Three-Mushroom Teriyaki Stir-fry

The Three-Mushroom Teriyaki Stir-fry from The Art of Living Well is somewhat of a staple in our house. It is published in a cookbook of the same name that I received as a gift a couple of years ago but is also conveniently on the author’s website. I’m always a little hesitant to buy so many mushrooms, but they always cook down to a manageable amount for 3-4 servings. The brown sugar, rice vinegar, soya sauce mix is a little bit gnarly to clean, but it smells quite fantastic so it balances out.

Here is a picture from our dinner!

Sesame seeds totally make the dish — do not skimp out on those!

Roasted Carrots with Honey Butter

We hosted my sister, her husband, and her kiddo for Easter dinner this year and made: turkey, roasted potatoes, feta strawberry sunflower seed salad, and Roasted Carrots with Honey Butter from the Eating In The Middle cookbook. The carrots I have made many times before, but if you’ve never had roasted carrots with honey butter, you should definitely try it out the next time you’re cooking something in the oven for an hour so. While it takes a while, they are positively delicious and use relatively few dishes to prepare!

Here is a picture of our dinner:

Tasty, tasty Easter dinner!

Week Six Meal Plan

After a busy weekend, our busy-ness continues with something scheduled every evening Monday-Friday; This week is a week for quick meals! Here is a summary of what we plan on eating this week:

Snack: Italian Ricotta Cookies from Love Bakes Good Cakes

Sunday: Turkey, Roasted potatoes, Feta Strawberry Sunflower Seed Salad, and Roasted Carrots with Honey Butter from the Eating In The Middle cookbook
Monday: Three-Mushroom Teriyaki Stir-fry from The Art of Living Well
Tuesday: Pasta, sausage, and more of the Jamie Oliver 7-Veg Tomato Sauce
Wednesday: Hamburgers and sweet potato fries from Center Cut Cook
Thursday: Lemon Roasted Chicken With Moroccan Couscous from Food Republic [didn’t make it last week and froze the chicken for this week]
Friday: Dinner out
Saturday: Chicken Broccoli Noodle Casserole from Skinnytaste

Some inspirational photos:

These Italian Ricotta Cookies are super soft and absolutely delicious. They are sure to become a favorite!

Italian Ricotta Cookies from Love Bakes Good Cakes

 

Roasted carrots with honey butter, a light, simple and irresistible side dish! cookieandkate.com

Roasted Carrots with Honey Butter from the Eating In The Middle cookbook

 

three-mushroom-teriyaki-stir-fry

Three-Mushroom Teriyaki Stir-fry from The Art of Living Well

7-veg tomato sauce

Jamie Oliver 7-Veg Tomato Sauce

 

baked sweet potato fries 5

Sweet potato fries from Center Cut Cook

 

Chicken Broccoli Noodle Casserole from Skinnytaste

5 Ways to Start Your Weekly Meal Plan

Sometimes the hardest part to anything is getting started. For me and exercising, I find that once I put my exercise clothes on, I’m 100% more likely to go out. Likewise, with meal planning, settling on something to start with for the week helps to get the ball rolling. Here are some strategies I’ve used that you may want to try for planning your meals for the week!

1. Shop Local

We’re approaching the time of year when a Saturday morning trip to the Farmer’s Market becomes the perfect way to start a meal plan. When the Farmer’s Markets are a little less exciting, I’ll replace this with a short trip to one of the more gourmet grocery stores instead. 1/2 a bushel of fresh fava beans available? Time to find a recipe for fava beans. Six zucchini for $2? Time to plan some meals featuring zucchini. Fancy pancy cheese half price? Time to find a recipe to use up some inexpensive but super tasty cheese.

2. Shop Flyers

There is little sense in planning four beef dishes in a week if you have no beef and beef is not on sale anywhere, at least if you would prefer not to spend a tonne on groceries for the week! Perusing the flyers and planning your meals around the most inexpensive proteins for the week will help you stay on budget and give you a starting point to choose meals from.

3. Don’t Shop at All

Creating an inventory from what you have on hand can inspire meals using items on hand. There’s also nothing quite like freeing up space in the freezer by working your way through items your past self thought worth saving. From frozen meat and vegetables, to pantry items, to fresh items on their way out, there is often a lot of food to work from in your own home once you go looking for it.

