Monday, August 17, 2020

Weekly Eats: A Week With a Plan


A weekly round up: eats, watches, and reads.  This week was notable in that I actually did meal prep and had a plan for the week instead of getting caught like a deer in the headlights every night at dinner time.


Same old same old,  coffee and Cliff bars before my runs, possibly an egg sandwich afterwards, and my husband's homemade waffles before my long run on Sunday.



I pulled a bunch of random things out of the fridge and put them in a bowl.  No, I can do better than that, I think this qualifies as a taco salad.  Rice, roasted sweet potatoes, salad mix, avocado, refried beans, cheese, and salsa with tortilla chips on the side.  Yes that is totally a taco salad and not a bunch of random stuff grabbed out of the fridge.  And I did not eat this for 7 straight days, I also raided the freezer for things like frozen burritos and pizza and even had a PBJ one day.


Monday: I admit that it doesn't look like much, but this is a stir fry with regular pasta, julienned carrots, red pepper, tofu, and the sauce from Pinch of Yum.  I made a mild version for the table and added a big ol' glob of sambal oelek in my bowl to spice it up.   P.S. it occurs to me that although I've made the sauce a million times I've never made the underlying recipe of Korean BBQ steak bowls and I should probably do something about that.  I slaved and slaved to make this on a weeknight, oh no I didn't I made it on Sunday and reheated it at a moment's notice and threw on a couple of Costco egg rolls for good measure.

Tuesday: we tapped the leftover well again for more spinach and artichoke pasta.  To me this is a complete meal as shown but everyone else likes a serving of Costco's panko chicken on the side with theirs and since that's really easy to throw into the air fryer, I'm on board.

Wednesday: OMG shock and awe time...can I get a drum roll please?  What we have here is one of my go-to meals of rice, Costco stir fry veggies, avocaco, sushi ginger, and an air fried salmon filet topped with the dressing from Skinny Taste (without the wasabi). It's a good meal that I've made for myself many times...but on this night I wasn't the only one eating it.  My husband has been on record as a die hard fish hater BUT when he took the stepsons in for their annual physicals a few weeks ago, their doctor recommended fish.  So everyone was brave and bold and tried something new.

Report from the field: everyone liked it, but after a few solid times of trying avocado, stepson #1 said he cannot get past the texture.  One nanosecond later hubs, stepson #2, and I swooped in and took every bite of avocado off his plate so he won't have that problem again.  

P.S. if anyone wants to know, Target is my go-to for salmon.  You really have to pay attention to the label for the skinless part since the packaging of the "with skin" version is the same.  We don't live anywhere near an ocean so frozen seafood is the way to go for us.


Thursday: the stepkids had an early dinner of mac n'cheese before heading out to a nighttime activity and then to their mom's house for the weekend.  The adults *could* have had leftover spinach artichoke pasta, but we decided to kick off our empty nest weekend with a night on the town and went to the Lebanese place.  Yes we actually left our home to have a meal (on the patio outside).

Friday: we grilled up hamburgers and dinned al fresco.  

Saturday: oh my goodness with three child free nights we didn't hardly know what to do with ourselves, besides cook up something that we like and the stepkids don't.  Budget Bytes' Weeknight Pasta.


In the time that I took to defrost a pound of beef and simmer the sauce, I whipped up a batch of Texas sheet cake. This is an old family recipe on my husband's side of the family and my SIL's make it often.  I don't use dark cocoa powder, our sheets pans are smaller than 11 x 17, and FYI one pound of powdered sugar = 3 1/2 cups according to all works out.

And lol we did not "place in refrigerator for several hours or over night for easier cutting".  We gave it about half an hour in the fridge and went for it.

Sunday: a nice low key "clean out the fridge" meal.  The kids had leftover mac n'cheese and fresh cooked nuggets, hubs and I had more pasta.

So since meal planning worked out so well this week, you're probably dying to know what I meal prepped for this week...ha ha ha...I'm fresh out of ideas again.  At least I took some chicken out of the freezer to thaw and we have plenty of Texas sheet cake so dessert is taken care of next week.


We saw part 2 of Lawrence of Arabia.  To save you four hours, part 1 = Lawrence goes to Arabia and there is a lot of sand and a lot of camels, part 2 = Lawrence leaves Arabia and there is a lot less sand and camels.  I say watch part 1 and call it a day.

Our next family movie had no sand and no camels in it...Kentucky Fried Movie!


Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosely was a good ol' noir that went fast.  ISO the next read.


  1. Well done with the meal prep, Birchie! A stir fry is a great idea for dinner.
    Amazing that your kids don't like a good old spaghetti bolognese! We loved it as kids. That and fish fingers ;-)

    1. Yeah, I dunno what to say about that. When my MIL was alive we had family dinners of pasta & meat sauce every week so it's not like they've never had it. Both my husband and I were very picky eaters as a kid and these guys are so much better than we were, it's just that they have their sticking points.

  2. Great looking meals for the week! My kids won't eat avocado either. Its going to be easier around here to cook now that Thing 1 is away at college. So much eye rolling from her about the meals I made, not that she had any ideas of what she'd rather have. Haha!

    1. I know! Anytime that I want things to get quiet all that I need to do is ask "hey what does everyone want for dinner????" and you can hear a pin drop. Stepson #1 has tried avocado a few times, so he did put in the effort. More for the rest of us!

  3. Yum! That cake and the spinach artichoke pasta look so good. I haven't watched Lawrence of Arabia yet but your review made me laugh :)

    1. I would say it's an enjoyable movie to watch with friends but something that I would never watch on my own. We saw part 1 on Sunday and then part 2 on Monday and the ending was such a drag and downer...I mean that's what the story was but there was just such a change in mood between the two parts.

  4. As always, your meals look super yummy! Thanks for the tip on Target for the salmon.

  5. When I saw the stir fry photo, I thought - "Hmmm...egg rolls and spaghetti. Interesting". Stir fry makes so much more sense and sounds delicious! I have never heard of chocolate TX Sheet Cake before. Sounds yummy!

  6. Have you ever tried the salmon Milano at Costco? We love it and it doesn't have skin. I only use about 1/2 of one of the three pats of butter, though.

  7. Thanks for the salmon tip - I might have to check out Target.