Category Archives: Meal Plan

Meal Plan

This Week’s Meal Plan 11/7/16

Hi friends, happy Monday!

Did you enjoy your extra hour of sleep over the weekend? As nice as I thought it was on Sunday morning, I was super bummed when I looked out the window last night at 5PM and saw that it was dark already. Wah! Where did all the daylight goooo!?

Since I’m now in total fall mode (despite it being 80 degrees in Santa Monica tomorrow…), I’ve got lots of cozy dinners planned this week. We just did a small grocery shop over the weekend because we’re headed to New Jersey this weekend for a wedding, so we tried not to buy too much.

 

Healthy Turkey Chili l www.littlechefbigappetite.com l Gluten-Free, Low Carb, Low Sugar

Here’s what’s on our meal plan this week:

Saturday: Healthy Turkey Chili (an old recipe that I finally got around to rephotographing this weekend!)

Sunday: Persian Chicken Stew

Monday: Salads with Roasted Carrots, Farro and Grilled Chicken

Tuesday: Barramundi with Lemon-Butter Sauce and Sauteed Spinach

Wednesday: Pea Soup with Mint and Feta

Thursday: Leftovers / Use what’s in the fridge

Friday: Away for Meredith and Eric’s wedding!

 

P.S. Thanks to everyone who entered the Milk and Eggs giveaway last week on the blog! We randomly selected a winner (congrats Marissa!) and she’s been contacted. Stay tuned for more awesome giveaways on the blog!

Life Lately Meal Plan

I Need to Get Back on Track

What a crazy month it’s been!

I’ve traveled a bunch, we got engaged (!!!), Travis’s sister visited, I celebrated one of my best friend’s weddings, and I attended a bunch of events for both work and my blog.

I won’t lie, it’s been FUN, but I have had my fair share of indulgences this month — way more than usual.

Cinnamon Crunch Donut from Sidecar Donuts & Coffee in Santa Monica, CA ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

My ideal healthy lifestyle is all about balance. I aim to workout 5 times a week and eat healthy 85% of the time, leaving the other 15% to allow myself to splurge a bit and just live it up.

Recently, I’ve really been slacking my on diet and because of that, I’ve been feeling super sluggish at the gym. I’m glad I haven’t fallen off the bandwagon with my workouts, but I know that if my diet was better then I would feel way more energetic while working out.

Crispy Chicken Sandwich from Hollywood Burger in Hollywood, CA ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Now that things have calmed down a bit and we have a lot less travel planned, I’ve set myself a few healthy goals for the next few months:

  1. Plan and buy groceries for at least 4 dinners every week. I know that meal planning is one thing that really helps to keep me on track, so I need to be better about planning specific meals as opposed to just winging it when I get home after a long day.
  2. Cut down on that vino! Sure, work is crazy and at times I can be pretty stressed, but having a glass of wine every night isn’t going to fix that. During the week, I am going to swap out my glass of wine for fruit-infused water or green tea and leave the wine for weekends and special events. I know the wine is also contributing to making me feel sluggish in the mornings, which leads me to my next goal…

Rose from The Anchor in Venice, CA ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

3. Work out 5-6 days a week. I’ve been pretty good about keeping up with my workout schedule, but there have been plenty of mornings where I skip my workout because I would prefer to sleep an extra half hour or I tell myself I have too many other things to do. No more excuses — make fitness a priority.

I need to get back on track with my worksouts ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

So keeping with my healthy goals, here’s this week’s meal plan:

Monday: Pizza Spaghetti Pie (Never tried this one, but the reviews are raving!)

Tuesday: Maple-Mustard Salmon + Heirloom Tomato and Peach Salad –> Man, I love summer fruits!

Wednesday: Turkey Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze (Love this recipe and I haven’t made it in so long!) + Roasted Broccoli

Thursday: Out with friends

Friday: Grilled Skirt Steak + my favorite Extra-Crispy Roasted Potatoes

 

I am focusing my meals around protein and vegetables with some healthy complex carbs mixed in.

Alright, off to the gym now. I hope you guys have a great start to your week!

Meal Plan

Weekend Recap + This Week’s Meal Plan

Oh boy, did we have a crazy weekend.

