Meal Planning Week #2

Let’s just say that week #2 of Meal Planning wasn’t as successful as week #1. You win some you lose some.

What our week looked like … a.k.a. What really happened:

Sunday: Grilled Cheese – I didn’t have our meals planned out and it was a rushed day so I decided on an easy and quick meal for Lilly and I.  And, I couldn’t tell you what Hilary had for dinner but she did eat something healthy. Sai slept through dinner as he worked the night before, drove home (5 hours) and was out cold for 6 hours!

Monday: Butternut Squash Soup (frozen) – took it out of the freezer in the morning and had Olive bread from our Farmer’s Market. All four of us ate the soup – win win for Mommy 🙂

Tuesday: Vegan Sheppard’s Pie – Did not happen. What did happen? Well, Sai and I went grocery shopping…bad, BAD idea to shop together. You both have different plans, EVEN when you go in with a list*, it always changes. Being the person Sai is, he saw the store-made pizza’s were on sale and said “let’s get a pizza”. For a split second I thought, oh good lord tonight’s dinner will be easy…one pizza…already made. Then I remembered he was a vegan, dang! I got a pizza for Lilly and I, then we found a vegan pizza for Sai. Two pizza’s not on my meal plan, not on our grocery list!

*Always have a list when grocery shopping; it can keep you on track and ensure that you don’t buy “too much” stuff you don’t need.

Wednesday: Pork Chops, Sweet Potatoes, Brocoli and Cauliflower. This did not happen. Lilly had pasta/sauce, Sai made himself something and I didn’t eat anything because I was SO full from our lunch.

hilary telling daddy something

hilary mid bite

We went out for lunch with Hilary to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary. I know, I know, usually you go out kid-less but it wasn’t in our cards this year so we took Hilary to lunch with us. She always makes friends when we go anywhere and she was loving all the lights to look at. I hope Lilly never has a chance to read this blog – sorry love.

This is what I ate for lunch:

The most amazing Club House you’ve ever had and French Onion Soup.

Plus we had “wicked fries” as an app …. totally not healthy.

food union street

Thursday: Stir-fry (steak and veggies) – Nope. We had Pork Chops, sweet potatoes, brocoli and cauliflower.  And it was delicious. Sai left for PEI (work) so he ate when landed there.

Friday: Chicken Parmesan (frozen, made by my Aunt) – Yes. Again, delicious. Friday morning, I took Lilly to Halifax as she spent the weekend with her Grandparents and Aunt. Easy dinner for me and Hilary had left overs from Thursday.

Saturday: Nothing planned. I took out frozen pizza from the other day….meh…nothing special.

Week #3 meals are already planned, I just have to choose which day we are having what meal. I’ll save the vegan meals for when Sai comes home; unknown at this point which makes it hard to really plan what day we will eat vegan. Plus, I still need to pick up a few groceries….I’ll share the plan in a few days.

Week # 2 – slight fail.

Have you ever messed up your “meal planning”?

Do you grocery shop with your significant other?

Are you a list girl/list guy or do you just buy food on the fly?

Easy Russian Chicken Recipe

Last week I decided to sit down, make a Meal Plan for the week as part of my “Fall into Fitness Challenge” …. and hopefully stick to it. I have to say I am impressed with myself as I managed to stick to it with only one modification.

One of the meals I made was Russian Chicken, a recipe that I got from my Aunt…sure hope it’s okay to share this and it’s not a family secret 😉

Russian Chicken Recipe Pipers Run

Ingredients:

  • 6 pieces of chicken (I used 4 and it wasn’t enough)
  • Apricot Jam (Large)
  • Russian Salad Dressing (Large)
  • Onion Soup Mix (One package)
  • Rice (White, Brown, Basmati – any rice will do).

