Weekly Menu Plan: March 2016

 

The Kitchen Beet :: Farmer's Market Asparagus

I’m barely squeezing this in, since it’s April in less than an hour, but I’m determined to make this into a series! If you read last month’s post, I put together a weekly menu round-up after realizing I actually prefer the structure of assigning a meal to a specific day. My weekly menu plans attempt to include lots of variety, copious amounts of veggies and meat or fish once or twice a week. My goal is always to have my little family of four, with kids aged 11 and 2.5, eating the same thing (in some form).

Below is the exact menu we followed for a week (Saturday – Friday), with notes where I modified a recipe, or deconstructed to better meet the desires of a kiddo. I’ve linked to the cookbook or recipe where I can – several of these recipes are mine, but many come from other wonderful sources! As I mentioned in the last round-up, my menu plans always include a few “other” items intended to help with breakfasts, snacks and packed lunches.

The Kitchen Beet - Asparagus, Zucchini, Broccoli, Red Lentil Soup

Saturday: Rainy Day Lentil Soup – Welcome to asparagus season! I love this recipe for the same reasons I love most soup. It comes together relatively quickly, doesn’t create a huge mess, it’s hearty and leftovers keep well for lunch the next day. If you’ve picked up a bundle of asparagus and don’t know what to do with it, pairing it with the warming flavors of turmeric and cayenne, a couple of other veggies and protein-rich red lentils and cannelloni beans is an excellent option. I posted this recipe last year when asparagus was available at our farmer’s market. I’m getting excited for opening day this year!

Sunday: Salmon with French Lentils – This recipe comes from Barefoot in Paris. We have several Ina Garten cookbooks, and she’s always a good one to turn to for reliable recipes that aren’t too fussy. In this recipe the salmon is cooked simply with salt and pepper, and the French lentils come together with leeks, thyme, garlic, carrots, celery, tomato paste and a little red wine vinegar. There’s nothing terribly unique about this recipe, but it was good! One kid liked the salmon better than the lentils, the other the opposite. Kyle really liked this one; I’d make it again!

Monday: Homemade Pizza + Greek Salad – We love homemade pizza night around here! I paired this one with an excellent kale-quinoa Greek salad, pictured below. It’s delicious, filling, feel-good food that also keeps for an excellent lunch.

TKB - Kale-Quinoa Salad

Tuesday: Variety Platter Night – It just so happens this was the option for Tuesday in the February Menu Plan as well! Apparently I like to chop up veggies and fruit, make some sandwiches, boil eggs, put nuts in a bowl, etc. on Tuesdays. This makes for a good clean out the fridge option as well, if needed. It’s nice to have at least one night per week to mentally check out when it comes to dinner, and everyone always likes this night. A little tip I’ve found with my kids: if I’m introducing a new fruit or veggie, I love to make it part of a “rainbow platter.” I think most kids like colorful, visually pleasing food.

IMG_9217

Wednesday: Carrot-Ginger Soup sided with Quinoa Patties – The soup was modified from What Katie Ate on the Weekend, and the quinoa patties were modified from Heidi Swason’s Super Natural Every Day. They were delicious, and I’ll definitely repeat on both accounts! The soup involved roasting the carrots with fennel seeds which was an excellent idea. I added lots of scallions and herbs to the quinoa patties, which made for fresh flavor, and eggs, bread crumbs, chèvre and parmesan held these together really well without drying them out. I was not sad about the avocado on the side either.

TKB - quinoa cakes brighter

Thursday: Yogurt-marinated Chicken with Brussels Sprouts – Like the last menu plan, this chicken came from Dinner: A Love Story. (Although she grills it; time and weather suggested I just bake it this go around.) Both my husband and son gave me the side eye when they saw the chicken marinated with yogurt and lemon, but they both loved it. It was tender and flavorful, everything you hope chicken will be. We are huge Brussels sprouts fans around here, and do everything from steam them to roast them until they’re crispy in spots.

Friday: Pasta Primavera – We don’t eat a ton of pasta, but we’re all rather active with running, biking, skiing, hiking, etc. Even the two-year-old snowboards! So, we do like to get down with carbs. I had the pleasure of eating at Moosewood last summer while road tripping with my dear friend Jodi. (Confession: I was so excited I was literally shaking.) I’ve spent hours poring over their cookbooks for inspiration, and picked up Moosewood Restaurant Favorites while dining there in Ithaca. This veggie-packed pasta was popular with my crew.

The “other” goodies are below! I usually have 4 – 5, but only managed to make three during this particular week.

Oatcakes with Blueberries – This is another recipe from Super Natural Every Day. Oatcakes are extremely dense and, in my opinion, best eaten warm. I added a generous amount of frozen Michigan blueberries, and I’m so glad I did. The little bursts of sweetness throughout this hearty muffin were perfect. I have to give these credit – they kept me full throughout my morning when I had them.

Swiss Chard, Asparagus + Leek Frittata with Oven Roasted Tomatoes – This is the most recent recipe I posted, and I really hope you make this frittata soon. I’ve made it multiple times since developing this simple recipe, and Kyle and I both love it. It tastes like spring!

TKB - swiss chard, leek, asparagus frittata with tomatoes

Banana-Coconut-Quinoa Pancakes – I made these pancakes at the beginning of the week, on Saturday morning. I modified a recipe from Amy Chaplin’s At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen cookbook. Her Coconut-Quinoa Pancakes sounded like they might not be sweet enough, so I added banana and swapped coconut milk for the almond milk she calls for. Audrey and I both really enjoyed these, but Kyle and Aidan just couldn’t get past the texture of soaked quinoa in their pancakes. I think I’ll make another version of these with more oat flour and eliminate the quinoa…we’ll see!

I better get to bed before it’s April! If you’re one of many people heading south for spring break, I hope you have a wonderful time! If, like me, you’re staying at your home base, check back throughout the week. I’m taking a few days off from work to hang out with my kiddos, and I’m hoping to post a bit more frequently than my schedule typically allows. Happy cooking/baking/eating!

 

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