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A WEEKLY PLAN

Monday, November 30th, 2015

a weekly plan | Where is June?

I am bringing back a favorite series.  In the Kitchen- A Weekly Plan is written to help limit the stress that comes with putting a healthy dinner on the table.  With busy lives and kids’ practices and activities happening at all hours during the evening, dinner might be the only time we have to look each other in the eye and spend uninterrupted time together.  This post provides six meal ideas for you.  Pick and choose which recipes work for your family.  My hope is that you get at least one meal to add to your menu this week!  I have tried them all and provide notes and the link below.

A few things to know in case you are new:

1.  I usually make my plan for the week on Saturday.

2.  I do all the cooking in my family.

3.  My #1 criteria for weeknight meals is quick and easy.  No meal I post [unless a Sunday Dinner or a slow cooker meal] will take more than 45 minutes to prepare.

4.  All meals are 100% gluten free and dairy free.  [Because we are fun like that!]

5.  My kids do not eat everything I serve.  [And that, my friends, is an entirely different post.]

A Weekly Plan-

1//  Chana Masala

This Indian dish was superb.  Full of flavor and easy to make.  It does call for many spices {some you may not have in your pantry}.  Review and grab the spices you need so you are ready.  I served with rice.

2//  Pumpkin Avocado Tostadas

OMG!  Seriously.  These tostadas are a new favorite.  I might make a variation every week!  I used sweet potatoes instead of roasting a pumpkin.  The spice was perfect.  Crisping the corn tortillas in the oven for just 15 minutes created the perfect base to build upon!  TRY THESE!

3//  Sweet Potato Hash with Sausage

Breakfast for dinner.  My husband loves hash, so this was a crowd pleaser.  I added mushrooms for extra texture and flavor.

4//  Spicy Sausage, Spinach, and Mushroom Gnocchi

This was my favorite meal!  I am a pasta girl and this dish was perfect.  So easy and simple, but I loved every bite.  I used Capello’s Gluten Free Gnocchi.   They are little pillows of potato goodness.

5//  Spicy Fish and Potato Soup

This soup has been featured before.  It is excellent on cold nights.  Quick to make and the white fish provides a healthy protein alternative.

6//  Chicken Tamale Pie

Comfort food at its best.  Use a rotisserie deli chicken to make this meal even easier.  Add the spices at step 3 instead.

 

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A WEEKLY PLAN

Friday, January 16th, 2015

a weekly plan 2015 v. 1

Oh, hello my long lost friend I call menu planning!  Welcome back to my life.

It it totally confession time.  The reason there has not been A Weekly Plan post in close to one year is because I literally dropped the ball.  I am not sure if it was 8 years worth of preparing meals, but I kind of just gave up.  Has this ever happened to you?  Sadly, even without a menu, dinner STILL needed to be prepared.  Let’s just say that eating is much better when you put some thought into it!

So, if you value eating a home cooked meal with your family like I do- you need a plan!  This is our week of dinners.  It is my hope that you can find at least one meal to put on your menu.

A few things to know in case you are new:

1.  I usually make my plan for the week on Saturday.

2.  I do all the cooking in my family.

3.  My #1 criteria for weeknight meals is quick and easy.  No meal I post [unless a Sunday Dinner or a slow cooker meal] will take more than 45 minutes to prepare.

4.  All meals are 100% gluten free. Most are dairy free.  [Because we are fun like that!]

5.  My kids do not eat everything I serve.  [And that, my friends, is an entirely different post.]

A Weekly Plan::

1// Quinoa, Chicken Kale Soup

{Slow Cooker}  Quick to prepare in the morning, hearty soup in the evening, and lots of left overs.  Make sure to add a squeeze of lemon before you serve it too!

2// Chocolate Chili

No beans in this chili and the unsweetened chocolate makes it super unique and tasty.  {You could always add beans.}

3// Thai Beef Stew

{Slow Cooker} This is dinner tonight!  It already smells delicious.  It would make a great Sunday supper.