Saturday morning was rough. After Bessie’s morning walk she ate her food like normal and then about one hour later she started acting really strangely. She was sitting up in her bed and rocking from side to side, when all of a sudden she scrambled out of her bed, but was only moving with her two front legs. It was as though her hind legs were limp. She started hiding underneath one of our dining room chairs until we scooped her out to see what was wrong.

At first we thought that her legs had fallen asleep (we Googled it and apparently that can happen to dogs just like humans), but we knew things were bad when Bessie started vomiting. I’ll leave it at that and spare you the gory details, but just know that it was bad.

Travis recalled she may have eaten something off the ground on their morning walk. This isn’t anything new for us though, because Bessie tries to eat everything off the ground, but we’re usually quick to pull her away or grab whatever is in her mouth.

After she threw up, we decided to call the vet because she was still acting very strange. They told us to come in immediately. We hopped in the car and I put Bessie on my lap because at that point she still wasn’t moving on her own.

Bessie at the Vet l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

When we arrived (luckily, the vet is only a 5 minute drive from our apartment), they told us they thought we would be better treated at the emergency hospital, so we left to go there.

Not going to lie, when the vet tells you that you’d be better treated elsewhere, it’s concerning. Obviously, Bessie couldn’t tell us what was wrong or how she was feeling, so Travis and I were really worried. I’ll admit it, I cried. I’m very sensitive when it comes to Bessie and her health. Since she’s a rescue, we don’t really know how old she is or much about her medical history, so when anything goes wrong, I worry. (Man, how the heck am I going to be when I have kids one day!?)

Luckily, the vet at the emergency hospital could see us right away, and she told us that she thought Bessie picked up a tiny marijuana bud off the ground on her walk. UGH! Marijuana is very toxic to dogs. I was very quick to tell the vet that neither of us smoke, and she said that sadly, she’s seen many cases of this in Santa Monica and Venice. We never would have guessed this because we consider Santa Monica to be so clean.

Man, no wonder Bessie was acting so strangely! The vet said she wanted to keep Bessie there for the rest of the day to detox her and monitor her behavior in case of a seizure (which can happen in these cases).

Bessie at the Hospital l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Thankfully, Bessie had a good recovery and we were able to pick her up around 10PM on Saturday night. She was still a little out of it, but we knew she’d be okay when she went crazy for her favorite treats.

She gave us such a scare and now we are 10x more cautious when we walk her.  I normally wouldn’t write such a long post about my dog’s health, but I wanted to let any of you pet-owners know that this can happen. Be careful out there!

This Week's Meal Plan l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Now onto happier things! Food.

I’ve been pretty spotty with meal planning the last few weeks, but this week I made sure to plan at least 5 healthy dinners for us.

Here is this week’s meal plan:

Monday: Turkey Paninis on Dave’s Killer Bread

Tuesday: Picadillo Tacos with Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles

Wednesday: Korean BBQ Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Gochujang

Thursday: Arugula Salad with Balsamic Chicken, Farro, Apples, and Gouda

Friday: Dinner out (Meredith is in town!)

Saturday: Turkey Meatballs (because we’re obsessed)

 

I hope you guys have a great Monday!

Meal Plan

This Week’s Meal Plan 12/7/15

Hi guys! I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was jam packed with holiday shopping, organizing our apartment, and planning for a Hanukkah party we had with friends last night. The holidays are in full swing and I couldn’t be happier! I love this time of year.

Keeping with my November goals, I am going strong with meal planning this week. The last two weeks I fell off track because we were away for Thanksgiving and came back in the middle of the week last week, so from Wednesday – Friday we pretty much ate whatever we had in the freezer / what was easy to pick up. Not the best, but that’s why I made a point to stay on track this week.

Meal Plan

Here’s this week’s meal plan:

Sunday (last night): Hanukkah Party with friends! (Chicken, Challah, Kugel, Latkes, Brussels Sprouts + more!)

Monday: Thai Green Curry with Shrimp and Kale + Black Rice

Peeled and deveined shrimp was on sale at Whole Foods, so I bought 2 lbs. and will freeze what we don’t use for this recipe.

