Despite a gloomy start to the week, it’s so excited to think spring is around the corner. We celebrate St. Patrick’s day this week and quickly swap out the decorations for Easter. Tulips and daffodils are starting to poke their little leaves up from the ground. It’s such a lovely reminder the season is changing and we can say goodbye to dark skies.

Did everyone fare okay though Daylight Savings? When one of our kids got up today at 7am, I was thankful it wasn’t 6am. But still.

Rainbow pinwheels lunch recipe for kids

St Patrick’s Day meal plan


  • Farro and Dinosaur Kale Salad with Coconut Milk Shallot Dressing- how can the kids resist “dinosaur salad?!” (recipe)
  • Thai-American Noodles- the Ruth Reichl cookbook, My Kitchen Year, was well hyped over the holiday season and I finally got my hands on a copy. It hasn’t disappointed. I’m mid-way through the winter season and I’m going to bed hungry after reading her cooking memoir. Put a copy of this on your wish list.
  • Vegetable Couscous Stew – after indulging in butter tarts and dim sum this weekend, it’s time to get back to basics with this hearty and healthy stew. (recipe)
  • Corned Beef and Cabbage- this is our traditional St. Patrick’s Day dinner. It will be even more special as our dear friends will fly up from Boston to join us this year. (recipe)
  • Baked Irish Mash- adding this recipe to our Irish holiday from the Seven Spoons cookbook. Turns out the author is from Southern Ontario where I’m currently based…maybe I’ll bump into her at Whole Foods…


  • A double whammy recipe- one for kids rainbow pinwheel roll-ups and the second for a healthy sesame lime quinoa salad. Double delicious. Get the how-to here and get ready to make those cute pinwheels above.


  • Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash- we made this recipe last week for dinner and served with omelet. We skipped the bacon but I bet this will be extra good with it. Your choice.
  • Whole Wheat Waffles (recipe)- a hefty recipe to feed our crowd this weekend

Healthy Whole Wheat Waffles for a Crowd

What will you add to your meal plan this week. Happy  St. Patrick’s Day! Don’t forget to make this Irish Soda Bread recipe. It’s our favorite!


For more inspiration, see three years of past dinner plan heremy Pinterest board here, or OrgJunkie for a link-up of weekly meal plans. Some affiliate links are included. 

Happy March everyone! It’s an exciting month ahead with St. Patrick’s Day and Easter to celebrate. We also have March break, friends and family coming to visit and warmer weather to look forward to. Oh, and my birthday next weekend with a trip to try dim sum for the first time. Looks like a fun month ahead!

Here’s what’s cooking in our kitchen on the weekly meal plan.

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soup Recipe


Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soup (recipe) -doesn’t the picture above look so pretty?!

Slow cooker Sloppy Joes (recipe)   -Swap out the brown sugar for maple syrup. This recipe was a big win.

Mexican Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad- inspired by this recipe but I’ll make my own taco seasoning mix.

Sheet Pan Salmon- I was looking for an easy salmon recipe that would make enough for the Superfood Salad below. This honey mustard salmon recipe looks awesome.

Roasted Lemon and Pepper Salmon Recipe


Superfood Salad with Blueberries (recipe)

Sweet Potatoes in the slow cooker (recipe)- some days I really want a warm lunch so I’m going to try this and have them ready to go for lunch this week. Top with some mashed avocado or black beans.

Superfood Salad with Blueberries

Beautiful picture from FoodieCrush.



Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies (recipe)- this may end up being a lunchbox addition too!

Baked Apple Cinnamon Porridge- recipe from the Deliciously Ella cookbook. I’ve already pre-ordered her new book coming out in April. This was so good JJ had 4 helpings. (or maybe he needs a grown-up bowl.)


Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies

Recipe from GreensnChocolate

p.s. Grab the ingredients now so you can make my recipe for Irish Soda bread. I’ll make two this year so we have enough to share with friends! Enjoy.


