10 foods I eat every day

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What are your eating habits like? What foods do you eat daily? I like to think I have a pretty good diet. I stay away from most overly processed foods, keep sweets for special occasions (which has been a big improvement lately) and eat lots of healthy nutritious foods.  But I am definitely a creature of habit.  I know that eating a variety of foods will give you a broader scope of vitamins and minerals, but honestly it can be tough, even for someone like me who loves to cook and meal plan. Back in June I took on the 40 plant foods challenge and within that week it was tough to get to 40 different plant foods.  I only included that much variety in my diet because of the conscious effort I made to reach the goal (I hit 37/40 for it).  Then the challenge was over and I went back to my normal ways.  My normal ways are good!  Just not insanely varied.

I think having indulgences is 100% okay in the diet.  If I could never have chocolate again it would be a really sad day.  That said, what I eat daily and what makes up a lot of my diet, that’s what makes a difference for my health, how I feel and how I look.  I thought it would be fun to take a look at my top 10 foods I eat daily.  Then I want to hear about your top 10 foods you eat daily!  I had to sit and think for quite some time while running through the past few days remembering my meals.  Here they are in no particular order, except for the first two.  I can’t imagine a day without the first two.

Half and half

Every single day I add large amounts of (usually organic) half and half to my coffee.  I totally had to include it because it’s not like a use a couple teaspoons, there’s a good inch or two going into each cup.  Coffee is half included with this one as well since I wouldn’t be having the half and half if I didn’t have my 2-3 cups of coffee a day.

Why I like it: high fat content for longer satiety… and it makes me oh so happy which is really the best reason

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Egg

One of my very favorite proteins.  I love them scrambled, fried, cooked into items, baked and pretty much any way you can think of, I love them.  I have between 2-4 eggs a day.

Why I like it: every egg has 6 grams of protein, plus when eating the whole egg you’ll get vitamins and minerals like riboflavin, folate, vitamins B6, B12, D, and E, iron, phosphorus, and zinc

Banana

Quick and easy to grab for an energizing snack.  A lot of the time I use bananas to sweeten up other foods – my favorite being custard oats.

Why I like it: they taste good (as long as they are green!), travel well and are packed with potassium

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Almonds/almond butter

Almonds or almond butter make it into my daily diet.  I like the fat content to keep me more full and they are just plain delicious.  Either for a munchable snack or spreadable goodness on pancakes, breads or bananas. {contender for this spot: peanut butter}

Why I like it: again, the satiety factor I like, plus almonds are loaded with vitamin E, which is good for the skin

Cucumber

One of my favorite veggies.  I wish I could say some kind of dark leafy green vegetable made it in this list, but they’re more like an every other day thing.  Cucumbers are the bomb though.  I can easily munch on an entire cucumber in one sitting.

Why I like it: they are vitamin packed, loaded with water and refreshingly delicious

Whole plain yogurt

Plain yogurt with blueberries, jam or homemade granola is my go to post workout snack.  I opt for plain yogurt but like to add some form of sweetness in.  The tart flavor of plain yogurt isn’t my favorite on its own, but I don’t really want the added extra sugar from the sweetened varieties.  I also love making my own crockpot yogurt (also check out how to make your homemade yogurt super thick){contender for this spot: cheese}

Why I like it: it’s a good mix of protein and carbs, plus the live cultures are good for my belly

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Berries

Blueberries top the list here, but strawberries and raspberries come in second and third.  Berries usually go with breakfast, a snack or after dinner treat.

Why I like it: berries pack a naturally sweet punch and they are filled with an array of vitamins and also fiber

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Beef

The majority of our dinners tend to be beef in one form or another.  On the evenings we aren’t eating beef (like tonight we’ve having halibut) I usually will have leftovers for lunch which tend to be beef.

Why I like it: major iron and zinc content and beef is just so flavorful

Rolled oats

Rolled oat aren’t only for oatmeal, I love them in pancakes as binder and also in things like meatloaf and meat balls.

Why I like it: check out this whole post on why

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Avocado 

When I was younger I did not like avocados at all.  Crazy me! Avocados are my favorite spread on bread, topping for salads or rice bowls, or just an accompaniment to a meal.

Why I like it: vitamins, fat, fiber and fullness

There are tons of other foods I eat quite often, but as far as daily it’s rare when these 10 foods don’t make it into my belly.

What do you think about my list?  Any surprises? Any foods I shared that you eat daily? What are your top 10 foods… ready, set, GO!

Heather

huevos rancheros

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Breakfast for dinner is always in our meal plan rotation.  Thursdays roll around and it just sounds so comforting and hits the spot every time.  Normally I lean more towards pancakes or omelets, but for this BFD (that we ate on a Saturday – double BFD dose that week!) we mixed it up with huevos rancheros!

