One of my goals this year is to eat healthier. No big surprise there, right? Doesn’t everybody say that at the beginning of a new year? I know it’s kind of generic, but I’m such an all or nothing girl when it comes to food and exercise. I’m sticking to a plan and really prioritizing, or I just fall off the bandwagon altogether, give up, and eat pure junk. I really like the way I feel when I eat less processed food, and I actually enjoy cooking and knowing exactly what’s in the foods I eat. The problem is that if I don’t PLAN to eat healthy, I won’t. And I’m NOT a planner by nature. I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, figure-out-what’s-for-dinner-at-5:00 kind of girl, and I don’t always like that about myself. It can make for a hectic evening, and I don’t feel like it’s always fair to my family. The boys like to eat kind of early so they have time to play and chill after dinner. They hate eating and going straight to bed (we’re fairly early bedtime people). So, I stumbled across this little Weekly Menu template, and I’ve given it a try this week. So far I really, really like it! It’s kind of nice having it all planned out (Brad will never let me live those words down. He’s SUCH a planner….we’re so different!). Anyway, I took the boys to a bookstore Sunday afternoon, and while they perused the latest literary works for tween boys I came up with this meal plan for the week. I even added several new recipes to it, too (thank you, Pinterest).
As I planned each meal I added the ingredients I needed to my grocery list. It was so nice to have a list ready when I went to the store and to only get the things we needed. Y’all probably do that already, but to me it was a big deal! I bought a few items I’d never purchased before, and all the boys just shook their heads as I unloaded the stash onto the kitchen counter. I’m not sure they’re as excited about the whole heathy eating thing as I am.
Here are a few of the recipes I made this week. None of them are mine. They were all “pinned” to my Pinterest board from other websites, so I can’t take credit for any of them.
I made this Quinoa Cashew Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing for lunch on Monday. The boys thought it was disgusting, but Brad actually liked it, and I did, too. It makes about six servings, so I had it for lunch a couple of other days this week, too. It’s nice to have good quality food on hand for lunch that’s already prepared!
That afternoon I also made these No Bake Energy Bites. I substituted almond butter for the peanut butter since I have a kiddo with a peanut allergy, and I also used agave nectar instead of honey. Four out of the five of us liked them, so I thought that was pretty successful! I think they’re better after chilling in the fridge for 24+ hours. I made 2 dozen, and it’s been nice to have them to snack on when I crave something sweet….which is like all the time.
Another new recipe I tried was this White Chicken Chili which also includes Homemade Salsa Verde as an ingredient. You can buy a jar of salsa verde, but I thought it would be fun to make my own, and it was tasty! I tweaked the recipe a little and just blended everything in my Ninja instead of doing the whole mortar and pestle thing. Ain’t nobody got time for that. (Sweet Brown just never gets old…but I digress…)
I had made this Blueberry & Apple Baked Oatmeal several times before, but it had been a while. Y’all. It is so good. The original recipe calls for bananas, but me no likey, so I use apples instead. Seriously – it is so good. You need to try it.
I tried these Homemade Granola Bars for the first time, and I’ll definitely be making them again soon! I like the idea of having these and the energy bites on hand during the week when I want a little sweet snack. I made mine with agave nectar and almond butter, and next time I might add a handful of mini chocolate chips.
I posted about making these Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps a couple of years ago, and they’re really yummy! I made them again this week and ate them a couple of times for lunch. And they’re pretty, too, don’t you think?!
I’m sure I won’t try this many new recipes every week….but it was fun to experiment this week! I enjoyed being in the kitchen, and these recipes really weren’t very time consuming. I feel good about the fuel I’ve put in my body, and I hope to keep it up! I also track what I eat each day with MyFitnessPal, and I’ve added these recipes to my profile. It sounds like a lot of work, but everything’s easier with an app, right…and theirs works great! If you have a favorite recipe to share, I’d love to hear about it! Just leave a link in the comments section below. Happy weekend!