What a great day it is today. It's only 9:15am on this beautiful Friday morning in Austin, and I have already meal planned for our upcoming week, been to both of my regular grocery stores, made a Target run, and now I'm at home blogging to you guys & listening to some jam from 1988. It doesn't get much better than this. :)
103.7 Bob FM is both mine & Kellie's favorite radio station, and my favorite thing they do every weekday morning is the "9 at 9." They play the top 9 songs on this exact week during a particular year. Today, they are playing one of my favorite years ever, from the year I graduated high school....1988. Makes me think back & reminisce to where I was in life during this particular week back then. Let's see, I was:
- thoroughly enjoying my senior year in high school. Go Rangers!
- best friends with Lynette, Carole, and Jay. These awesome gals were in the Sterling Stars (drill team) with me, and we all had been close friends throughout high school. We're all still connected through facebook these days, and I really still enjoy them so much.
- just finished up my last football season as a Sterling Star.
- kickin' ass academically. I believe I had already received my admissions letters from Texas A&M & Univ of TX by this time. I don't think I had chosen which college I was attending yet.
- very much eager to being out of my childhood home & moving on with my life
- dating my high school boyfriend, Jimmy. At this point, we'd been dating about a year and a half. We wouldn't make it through the summer, though. So goes high school romances....
- gearing up for another competitive softball season. I was a softball pitcher for many, many years.
- just turning 17 years old
Anyway, that was a quick detour there! What I really want to talk about is our meal plan for the week. Kellie was having a bout of creativeness recently & went to painting several spots in our house with chalkboard paint. I decided to use one of those on the kitchen cabinets for our meal plan for the week. Check it out!!!
I want to get more colored markers so I can make it a rainbow of meals for the week! Wouldn't that be cool & colorful?
I am the chief meal planner, grocery shopper, & chef in our house. Those roles have swung back & forth between Kellie & I over the years, and right now, those are my primary roles. (Willingly, I might add. I'll tell the story someday of how I came to be a passionate vegan chef from really not liking to be in the kitchen at all.) She's taken on other roles that need filled, and this flexibility we have is one of the hallmarks of our relationship. It's something I really love about us.
Anywaaaaaaaayyysssss......I do most of my recipe searches online, mostly through pinterest. With the advent of the interwebs, now you can search for recipes AND see how it's going to look in the end with the beautiful meal pictures. I mean, I really don't see how you'd want to search recipes any other way these days. Whenever I see a new recipe that is vegan, easy, healthy, and delicious-looking, that baby gets pinned. And then when I'm meal planning for the week, I go to my boards and see what I want to cook that week. So far this is working for me.
So from the chalkboard meal plan above, you can see I have a full week of meals lined up for us. Our meal weeks are typically Friday to Friday, another thing that is working for us right now with our schedules. I shop on Fridays & do another small Tuesday store run for fresh things needed for the rest of the meals for the week. The meals I plan are for dinner. I like both of us knowing we're going to have a delicious, healthy, hot meal at home for dinner each night. Lunches are either leftovers or a quick PB&J if I'm tired of what's in the fridge, along with fresh veggies & fruit. Yes, every single one of our lunches is chocked full of fresh veggies & fruit. Breakfasts are on our own. 90% of the time, I eat some delicious organic oatmeal I've found at HEB & a piece of fruit, but sometimes, if the mood strikes, I have a waffle and/or a bowl of cereal. Kellie loves getting us breakfast tacos on Saturday mornings from the delicious Austin-owned Tacodeli down the street, and I look forward to that all week. Yumminess in a breakfast taco. Best in town. Wait...tomorrow is Saturday, which means breakfast tacooooooooooos! Woohoo!
I always try to make something I've never made before each week....ya know, try out a new recipe or two. This week I'm trying out these two new recipes:
Mini Nacho Pizzas (recipe) from the wonderful Lunchbox Bunch, who have a bunch of really easy, healthy, vegan recipes. This meal is basically nacho toppings on an oven-toasted english muffin. Click that recipe link for the most amazing photos of this meal. My stomach growls every single time I look at those pictures. We're having that for dindin tonight, along with a salad made with this Garlic Dijon vinaigrette. *licking lips*
Easy Vegan Pad Thai (recipe) from VegKitchen. I'm making this one for Kellie. You can count on Kellie to get pad thai anytime we eat Thai food out. Religously. She loves it! So when I found this vegan version of her favorite Pad Thai, I knew it needed to make it on our meal plan this week. Looks easy, delish, & healthy, the three requirements for any meal I cook these days. Oh, and it's vegan! That's the best part about it. :) Most pad thais have fish sauce, but not this one. This is one I'm completely interested in seeing how it turns out & if it tastes like what we get in restaurants.
The rest of the recipes are ones that are tried & true regulars that make it into the meal plan rotation pretty often.
Chana Masala Chickpea Curry: I make this recipe at least once a month, and I always double it up when I make it. It makes for GREAT leftovers, and it takes minutes to make. So delicious. So easy. So healthy. And it's vegan! I'm making green beans (how yet, I'm not sure) as a side dish to this meal.
Seared Tofu with gingered vegetables: This recipe made its debut in our household during my "No Meat March" in NYC a couple of years back, and I remember it being just delicious! So I'm making it again this week for us. I'm pairing it with a side of roasted asparagus for a more well-rounded meal.
Bean burritos: An old fave in our household, even when we were meat eaters. It's been a staple for Kellie & me since our first month together all those years ago. I haven't made this in a while, so I'm glad we're having it this week. We make it with 100% whole wheat tortillas, organic low-sodium refried beans, salsa, tomatoes, avocados, and onions. Easy peasy to pull together and a good meal for us to have mid-week when we're both working. (Side note: I'd ultimately like to get us away from canned foods & make my own beans, but I'm not there yet.)
Pasta w/sauce paired with roasted garlic on baguette: This is another go-to meal for us. It's easy to make during the week & is very comforting for me. I've recently discovered how easy roasted garlic is to make, and I am making it a part of our meal plan every week. Not only is it the most delicious way to eat garlic, but it is incredibly healthy & has so many great nutrients in it that are good for your mind & body. We'll be spreading the roasted garlic cloves on pieces of oven-toasted baguette bread. I'm already looking forward to that, and I still have to wait 6 days to eat it! :) (Same side note: I want to make my own pasta sauce one day, probably very soon. My sister has made her own & says it's easy. That's coming. But for now, it's organic store-bought pasta sauce.)
So there's the meal plan line-up for the week. I'm really excited about all the new meals I'm making and all the go-to favorites that are making an appearance this week. I hope your weekend is filled with health & happiness, and that you're able to spend it with people you love. Until next time....
Peace, my friends.