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I picked huevos rancheros for my Secret Recipe Club reveal from Cookin’ Mimi.  Micha writes the blog and has a serious love for cooking.  Her recipe collection is massive.  Great if you need inspiration, but dang it was hard to pick what I wanted to make!  After browsing through her breakfast recipes I settled on huevos rancheros.  I’ve had it once or twice in my life and had never made it at home.  No better time than now to change that, right?  I even had an extra taste tester to share the recipe with!

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Jacob’s brother came into town and spent the weekend with us.  We spent a morning at the zoo, then later that evening had these for dinner.  And they were perfection!

The dinner came together in a snap.  As the chorizo was cooking away I prepped all the toppings, warmed the refried beans and tortillas, then 5 minutes before we were going to eat I fried up the eggs.  My little kitchen helper was eagerly learning how to make huevos rancheros as well. Totally.

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I love sharing meals with people.  And it’s just so fun to have a big spread at the table for dinner time.  Everyone adds what they want on their plate.  I opted for everything on my huevos rancheros – tortilla, refried beans, egg, chorizo, cheese, salsa, avocados, and then at the last minute added sour cream.  A great choice.

IMG_8818In case you wanted to know the english to spanish translation for huevos rancheros, it means rancher’s eggs (so the internet says :-) ).  Now go make some!

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Huevos Rancheros

recipe slightly adapted from here

Serves around 4

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces chorizo
  • 15 ounce can refried beans or 2 cups homemade
  • 1 14 ounce can salsa style or Tex-Mex fire roasted tomatoes
  • 4-8 corn tortillas
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • optional toppings: avocado, sour cream

Directions

  1. Begin by browning the chorizo in a medium pan until fully cooked through.  Keep warm on low.
  2. Warm refried beans on low in a small pan until warmed through.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil and fry the eggs (I cooked 2 per adult, 1 per kid).
  4. Prepare all other toppings: diced avocado, sour cream, shredded cheddar, salsa and warm tortillas.
  5. When everything is ready top a tortilla with a thin layer of refried beans, add the fried egg, a spoonful of chorizo, salsa, cheese, avocado and sour cream.  I ate it with a fork, the guys ate it taco style.  We all really enjoyed it!

Have you ever had or made huevos rancheros?  What toppings would YOU pick?  Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Heather


roasted tomatillo salsa beef {crockpot recipe}

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Do you use tomatillos often?  I actually just really got into them a couple of years ago.  Before that I know I’ve had them in store bought salsa or when someone else cooked for me, but they weren’t something I bought very often.  If you aren’t familiar with them, meet them!  Tomatillos are in the same family as tomatoes (but more closely related to the cape gooseberry – thanks wikipedia) and are a firm green fruit covered in a thin paper like husk.  You peel off the husk before using them.  Tomatillos have a slight lemon taste to me.  They are pretty mild and make a great base for salsas and sauces… which is what I like to use mine for!

I actually started a bunch of tomatillo seeds a month ago and hope to grow my own!  So far they are still living, but we’ll see.  I am not that great of a gardener, but I really hope they thrive so I can can a ton of tomatillo salsa.  Fingers crossed!

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Back in February I made this crockpot dinner.  I had only jotted down the ingredients I used, but not really the measurements.  Roasted tomatillo salsa beef is just amazing so I knew I had to recreate it not only for my recipe arsenal but for you too!  The dish is super simple to make, but tastes like you put a lot of effort into it.  The most work comes with roasting the tomatillos and onions, then blending it, but really that it’s bad at all.  If you have your oven already on for another meal a day or so before you’re planning this one, prep the sauce then you’ll have it waiting in the fridge to use for a super simple morning crockpot start.

I’ve served it with homemade whole wheat naan and also over rice.  Both are fabulous.  Don’t forget the feta to crumble on top.  Such a tasty addition!

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Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Beef

serves about 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed and cut in half
  • 1 large onion, large diced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 2 lb beef stew meat (if you can’t find stew meat just cube a roast into pieces)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tsp sriracha (depending on how much heat you like)

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Toss the tomatillos and onion in olive oil, then sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.  Place on a foil lined baking sheet, and roast for 30-35 minutes.  You want all the tomatillos to be soft and beginning to slightly brown around a few edges.  Remove from oven when done, and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  2. Scrape the tomatillos, onions and any liquid from the pan into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour the sauce in the crockpot.  Place the beef on top.  Sprinkle generously with sea salt and pepper.  Add the garlic and sriracha, then stir to combine everything together.
  4. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  5. Serve with rice or pita bread + crumbled feta.

