What To Eat Every Night This Week

Hello Lovely,

We’re officially in the Back to School season. School has been in session for one week and the adjustment can be rough. Early morning wake up calls, congested morning commutes, afternoon pickups and the dreaded dinnertime. It’s easy to want to skip this part and settle for a pizza or bowl of cereal, but there are so many easy weeknight meals you can try that’ll satisfy the whole family. These recipes are minimal effort with maximum effect!

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SHOPPING LIST:


  • ground chicken

  • cooked quinoa

  • ¼ cup finely diced onion

  • fresh arugula

  • sauteed mushrooms

  • egg

  • fresh mint

  • 1 lemon, for juice

  • 1 1/2 pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs

  • 2 tablespoons Pesto

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • honey

  • smoked paprika

  • ground red pepper

  • ground cumin

  • garlic powder

  • Italian seasoning

  • kosher salt

  • sweet potato chunks (or 2 sweet potatoes cut into chunks)

  • frozen riced cauliflower

  • olive oil

  • lean ground beef (turkey or chicken works too)

  • yellow onions, chopped

  • minced garlic

  • dried oregano

  • crushed tomatoes

  • spaghetti sauce, homemade or store-bought

  • lasagna sheets

  • ½ cup any red wine

  • shredded mozzarella cheese

  • parsley and parmesan cheese for topping

  • campanelle pasta

  • frozen cooked shrimp, thawed

  • ½ cup dry white wine

  • unsalted butter

  • minced fresh chives

  • white cheddar

  • ½ cup evaporated milk

  • Ball of Store-Bought Pizza Dough (use gluten-free if needed)*

  • Feta Cheese, Crumbled

  • Avocado or Olive Oil

  • red pepper flakes

  • balsamic vinaigrette

  • Cubed Acorn Squash

  • Dried thyme

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Chicken Quinoa Burgers with Arugula and Mushrooms

Turn burger night upside down with these new burgers! They’re so flavourful, tender and deeply satisfying. Throw caution to the wind and make up a batch of Chicken Quinoa Burgers with Arugula and Mushrooms this week for burger night and you’ll see what I mean.

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LAZY SKILLET LASAGNA

A super simple recipe to make lazy skillet lasagna! No need to make tons of layers, this one pot lasagna combines and cooks everything in one pot!

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Lemon Pesto Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Cauliflower Rice

This recipe was a complete mistake, but requires so little work, dinner will appear to be done in an instant By using store-bought cauliflower rice you save a lot of time because all you have to do is pop it in the microwave once everything is done. The sweet potatoes are easy to cut into cubes and roast in the oven. You can put the chicken breasts in the marinade in the morning and drop it in the slow cooker as soon as you get home. After only 1-1.5 hours in the slow cooker, you’ll have a complete meal that you didn’t need to supervise.

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Campanelle with Shrimp & Mushrooms in White Wine Cream Sauce

Earthy, delightful mushrooms are front and centre in this seafood dish. It’s hearty and deliciously interesting and affirms once again that mushrooms, seafood and pasta are great companions. The addition of a dry white wine to the sauce makes this indulgent dish too good to stick to one serving!

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Acorn Squash Pizza with Spinach and Feta Cheese

Win dinner with the perfect Autumn-themed pizza. No one would expect this combination, but everyone is going to ask for more! This pizza recipe would be perfect for a Friday night, date night or potluck. Who doesn’t enjoy a wholesome, veggie-packed pizza?

5 Things to do This Sunday For a Less Stressful Week

Hello Lovely,

It seems Sundays roll around just as you're getting into your weekend. And before you know it, it's Monday again, and you're back to your regular commute and routine. I used to look forward to Sundays, but with all of the planning and work I do volunteering with my church on the weekends, by the time I've woken from my after church nap (if I even get to take one), the whole day feels wasted and gone. Sundays can suck sometimes, but they don't have to. With a little mindfulness and planning, a well-intentioned Sunday can help set you up for a successful week. Here are some helpful habits you can do every Sunday to help your week feel less stressful.

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Plan your wardrobe

When I challenged myself to wear grey for an entire week, that made getting ready in the morning much simpler. