Meal planning 4/27/14

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My meal planning skills are being put to the test these days, but they are certainly keeping our budget in check! It is amazing how quickly meals at restaurants add up when you grab a quick bite here and there. With 2 softball games this week, we are keeping meals simple and low-key, but still uber-healthy.

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Tonight my hubby is coming home after 4 days away, so I’m making his favorite dish, Parmigiano Chicken. As a side dish, we’ll sauté carrots sliced on a mandolin in ghee.
http://www.alexandracooks.com/2010/09/22/chicken-legs-baked-with-white-wine-olive-oil-making-the-most-of-a-whole-chicken-part-two/

Monday will bunless bison burgers with oven roasted onions, heirloom tomato slices and raw milk Colby slices. I’m going to add an egg to the meat before making patties as the lean nature of bison makes it dry without the added fat. Throw in some healthy turmeric, garlic, salt and pepper and the side of garlic roasted broccoli and I’m excited for that meal!

Tuesday is a game night, so we’ll be enjoying a simple tuna salad copied off of my previous salads. Drain and mix with guacamole and voila! Place on a bed of spinach and dinner is done in 5 minutes.

Wednesday is a normal night, so I’ll be making skirt steak on the grill with ghee sautéed green beans.
http://www.keyingredient.com/recipes/213832558/michael-symons-grilled-skirt-steak/

Thursday is another game night, so a made ahead kale quiche will heat up nicely. Picked up some great kale at the farmer’s market yesterday and we have some great cream in the house to make Creme fraiche out of. That meal is always a hit, warm or cold.

http://www.alexandracooks.com/2012/03/02/crustless-quiche-loaded-with-kale/

I also picked up 2 pounds of bison London broil marinating in the fridge, waiting to be made into jerky today for the kids lunches! Boom! Look at me rock it while the hubs is gone. Perhaps I can whip up some coconut bark for his return home…

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The best side dish…really!

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It is Brussels sprouts! That’s why I didn’t put it in the title, otherwise you may not have gotten further into this post. Last year’s New Year’s resolution was to figure out how to prepare these veggies with the reputation of liver. There had to be something good about them. I set out to order them at every restaurant that served them, looked up Pinterest recipes and quartered many, many containers of the little buggers in my quest.

While there’s no beating a chef’s take on these member of the cabbage/sulfur vegetable family, I have found one method that takes the cake. Maple and balsamic Brussels sprouts with bacon and pecans. Even the name makes my mouth water. Mmmm…bacon.

First, quarter your Brussels sprouts and set aside.

Then,toast the pecans in a foil-lined baking sheet for about 5-7 mins. Remove, chop and set aside. In the same foil-lined pan (saves time, money and the environment!) bake your bacon for 15 mins at 350. When you remove from the oven, take the bacon off the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain. Pour your quartered Brussels sprouts into the bacon grease and toss to coat. Add a little olive oil, salt and pepper and place back in the oven. Cook for 25-35 mins. Meanwhile, chop up the bacon into pieces. I use my kitchen shears as they are so much easier!

When you remove from the oven, top with the bacon and pecans. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and pure maple syrup and toss to coat. Eat!!!

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Making it work with no time or money

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Between prepping for a garage sale I’m hosting this weekend, my daughter’s first sleepover (also hosting) and aforementioned softball, we are in the throws of testing my meal planning prowess. An important second goal is keeping it manageable money-wise. This brings me to tonight’s meal. It’s quick, delicious, easy the kids love it and it’s CHEAP!

I will update and post with pictures, but we are mashing up hard boiled eggs with Whole Foods guacamole and placing on a bed of spinach from the farmers market. That part is so cheap ($5 eggs and $2 worth of spinach from farmers market with $5 of guac from WF). Could also make your own and save even more! Then, we even get to have dessert!

It’s the most amazing random creation! 4-5 frozen bananas in a blender with either a can of coconut milk or whole milk. Add a splash of vanilla and dash of cinnamon and blend! Delicious soft serve ice cream for under $3 for a family of 4, and there are even seconds served! You have to try it!

My mouth is watering already…