Marin mama’s weekly dinner menu for November 24th

Marin mama's weekly dinner menu for November 24thI almost didn’t publish a weekly menu this week, as it’s a holiday week and I know most of you are just concentrating on what to make for Thanksgiving and are probably in vacation mode, but I’m a creature of habit, so I’m just going to post one anyway for those of you that are interested.  I mean Thanksgiving is on Thursday and we still have to cook Sunday through Wednesday, right?  BTW, if you’re eyeballing that above cranberry sauce, I have the recipe on my blog.  It’s super easy to whip up and tastes so much better than the canned variety. It also makes a great hostess gift. We like to put the cranberry sauce into little glass jars, tie them with a cute bow and give them away throughout the holiday season. Oh, for those of you that are interested in trying to eat a bit healthier, I have a recipe for chia pudding embedded in this post, so you’re not only getting a weekly menu, but a recipe as well.  Bonus!  Oh, and I’m also sharing with you some of the healthier things I’ve been trying to eat for lunch as well, so welcome to the world of Jackie and her attempts at trying to eat healthier throughout the day.

So remember last week when I challenged myself to give up caffeine for a week and to try warm lemon water with cayenne in the morning?  Well, I totally failed on the no caffeine part day one. I did reduce my caffeine intake to 1/2 a cup for a few days, but by the end of the week I was back to my usual cup and a half, and I decided that it’s not such a bad habit and that I’m done trying to give it up.  I’m a creature of habit, and one habit that makes me happy is my warm cup of black coffee and my morning bowl of steel cut oats or quinoa flakes.

easy overnight steel cut oats with blueberries and honeyI had a love hate relationship with the warm lemon water, and to be honest the cayenne pepper addition was gone on day 2, too spicy!

IMG_8508I did enjoy the lemon water for the first 5 mornings, but it kind of got to me on day 6 and I was gagging on it as I was trying to gulp it down. I think it was just too much to try and fit in on my busier mornings and I wasn’t enjoying it. I will try and keep it up on the mornings when I have more time to sit and sip it because of all of the great health benefits.  I’m done warming up the water though, as it just became too much of a chore in the morning. I’m just going to just fill up a glass of water the night before so it can come to room temperature, and then just squeeze in some lemon juice in the morning.  I have to say that I felt great on the days I drank the lemon water, so it will stay a part of my routine, but it won’t be an everyday thing.

I’ve been trying to eat healthier snacks and lunches during the day and I’ve become addicted to these quinoa bars.  I love eating a bar as a post workout snack paired with some coconut water, and I’ve been pairing them with a green smoothie or juice for a quick breakfast or on-the-go lunch.  I will be sure to post the recipe soon.  My daughter’s friend is addicted to these, and Eli even likes them, so they’re sort of kid friendly.

DSC_0018-2I took the leftover quinoa from these bars and topped them with a fried egg and enjoyed a simple but tasty lunch.  I mixed in some kale from my lacinato kale salad on day 2 with the quinoa and it was tasty as well. I love quinoa because it really pairs with just about anything.

IMG_8606I also tried some chia pudding this week and surprisingly I liked it, but it’s not something I can have for breakfast as it’s too cold, and it’s too sweet for lunch, so I’m thinking it will be a great thing to have for a post workout of afternoon snack.  I like my snacks people!   I took the below ingredients and whizzed them in the blender, as I don’t like the consistency of chia seeds.

Chia seed pudding:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon raw honey or maple syrup

Combine the above ingredients into a glass jar or bowl, and mix well until combined and the mixture begins to thicken.  You can also whiz the ingredients into a blender and then pour into a bowl.  Store covered in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight.

ingredients for chia puddingTop it with some fresh fruit or nuts.  I didn’t have any fresh fruit in the house except bananas, so I topped it with some sliced banana and some peanut butter.  I think I would like it better next time with some fresh fruit and toasted walnuts.  The pudding will keep fresh for 5 days if stored in the refrigerator.  BTW, I know this is not the most attractive picture I’ve ever taken, (the peanut butter glob is pretty unappetizing) but it’s the only picture I have of the chia pudding.

chia puddingI also made up another batch of this acorn squash and quinoa this week, and I’ve been enjoying the leftover quinoa for lunch this weekend.  So basically this has been a week full of quinoa and chia seeds. I guess I’m just trying to get my body in tip-top shape for the big Thanksgiving feast on Thursday!

acorn squash stuffed with quinoa and roasted almonds zip listBefore I post this week’s menu, I had to share this picture of Eli and his buddy and his little brother.  These boys are obsessed with making money.  They rake people’s lawns, they offer to put up holiday decorations, and yesterday they baked cookies and then went through the neighborhood with this cute little basket selling the cookies.  I mean, who wouldn’t buy a cookie or two from these cuties!  They came to our house about 4 times though, and of course I bought a cookie or two each time.  I love that they’re inspired to earn their own money and they really do work hard!

IMG_8624Here’s another picture that I took earlier in the week of Eli and his buddy raking leaves in the front yard. I always tell Eli that he is going to be rich someday because he truly is an entrepreneur and works hard for the money!

ingredients for chia pudding-2Ok, you’ve probably heard enough about my weird eating habits and child labor, so let’s move onto this week’s menu.

