Monday, June 20, 2011

Plan Your Plate, week 1

I am a newly converted vegetarian, my husband, while always willing to sample new dishes, is still firmly planted in the land of omnivores. You know what, that's great... It just reflects how strongly our marriage is based on mutual respect. I made a deal with him and stick to it: at least once a week I will make him a carnivore dish and promise to always have a source of protein (vegetarian based or other) at every meal. This seems to work and I have yet to hear him complain about the vegetarian meals, between you and me, I think that he likes them. ;)

"Plan Your Plate" is a weekly meal option guide. It is based on one protein source that is made ahead and will stretch over 2, 3, or 4 meals. If you don't like the protein listed, you can always substitute another meat or soy based product.
I hope you enjoy!

week 1: Plan Your Plate - Chicken

Practice planning for your week and see how it makes choosing healthier and eating at home (thus saving money) a much easier option. You will also have to learn portion control to allow Sunday’s meat option to spread through the week.

Sunday- “Turn it on and Leave It” Chicken in a Crock Pot.
* Turn on and “let it go”. Place chicken, preferably white meat choices, in a crock pot with your favorite seasonings, a packet of Lipton seasoning - follow instructions on packet, or try this link for a new idea: If using frozen chicken breasts, let it thaw first before putting it in the pot and I would plan for a half of a breast per person per day. i.e. for 3 days worth of meals, 3-4 breasts depending on size. (If you don't have or like to use crock pots, you can also slow cook the meat in a dutch oven or if time is really tight, you can purchase the roasted chickens from your local supermarket. I can't say that I love the latter choice as it is cooked with the skin on, but it is still a better choice than fast food or restaurants)

-Sunday supper: Breakfast for Supper - Eggs and toast or let the kids help you make healthy french toast. Check out mayo clinic’s Cinnamon French Toast

Meal Option 1 - Add some bbq to the crock pot chicken and have BBQ stuffed baked potato (think quarter cup of meat per adult) Add a side salad or grilled asparagus.

Meal Option 2 - Cilantro Chicken Sandwiches ... not a fan of cilantro, substitute nice fresh spinach, red tip lettuce or whatever you have on hand. Remember, you can always substitute ingredients for what you have, but if you take a veggie out, replace it with another veggie of the same color. Bake up some sweet potato fries and fruit as dessert.

Meal Option 3. - Kid worthy chicken fingers or Kickin’ Chicken nuggets For this recipe, you would not use the crock pot chicken but actual chicken breasts. Let the kids or husband help you make Homemade Potato Chips

Meal Option 4 - Whatever chicken you have left from Sunday, throw it in a casserole with some pasta and marinara and have Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti . But remember to add some veggies somewhere on the plate.

I used the following sites for these meal ideas: (try: Healthy Eating, Seasonal Meal planners,...)