Tuesday: Orange and Tomato Simmered Chicken Thighs with Whole Wheat Couscous

Wednesday: Asian Turkey Meatballs with Sesame-Lime Dipping Sauce

I am planning on adding some romaine to this recipe based on the reviews I read.

Thursday: Grilled Chicken with Thai Basil Salad

Friday: Caramelized Onion, Olive, Goat Cheese Whole Wheat Pizza

We have leftover homemade whole wheat pizza dough in our freezer, so this should be an easy one to throw together.

Saturday: Slow Cooker French Onion Soup + Sweet Potato and Apple Potato Pancakes

Keeping with the Hanukkah festivities, I am going to try a variation of the classic latke recipe and use sweet potatoes and apples!

Meal Plan

Many of the recipes above I haven’t cooked before, so I am excited to add some new dishes to this week’s dinner menu. If any of them turn out well, I will be sure to make them again and photograph them for you guys.

Hope you have a great Monday!

Meal Plan

This Week’s Meal Plan

Hi friends!

I am proud to say that I stuck to my November Goals (in last week’s blog post) all week long. Meal planning last week was a huge success! I made a bunch of new recipes that turned out SO well. I can’t wait to make them again and photograph them for the blog.

On Saturday, I meal planned again for the upcoming week. I went to Whole Food and stocked up on all the ingredients we need, plus a few healthy snacks I can bring to work.

Rachel Pattison

Here’s what’s for dinner this week:

Sunday (last night): Grilled Rosemary Chicken with Farro Risotto

(OMG this one is SO good. I am going to share the recipe later this week!)

Monday: Healthier French Onion Soup + Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Tuesday: Kale Salads with Grilled Chicken, Farro, Grapes, and Roasted Carrots (using leftovers from Sunday night’s meal)

Wednesday: Asian-Glazed Salmon with Fire-Roasted Broccoli

Asian-Glazed Salmon Recipe

Thursday: Apricot-Glazed Chicken Thighs with Whole Wheat Couscous

Friday: Dinner out with friends

Saturday: Wing it with whatever we have in the fridge

 

What about you guys? Did you meal plan for the week? Any new recipes you’re excited to try?

Groceries Meal Plan

An Empty Fridge Makes Me Freak

Travis and I were away this past weekend visiting my aunt and uncle in Tucson, Arizona. I always love visiting Arizona – the mountains are gorgeous, the Southwestern flavors are delicious, and I appreciate the slower pace of life there.

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One of my goals for 2014 was to make more weekend trips up and down the West Coast. I still feel like a newbie in California and there are so many cities I want to explore: San Francisco, San Diego, Santa Barbara, etc. I just have one personal issue with weekend trips that I am reaaaaaally working on. I consider the weekend my “me” time. On the weekends I finally have the time catch up on all of things I put off during my crazy work weeks. This includes dry cleaning, blogging, photo editing, reading, cleaning, laundry, and most importantly grocery shopping. I am one of those people who LOVES routine, and I definitely struggle when it is broken. It was particularly hard for me to come home from Arizona early Monday morning to a dirty apartment with piles and piles of laundry and an empty fridge. On top of that, I had no time to fix any of this because I had to work. Beginning a week unprepared really makes me frazzled (you could say I am Type-A…)

It didn’t help that I was STARVING when we arrived home from the airport, and we all know not to mess with me when I get hungry. As soon as I could, I dashed to the store to fill my poor empty fridge, which basically only contained Travis’ beer and lots of condiments…

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Our fridge could also use a good scrubbing, huh?

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At Whole Foods I bought as much as I could physically carry home (luckily we live within walking distance!)

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I felt SO much better with a full fridge. Everything else on my to-do list seemed a little bit less daunting after that.

What I bought:

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast

Tilapia Fillets

Assorted Fruit: Mango, Apple, Navel Oranges, Bananas

Assorted Veggies: Sugar Snap Peas, Red Bell Pepper, Carrots

Cilantro, Lemons, Limes

2 Cartons Cage-Free Eggs

Wallaby Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt

Frozen Peas

Lactose-Free Milk

Way Better Black Bean Chips

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WOO! What a relief. Since I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for new recipes, dinner this week will just be meals I’ve made before and know we love.