Sunday night dinner:  Chicken parmesan and kid friendly caesar salad.  Zoe has her big fall dance recital this afternoon and I want to have something yummy (yummy is always key) that I can make ahead this morning and pop in the oven when we get home.  We’ve been craving traditional crispy and breaded chicken parmesan, so I’m going to make some up this morning and just re-heat it when we get home.  I’m also going to make the croutons and salad dressing ahead of time as well, and then just toss the salad together while the chicken heats up.  Easy, delicious and total Sunday night comfort food!

chicken parmesankid friendly caesar saladMonday night dinner:  Pasta with lemon, kale and toasted walnuts.  We have quickly come to love this pantry staple one bowl pasta.  I also love having the leftovers for lunch throughout the week.

pasta with kale, lemon and toasted walnutsTuesday night dinner: Leftover night!  We’re taking the leftover chicken parmesan and making chicken parmesan subs. I’m going to make up a fresh batch of the caesar salad with the leftover dressing that I made up on Sunday.

Wednesday night dinner:  Paul McCartney’s refried bean tacos and lacinato kale salad. I’m making up an easy meatless meal tonight as I’m prepping a lot of Thanksgiving stuff today and tomorrow we’re going to be feasting on tons of food, so simple is always better.

Paul McCartney's refried bean tacoslacinato kale saladThursday: Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  We’re going to be celebrating Thanksgiving at my friend Carey’s house and there will be a house load of people, so we’re all chipping in and bringing down some side dishes and desserts.

John’s making up his mom’s cranberry orange sauce.  This sauce is super easy to whip up and tastes 100 times better than the canned variety.

cranberry orange sauce I’m going to be making up a batch of regular popovers as well as my sea salt and rosemary popovers.  I will be making these up ahead of time and then re-heating them at Carey’s house.  It’s not the best way to enjoy them, as popovers are best when they’re fresh out of the oven, but the ovens will be occupied,  so this is the next best way.

popovers

popovers with rosemary and sea saltMy friend Yvonne is bringing down my kale, cranberry, apple and toasted almond salad.

kale, cranberry, apple and toasted almond salad with lemon dressingI’m going to be bringing down my kale and brussels sprouts salad.  So yes, kale salads are definitely going to be part of the Thanksgiving menu.  If Marin mama is coming to your house, she brings kale!

kale salad with brussels sprouts and toasted almondsFor dessert I’m not making the traditional pumpkin or apple pie.  I’m making our favorite chocolate coconut pie.  We had this last year for Thanksgiving and it has now become our Thanksgiving pie. Why not start new traditions right?  My kids prefer this pie over apple and pumpkin.

chocolate coconut pieMy friend Yvonne is bringing down my pumpkin sheet cake with cream cheese frosting.

pumpkin sheet cake with cream cheese frostingFriday night dinner:  TGIF!  It’s my night off and since we won’t be having any Thanksgiving leftovers were going to grab a quick bite out and then go to see the movie Thor!  I can’t wait! Zoe and I just saw Hunger games last night and it was awesome!  There were some parts I had to turn away from, but it was a great movie to see on the big screen and it was a jam-packed theatre which made it even more fun!

Ok, I hope you all have a fabulous and safe Thanksgiving!

xoxo, Jackie

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{ 18 comments… add one }

  • Kelli H November 24, 2013, 4:53 pm

    Your menu for the week looks great! I made my list yesterday and went shopping to get it over with for the week. I managed to cook last night and will be cooking through Wednesday night. Wednesday night I’m making your acorn squash stuffed with quinoa and a salad though since it seems pretty easy. :)

    So cute that Eli & his friends want to earn their own money. That’s great!

    Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy November 26, 2013, 12:32 am

      Hey Kelli! I actually have most of my shopping done as well, which feels great. I’m making such easy recipes, and all of the ingredients can be bought ahead of time which is bonus. I hope you love the quinoa stuffed squashes! :) xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
  • Mary November 25, 2013, 12:05 am

    I’m so glad you decided to post!! Lemon water is good – yes but I’m firmly addicted to my coffee in the morning (and maybe one more squeezed in during the day) and I decided if I’m going to be addicted to anything – it could be SO much worse than coffee!! LOVE the idea of the chai pudding – got to try that – have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
    Mary x

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy November 26, 2013, 12:33 am

      Thanks Mary! Yes, coffee is an addiction that I’m done feeling guilty about and I sometimes squeeze in another cup on those sluggish afternoons! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving as well girl! xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
  • Danielle @ Dani Cakes November 25, 2013, 12:15 am

    I grew up on canned cranberry sauce and have only had “real sauce” once. I may just break out of my tradition and try your recipe this week for thanksgiving (it sounds delicous). Tom randomly picked up a giant bag of cranberries at Costco so we have a ton to use!

    I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving :) I have been very thankful for the past few months for your awesome recipes. We have at least one a week and so we think of you often!