For more inspiration, see three years of past dinner plan heremy Pinterest board here, or OrgJunkie for a link-up of weekly meal plans. Some affiliate links are included. 

It’s the homestretch of February. Just a little bit longer to celebrate Leap Day and then we will jump into March. Although it’s been unseasonably warm for so many areas, we are still enjoying some delicious comfort food made healthy.

Here’s a round up of what’s been cooking in our kitchen lately.

Love this easy to prepare Slow Cooker Chicken Black Bean and Quinoa Stew. It's healthy and was a hit with everyone in our family. Great dinner recipe!

Favorite meal of the week~ Chicken, quinoa and black bean stew. (source)


  • Slow Cooker Chicken, Black Bean and Quinoa Stew. So, so good. It makes a lot so we will have another meal down the road coming straight from the freezer. {recipe}
  • Spicy Shrimp with Yogurt. One of the fastest weeknight dinners you can make. {recipe}
  • Baked Haddock. This white fish is the gateway fish to getting your kids to try something that swims. One of our’s really didn’t like fish and he actually ate the whole meal. We tried not to make a big deal at the time but it was so exciting to see some open-mindedness happening! I used this recipe, but swapped out yogurt for the mayonnaise and omitted the hot sauce.
  • This recipe is on deck for this week: Spicy Red Pasta with Lentils. After finding the last winning lentil recipe, I’m game to try out another one.
Healthy Tuna Stuffed Avocado

Healthy and energizing lunch {source}


  • Greek Yogurt with flax and honey
  • Protein Power Goddess Bowl {recipe}
  • Fried eggs cooked over avocado oil. So good on a cold day.
  • Avocado with tuna salad on top. Both paleo and Whole30 approved recipe. This is my new go-to before heading off to tennis. {recipe}


  • Apple Pie Oatmeal. I already made this twice this week because it was so yummy and requested by my 5 year old. {recipe}
  • Overnight oatmeal with almond milk. Ready to go when we need to grab something quick!


  • Gym Rat Smoothie (just one of the many delicious smoothie recipes from the Oh She Glows cookbook)
  • Dark Chocolate covered Apple Slices. Warning-you won’t want to share these. {recipe}
Snack time favorite recipe- healthy candy apple wedges with paleo dark chocolate.

A taste of chocolate everyday is a good thing. {source}

 So tell me, what will you make first? Have a wonderful week ahead. Happy cooking.


For more inspiration, see three years of past dinner plan heremy Pinterest board here, or OrgJunkie for a link-up of weekly meal plans. Some affiliate links are included. 

Happy February! Stay warm and cozy my Boston friends. Get some soup and hot chocolate going and have fun in the snow!

We are making some new dishes and bringing back old favorites this week. Now is a great time to write down some of your family’s favorite dinners so you have a quick cheat sheet for those week’s when you don’t have time to create a meal plan from scratch.

White bean mushroom stew real food recipe


  • Turkey White Bean Chili from shutterbean (recipe). Great for a Sunday as it’s a stovetop chili, not a slow cooker recipe.
  • 5 Ingredient Garlic Rosemary Roasted Chicken (recipe). This looks great for a weeknight and then use leftovers for salads or quesadillas.
  • My favorite slow cooker recipe is this one. I’m so ready to make it next week as I see lots of cold weather on its way. Warning- it’s a little labor intensive at the beginning, but so worth it at the end.
  • White bean and mushroom stew-another oldie but goodie. (even I go through my old meal plans to get ideas, this soup recipe is a love and great with a baguette on the side.)


  •  I picked up two books from the library to have the kids look through this weekend and choose some new lunch ideas. One is Everyday Bento and the other is Best Lunch Box Ever. The kids are in anti-sandwich mode so I’m also referring back to this post I wrote about non-sandwich lunch ideas and the ebook.


  • Blueberry Breakfast Quinoa (recipe). Isn’t the photo below amazing?!


  • Sunshine Smoothie from thefauxmartha. (recipe) This was so good!
  • Pumpkin muffins…I’ve made these for years and I clearly need to retake some pictures for this recipe post!

