Monday, April 2, 2012

Weekly Menu 4/1/2012 and Fun Kid Lunches!

Good afternoon to you all!  I can't believe it's April already but I'm loving it!  More warm weather lies ahead and that makes me happy!  We have been blessed to have my husband work from home on Fridays since the gas prices have been so lovely.  He loves working from home because it saves him the commute and he gets more work finished than at the office.  We love having him because, well, we love him!  So, he is able to take a few breaks in the day and the last two weeks we have done our grocery shopping on Friday afternoons!  This is really exciting for me because I don't have to do it alone while pregnant and toting the other two tots plus it's more fun!  Having our shopping done Friday made me even happier this week because I was particularly excited about the recipes on our menu!  So excited, in fact, that I have already made 3 of the dinners on our menu!  ~Thank goodness for leftovers too because it is only Monday! 

You may have just read that and thought, 'What?  I thought she was still hating food?'  Yes.  That is a very interesting story!  I will share it in another post but I am feeling better!  On to our menu for this week and some fun kid lunches as well! 

Menu for the week of April 1, 2012:

1.  Quinoa Stuffed Roasted Green Peppers.  I am making these tonight except I am doubling the recipe and using a mixture of red and yellow peppers because the grocery store didn't have organic green ones.  I am also subbing lentils for the edamame in the recipe.  We don't eat soy if we can help it and I already have lentils on hand. 

2.  Roasted vegetables and avocado with sea salt.  Sometimes the most delicious of recipes are the most simple!  I forget this all the time and I am glad that this picture popped up on Pinterest because I was looking for a few easy recipes this week.  I also had some of the veggies left from last week that needed to be used.  The veggies are zucchini, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and garlic. 

3.  Artichoke Spinach Pizza!!!  I have actually already made this one, I just couldn't wait!  My husband and I made it after the kids went to bed Friday night and it was splendid!  We couldn't get enough and I'll probably make it again later this week!  It was super easy too!  I took the recipe linked above and created a vegan/gluten free spin.  I used this Roasted Artichoke and Garlic Spread for the base sauce, which really made the pizza!  I followed the recipe but added a bit of olive oil to make it more sauce-like and spreadable.  Delicious!  Then I added a good swirl of Muir Glen mushroom marinara over the artichoke spread.  We then added spinach and sliced black olives.  We, of course, used our favorite pizza crust recipe and just let it rise a little before baking.  (I actually have a trick or two up my sleeve to make this crust even more spectacular....stay tuned, I hope it works!) 

Fresh from the oven!  This pizza was so good and so satisfying!!!

4.  Fettuccine Alfredo with Shitake Mushrooms, Sundried Tomatoes, and Kale.  This recipe is vegan and looks so good but I didn't realize how labor instensive it was when I added it to the list.  Yeah, I'm not so much into boiling almonds and peeling them.  So, I just adapted one of my favorite alfredo sauces to fit what flavors I was craving at the time.  (made it last night)  It turned out wonderful!  My husband even ate two giant bowls!  I'll share the recipe later because it is quite an adaptation.  I ended up leaving out the extra veggies but you could still add them if you like.  I might still make the original recipe this weekend but I we'll see.

5.  Holiday Soup for the Soul.  It was cold and rainy Saturday night so I made this soup at my husband's request.  It was really easy and delicious!  It also made a lot of soup and tasted better the next day!  He took some for lunch today as well.  I increased the quinoa to one cup, added a carrot, and used regular organic vegetable broth because I didn't have boullion.  Next time, we'll add some potato and more carrot!  We like lots of veggies in our soup! 

6.  Whatever's in the Fridge Skillet.  This one's my favorite!  I have everything to make this or at least some easy substitutions and it's quick in addition to being healthy ~love! 

7.  Baked Sweet Potatoes and salad.  Easy.  Delicious.  Enough said. 

As far as snacks and desserts and such....I made these crackers which were great with the hummus I whipped up.  The night we had pizza, we also made these cookies and they were yummy!  (and simple!)  I made a loaf of Teff Sandwich Bread for the kids to have this week as well.  It didn't turn out as soft and sandwich-like as I had hoped but it was good and has served it's purpose.   

This is not the best picture but I've been really into fun food for the kids recently!  You can see the sandwich I made for my daughter on the left.  What you can't see is the 'G' I cut into it with a cookie cutter.  It was G week and her name begins with G as well.  The kids spent Saturday with their grandparents so my husband and I could get some serious cleaning and organizing accomplished.  I wanted them to have cute, fun lunches to eat.  My daughter has been picky the last few months about her food and I thought doing stuff like this might help.  So far, so good!  It's also been more fun for me to make the lunches and doesn't take any more time than usual, especially since she actually eats it so the time I used to spend fighting with her over taking one more bite is no more!  In addition to the G sandwich, peanut butter and organic grape jelly, her lunch contains sliced black olives ( a special treat), carrot sticks, red peppers, hummus (in the square container), peas (half moon container), and one of the cookies I mentioned earlier.  Not pictured are frozen blueberries and a mandarin orange.  Here is a link to the lunch box I use for my daughter.  I really like it because it has all of those compartments which keep her from being exposed to cross contamination when we go out.  She can just eat out of her lunch container instead of putting her food on the table that may or may not have gluten crumbs.  Eek.  I don't like that it's so big and awkward because it's difficult to tote around.  She loves it though and it makes picnics ~her favorite thing ever~ a breeze!  Here is a picture of the lunch she had yesterday,

Clearly, this lunch was not super elaborate but having the little muffin cups made her happy and it looks cuter this way!  She had peas, carrots, red peppers, salted raw cashews and organic raisins.  Peppers, peas and carrots are some of her faves and they are easy on the go as well!  My son's lunches were less interesting because he is still young and eats everything but I did cut his sandwich into circles for him.  This week, our letter is 'H' and we had our first fun lunch this afternoon!

This was my daughter's 'H' lunch today.  I put her peas in a heart shaped cookie cutter, which was the talk of the table.  She had hummus, a slice of bread with almond butter and honey and the Big H little h made of carrots and yellow bell peppers.  Not pictured is half a banana.

She had to eat her lunch with her hat!
You see what I mean about my son's lunches, he usually has them gone before I can even do anything 'fun' with them!  haha

Just wanted to share a few of the things we have been doing to make food more fun!  Have a great day!

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