4//  Wintry Mushroom, Kale, Quinoa Enchiladas

A spin on traditional enchiladas.  I used store bought enchilada sauce to make the prep faster.  Since my husband is not dairy -free, I added cheese to his enchiladas.  You could easily add chicken or pork as well.

5// Comfort Noodles

OMG.  These are crazy good!  I hesitated because the recipe calls for making zucchini noodles, which seemed kind of nuts.  Trust me, it took less than 5 minutes to make them and this whole dish was to-die-for good.  Searching now for more recipes with zucchini noodles.  This recipe link also has a short video on how to make the noodles! TRY IT!

6//  Energy Bites

A little something extra for your week.  Make these on Sunday and they will help with the “It’s 3pm and I will eat anything and everything right now!”  They are also great ski treats-if we had any damn snow!!

Have a great weekend!  Eat well, my friends.

 

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A WEEKLY PLAN

Friday, March 14th, 2014

A Weekly Plan | WHERE IS JUNE?

Spring schedules are nuts already!  No better time than to have a plan.  We all have to put dinner on the table.  I find when I have a plan my family eats better, I am calm(er), and meal time is less of a chore.  I primarily search for recipes that are healthy, quick and easy, use basic (whole) ingredients, and are gluten and dairy free.

These are a few meals we have enjoyed recently. I hope you can find at least one meal to add to your menu next week.  Enjoy your weekend!

1// Spring Salad

I added chicken to make this a complete meal for dinner.  There weren’t blood oranges at the grocery store, so I used a cara cara orange instead.  This was delicious with fig & walnut vinaigrette.

2// Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed peppers are one of my most favorite meals.  I searched and searched to find a recipe that didn’t use cheese to bind the ingredients.  This is it.  Super tasty and wonderful as leftovers as well.

3//Roast Pork Tenderloin & Apples w/ Mushroom Saute

A basic roasted pork tenderloin.  The star of this dinner is the apples with mushroom saute.  Oh. MY!  Give this one a try for sure.

4// Slow Cooker Quinoa, Chicken, Kale Soup

Perfect for rainy spring evenings that are busy right up until dinner.  Cook the soup all day and then add the kale right before dinner.  Simple ingredients, easy to make, and so good for you.

5// Turkey Lettuce Wrap Tacos

A twist on your basic taco.  The addition of green chilis, beans and salsa make it a complete meal.  Can be served in taco shells if you are wanting more of a crunch.  {Warning:  my kids turned their noses up with all the additions.  It appears they are taco purists.  Just meat, mom.}

6// Spaghetti Pizza Pie {Paleo}

The spaghetti in this pie is actually spaghetti squash.  No cheese used in this recipe.  Just squash, Italian sausage {I used chicken sausage}, pizza sauce, onions, dried basil and eggs.  6 ingredients and a fantastic meal.  It does take an hour to bake, plus the 25 minutes or so to roast the squash so give yourself plenty of time.  My husband thought this was great, which was a pleasant surprise.  More paleo recipes may be in our future.

All meals are gluten free and dairy free because that is how we roll!

Images via recipe sources.

 

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A WEEKLY PLAN

Friday, January 10th, 2014

a weekly plan  Where is June

In the Kitchen-A Weekly Plan is one of my favorite series to write.  We all have to put dinner on the table.  I find when I have a plan my family eats better, I am calm(er), and meal time is less of a chore.  I primarily search for recipes that are healthy, quick and easy, use basic (whole) ingredients, and are gluten free.  If you are like me, you dove into the holidays head first and are now ready to return to the land of healthier eating.  Our meals this week had a theme: comforting.  Blame it on the weather and the time of year.  Kale was in two recipes this week and we sort of love it!

I hope you find at least one meal to add to your weekly menu.  Have a lovely weekend!

1.  Spiced Pumpkin Seed and Cashew Crunch

Not a meal unto itself, but this crunch was super in late afternoon.  If you are able to enjoy yogurt, it would be awesome to throw a handful of the crunch with some fruit on top in the morning.

2.  Quinoa with Mushrooms, Kale, and Sweet Potatoes 

I served this delicious hardy side with broiled salmon. We had left overs and it was great for lunch the next day.  Tons of “great for you” ingredients in this dish.