Directions:

  1. Boil or bake chicken until cooked, let cool and cut up into cubes.
  2. Mix together apricot jam, russian salad dressing and one package of the onion soup mix; put in large pan.
  3. Cover and put in the oven at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. (You want it to just start to boil but don’t burn it).
  4. Make rice (4-6 servings depending on how many you’ll be serving).
  5. Take out of oven and let sit/cool.
  6. Dish up rice and then cover with russian chicken
  7. Enjoy!

This recipe is so simple and my toddler actually eats it – WIN WIN for MOMMY! I didn’t try to make it vegan but if I did, this is what I would do.

Vegan Russian Chicken/Sausage:

  1. Same ingredients but I would swap out the real chicken for vegan meat such as sausages or fake vegan chicken.
  2. I would make the “sauce” and divided it into 1/2 (two pans)
  3. I would put the sauce and vegan meat of choice in one pan and the other pan would have real chicken.
  4. Rice – it’s vegan…your good there 🙂

A simple recipe and easy to make it vegan.

Enjoy!

 

Meal Planning {Fall into Fitness Challenge}

I’ve never really meal planned before. I’ve talked about it here when I was 9-10 weeks pregnant with Hilary. Word to the wise…..never talk about meal planning when you are pregnant. Why? Because you just want to eat everything or something VERY specific. I’ve never gone back to the idea of meal planning until now.

Since I am returning to work in a month I wanted to get a head start on some easy meals; slow cooker, family favourites and to try some new recipes. I also want to eat what’s in our freezer and get it 50% cleaned out before I try to fill it up again.

meal planning fall into fitness week 1

{What’s in my freezer: lots of veggies, fruit, MANY ice packs, various types of bread, ice cream (not mine), baby food, burgers, chicken, frozen pizza (well, we ate that last night), soup, chicken parmesan and a few other random things.}

I started the Fall into Fitness 30 Day Challenge yesterday and “meal planning” is one of my reasons for doing the challenge. Reason #2: I want to plan better meals for the whole week for my family, prepping for my return back to work from maternity leave.

Now that I have put that on the blog I kinda have to follow through with it…at least, that’s how I feel. This is what we are planning to eat this week:

Week 1 of Meal Planning Nov 4th to 10th (our 6th anniversary):

Monday: Russian Chicken with Basmati Rice (Chicken is out of the freezer and ingredients on the counter top ready to go)

Tuesday: Jalapeno Burgers and Spinach salad / Grilled Cheese for Lilly, as I know she will NOT go near the “hot” burgers. 

Wednesday: Chicken Parmesan (already made by a family member) with pasta.

Thursday: Fish, sweet potatoes and some other veggies.

Friday: Breakfast for dinner! Either cinnamon french toast (from scratch) or eggs/toast and fruit.

Saturday: Left overs OR if my Sai is home – out for dinner since it’s our anniversary on Sunday.

Sunday: Chicken a-la-King (Chicken with cream of mushroom/chicken soup, poultry spices on a pastry bun, basmati rice).

Sunday – Vegan option – Curry in a Hurry. If my husband is home that’s what he is having….just a head’s up for ya hunny 😉

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Making meals for my family isn’t always easy or fun. My husband is vegan; we have a toddler that is just starting to branch out and baby that’s dipping (literally) her hands into almost everything we put in front of her. Recently I wrote about what a meal can look like in our house, you can read more about it here.

I am thinking half the battle of meal planning is just choosing what your actually going to have … ahead of time.

If I can pull this off even for one week I’m thinking that’s pretty successful.

Wish me luck.

Do you meal plan?

Do you make extra and freeze it for one of those days when you don’t want to cook?

What’s your favourite meal to make?

 

 

Love at First Sight (or Sound)

Last night was your typical night for us. I picked up Lilly from day care, the girls played while I got dinner ready, we ate, I bathed the girls and put them to bed. Lilly helped me make our treat bags for Halloween by counting out the candies and putting them in the bag. She didn’t even ask to have one! Towards the end she got really generous with the candies….lucky treat-or-treaters 🙂

Halloween making treat bags

Late last night when the girls were asleep and I was trying to fall asleep and my husband arrived home around midnight. I heard the sound of his car backing in our driveway. Then our main door opened and I could barely hear his footsteps coming up the stairs. In between hearing his car and the door open I had butterflies in my stomach.