Breakfast quinoa recipe


p.s. don’t forget Valentine’s day is coming up! Make some plans now for next weekend. Enjoy.


For more inspiration, see three years of past dinner plan heremy Pinterest board here, or OrgJunkie for a link-up of weekly meal plans. Some affiliate links included. 

Who is ready for some snow?! Although we moved to Canada, we won’t get the big blizzard bombs like last winter. We all watched the American news today and we amazed to see forecasts of two feet, or 61 centimeters. A few of the recipes on the meal plan this week will be sure to warm you up after a round of snow shoveling.

This week I took a look at two (new-to-me) cookbooks, Food 52 and Whole 30. Food 52 is well written and is organized by season. In the winter section, the Best New Year’s Resolution Dish called out to me. It seemed like an appropriate week to try the One-Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf. Let me tell you, it was a winner. Even my husband liked it, and he is not a kale and quinoa kind of guy. The recipe made a lot and it was even better the next day as a healthy lunch option. (Note- I couldn’t get the kids to try this one…maybe next time.) 

Healthy living cookbooks

In the Whole 30 cookbook, there is a lengthy explanation to teach you what to eat/what not to eat if you are following their program. We are not doing the Whole 30, although I do appreciate the idea behind it. In our season of feeding little kids, I just don’t want to create different meals for everyone in the house. I try to make sure we are all eating the same thing, quinoa aside.

What I did like in the cookbook is the recipe section. There are some great main dishes that I am trying out. A couple of the vegetarian dishes look promising, and how can I not test out some recipes from the “Fancypants Meals” section.

On to the menu plan…

Dinner Ideas

  • One-Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf (recipe)- I’m sure the exact recipe is perfect, but I swapped out pine nuts for walnuts and parmesan cheese for the goat cheese and it still turned out lovely.
  • Lentil and Sausage Soup for a Cold Winter’s Night (recipe, also in the cookbook)- this is on deck for us next week. I’m giving lentils one more try…if I can learn to love quinoa, maybe lentils will be next.
  • Breakfast Hash- this is essentially a sausage and peppers dish, jazzed up with sweet and yellow potatoes. It was a love for the grown-ups, the kids were not super impressed. It came from the new ebook from A Little Coconutty. I found her on instagram and have used her cute menu plan printable the past couple of months. I bought the ebook this week and enjoyed reading it and get some new recipe ideas. The ebook is here (I’m not an affiliate) and her IG account is here if you are in need of some healthy eating inspiration. (note- I used Whole Foods chicken sweet italian sausages and cooked it for 40 minutes and it was great.) This is also a Whole 30 recipe if you are following the program.
  •  Walnut Crusted Pork Tenderloin-this was the kid’s favorite this week. All 3 devoured their dinner and got seconds. It was super easy for a weeknight dinner meal. (grab the book from the library for the full recipe, otherwise find it here.)
  • Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup (recipe) – game day dinner as the Pats take on the Broncos.

Lunch List (pop over to my Lunch Pinterest board for more ideas)

  • Toast 12 ways, ideas from Traci at Dried apricot, blue cheese, walnut toast. Yes and yes. This is why I don’t do the Whole 30.
  • The quinoa kale pilaf should be in your lunch routine. I’m making it part of mine.
  • Kid’s lunch favorites this week were bagels with cream cheese, turkey & cheddar sandwiches and hard boiled eggs.

Vegetable prep for the Breakfast Hash recipe


Breakfast Time

Snack Bite

  • Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites (recipe)- from thefauxmartha (see above)

Healthy living recipes and meal plan

Well, those recipes should keep you busy this week. Or not too busy, as nothing is too complicated. Listen to that minimalist cooking podcast, or episode 48 from Radio Cherry Bombe for more healthy living inspiration. It’s from October but I still think about it, and feel validated about having a cocktail during the week. Cheers.


For more inspiration, see three years of past dinner plan heremy Pinterest board here, or OrgJunkie for a link-up of weekly meal plans. Some affiliate links included. 