On our menu this week:

Monday: Slow Cooker Honey-Sesame Chicken with Sauteed Red Bell Pepper, Snap Peas, Onions and Brown Rice

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Tuesday: Grilled Tilapia with Mango Salsa

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Wednesday: Chicken Breast with a Sweet and Tangy Pan Sauce and Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

Thursday and Friday we’ll have to wing it!

 

What is on your dinner menu this week? How do you feel about coming home to a long to-do list? Can you handle it or does it make you go crazy?

 

Eats Lately Meal Plan

This Week’s Grocery Haul

I have been getting a bunch of questions about how I grocery shop: Do I go to one store? Multiple? Do I always go prepared with a list or do I just wing it? So, I decided to answer a lot of those questions in this post by showing you this week’s grocery haul.

I typically grocery shop once a week. I, most often, go to Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, or both. There are certain items that I only get at one or the other, so usually I end up making trips to both. I like to buy pantry staple items such as spices, oils, vinegars, grains, flours, etc at Trader Joe’s because the prices are great, so it is a good place to stock up on those types of items. I then buy all of my beef, poultry, and produce at Whole Foods because the quality is very high and they have the wide selection I often need.

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(I always try to bring my own bags. They charge you 10 cents per bag now in LA…which is good for the environment, but bad for me if I forget to bring my own!)

I always go to the store with a list. I generally like to plan at least three dinners for that week and the rest of my list is comprised of staples I need to stock up on. I write my list in the Evernote App on my iPhone. I love making my list this way because I usually think about things I need to buy at random moments (like while I am daydreaming about food at work…shh!) and it’s a convenient place to keep track of everything since I typically always have my phone with me.

 

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This week I only went to Trader Joe’s because I just had to restock on some staple items. This is what I bought:

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Sweet Onions

Bananas: For Protein Pancakes and to snack on with yummy nut butter

Navel Oranges: I LOVE juicy California oranges. I usually eat them for a snack at work or for dessert after dinner.

Tarrazu Coffee: TJ’s has really good coffee! I love that you can grind your beans right there in the store. I started buying this Tarrazu coffee back in college and still love it! It is a medium- dark roast and very smooth!

Stevia: All-natural sweetener for my morning coffee

Haricot Verts and Shallots: To make a yummy side dish this week

Grapefruit and Avocado: This may sound like a weird combo, but these two ingredients actually make a DELICIOUS side salad

Tomato and Basil Hummus: I am not married to one particular kind of hummus – I am always trying new flavors.

Dried Mango Slices: These are for Travis. He loves the dried mango slices from Whole Foods, but ran out so I decided to buy these for him instead.

Cilantro

Empire Kosher White Ground Turkey: To make my Turkey Meatballs, of course. We made a big batch last night. I know I said I usually buy my poultry at Whole Foods, but this Empire Kosher Ground Turkey is fantastic. In fact, I really like all Empire products and I am very happy that Trader Joe’s carries it.

Chicken Broth Packets: These are a staple in my kitchen. It comes with 12 individual packets to make 1 cup of low-sodium chicken broth, which is great when you’re in a pinch or only need a small amount.

Fage 0% Greek Yogurt, Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk and Frozen Blueberries: These are my breakfast staples and I use all of them to make my overnight oats for workday breakfasts.

Spinach: I love to keep a bag of spinach on hand to make salads with leftover chicken throughout the week.

Eggs, eggs, eggs: I buy three cartons a week. Travis and I plough through eggs. They go into protein pancakes, scrambled eggs, cookies, everything. I feel like we never have enough.

Gluten-Free Rolled Oats: This is an item I always go to TJ’s for. I am in love with these oats and I love that they come in such a big bag because Travis and I eat so many of them! I also have been on a major oatmeal kick this winter – I just love having something warm to start my day – so the more oats in the house the better!

Pink Lady Apples

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Of course, this is not the ONLY food I will eat this week – I want to stress that. There is lots more in our fridge that we already had and I didn’t show here.

Now, what about you?

Where do you love to grocery shop? What are staples in your kitchen?