1.5 lbs ground turkey (could also use ground beef)
1 onion, chopped
1-2 bell peppers, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup raisins
3 Tbsp capers
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 – 1+ cups chicken broth

Cook the ground beef until brown. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic, and cook until veggies are softened. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a low simmer and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes. Serve with brown rice.

Weekly Meal Plan: Dec 8-14, 2014

Monday: West African Chicken Stew (from Well Fed 2)

Changes: 1) Used almond butter instead of sesame seed butter; 2) Used jarred minced ginger instead of fresh; 3) Didn’t add water (I doubled the recipe and used a full 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes instead) or suggested garnishes.

Tuesday: Spiced Pork Chops with Apples

I’ve made this once before but it was back in November 2012. Tasty!

Wednesday: Yum-Yum Fish Stew

Fish Stew

Thursday: CrockPot Chicken Curry with Sweet Potatoes, Tomato and Raisins

Changes: 1) Used 2 lbs chicken instead of three, 2) Used 1/2 can full-fat coconut milk instead of yogurt; 3) Didn’t add agave nectar.

Friday: Salmon Pasta with Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce

Salmon Pasta with Vodka Cream Sauce

Saturday: Out to dinner for our 1st wedding anniversary

Sunday: CrockPot Chicken & Pumpkin Curry with Apple & Sweet Potatoes

Changes: 1) Didn’t add coconut sugar or spinach; 2) Only added one sweet potato (instead of three).

Weekly Meal Plan: Dec 1-7, 2014

Monday: Snacks in the car

Paul and I drove to Virginia to spend Thanksgiving with my family the week before, so we were on the road all day.

Tuesday: Easy Pasta Bolognese

I went grocery shopping after work so I needed something easy (but delicious) to put together.

Wednesday: Chicken Taco Salad

Ingredients I used for my plate: shredded green leaf lettuce, diced chicken (cooked with homemade taco seasoning), diced red bell pepper, olives, and guacamole. Paul had the same but added ranch/salsa dressing, corn, and tortilla chips.

Thursday: CrockPot Thai Chicken Stew

I ate my portion by itself but Paul had his with rice.

Changes: 1) Used chicken breast (cut into small pieces) instead of beef; 2) Didn’t cook meat or veggies in advance (just dumped it all in the CrockPot at once); 3) Didn’t add jicama or carrots (I did add 1 lb broccoli – a frozen bag that I thawed, then added to the CrockPot at end of cooking time).

CrockPot Thai Chicken Stew

Friday: Ratatouille

Saturday: Tacos

Sunday: Citrus Carnitas

First time making this recipe. I had my in-laws over for dinner and it was a huge hit. I served it with steamed broccoli (my preference) and a side of pasta (for the others). The meat had a great flavor that I’d never experienced before; it also didn’t require any additional seasoning or sauce.

The only annoying part about cooking a pork shoulder is removing the fat — that task took about 30 minutes because I tend to be thorough (I don’t remove all of the fat, which is impossible, but I do remove the large/obvious chunks). The reaction to the meat was so positive though, I’ll definitely have to make it again.

Weekly Meal Plan: Nov 17-23, 2014

I made three CrockPot meals this week because I wanted free time when I got home from work to unpack my new house. There’s still a lot to do but I made a dent! And I still managed to make FOUR new recipes.

Monday: West African Chicken Stew (from Well Fed 2)

New recipe #1. This was excellent! The almond butter gave the sauce some creaminess and it had a nice kick due to the cayenne. I’d definitely make it again.

Changes: 1) Used almond butter instead of sesame seed butter; 2) Used jarred minced ginger instead of fresh; 3) Didn’t add water (I doubled the recipe and used a full 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes instead) or suggested garnishes.

Tuesday: CrockPot Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos

Changes: 1) Used 2 lbs pork tenderloin but didn’t double the amount of sauce; 2) Didn’t add brown sugar. Paul ate his with flour tortillas but I just ate the meat alongside guacamole.

CrockPot Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos

Wednesday: CrockPot Thai Chicken Stew

New recipe #2. Mmm, I really liked this. This is a definite make-again.

Changes: 1) Used chicken breast (cut into small pieces) instead of beef; 2) Didn’t cook meat or veggies in advance (just dumped everything into the CrockPot at once); 3) Used jarred minced ginger instead of fresh; 4) Didn’t add jicama or carrots (I did add broccoli).