Hello January. We are jumping back into our family routines after a long break from the cold. School and activities are in full swing and this week marked my return to meal planning. After doing it for 3 years, I realize it is the #1 way for me to make sure we are eating healthy foods. I create the menu of dinners, write out the grocery list and make sure we follow it so we don’t waste any food. This year, I’m trying to plan more of our breakfast/lunch/snacks. These make up a big bulk of our diet so it only makes sense to put a little more thought into what will fill the most active part of our day.

I used to write out our meal plan on Sunday and then type it up on the blog to share. I’m shifting around the timing a bit as I am making a big effort to stay offline over the weekends. You can expect to see the meal plans towards the later part of the week so you can make your own plans over the weekend and get some meal prep done on Sunday too. That’s another goal this year…chopping veggies on a Sunday is a great way to get ahead of dinner prep and lunch box needs.

As you read through some of the January magazines and blog articles, you may have noticed many new ideas happening in the healthy food world. Juicing is out and “souping” is in. Focus on Pulse foods. Butter and eggs are no longer on the naughty list. There is a lot to digest and I’ll dig into some of these ideas in the coming weeks.

Healthy eating and meal planning ideas to help you in the kitchen.

On to the menu…


  • Chicken sausage and broccoli rabe. (recipe)  This turned out great and I swapped out the penne pasta for faro that has more protein. Told the kids it was “oatmeal” for dinner. 
  • Shrimp stir fry with snow peas and salad. Topped this with a homemade citrus dressing.
  • Mushroom and chicken marsala. Bigger focus on the veggies instead of the meat in this revised recipe.
  • Meatballs in slow cooker for busy nights, paired with multigrain spaghetti and spinach salad.
  • Sweet and sour chicken (recipe) with brown rice and peas
  • Chili…because the Patriots are in the playoffs and we can’t mess with tradition.


  • Tunafish prepped in advance and served on crackers or multigrain bread “thins”
  • Ham and cheese cubes
  • Spinach salad with almonds, cheese, tomatoes and leftover green beans.
  • Pomegranate-farrow salad (use up leftover faro!) (recipe)
  • Cauliflower soup (recipe per my friend’s suggestion)


  • Greek Yogurt topped with fruit and farro (if you still have any, or with Grape Nuts) (image/inspiration source)
  • Veggie-eggy scramble (recipe)
  • Find milk I can make yogurt with in Canada…haven’t been successful so I’m making a trip to Whole Foods to spend some time finding the right one.


  • Celery with peanut butter (seed butter or cream cheese)
  • Almonds
  • Multigrain waffle with a dollop of ricotta or greek yogurt
  • Guacamole and a few chips
  • Hummus and veggies

You can find more of what recipes I’m saving over on my Pinterest board here, and see which meals actually make the cut to my Instagram feed here. Hope this list gets you started on a healthy new year trend!


For more inspiration, see three years of past dinner plan heremy Pinterest board here, or OrgJunkie for a link-up of weekly meal plans. All images from Ricardo magazine. Some affiliate links included. 

Happy December! As this month of celebration twists and turns your usual routines on their heads, meal planning can take a back seat. It has to a point in my house, as I mainly do it in shorter bursts instead of tackling the whole week at once. This is working great for us, just not for writing a weekly post for my readers. I thought I would take a moment to share a few of our favorite recipes this month to help inspire your menu planning this week.

Main Dish

  • Honey Garlic Shrimp Skillet– this recipe is quite fast to prepare as long as you get deveined shrimp. Serve it with some basmati rice and drench it with the extra sauce.
  • Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala– Easy to toss into the slow cooker in the morning (or during nap time) and it will be ready for dinner. The flavors were mild enough for all the kids.
  • Slow Cooker Chicken and Chickpea Stew– Another easy one to prep ahead for busy weeknights. This is perfect for a cold winter night along with some bread. I strain the broth a bit for the kids and it was a winner.
  • One Pot Cheeseburger Casserole– A repeat dish that makes a lot so we froze half. It reheats well on stove or the microwave.
  • Chicken Nuggets– old faithful. Always good for those nights when no one is feeling adventurous.