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy November 26, 2013, 12:38 am

      Hi Dani! Thanks for your sweet comment! I really love hearing from you and I love that you have been with my blog since the beginning. It shows me that you really do love the recipes, because you have been with me for so long :)
      Yes, try the cranberry sauce, it’s super easy and so tasty. It’s different than the canned version because you have chunks of cranberries in there that burst in your mouth, but I love that!
      I hope you and Tom have a fabulous thanksgiving as well and get some time to just hang out together and run! xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
  • Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl November 25, 2013, 3:46 am

    I hear you on the lemon water, I do better with it when it’s cold and I can enjoy it in the heat. Lately I’ve been drinking mint tea in the morning and that’s been working out nicely. Hope you and your family has a lovely Thanksgiving week!

    Reply
  • Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health November 25, 2013, 5:20 am

    I’ve never been a coffee drinker but I’m not sure I could stomach lemon water every morning. I’m sure it’s great for you but it would definitely get old fast! I love those steel oats too, yum.

    I’m also not a fan of the chia seed texture but I never thought to blend them! Great idea. I will have to try it sometime. Yes, you will certainly be ready for Thanksgiving with all of those clean eats. Although, I think all of that kale will keep you in good shape. Have a nice holiday Jackie! :)

    Reply
  • Jaclyn November 25, 2013, 3:55 pm

    Keep it coming with all the healthy eating ideas you share! I love my snacks throughout the day, and I really could be healthier about them. Those quinoa bars and that egg over quinoa both look delicious…i’d probably top off the egg with some hot sauce, I love my spicy food!

    How great that those boys have a work ethic at a young age, I really think that’s a sign of future success. Eli for sure could be your little entrepreneur!

    Reply
  • Dedy@Dentist Chef November 26, 2013, 5:58 am

    what a lovely, tasty and healty meals…
    you’re famaily must be so lucky to have you!

    Reply
  • cynthia November 26, 2013, 11:45 am

    hi jackie! have you thought about switching to decaf or even half-caf coffee? i find that what i love most about coffee is the smell, taste, and drinking it– often times, i don’t even miss the caffeine. i’d definitely recommend it if you can manage it, in addition to a bit of lemon water of course.
    oh, and i would totally buy cookies from eli and friends. adorable. hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving weekend!
    (ps: baked the cran-orange bread last week and it was absolutely amazing. i may have overdone it with the cranberries but the cake and especially batter was delicious.)

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy November 26, 2013, 2:12 pm

      Hi Cynthia. I actually do a blend of regular and decaf and I’ve been doing that for years. I would even make the switch to total decaf, but my hubby wouldn’t be too happy. Glad you made the cranberry orange bread. I’ve thought about adding more cranberries to it because I love them in there, but it seems like you did and were not to psyched with the result, so I will keep the proportions the way they are. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving as well Cynthia! :) xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
  • Reba- Not So Perfect Life November 26, 2013, 4:36 pm

    I can not get on the Chia Seed train. The texture turns me off. I juiced yesterday to try and balance out all the eating I will be doing Thursday. I love your poppver recipe but I agree its best fresh. I’m going to make pretzel rolls and regular rolls. I love fresh bread!

    Reply
  • Emily November 26, 2013, 5:07 pm

    Well hello, I am glad to have stumbled upon your blog of yummy and healthy food (while putting together my weekly menu). I really appreciate all the kale and quinoa recipes along with the sweets.
    I drink lemon water daily (…love lemons, i also love cayenne) but I never tried it with warmed water. I don’t think that would be so good.

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy November 27, 2013, 3:29 am

      Hi Emily! I’m so glad you discovered my blog as well! Welcome :) Weekly menus are key right? It’s nice to know that you put one together as well.
      I quickly realized that warm lemon water and cayenne we’re not the best combination! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! :) xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
  • Sharon B. November 27, 2013, 3:23 am

    I managed to get down the lemon and cayenne pepper water all week, but like you I was really tired of it at the end of the week! I know some people do it every day. Maybe I’ll work my way up to that. John’s mom’s cranberry sauce looks so good! I just peeked at the recipe and it looks similar to one I make. I like the addition of nutmeg, I think I’ll add a few cracks of that this year. The quinoa with egg on top looks like such a good breakfast, I never thought of that before! Clever girl. :)
    Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving. So many things to be thankful for, including our friendship this past year. So appreciative of that! Have a great turkey day! xoxo, Sharon

    Reply
  • Deb Lawson November 29, 2013, 9:11 pm

    I’m glad you did post this menu because you inspired me to make the kale, cranberry, apple, toasted almond salad for our Thanksgiving dinner. It was a success with the family and added something unique to our traditional Midwestern cuisine.

    I used real maple syrup in the lemon dressing (well worth the price) and it was out of this world yummy. The salad didn’t last a day. And it was a big one!

    Thanks so much for sharing.

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy November 30, 2013, 12:45 am

      Hi Deb! Yaay! I’m so happy to hear that this post inspired you to try the kale and cranberry salad and that it was a hit with the family, especially when people are looking for traditional Thanksgiving fare! I tell people all of the time that kale really does taste good raw, you just need a good dressing and you need to massage it! Have a wonderful weekend Deb! xoxo, Jackie

      Reply

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