Tuesday, February 28, 2012

what's for dinner.

I don't know about you, but planning dinners around our house is always a bit tricky. We prefer to cook our meals instead of eating out but at the end of a long day there just isn't much steam left in this train to get my creative juices flowing in the kitchen. On the other hand, Max could eat the same meal every night and be perfectly happy.

Pork chops and 3-4 differnt kinds of fresh veggies.

I have nothing against this meal but get pretty sick of the same things day in and day out. I have been wanting to get better at actual meal planning. You know, making a list on Sunday and shopping for the week. Creating a menu of choices and actually having those items in the house. We live about a 1.5 minute walk from our local grocery store which means instead of planning out our week and doing one big shop, we go down there Every. Single. Day. Seriously, they know me there! I really consider this a bad habit for two reasons.

1. In an already busy day, adding another stop on my way home from work or bootcamp just eats up even more of my very little free time.
2. It is a proven fact (not sure when or who proved this…) that when a person shops everyday they end up spending far more money than if they were to only shop once a week. I really believe this and find that we probably spend far more money by shopping for our meals daily instead of planning ahead and buying only the items we need for the week.

Moving forward… I would really like to make something like this for our house. Of course I would try and make it a little less “this belongs in a first grade classroom” and more “wow, we are finally organised in a fun, creative way”. Plus, I think it will help us get more creative with our meals while still fulfilling Max’s meat and 3 veg requirement :) But in order to make this handy little meal board I first need to find some meals that we actually like. Here are two new meals we have tried recently.

1. Italian chicken nuggets and cobb salad with roasted garlic dressing. I got this idea from my best friend Evan’s blog. It looked super yummy, healthy and met the meat and 3 veg requirement.


I didn't take any pictures as I went, but the recipe links can be found on Evan's blog.


I think maybe my breadcrumbs were a bit old or something because I wasn’t overly in love with this meal.  Also, the dressing didn’t turn out as great as I had hoped. I chalk these two things up to my cooking skills and will probably try again with fresh breadcrumbs.  There are just so many ways to use these little nuggets with other things that I can’t throw in the towel after only one try!  Plus, they were really easy to make and really healthy.


2. Light Veggie Pizza

I got this second recipe from my friend Sarah who follows the Michelle Bridges diet. For those non-Australian readers out there, Michelle Bridges is one of the coaches on Biggest Loser Australia. She has several cookbooks and Sarah just loves her meals.

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to Sarah’s house for dinner and she made us a very healthy, homemade veggie pizza. I can’t seem to find the recipe anywhere but this is how I made it in case you wanted to try yourself.

I started by picking some veggies for my pizza. I decided to use 1 zucchini, ½ sweet potato, three baby capsicums (or bell pepper as we say in America) and 1 red chilli. There are tons of other veggies you could use as well like red onion, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes… the list goes on and on.

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Next you want to finely dice your veggies so they are all about the same thickness like this...

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While dicing your veggies, heat up about 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in your pan. Once it is good and hot, toss in your veggies. I actually cooked the sliced sweet potato first because it takes a little longer to cook.

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While your veggies are cooking, take your plain “pizza crust” and put it in the oven until it is a bit toasted. I used these wholemeal Lebanese pita bread things because that is what Sarah uses and she is smart, hehe.  I am sure you can use other types of breads for your base but these work really well if you aren’t sure.

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Next you want to mix up your pizza sauce. Since this is a lighter recipe it uses olive oil and garlic instead of traditional tomato sauce. Now I have no idea what the measurements are for this part and it really depends on how many pizzas you are making… but combine some olive oil and some garlic (I used garlic paste).

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Then take your mixture and lightly brush it on your toasted pizza crust.

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Add your lightly cooked veggies to the top...

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and sprinkle with fetta cheese and oregano. [use reduced fat fetta to make it lighter]

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Once your pizza is assembled, place it back in the oven (5-7 minutes) to heat it all the way through.

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And there you have it friends. A nice, healthy veggie pizza. And let me tell you... it was gooood!

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I have also found a few other websites that have some really good looking, healthy recipes that I am hoping to try soon. I'll let you know how our meal planning goes as I start to get organised, healthy and rich from all of the money we will save by just planning ahead.  Okay- maybe not the rich part :)

ps. check out this blog for some great "skinny" ideas: http://www.eat-yourself-skinny.com/ She is pretty great and so are her pictures!!

1 comment:

  1. Yay for meal planning! I hate actually sitting down to meal plan, but it seriously makes the rest of the week such a breeze. And we are total opposite - Bo likes something different all the time, while I could eat the same exact meals every day and be perfectly content. Which is exactly what I do when he goes out of town :)


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