We also did a fun little taste test last month of hot dogs/veggie dogs/tofu dogs. I’m not allowed to do that again in our house. Ever.

Baked Oatmeal to-go cups


  • Baked Oatmeal to-go– easy to make and customize with fun toppings. We made a bunch nut free so they could go to school with the kids. Their favorite topping- chocolate chips.
  • Stovetop Popcorn– made with coconut oil this is still a family favorite snack. Make some to eat and string the rest for the tree!


  • Gingerbread Pancakes– these are gluten free as they use oatmeal ground into flour as the base. One kid had 5, another didn’t love them. I would grind up my oatmeal a little more next time so it’s less grainy, but I definitely will make them again.

Easy weeknight dinner recipe ideas

I’ll save the desserts for a latter post…on deck today is our holiday Buckeye Balls to get ready for my Mom’s visit to celebrate Christmas a little early. Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope you have a lovely holiday season!

For more inspiration, see three years of past dinner plan heremy Pinterest board here, or OrgJunkie for a link-up of weekly meal plans. All images from Ricardo magazine. Some affiliate links included. 


Holy coldness. Was that frost on my front yard this morning?! I know winter is coming but I’m always surprised by that first cold snap. For my friends and family back home, I can say it was actually a little warmer here in Toronto versus Boston yesterday. This morning, maybe not.

Baked Salmon with Roasted Vegetables

This week I’m sharing some new recipes from the Ricardo magazine. It’s one of the prettiest food magazines I have read through lately. The photography is sultry and lends itself to sharing some unique fall meals. I’ve rounded up a few new ones for you to take a look at and get inspired for your meal plan this week.

Wheat Berry Risotto Recipe

On the menu…

Monday: Pressure Cooker Pork Stew with Fall Vegetables. (recipe) This recipe includes rutabaga, which a great option as colds and viruses start spreading around. Just 1 cup has 1/2 your daily recommended dose of Vitamin C.  I’m a big fan of the pressure cooker used for this recipe, although it can be cooked on the stovetop too. It’s one of those kitchen appliances that isn’t a must, but it sure comes in handy in a pinch. If you like the ease of the slow cooker, but prefer your food to stay in tact (less mushy) then the pressure cooker would be a winner for you. (I have this one.)

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday with ground beef. Cook the meat during the early afternoon/quiet time and then it reheats super fast once we are home from after school activities. Heat it up while the oven toasts up the tacos. Serve with tomatoes, lettuce, corn and brown rice. (rice is another great food to cook in the pressure cooker.)

Wednesday: Wheat Berry Risotto with mushrooms, roasted vegetables and hazelnuts (recipe). (Remember to soak wheat berries overnight!) Great meatless main dish idea and supposedly pairs really well with red wine…I’ll have to test out that theory.

Thursday: Baked Salmon with Roasted Vegetables (recipe). Fish is one of the speediest dinners you can make during the week. I love the look of this one with lots of veggies paired with salmon (instead of trout on original recipe.) Serve with leftover brown rice.

Friday: Dinner out at the Club

Saturday: Dinner and board game night at new friends. I’ll bring a dessert…maybe Carmelitas so we get a return invitation.

Pressure cooker pork stew

For more inspiration, see three years of past dinner plan heremy Pinterest board here, or OrgJunkie for a link-up of weekly meal plans. All images from Ricardo magazine. Some affiliate links included. 

Canadian food magazines

One of the best things about moving to a new country is discovering new cooking magazines. The local library carries a ton of titles online and in print so I can test drive a bunch without spending too much money. No new recipes to share (yet) as I figure out if my American readers can access them.

Sunday here was filled with hockey, playdates, saying bye to my Mom, apple chopping and a citrusy chicken dinner. I hope your start to the week smells as delicious as mine.