3.  Tomato-Basil Soup

I have featured this soup before.  A great tomato soup and entirely dairy free as well.  We all need a  super easy dinner.  Serve this with grilled cheese and call it good.

4.  Slow Cooker Cuban Braised Beef and Peppers

I like to use my slow cooker once a week.  Fix it and forget it!   Serve with warmed corn tortillas and avocado. My kids gobbled up the steak served without the tomatoes and peppers.

5.  Bean and Chicken Sausage Stew

A hearty stew cooked on your cook top.  Using fully-cooked sausages, this stew took less than 30 minutes.  There is that kale again.

6.  Pan-Steamed Chicken and Broccoli

From Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop: Warming Winter Detox menu, this was dinner super yummy.  Little Man devoured the chicken {but took a pass on the broccoli}.  Using gluten free soy-sauce and chicken broth-this recipe was naturally gluten free.  No need to adjust ingredients on this one!

I hope you eat well next week and you have at least one enjoyable family dinner together.

 

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IN THE KITCHEN-A WEEKLY PLAN

Friday, November 1st, 2013

a weekly plan for dinner

So I have found that in two weeks time, I am able to try 5-6 new recipes.  The rest of the days are linked together by leftovers, family favorites, old standbys, and [yes] frozen pizzas!  I hope to post In the Kitchen-A Weekly Plan twice a month.  If you like them and find them helpful, please share them with friends.  This week it was finally time to admit I have a “small” problem with butternut squash.  I seriously cannot get enough of it.  My new motto, “It’s always better with butternut squash!  Even tacos.

I hope you find at least one meal to add to your weekly menu.  Have a lovely weekend.

1.  Barbecue Chicken Sandwich With Sautéed Corn, Edamame, and Pickles

My husband voted this his top meal!  And it take less than 30 minutes from start to finish.  The sauteed corn, edamame and pickles was surprisingly delicious.

2.  Tomato-Basil Soup

Homemade tomato soup.  Simple ingredients, but full of taste.  I only used 1 cup of basil and it was plenty.  This is dairy free as well, so win-win for us! {Only 103 calories per serving} Served these with grilled ham and cheese.

3.  Pasta with Bacon, Squash and Sage

I loved this pasta.  My husband thought the sage was bit overwhelming. I didn’t mind.  The bacon on top was full of awesome.

4.  Butternut Squash and Bean Tacos

Yes, another recipe with butternut squash.  [Remember, these were our meals over two weeks.  I keep myself in check and only serve it once a week].  These were hearty and filling.  Great fall comfort food.

5.  Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Parmigiana Sandwiches

SUNDAY DINNER!  You have to make this.  It took me minutes to prep and it cooked all day.  The sandwiches were full of flavor.  We had a ton of leftovers, so we used it as pasta sauce the next night.

6.  Grilled PB & Banana Sandwich

WEEKEND BREAKFAST [or late night treat].  This grilled sandwich is to-die-for.  Butter and cinnamon come together to make magic.  Please try this….

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IN THE KITCHEN-A WEEKLY PLAN

Friday, October 18th, 2013

A Weekly Plan

It has been a long while and it was time to bring back In the Kitchen-A Weekly Plan.  Life is busy!  [That is an understatement.]  If you value eating a home cooked meal with your family like I do- you need a plan!  This is our week of dinners.  It is my hope that you can find at least one meal to put on your menu.

A few things to know:

1.  I usually make my plan for the week on Saturday.

2.  I do all the cooking in my family.

3.  My #1 criteria for weeknight meals is quick and easy.  No meal I post [unless a Sunday Dinner or a slow cooker meal] will take more than 45 minutes to prepare.

4.  All meals are 100% gluten free. Most are dairy free.  [Because we are fun like that!]

5.  My kids do not eat everything I serve.  [And that, my friends, is an entirely different post.]

Meal 1:  Quick Chicken Noodle Soup

quick chicken noodle soup

Quick is an understatement.  A deli-rotisserie chicken makes this homemade soup come together in minutes!  [Kid approved.]