If you aren’t into beef, I highly recommend trying it with a pork roast that you’ve cubed up.  Pork and tomatillo salsa go wonderfully together.

What’s been cooking in your crockpot lately?

Heather

what we ate: mar 29 – apr 4

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Easter weekend was so much fun.  We saw both sides of the family, the kids enjoyed their first Easter egg hunt with their cousins and we got to think about the real reason for Easter (Jesus is risen!).  Although all the bunny stuff is fun, I’ll admit. :)

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I am totally one of those moms that doesn’t want my kids devouring tons of candy.  Thankfully my mom obliged and put other treats in the eggs.  She also put together a bunny BINGO game and Hunter loved it!

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Here’s a look at what we ate last week.

Sunday – taco salad

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Monday – creamy tomato pasta with bell peppers, sausage, feta and avocado

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Tuesday – crockpot bbq pulled pork sandwiches on whole wheat buns + steamed broccoli

Wednesday * – ground lamb + naan + feta + tzaziki +cucumbers + tomatoes

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Thursday – leftover BBQ pork sandwiches + broccoli salad

Friday – beefalo burgers + sweet potato fries + roasted asparagus

Satuday – enchiladas + tacos {dinner at in-laws}

How was your Easter weekend?  Did you do any special activities, gatherings or crafts?

Heather

Previous what we ate posts:

January 18-24, 2015

January 25-31, 2015

February 1-14, 2015

February 15-21, 2015

February 22-28, 2015

March 1-14, 2015

March 15-28, 2015

pin it party – DIY it

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Today my bud Lindsay is hosting a pin it party over at the lean green bean. I adore Pinterest (follow me here!) so I’ve just got to join! Here are 5 of my posts that if you missed you’ll want to check out.  All 5 are a little crafty or DIY-ish.  The first is especially a favorite right now since it’s just about gardening season!

DIY seed starters from egg shells

DIYseedstartershomemade water table

IMG_6963-764x1024DIY cork board

DIYcorkboardbaby’s first year wall art

IMG_6504-764x1024DIY rope baskets

IMG_8588-1024x992And I just have to mention, I’m selling adorable rope baskets over here on instragram too. :)

Those are my crafty pins for the day!  Check out the pin it party for tons of other great pins.  You can never be inspired too much, am I right?

Do you love DIY project on Pinterest?  What do you normally search for on there?

Heather

what we ate: mar 15-28

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Sometimes I feel like I’m getting into a bit of a dinner rut, then I look through these posts (link to all past ones at the end) and get some ideas for myself.  I hope you enjoy seeing what we eat for dinner.  Here’s two weeks worth of meals.  As always, when there is a recipe to link to, you’ll see it.  The asterisk next to a day is to help me remember when Jacob loved a meal or wanted me to write it down.

March 15-21

Sunday * – pork ragu + whole wheat pasta + sautéd kale with apples

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Monday – pork chops + sautéd brussel sprouts + sautéd mushrooms + roasted potatoes + quinoa (dinner at my mamas)

Tuesday – pineapple beef meatballs + jasmine rice + roasted green beans

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Wednesday – chicken noodle and kale soup

Thursday – BFD beef breakfast sausage + sweet potato and zucchini hash + eggs

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Friday * – steak with compound butter + brussel sprout mac n cheese

Saturday – papa murphy’s Hawaiian pizza + kale salad with poppyseed dressing

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March 22-28

Sunday – lamb shepherds pie (subbed lamb for beef)

Monday – whole wheat spaghetti + tomato beef sauce + brussel sprouts with bacon

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Tuesday – curry chicken salad (chicken breast, celery, grapes, mayo, seasonings) on whole wheat bread + cucumber sticks + cheddar cheese slices

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Wednesday – pasta tossed in jalapeño ranch topped with sautéd kale + bacon + roasted cherry tomatoes + avocado

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Thursday – BFD beef breakfast sausage + super egg scramble (sweet potato, kale, mushrooms, onions, egg, cheddar)

Friday – baked chicken thighs + roasted curry sweet potatoes

Saturday – dinner at auction for Jacobs work

I can’t wait for the temps to heat up just a little more so we can keep the grill out.  Actually, we just need to get through the rain that’s on it’s way, then the grill can stay out for a long summer of grilling.  Grilled meals are just so amazing!  And so is being outside playing when the food is cooking up.  Everyone gets a little bit happier when we can be outside.

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When you get in a dinner rut, where do you go for inspiration?  Pinterest is usually my go to source (check out my recipes to try board for some ideas).  Every blue moon I’ll bring out my stack of clean eating magazines I just can’t get rid of.  There are so many yummy recipes and such great pictures.