On the menu this week…

Skillet roasted whole chicken from The Kitchn

Melt-in-your-mouth Skillet Roasted Chicken. She may be sunburned but she was delicious!

Sunday: Skillet Roasted Whole Chicken (from The Kitchn cookbook). I swapped in orange zest in place of lemon for the spice rub. Totally works. Note: this is NOT a weeknight meal. It’s messy, multisteps and you need to have time to maneuver very hots pans in the kitchen. For Sunday, it’s worth it. Tonight’s meal was rounded out with roasted baby carrots with coconut oil and egg noodles. {We followed up dinner with the No Crust Apple Pie…a perfect pair.}

Monday: Steak stir fry and vegetables over rice

Tuesday: Salsa chicken in the slow cooker for Taco Tuesday!

Wednesday: Grilled Chicken served with Wheat Berry salad with feta and oranges. (also from The Kitchn)

Thursday: Testing out seafood in the crock pot. I’ve never done it but think this recipe is worth a try…Crock Poached Salmon Steaks. It cooks for 1.5 hours on high so not your typical slow cooker dinner. For us it works since we can put it on before skating lessons then have it ready when we are back and hungry for dinner. The recipe is from Not Your Mother’s Slowcooker Cookbook. This is a similar recipe although the cooking time is even shorter.

Friday: Friends arrive for the long weekend! Pizza night.

Saturday: Kids hot dogs and double date night as we explore our new town.

Sunday: Canadian Thanksgiving (a day early). Stay tuned for the full menu!

For more inspiration, see three years of past dinner plan heremy Pinterest board here, or OrgJunkie for a link-up of weekly meal plans.

Sitting outside at the end of September to type out this meal plan feels like a gift. Although we officially welcomed fall last week, mother nature isn’t ready to let go of sunshine filled days. (who knew Canada would be so warm in September?) We have a few leaves showing the golden hues of fall, but I’m pretty content with enjoying the fresh air and pushing off boot season a little longer.

As I put together this week’s meal plan I found myself going back to some tried and true recipes. There is nothing wrong with planning repeat dinners each week, or each month. If you take some time to create a cheat sheet of favorites, it can make meal planning so much easier. I would say our go to favorites each week are:

  • pizza night
  • meatballs
  • tacos
  • soup
  • egg dish
  • slow cooker

If I start with a general outline of favorites, I can quickly assign dinners to each weeknight. Luckily, each of these offers an opportunity to get creative if there is time. On the nights when sports cut into the usual dinner prep hour, I know it needs to be crock-pot night. If I plan a more creative (ingredient heavy) recipe, I make sure I have some time in the afternoon to prep the meal. (Nap time prep is the best when it’s 5:30 and everyone is STARVING.)

Crock pot Cashew Chicken Recipe

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken from The Cookie Rookie

On to this week’s menu…

Sunday: Beef chili and cornbread (although missing Trader Joe’s cornbread mix terribly). Perfect for game day. And hockey games at 6:10 at night.

Monday: Meatless Monday Spinach and cheese frittata. Avocado and toast on the side.

Tuesday: New recipe! Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken from The Cookie Rookie. Long grain white rice cooked in the pressure cooker-prep before we leave and turn on once we get back from gymnastics.

Wednesday: Spicy shrimp and yogurt (recipe from Dinner A Love Story cookbook) with basmati rice and sautéed snow peas. Kids usually nix the rice so they can have some Naan bread on the side.

Thursday: Meatballs and spaghetti and roasted broccoli.

Friday: Pizza night! We discovered nitrite-free pepperoni sticks last week and they are a new favorite of the kids to snack on while we make dinner.

Saturday: Out on the town with my Mom in town! Maybe in Niagra Falls since we have to go back to the border to get some missing paperwork…such is our life lately.

What are your helpful tips for making dinner and meal plan each night? Leave a note below and I may feature it next week!

For more inspiration, see three years of past dinner plan heremy Pinterest board here, or OrgJunkie for a link-up of weekly meal plans.