Meal 2:  Apple + Goat Cheese + Pecan Pizza

apple+goat cheese +pecan pizza

I made this for our mid-week pizza night.  Fresh ingredients and unexpected toppings make it a winner.

Meal 3:  Pumpkin Shrimp Curry

pumpkin curry

A perfect fall comfort food.  Pumpkin and roasted butternut squash give a great spin to a classic curry.  Don’t be afraid, it is easy to make.

Meal 4:  Tuscan Chickpea Stew

tuscan chickpea stew

A hearty to stew with simple ingredients.  Cooks in minutes on your stove top.

Meal 5:  Pulled Pork + Coleslaw

pulled pork

SUNDAY DINNER!  Throw the pork in the slow cooker in the morning and enjoy delicious sandwiches and coleslaw in the evening.  My kids love eating these on Hawaiian Sweet Rolls.  Plus, plenty left over for Monday night.  [It is always a plus if you don’t have to cook dinner on Monday!]  I have also made this slow roasted pulled-pork recipe.  It is delicious, but takes a bit more prep.

Let me know if you try a recipe.  I love feedback!  Contact me by commenting on this post, via Facebook, or directly at denise@whereisjune.com.

{images via myrecipes.com and bon appetit}

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in the kitchen-a weekly plan

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Why is it so hard to get dinner on the table the last few weeks of the school year?  I managed to get my act together last week! I hope these meal ideas and my notes help you with at least one dinner this week.

Meal 1::
Best-Ever Barbecued Ribs and Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

I have posted about these ribs before, but this time we were able to throw them on the grill.  Seriously, the BEST ever [the title does not lie!].  The macaroni salad was excellent as the side.  Great for cookouts or potlucks.

Meal 2::
PF Changs “healthier” Lettuce Wraps

I used San-J Gluten Free Thai Peanut Marinade and Dipping sauce instead of the Hoisin and Bragg Liquid Aminos instead of soy sauce. [Two easy swaps and this is gluten free.]  I doubled the sauce portion of the recipe but didn’t mix it in with the turkey.  I simply put it in a bowl so we could put a little sauce on each wrap.  These wraps are packed with flavor-you won’t miss any of the fat!

Meal 3::
Spicy Fish and Potato Soup

A light and easy to make soup.  Don’t skip the celery leaves, chives and bacon on top.  They make the soup go from good to fantastic!

Meal 4::
Chipotle Short Ribs and Tangy Cabbage Slaw

My grocery story did not have boneless short ribs.  The butcher suggested flat iron steak cut into 2-inch pieces instead.  He did not steer me wrong!  Throw this in the slow cooker and dinner is ready when you are.  Full of flavor, and great when paired with the tang of the slaw.

{Images 1 and 2 by Where is June?}
{Images 3 and 4 by Raymond Hom for Real Simple}

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a weekly plan-top meals

Monday, May 13th, 2013

It has been so great to be able to share my weekly dinner plans with you!  The feedback I have received has been so postitive!  We are all so, so busy and having a plan for dinner makes it easier to eat well and stay sane!  Last week was unusual.  The amazing weather kept us busy [in a GREAT way!] all weekend, so I fell short on making my own plan for the week.  With out-of-the-ordinary sunshine, multiple evening events, practice schedules, and my husband out of town on business….I barely pieced together our meals.  So, I decided to share recipes that were reader favorites and one of my own.  [I have had kale, avocado & egg toast multiple times since posting about it!]

Have a great week!  If you haven’t tried these recipes they are all delicious and worth putting on your menu.  

Potsticker Burgers

Asian Fried Quinoa

Shrimp Tacos


Skillet-Poached Hueovos Rancheros

Pancake Muffins


Kale, egg, avocado toast
 

[images via recipe sources.  all links included]

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in the kitchen-a weekly plan

Saturday, May 4th, 2013

Oh, the weather outside is LOVELY…but we all still need to eat.  This is when a plan for the week is crucial.  No one wants to think about what to make for dinner when the sun is shining!  No need to think, just find a meal from our week’s worth of meals.  You are bound to find at least one.  [I highly recommend the kale, egg, & avocado toast.  delicious!]