Thursday: CrockPot Chicken & Pumpkin Curry with Apple & Sweet Potatoes

New recipe #3. This was much better than I expected. I would make this again, too.

Changes: 1) Didn’t add coconut sugar or spinach; 2) Only added one sweet potato (instead of three); 3) Cooked the onions and apples on the stovetop when I got home from work, then added those ingredients to the CrockPot once the cooking time had ended. Not because I thought it would be better that way – I just didn’t have time to do the chopping before I left for work that morning.

Friday: Paleo Turkey Satay Burgers

Changes: 1) Used 1.5 lb turkey; 2) Used minced garlic rather than grated; 3) Didn’t add green onion.

Paleo Turkey Satay Burgers with Broccoli Slaw

Saturday: Fiesta Pork Chops

New recipe #4. This was okay, but I wasn’t wowed by the sauce. I kinda wanted the sauce to be spectacular (especially on a Saturday when I exert more effort on my meals than I do during the week), but it didn’t quite come through.

Changes: Used coconut oil instead of ghee

Sunday: Leftovers

Weekly Meal Plan: Nov 10-16, 2014

I was busy packing up my house last week for a move into a new house (yay!). I decided to pull out a bunch of old staples so I wouldn’t have to think about what I was doing.

Monday: CrockPot Red Curry Pork with Pickles

CrockPot Red Curry Pork with Pickles

Tuesday: CrockPot Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Wednesday: Chicken Taco Salad

Ingredients I used for my plate: shredded green leaf lettuce, diced chicken (I cooked it with homemade taco seasoning), diced red bell pepper, olives, and guacamole. Paul added ranch/salsa dressing, corn, and tortilla chips to his plate.

Thursday: CrockPot Pork Ragu

Changes: 1) Didn’t sear the pork in advance (just added the meat and spices directly to the CrockPot); 2) Didn’t add grated carrots; 3) Didn’t add red wine.

Paul ate his with rice noodles; I had mine with lettuce.

Friday: CrockPot Creamy Red Shrimp & Tomato Curry

CrockPot Creamy Red Shrimp and Tomato Curry

Saturday: Tacos

Sunday: Leftovers

Weekly Meal Plan: Nov 3-9, 2014

Monday: Yum-Yum Fish Stew

Changes: 1) Didn’t add butter; 2) Used chicken broth instead of white wine

Tuesday: Easy Pasta Bolognese

I ate my pasta with sautéed cabbage; Paul had his with rice noodles.

Weeknight Bolognese with Penne Rice Noodles

Wednesday: CrockPot Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast

First time making this. Very good! I made a number of changes but it turned out really well; I’d definitely make it again.

Changes: 1) Used 2 lb pork tenderloin (didn’t have beef); 2) Didn’t add Aleppo pepper to seasoning mix; 3) Used chicken broth instead of beef broth; 4) Substituted dates for the figs (couldn’t find figs in the dried fruit section of my grocery store).

Thursday: Tacos

Friday: Asian Almond Chicken Salad

I added the sauce ingredients from this recipe to three cups of shredded chicken and ate it with green apple slices.

Saturday: Out to dinner

Sunday: Cuban Picadillo

Cuban Picadillo

Weekly Meal Plan: Oct 27 – Nov 2, 2014

Monday: Ratatouille

Tuesday: Chicken Taco Salad

Ingredients I used for my plate: shredded green leaf lettuce, diced chicken cooked with homemade taco seasoning, red bell pepper, mushrooms, olives, and guacamole. Paul added salsa/ranch dressing, corn, tortilla chips to his plate.

Chicken Taco Salad

Wednesday: CrockPot Pear Ginger Pork from The Paleo Slow Cooker

New recipe #1. Verdict: Pretty good! I doubled the recipe but next time wouldn’t double the amount of liquid; there was too much.

Changes: 1) Used 2 lb pork tenderloin instead of pork chops; 2) Used combination of white wine and chicken broth instead of just one; 3) Didn’t add honey (I’m glad I didn’t because it was plenty sweet without it).

Thursday: CrockPot Thai Chicken Curry

New recipe #2. Verdict: Very good! Next time I would add more meat because there was more sauce than everything else. I’d add more veggies, too.