Oh, Love does funny things!

Hilary had woken about 10 minutes before this and was now sleeping beside me or so I thought. As Sai came into the bedroom I heard a thump, thump, thump. It was Maclean’s tail hitting the floor, she was happy Sai was home. When he climbed in bed Hilary instantly woke up and clapped her hands because Daddy was home.

Oh, Love does funny things!

We got Hilary back in her bed around 1:15 am and Lilly got up at 3:30 am to pee. She still didn’t know Sai was home and I managed to get her back in her room without noticing Daddy in bed!!!

Just after 7 this morning Lilly came in our room asking to go pee again and still didn’t notice Daddy yet! While in the bathroom I asked if she could climb in my bed and keep my side warm. When she got to the bed she laughed and was so excited to see her Daddy!

Oh, Love does funny things!

A sound or the sight of someone you love can sure make you feel great! Even for a dog!

Do you get excited when your loved one comes home?

How do your children react when their mom/dad comes home after being away for a while?

Do you think animals can love a human?

How to Survive Halloween with a Toddler and Baby

Halloween can be lots of fun for children of all ages and parents too. However, Halloween can also be scary for young children and a stressful time for some parents. Making sure you have the right costume, what treats to hand out, deciding who is going to take the kids trick-or-treating and who will stay home can make for a not-so-fun night for everyone.  Here are a few tips on surviving Halloween with small children:

How to Survive Halloween with a Toddler and a Baby

1. Prepare costume 1-2 days ahead. Test out your child’s costume a few days (or weeks) before to make sure it fits and they are comfortable in it. The last thing you need is a melt down about the costume. We have two costumes just in case its super cold outside or too warm at a house party.

2. Parents leave work early. If you can leave work and pick up your children early, do so. Even an extra 30-60 minutes can make the rest of your evening a little smoother. If you boss won’t allow you to leave, see if they will let you work an extra hour the day before or use up overtime hours to leave early.

3. Easy family dinner. Have your families’ favourite meal on Halloween. Whether it’s pizza, home-made mac n’ cheese, soup and sandwiches or something else. If it’s easy to make hopefully everyone will eat it and not fill up on too much candy later in the evening.

4. Dress up too but keep it simple….you’ve got a toddler and baby to focus on.

5. Talk about the night the day before and at breakfast. Remind them they will get dressed up, go outside to their neighbour’s houses, get candy (and say Thank you!), then return home.

6. Skip the bath! Again, just keep the night simple and don’t worry if you miss the bath for one night. A “wash cloth” bath can get them through one night just fine.

7. Set expectations around their candy. They may want to eat it all and that’s up to you if they can. Make sure you don’t eat too much of their candy.

8. Bring a “treat” to your child’s favourite neighbour. They won’t be expecting to receive anything and it gives your toddler a chance to surprise them!

9. Shut down for the night. You can either turn all your lights out and hope no one rings your door bell or leave a bowl of candy outside for late trick-or-treaters. This can avoid waking your little ones when they finally get to sleep.

10. Share your fun! Email, Facebook and Tweet to your family and friends fun pictures of your little ones! They are only little once.

Happy Halloween!

What are your “tricks” to a successful Halloween night with young children?

Ghosts, Gobblin’s and Candy

With Halloween approaching next week, it’s been nothing but Halloween costumes and candies in stores everywhere! Is it just me or is Halloween becoming more of a “Hallmark holiday” where companies just try to make the most profit they can? I’m still blown away at the number of decorations in stores … they think of everything!

When I was a kid I loved Halloween; dressing up, getting candy with friends, counting the candy at home, sorting the candy and yes eating it too. Now that I have two little girls I kinda don’t like Halloween! Eeekkk! Sorry to the Halloween lovers out there.

