Welcome to a brand new Nerd Nest Series! I’ve been trying to figure out how to blog about food for some time now. I’d previously been posting a What’s for Dinner series that featured a dinner dish every blue moon. But I’ve found myself wanting to post about several meals a week, and I don’t want to end up with three blog posts a day because I’m trying to fit food in. I’ll still post individual recipes every so often, but I’m liking the concept of this series a lot more.
Here’s the skinny: Each week, I’ll post about a week’s worth of our dinners at a time. You’ll see what our meal plan was, what actually happened, and what the plan for next week is. I’ll link to the site/ recipe book/ blog post where you’ll find the recipe. And I’ll tell you how the food was received. Sound good? Thought so.
Sunday | Bruschetta
Monday | Island Salad
Tuesday | Frozen Goodness
Wednesday | Mini Bean and Vegetable Enchiladas
Thursday | Cidar, Pork, Vegetable Stew
Friday | Chicken Stir Fry
Saturday | Pasta Cartwheels w/ Cheese and Broccoli
Lunch Goodies | Spinach Calzones, Zucchini and Tomato Frittata
I try to meal plan with the next week’s schedule in mind. For instance, I knew that we’d have to eat as soon as Jake got off work on Tuesday in order to get to friend Paul’s comedy show on time. So, frozen pre-prepared was the way to go. But things still didn’t go as planned.
Sunday | Bruschetta, Fancy Cheese and Crackers
Monday | Sandwiches / Fast Food
Tuesday | Trader Joe’s Frozen Orange Chicken, Jasmine Rice, Peas, and Veggie Eggrolls
Wednesday | Island Salad
Thursday | Mini Bean & Veggie Enchiladas
Friday | Korma Sutra / Frozen Pizza
Saturday | Pasta Bowties w/ Cheese and Broccoli
Lunch Goodies | Sandwiches and Leftovers
Here’s how this week went down:
Sunday was the Superbowl. Instead of watching it, we ate Brie and Blueberry Goat Cheese with Crackers and cooked Bruschetta with our friend Matt. Because that’s how we roll at the Nerd Nest.
How to make Bruschetta: Slice your favorite bread (we like ciabatta), sploosh with a bit of balsamic vinegar, and then top each piece of bread with a basil leaf, a bit of fresh mozzarella, and some diced tomatoes. Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted, then broil on high until the cheese is brown and bubbly. Eat and make yummy noises.
Monday, Jake was running errands that we hadn’t planned on (picking up our new TV), so I just fixed Eliza a sandwich with fruit and veggies and Jake brought fast food (which we generally try to steer clear of) home with him so we could eat together.
Tuesday went perfect, as planned. We really really love Trader Joe’s orange chicken. It is sticky and delicious. Though, full disclaimer, our single friends tell us it’s no good left over.
Wednesday was the super delicious mouth watering Island Chicken Salad with a homemade Caribbean Jerk Rub. MMMMmmmm. Everybody, even Eliza the salad hater, had clean plates.
Thursday was Mini Bean & Veggie Enchiladas, the recipe for which is from First Meals, the best book for cooking for kids I’ve found. I love that the book has sections broken down by age, from infant to 8. Each section talks about what kind of nutrition kids need at each stage and then has a ton of recipes for that age. I bought it because we made all of Jonas’s baby food, but I make a lot of family meals from it too.
These enchiladas have onion and tomato in the beans. The picky eaters (Jake and Eliza) don’t like these veggies, so it’s impressive that this meal can get them to eat them without a word of complaint. I think it’s the sweet corn that hides the other veggies so efficiently.
The only change I make to the recipe is to swap out the flour tortillas for corn tortillas, that way I can cut up and fry the rest of the tortillas for chips. We ate the chips with a combo of store bought salsa and leftover corn and black beans from Wednesday.
Friday was against the plans. I forgot to write my girl’s night out on our calendar, so I had a meal planned even though I was going out to eat at Korma Sutra, a delicious Indian restaurant in our neighborhood. The lamb vindaloo has nothing on our friend Steve’s homemade version, but it was still AH-mazing. And have I mentioned that naan is the best form of bread? I’m going to have to learn how to make it. Jake opted to buy a frozen pizza rather than actually cook.
On Saturday we had dinner at Jake’s boss’s house (they have a party every quarter when Jake’s team meats their goals). Anywho, I forgot to plan for that too. So I just made the pasta dish I had planned (also from First Meals) for lunch instead. Trader Joe’s didn’t have pinwheel pasta, so the dish became Bowtie Pasta with Cheese and Broccoli. It’s a baked pasta dish with homemade cheese sauce, broccoli, and sweet corn topped with more cheese and breadcrumbs. Everyone liked it, but there was a little leftover pile of broccoli at the bottom of Jake’s bowl (he’s not a fan of green things in general). I doubled the recipe so I can use the leftovers for Jonas lunches throughout the week. The sauce was a little bland, so I’ll be figuring out how to jazz it up for next time (I’m thinking herbs).
It’s pretty normal for things to not go as planned around here. Making sure to squeeze in at least one frozen thing seems to keep us from giving up and going out to eat unplanned on busy nights, but this week our mistake was needing the frozen dinner for a specific night without an easy back up for the night things got unexpectedly crazy. Getting two nights wrong throws everything off, as I’m careful to make sure that things with ingredients that don’t last long get cooked first.
I also didn’t have as much spare time as I thought I would this week to get fancy with lunches. No worries, the things I didn’t get to this week went onto the plan for next week.
Sunday | Stir-fry (lunch), Pizza Bruschetta
Monday | Cider Pork Stew*
Tuesday | Noodles and Company
Wednesday | Spinach Calzones* and Scrambled Eggs
Thursday | Shepherd’s Pie
Friday | Frozen something
Saturday | Spinach Stuffed Chicken* w/ Roasted Cauliflower
Lunch and Other Goodies | Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup, Strawberry Spinach Salad with Mission Valley Dressing, Smoothies, Chocolate Strawberries, Homemade Lemonade
*All of these recipes are from this cookbook.
See other food related posts here.
Do you meal plan? What have you been eating lately?