Changes: 1) Used two chicken breasts (cut into bite-size pieces) instead of beef; 2) Used almond butter instead of peanut butter; 3) Didn’t add brown sugar or bamboo shoots; 4) Substituted arrowroot powder for the cornstarch.

Friday: Cuban Picadillo

I ate this with sautéed cabbage.

Cuban Picadillo

Saturday: Thai-Inspired Salmon

I hadn’t made this in over a year. Too long!

Changes: 1) Didn’t add scallions, lemongrass or green beans; 2) Used a full can of full-fat coconut milk.

Sunday: CrockPot Pork Tikka Masala

Changes: 1) Used 2 lb pork tenderloin that I shredded after cooking (instead of using chicken); 2) Doubled the amount of sauce so there was more liquid; 3) Used dried cilantro instead of fresh; 4) Served with rice noodles for my husband and his parents (I had mine with sautéed cabbage).

Whole30 Take Two, Days 23-30

My second Whole30 is done! I’ll write a recap post later but for now, here is the final food log.

**************************************

Day 23, Monday Oct 20

Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs + leftover chicken breast + raw carrots

Lunch: Bora Bora Fireballs + Caramelized Coconut Chips

Dinner: CrockPot Chicken Tikka Masala + sautéed cabbage

This was good! I’ve made Tikka Masala in the CrockPot before, but this was my first time using this particular recipe. I liked it better.

Changes: 1) Used 2 lb chicken that I shredded after cooking (rather than leaving in bite-size pieces); 2) Doubled the amount of sauce; 3) Didn’t add coconut milk or cilantro; 4) Served with rice noodles for my husband.

**************************************

Day 24, Tuesday Oct 21

Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs + Bora Bora Fireballs

Lunch: CrockPot Chicken Tikka Masala + sautéed cabbage

Snack: Caramelized coconut chips + almond butter

Dinner: Cauliflower Puttanesca (no pasta, of course) + extra olives

Cauliflower Pasta Puttanesca

**************************************

Day 25, Wednesday Oct 22

Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs + CrockPot Chicken Tikka Masala with sautéed cabbage

Lunch: CrockPot Chicken Tikka Masala + sauteed cabbage

Dinner: CrockPot Pumpkin Turkey Chili

**************************************

Day 26, Thursday Oct 23

Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs + Cauliflower Puttanesca (no pasta)

Lunch: CrockPot Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Snack: Caramelized coconut chips

Dinner: Paleo Chicken Curry + sauteed cabbage

First time making this. It was good, but not regular-rotation worthy. I enjoyed the addition of the veggies. I used diced chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs.

**************************************

Day 27, Friday Oct 24

Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs + Cauliflower Puttanesca (no pasta)

Snack: Apple + caramelized coconut chips

Lunch: Paleo Chicken Curry + sauteed cabbage

Snack: Banana + almond butter

Dinner: Paleo Turkey Satay Burgers + Broccoli Slaw

First time making this. I really enjoyed it and would definitely make it again. Paul liked it as well.

Changes: 1) Used 1.5 lb ground turkey; 2) Added a bit of fish sauce to the almond butter sauce instead of coconut aminos.

The broccoli slaw came from a bag; I didn’t make that from scratch. I cooked it on the stovetop in coconut oil for about five minutes to soften it.

Paleo Turkey Satay Burgers with Broccoli Slaw

**************************************

Day 28, Saturday Oct 25

Breakfast: Paleo Turkey Satay Burgers (no sauce) + sautéed cabbage

Lunch: 3 scrambled eggs + taco seasoned ground turkey

Snack: Caramelized coconut chips, banana with almond butter

Dinner: Turkey Zucchini Meatballs with Curry Sauce + raw sunflower seeds

I made this for the first time a few weeks ago and liked it so much I had to make it again.

Changes: 1) Didn’t add green onions or kaffir lime leaves (didn’t have any); 2) Used regular coconut milk instead of light (full can).

**************************************

Day 29, Sunday Oct 26

Breakfast: CrockPot Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Lunch: Turkey Zucchini Meatballs with Curry Sauce + raw sunflower seeds

Dinner: CrockPot Red Curry Pork with Pickles

**************************************

Day 30, Monday Oct 27

Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs, black olives, caramelized coconut chips

Lunch: Taco-seasoned ground turkey with steamed broccoli

Dinner: Ratatouille

Ratatouille