  1. I don’t like making costumes because I’m just not talented in that department.
  2. I don’t feel great about going door to door with my kids asking for candy. And by kids I mean my 3-year-old and almost 11 month old.
  3. I feel like “they” are trying to make Halloween as BIG as Christmas with all the massive blow-up yard animals etc. Is it really necessary ??? What happened to just pumpkins, leaves in pumpkin garbage bags and funky lights?

What I do like is the smile that is plastered all over my 3-year-old’s face as she puts on her costume and dances around in her own imaginative world for hours on end before and after Halloween. Lilly is such a kid – she really loves doing everything: dressing up, jumping in leaves, slip n’ slide in the summer, reading, crafts, playing in the snow and growing her imagination.

Lilly and her friend Jack last year:

(my not so awesome ladybug costume)

Lady bug & Gnome

We had our annual Halloween party this weekend from our prenatal group from 2010! It’s a fun time to get everyone together and see all the kids dressed up. This year Lilly has four parties to wear her costume to: day care party, 2 Halloween parties at friends’ houses and then Halloween night!  When I was a kid ( ha ha, that’s sounds funny) but when I was a kid, we did Halloween and maybe one party. Last year Hilary was doing time on the inside as I was 34 weeks pregnant. This will be her first Halloween and has two costumes!

Halloween 2013

Our group, Tinkerbell Lilly and Princess Hilary.

I look forward to the time with my girls on Halloween, seeing friends and neighbour’s and eating a little candy before moving on from this “event”, “festival? What is Halloween anyway?

Stay tunes on how to survive Halloween with toddlers and a baby!

Do you love / dislike Halloween?

What age did you stop trick-or-treating?

Do you go to Halloween parties? Best costume ?

Do you take your kids trick-or-treating or stay home and handout the candy ?

WIAW: A Vegan, Omnivore and a Toddler Eat Together.

What? Really, you say? Yes, we do! I thought this week’s WIAW would take on how we eat together (most days).

My husband is a vegan and I am not. I will never be a vegan because I love cheese, fish and some meats….and that’s okay. We are not raising our daughters to be vegans but will expose them to all foods as they grow up. When they are old enough and can decided what they want to eat or not eat and it will be their choice.The great thing about having a vegan, omnivore, toddler AND baby in the house is that we can make a variety of meals to suit everyone’s needs and eat healthy. I’ve written about my food philosophy before and am happy with the way we eat.

By now, you must be thinking “okay, so how do you make a meal for everyone to eat” ? Good question.

Some days I go all out making a vegan only meal. Some days I make a vegan meal and add meat. And other days I make a meat meal for Lilly and I, then let my husband figure out his own meal.  That’s life! I’ve shared one way I make everyone happy over at Thinking Outside The Sandbox – Family.

Introducing a baby to new foods is always fun. Hilary is now starting to eat more of the same meals we are which is awesome! She’s open to trying new foods and usually has a funny face that goes along with the new food.

Introducing a toddler to new foods is way more challenging than I ever thought. We try hard to provide healthy food but sometimes you just have to go with what is quick and what they will eat. Lilly has really surprised us with some foods:  she loves spicy pakora’s from the farmers market, hummus, pesto, and good cheese. She’ll never be vegan because she loves cheese way too much. She is slowly eating more veggie’s (spinach, red/green/yellow and orange peppers) beans and nuts.

This is what a meal can look like in our house:

1 meal three people

This was an obvious non-vegan / Sai make your own dinner night 🙂

Salmon, mashed potatoes, carrots, corn, peas and toasted rosemary bread.

And, this is another way a meal can look like in our house:

pizza

Home made pizza; chicken on the left and vegan tofurky sausage on the right.

Lilly’s bite size pizza not shown: small slider burger bun with sauce and cheese.

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 So, how to you meet the needs of your family’s food requirements?

What’s your favourite meal to make?