Heather

Previous what we ate posts:

January 18-24, 2015

January 25-31, 2015

February 1-14, 2015

February 15-21, 2015

February 22-28, 2015

March 1-14, 2015

no recipe brussel sprouts

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So much of my cooking is done without recipes these days. It wasn’t always that way though. I remember the first cookbook recipe I followed by myself in middle school (pampered chef – which I passed onto my baby brother and I’m pretty sure he hasn’t cooked from it yet….) and how fun it was to follow a recipe and know what the outcome would be like, at least what it was supposed to look like.  Bonus that it even tasted good!

That is what’s so nice about recipes – someone else has already done the work measuring and figuring out flavors, all you have to do is do what the recipes says. Easy right? It really is! But sometimes following a recipe takes extra steps, like actually measuring your ingredients and looking back at the instructions and following steps in their correct order.  And sometimes most of the time this mama just doesn’t make the time for that. Maybe it’s a two kid thing…

How I tend to cook is what I call ‘no recipe’ recipes. They’re more like guidelines or methods on how to create a dish.  It all starts with an idea, or a recipe I’ve made in the past, and thing just get thrown together.  It’s simplified, but still a thoughtful way of throwing together items to create a dish.

Veggies are a standard ‘no recipe’ dish. And today I’m sharing one of my no recipes!

I actually shared it on Instagram (where I like to live these days) and Facebook and after such a good response I just had to share it here too.   Here’s the ‘no recipe’ for a favorite and super simple way we enjoy brussel sprouts in our family.

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For those that want a recipe to follow, here are 6 different ways to eat your brussel sprouts:

Do you follow recipes or go by the seat of your pants in the kitchen (like me!!)? Do you like brussel sprouts? What is your favorite way to eat them?

Heather

7 days of green smoothies

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If you follow me on instragram you might have seen my #7daysofgreensmoothies I shared a little while back.  Well in honor of the first day of spring today (!!) I’m sharing all the green smoothies I made for those 7 days.

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My original plan was to make 7 different smoothies for 7 consecutive days, but a couple days into it I wanted one and the kids were napping and there was just no way I was going to risk a loud blender running when it could wake up sleeping children.  So then I decided to make smoothies when it was convenient… when the kids were awake.  Here are 7 different smoothie combos I shared on IG – but now you can see them all together and more easily find different combos to try.  I’ve listed the ingredients, not so much recipes.  I usually wing it when making smoothies and taste/adjust as I go.  If you are looking for specific measurements, check out the end of the post where I link up to a few other green smoothie recipes I have.  Happy spring and smoothie making!

Spinach + banana + frozen strawberries + plain yogurt + ice

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Frozen marionberry + spinach + banana + plain yogurt + water + vanilla extract + ice

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Spinach + avocado + banana + natural peanut butter + plain yogurt + vanilla extract + water + ice

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Spinach + banana + natural peanut butter + cocoa powder + plain yogurt + vanilla extract + ice

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Pear + spinach + almond butter + milk + cinnamon + ice

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Kale + spinach + swiss chard + pear + banana + almond butter + milk + ice

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Kale + pear + sunflower seeds + almond butter + milk + ice + maple butter nut granola

IMG_5036If you are looking for recipes with measurements, check out these three green smoothie recipes.  All are delicious!

What are your favorite greens to add to smoothies?  I love spinach most, then swiss chard and kale. 

Heather

levana video monitor review + giveaway

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In my almost three years of being a mom I have lived without a video monitor for the kids.  We barely use our regular sound only monitors because our house is small enough that we can hear the kids making noise no matter if we’re on a different floor.  But things have changed now.  We are total video monitor converts!

 

Let me take a quick step back.  Through Levana and FitFluential I was selected to participate in the Do More Knowing Your Baby Is Safe campaign.  They sent me the Sophia video baby monitor to try out and the moment it arrived we put it to good use.  Here are some details about the Sophia monitor:

Get more done knowing your baby is safe and sound with the Sophia monitor at your side. This baby video monitor has been designed with parent-friendly controls and features in mind, including 48 hour battery life in power saving PEEP mode, temperature monitoring, 15ft night vision, and 500ft ClearVu® digital signal. Babies love the Talk to Baby two-way communication, invisible night vision LEDs and soothing night light. Stay in tune with your baby from the next room and beyond thanks to the insight of your Sophia baby video monitor.