Meal 1::  Chicken and Cashews

Meal 2::  Coconut-Curry Beef

The flavors of this slow-cooker beef was great.  However, the recipe calls for 4 hours on low.  When using chuck roast, you will need to cook it more like 7 hours on low for the beef to be tender.  But since it is in the slow cooker it is no big deal.  We had this on a baseball night.  We arrived home after the game and dinner was ready!

Meal 3::  kale, egg & avocado toast

My favorite meal of the week. Clean, simple and so incredibly delicious.  Kind of like breakfast for dinner, but savory for sure!

Meal 4::  Skillet cornbread  [gluten free] and Chili
I used mixes for both.
Cornbread:  Pamela’s Cornbread and Muffin Mix
Chili:  Bear Creek Country Kitchens “Darn Good Chili” Mix

I followed the directions for skillet cornbread on the packaging and it turned out perfect.  [A tablespoon of butter in the hot pan may have had something to do with it.]  I have used the chili mix many times before.  It is ready in 25 minutes.  You simply add water and tomato paste. 

PS.   We had takeout for meal 5.  I live in the real world too!

{Photo credit: 1. Randy Mayor  2. Kate Sears  3. love & lemons}

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in the kitchen- a weekly plan

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

This week included leftovers and a kid chosen meal.  Not everything is gourmet in this house.  I hope you have a great week ahead and can find at least one meal to make for dinner.  I made two recipes from America’s Test Kitchen magazines.  Unfortunately, they don’t allow you to access recipes online unless you have a paid subscription.  I had to type the recipes, thus the long post today:

Meal 1::  Weeknight Turkey Bolognese (recipe after the jump)
This was a great recipe but very much a Sunday meal.  Took over 40 minutes, which I consider too long for a weeknight.  There were tons of leftovers, so this will give you one additional meal during the week.

Meal 2::  Italian Cobb Salad
I posted about this salad earlier this week.  Great for a night when you are making dinner at 8pm.  

Meal 3:: Mom’s Famous Sliders
Not really famous, except with my family.  I add low sodium soy sauce and Lawry’s seasoning to the ground beef.  This recipe’s high note is to serve the sliders on King’s Hawaiian Sweet Dinner Rolls.  Who can resist?

Meal 4:: Chicken with Butter Beans and Chorizo (recipe after the jump)
This one skillet meal is easy and tasty.  I used chicken chorizo from Whole Foods, but any link sausage would probably work.

Weeknight Turkey Bolognese
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 onion, but into 1 inch pieces
2 oz of pancetta, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup diced cremini mushrooms
1 anchovy fillet, rinsed
1 (28oz) can whole tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 1/2 cups 2% low-fat milk
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup dry white wine

1. Pulse carrots and onion in food processor until finely chopped.  Transfer to bowl.  Process pancetta, mushrooms, and anchovy until finely chopped.  Transfer to bowl.  Pulse tomatoes with their juice until smooth.

2.  In Dutch oven melt butter or heat oil.  Add pancetta mixture and cook until brown.  Stir in carrot mixture and 1 teaspoon of salt, cover and cook until softened.

3.  Stir in garlic and turkey.  Brown for 1 minute.  Stir in milk and simmer until nearly evaporated (18-20 minutes)

4.  Stir in tomato paste and wine.  Simmer until nearly evaporated.  Stir in tomatoes and simmer.

Serve over cooked pasta.  Our absolute favorite gluten-free pasta is Schar.   I used the spaghetti for this Bolognese.

Chicken with Butter Beans and Chorizo
1 1/2 pounds of chicken tenderloins
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, halved and sliced thin
8 oz chorizo sausage, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 (16oz) cans butter beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1.  Season chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika.  Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium high heat.  Add chicken and cook until lightly browned.  Transfer to plate.

2.  Add remaining oil, onion and chorizo to skillet and cook until onion is soft.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add tomatoes, broth and butter beans and cook until slightly thickened.

3.  Return chicken to pan and any accumulated juice and simmer until chicken is cooked through.  Stir in parsley and serve.

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Where is June?

 

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