Hi friends! I have missed you! I did not intend to neglect my blogging all last week. My husband was out of town for work, and it turns out that I depend on him A LOT in order to write for the blog. Maybe you’ll find this hard to believe, but taking care of three little ladies all by myself takes up a lot of energy and time. It takes a lot of self-sacrifice to parent in a two-parent situation. So when you are down to solo-parenting, you end up using every single ounce of yourself to parent. By the end of the day, I was zonked. I gave myself a little grace this week and held off on blogging so that I could keep up with my girls and regular activities while my husband was out of town.
One of the many perks about my husband’s current job is that he does not have to travel frequently. However, he does have to travel on occasion, and this past week’s trip was to Florida. At the beach. GAHHH. Yes, I was jealous. Especially when he returned with tan-lines. Actually they are more like burn-lines. But either way, they indicate that he was outside at the beach long enough to enjoy some sunshine and fresh ocean air.
He came back Saturday night to a house full of excited squeals from all three of his little ladies (and his main squeeze too, if we are being honest!) The little ladies were unbelievable wound up and silly, and each had something they absolutely *needed* to tell him.
We were all so thankful he had safe travels and a positive work trip. And I was especially happy that he had a week to recharge and to forget about all his home duties and stresses. I think the break from the routine gave him a boost of energy and did him a world of good.
Oddly enough, I think the break from the routine helped me out too. Even though I just said how solo parenting was exhausting last week, it helped me appreciate my husband and all he does even more. And after not being able to write over the past week, I have SO many ideas bouncing around in my head. I feel refreshed from my unscheduled mini-break from the blog, and now I can refocus on why I started this blog to begin with! 🙂
Before we talk about the actual meals from last week, I want to mention that I did not Instagram any of my food. Who knew I’d have trouble remember to take a photo of my food when my husband wasn’t around to wrangle the little ones! I’ll get back on that this week 🙂
My lunches definitely centered around leftovers last week. Mostly minestrone with added rotisserie chicken. As for dinner, my $5 Costco-purchased Shepherd’s pie was the clear stand out. Gotta love finding a good frozen meal that you just throw into the oven for an hour. Paired that bad boy with a big ol’ green salad, and BOOM! Healthy well-rounded meal.
Speaking of salads, I have a million (or 7) pears that my girls insisted they liked but now won’t touch. Do your children do that? Anyway, in order to slowly deplete my pear stash, I’ve been chopping up part of a pear and adding it to my salad. I’m so fancy.
Yes, I just said I am fancy after saying I enjoy a $5 Costco Shepherd’s pie. The irony is not lost on me.
This week’s menu:
- Eggs (with spinach, peppers, onions, cheese, salsa, and/or avocado)
- 50/50 quinoa-oatmeal mix with cinnamon, zucchini, carrots, and banana
- Berries & cottage cheese
- Salad with boiled egg
- Almond butter-banana smoothie
- Red beans & rice (with extra veggies), side salad
- Curried butternut squash-peanut soup over quinoa, side salad
- Beef & veggie stuffed potatoes, side salad
- Tuna melts, side salad
- Mexican burrito bowls/salads
- Chicken meatballs, mashed potatoes, broccoli, side salad
- Stir-fry chicken & peppers, cauli-fried rice, side salad
Notes about this week’s menu:
Every time I make or eat red beans & rice, I think about Sir Mix A Lot. Just me? I’m going to try out adding in a bunch of veggies to my red beans & rice this week, so we’ll see how that goes.
The curried butternut squash-peanut soup is actually something I want to try that meshes together two recipes that I’ve never made. I have been craving peanut butter and Thai food this week, so I’m hoping this curry gives me some satisfaction.
My beef & veggie stuffed potatoes are SO simple and good. Bake yourself some potatoes. Brown some ground beef with some chopped onions, peppers, and garlic. Add in some spinach until wilted. Stuff the potatoes with the beef and greens mixture and yes.
About the tuna melts… I have a confession: I am not a big fan of canned tuna. However, my husband and oldest daughter absolutely adore tuna, so I make it on occasion. The tuna melts are good because well… cheese. 🙂
In my family, Mexican burrito bowls just means black beans, rice, veggies, cheese, & tortilla chips. I like to make mine on a huge plate of romaine lettuce, so that I can get extra veggies. I use salsa mixed with a little Greek yogurt as a dressing. MMMMMM…
As for the chicken meatballs, I meant to eat them last week in spaghetti. They were frozen, and I forgot to thaw them. And I didn’t have time to cook them from frozen by the time I remembered. DOH. So here they are again, making a special appearance alongside one of my favorite comfort foods: mashed potatoes. I like to throw in some cooked cauliflower, onions, and garlic in addition to the potatoes when mashing to get in a few other veggies. I love sneaking in extra vegetables! It makes my little heart happy!
When I first married my husband, a good stir-fry was his go-to dinner. For whatever reason, they fell out of favor, but I think it is time we revived that habit! I’m trying to do some fried rice with half cauliflower rice and half brown rice. We shall see how this goes. I know my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Side note: Do you notice that I almost always include a salad with dinner? It’s an easy way to get in additional vegetables and to monitor portions. I fill half my plate with salad, a fourth of my plate with the main dish (usually a protein), and the last fourth of my dish with the side (usually another vegetable.) Veggies make me feel good, and I want to make sure I get them into my diet as often as possible!