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. 

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.

Did you get a taste of fall last week? The crisp air felt great but I’m excited to see the sun and warmth will return again in the days ahead. Fall and winter cooking is my favorite….but it lasts forever so I’m happy to keep things light this week.

With schedules filling up fast, meal planning is a great opportunity to sit down and map out the week ahead. You can ask family members for their requests (always meatballs from one of the kids) and give yourself a chance to figure out which days need to be crock-pot days or fast dinner ideas. Taking just 15 minutes can make a huge difference in your stress level during the dinner witching hour.

We are making an effort to focus more on Clean Eating. What that means to us is less processed foods, more fruits and veggies and less red meat. There are so many resources out there for Whole30 meals, paleo-friendly dinners and of course Meatless Monday ideas. As I build future meal plans, I’m curious if any of you are following any of these eating strategies? I avoid the word “diet” as I think that feels limiting. These new meal planning ideas are more about adopting a healthy lifestyle approach to eating instead of just “less.”

In addition to Pinterest, I’m finding some great ideas on Instagram by finding #Whole30 or #Paleo hashtag trends. Recently I started reading the Clean Eating magazine and there are some great ideas I’ll test out and share here soon.

Autumn fall chopped salad recipe

On to the menu this week…

Sunday~ Chicken Chasseur I mentioned last week was a winner last night. The recipe made it into the binder. The sauce was great over whole wheat couscous.

Monday~ Meatless Monday Omelettes to order. Mushroom and tomato for grown ups, kids voted for cheese and salsa. Avocado on the side to round out the dinner.

Tuesday~ Fall Salad (recipe) An easy prep ahead dinner for one of our busy nights. Note~ I think the recipe is supposed to include bacon as per the picture above. Or maybe I just think it should include bacon…

Wednesday~ Parm-Style Chicken Sliders. (recipe) It’s a healthy recipe and it’s easy enough to skip the buns and enjoy the Italian flavors on their own.

Thursday~Grilled sirloin steak while it’s still warm enough to enjoy grilling outside. Spinach and strawberry salad on the side.

Friday~ Pizza night! Recipe for homemade pizza dough in bread maker. I cheated and bought a ready made pizza for the kids last weekend…it was awful. Never again.

 Have an awesome week everyone!

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


It’s time for back to school, back to routines and back to meal planning. After a delightful break from writing out our weekly meal plan, it’s finally time to get organized as our kids head to school tomorrow. The past few weeks for us have been focused on shopping for kitchen basics instead of shopping for new recipes. I “think” the kitchen is finally ready to kick off a new season of menu plans for all you readers.

Making the move from Boston to Toronto has been fun and grocery shopping has been an interesting experience as I stand at the deli trying to figure out how to order a pound of cheese. The people here are so nice and helpful when it comes to my blank stare looking at metric quantities. Otherwise, the food choices are very similar. The dairy assortment is probably the biggest different, with milk sold in plastic bags, smaller size quantities for yogurt and less sugar added to cream cheese. Generally all good things when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle.

For this week’s meal planning, I got a new cookbook to review, Good Cheap Eats: Dinner in 30 Minutes (or Less!) written by fellow blogger Jessica Fisher. Jessica has two blogs I’ve read for years, Life as Mom and Good Cheap Eats and the publishers from Boston kindly sent me an advanced copy to read. (You can get yours starting Tuesday!) Many years ago it was Jessica’s meal plans that inspired me to get organized and start sharing all of our past plans here.

Good Cheap Eats Cookbook tips and advice

The new cookbook features easy dinner entrees and side dishes, that are quick but not out of the box. For newer cooks and people who want to feel more comfortable in the kitchen, there are TONS of great tips in the sidebar of the recipes. Even I am getting a bunch of great ideas for prepping food, storing leftovers and how to rethink pizza. (a behind the scenes note, Jessica sent me a personal email about a year ago when one of my Pinterest Pins to my Lunch Love board was driving a lot of traffic to her site thanking me for pinning her article. It’s cool to see her commitment to healthy food hasn’t changed and I hope the cookbook is a success!)

Meal plan for this week…

Monday: Labour Day cookout at friend’s house. We get to bring dessert.

Tuesday: Someone has a birthday so he gets Steak Tips, smashed red potatoes and local corn on the cob. This recipe looks great and will try it with steak tips grilled.

Wednesday: One pan Mexican Quinoa. This is a repeat dish and it’s offered to the kids in hard shell tacos with some cheddar cheese on top.

Thursday: Teriyaki Meatballs from the new cookbook Good Cheap Eats. These may take the max 30 minutes to make, but it may give us some leftovers for the lunch box. I’m also curious about No Brainer Baked Rice recipe in this book too. Green beans on the side rounds out this meal.

Friday: Pizza night for kids and (hopefully) date night to celebrate that birthday this week if we can find a babysitter. The homemade pizza dough has worked just fine up here too.

Saturday: Chicken Chasseur. An easy one-pot dish that can be paired with any leftover rice. Roasted asparagus on the side.

Chicken Chasseur dinner recipe

Chicken Chasseur recipe from Urban Cookery


What are you cooking up for Labor Day this year? Ready for the start of the fall season?

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”

Albert Camus


For more inspiration, see three years of past dinner plan heremy Pinterest board here, or OrgJunkie for a link-up of weekly meal plans. (affiliate links included here which help support this site.)


Happy summer friends! I hope the month of July has been good to you with long days and lazy nights. There is so much fresh summer veggies available now, it’s the perfect time to take advantage eating local! Butter and sugar corn is finally at the market and it’s worth the wait.

No cook pasta pea sauce

I’ve been inspired by the many great vegetarian dishes in my beach magazine reading. I recently read the new Rodale Organic Life (second issue) and there are a ton of great recipes and stories. This article with some raw vegetable pasta sauces is one I pinned. Once our schedule settles down a bit we are going to work on making vegetarian dishes the main meal for more of our weeknight dinners. (and yes, my husband is on board.)

On the menu this week…

Monday~ Honey Balsamic Chicken Drumsticks, grilled zucchini (from my dad’s garden) and pasta with herbs. I also want to try to grill some romaine. I’ve seen it so many times in magazines and dying to see how it tastes.

Tuesday~Shrimp scampi and corn on the cob

Wednesday~ Grilled chicken over locally grown mescaline greens.

Thursday~ Family trip to Lake Winnepesaukee! Tag along with our adventure on Instagram.

What are you making this 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. (affiliate links included here which help support this site.)