Most people probably would have set the monitor up on their littlest child.  Not us.  Zoe is over 1 year now and stays nicely in her crib.  She is great at falling asleep without a problem and quite loud when she wakes, so I pretty much know what’s going on with her.  I don’t have much fear or worry about her when she’s sleeping.  But Hunter though… oh that boy.  Since he’s no longer in a crib he can easily get out of his bed.  Which he does all-the-time.  The kids share a room and I can easily hear when they’re awake, laughing and having a good time being silly together when they should really be sleeping.  Things get quieter when Zoe falls asleep so a lot of the time I think he’s asleep.  Well, now I really know he’s causing some mischief!

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I tend to clean up from lunch at nap time then work on dinner dishes and house pick up after they’re in bed for the night.  I’ve been having the wireless monitor set up on the counter so now I can actually see what Hunter does when he’s falling asleep.  Or working towards sleep.  The boy is a riot!  I’ve watched him air guitar and rock out singing a made up song, jump around all over his bed, jump in and out of bed, take everything off of his bed, then put it back on and so much more.  I’ve also seen him get out of his bed so I come down to see what he is doing (when normally I wouldn’t bother since he was being quiet) to find him tapping Zoe because he wanted her to wake up.  That kid.

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I can honestly say we have been loving the Sophia monitor.  It has a feature for two way communication, so I can talk to Hunter without being there.  At first I thought it would scare him, so I didn’t want to try it.  Then I did anyways and now pretty much anytime I use it he laughs at me, so it’s more of a fun feature for us.  The sound that comes through the monitor is super crisp and clear with no static problems at all.  It works way better than our sound only monitors that we have.  The video images are easy to see and great quality.  I love that it works in a dark room as well.

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I really like Levana’s tagline Do More Knowing Your Baby Is Safe.  I am much more at ease when I know Hunter is actually asleep and staying in his bed.  I can work on getting things done around the house, take an uninterrupted shower, or even just hang out on the couch for a minute and relax.  I am completely hooked on this!

And then he wakes and all the snuggles begin again. :)

IMG_5854GIVEAWAY

Three lucky winners will get the opportunity to win their very own Sophia video baby monitor!  Enter through Rafflecopter below.  The giveaway runs across 10 different blogs in this campaign, so between all 10 blogs there will be 3 winners.  The winners will be selected by Levana and contacted when the giveaway ends.  Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Moms, join the conversation below and share what you wish you could do more of!

Heather

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Levana. The opinions and text are all mine.

what we ate: mar 1-14, 2015

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I have two weeks of dinner inspiration for you this morning!  Which is exactly what I need to take a look at too.  I’m a total slacker with meal planning this week and pretty much am just planning to figure it out the day of.  I totally blame it on the rain this weekend.  All the awesome sunshine and warm days we had made me so inspired and productive and it just makes my brain spin a little quicker.  Then the rain comes (which is 100% the norm here in Washington) and I just want to sit on the couch and hang with my family.  Which is sometimes what rainy days just call you to do.

So here are TWO weeks worth of dinner inspiration for you (and me). As always, when there is a recipe to link to, you’ll see it.  The asterisk next to a day is to help me remember when Jacob loved a meal or wanted me to write it down.

March 1-7

Sunday – baked salmon + roasted carrots/sweet potatoes/red potatoes + roasted broccoli + crusty dutch oven bread

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Monday – spaghetti with beefy tomato sauce + corn + salad (dinner at my folks)

Tuesday – tuna melts + kale salad

Wednesday * – steak + compound butter + pasta caesar salad

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Thursday * – crockpot hawaiian beef + steam broccoli + jasmine rice

Friday – beef empanadas + chimichurri sauce

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Saturday – spaghetti with beefy sauce + salad + bread (dinner at some friend’s house)

March 8-14

Sunday – bratwurst + leftover jasmine rice + tomato/cucumber/avocado/cheddar salad

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Monday * – leftover hawaiian beef + jasmine rice/barley + steamed broccoli + cheddar sauce

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Tuesday – creamy chicken enchiladas + guacamole + sauted black beans and corn + snap peas

Wednesday – almond crusted halibut + roasted broccoli + mashed red potatoes + cucumber slices

Thursday – BFD blueberry pancakes

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Friday * – sausage + 4 different cheeses + crusty dutch oven bread (date night in! – the kids had quessadillas + avocado + pickles)

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Saturday * – taco salad (taco beef + lettuce + tomato + cheddar + black beans + guac + jalapeno ranch) + leftover crusty bread

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My favorite two kitchen helpers being distracted with cucumber slices and each other.  They add so much extra fun to my life. :)

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What do you love to do on rainy days?  Either inside or outside.

Heather

Previous what we ate posts:

January 18-24, 2015

January 25-31, 2015

February 1-14, 2015

February 15-21, 2015

February 22-28, 2015