4. Work With a Theme

Start with setting aside one day for a meatless meal (Hello, Meatless Monday’s!), one for chicken, one for beef, one for pasta, one for pasta, one for something egg-based, one for a slow-cooker meal, one for dinner out, one for tacos (that one’s for my sister!), etc.. I use this strategy most regularly in conjunction with the others.

5. Peruse Other Meal Plans

Whether they are my own (harmless, self-promotion here: http://eatingtheinternet.ca/category/meal-plans/), from a favourite cooking site (one of my favourites is: http://www.skinnytaste.com/meal-plans/), or maybe even a bank of your own standards, there’s no sense in reinventing the wheel. Even if you don’t end up following what someone else has created 100%, use it for inspiration!

What strategies do you use when meal planning? Perhaps try something new, and let me know how it goes!

 

Maple-Crusted Salmon

Lenny has been quite busy preparing for his defense April 21, and last week when I asked what traditional Easter foods he might like to have, he was only half listening and heard “what Eastern foods would you like?” This joke has carried on for a few days but today we finally made his requested Easter dish: fish on Good Friday.

The Maple-Crusted Salmon from Foodie Crush proved fairly easy to make, tasted delicious, and required minimal clean up. I will warn you in advance, if you skip putting the fish on tin foil you will be sorely upset with the amount of clean up. Using the recommended tin foil on the other hand, made clean-up a breeze!

Here are a couple photos of our fancy Good Friday dinner!

Finally, some good natural light for a dinner photo! I love that the days are becoming longer. Feta, instead of butter, on steamed vegetables is one of my new favourite things to do.

Fancy dinner to celebrate the end of Lenny’s first week at work!

 

Slow Cooker Jambalaya

This week I made the Slow Cooker Jambalaya from Budget Bytes. I accidentally put in 1 tbsp of cayenne pepper instead of 1 tbsp of paprika (they looked the same at 7am…). It fortunately (?) made a large number of portions, but Lenny loved having something spicier so that worked out well. I tend to find many slow cooker meals mushy, but the cured meat and rice stood up really well so if this is something that also prevents you from using your slow cooker more often, you may want to try out this recipe. I foresee revisiting this recipe in the future with a more appropriate amount of spice!

Can you smell the spice from there?

 

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes

Last weekend I finally made the Ham and Scalloped Potatoes from Just a Pinch. It was a bit of a dudd. I didn’t cook the potatoes for long enough and I didn’t properly follow the recipe in terms of mixing the butter and flour first. I will probably try it again in a bit, but if someone else gets to it first, please let me know how it goes!

“A” for effort. There is nothing quite like cooking something for about an hour only for it to not turn out.

 

Week Five Meal Plan

This week will by the hubster’s first week at his new job so I’ve planned for a few quicker meals ones that I can make on my own in case he’s more tired than normal 😉

Here are our plans for this week:

Snack: Iced Oatmeal Cookies from Mother Thyme

Monday: Gnocchi and Jamie Oliver’s 7-Veg Tomato Sauce (thankfully, made weeks ago so from our freezer!)
Tuesday: Slow Cooker Jambalaya from Budget Bytes
Wednesday: Three Mushroom Teriyaki Stir Fry from Art of Living Well
Thursday: Dinner Out
Friday: Maple-Crusted Salmon from Foodie Crush
Saturday: Lemon Roasted Chicken With Moroccan Couscous from Food Republic

Iced Oatmeal Cookies | www.motherthyme.com

Iced Oatmeal Cookies from Mother Thyme

7-veg tomato sauce

Gnocchi and Jamie Oliver’s 7-Veg Tomato Sauce

Slow Cooker Jambalaya has all the big flavor of the classic Louisiana dish with half the effort. BudgetBytes.com

Slow Cooker Jambalaya from Budget Bytes

Maple-Crusted Salmon | foodiecrush.com

Maple-Crusted Salmon from Foodie Crush

Lemon Roasted Chicken With Moroccan Couscous

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Tonight’s dinner was the Baked Macaroni and Cheese recipe from Rachel Cooks. It was super simple to put together, easy on the number of dishes to put it altogether, and tasted pretty good. Next time I might throw some broccoli into it though to make it a smidgen healthier and tastier; I found it a bit bland. Here are a couple pictures:

Toasted to perfection!

A close-up of my lunch for the next few days 😉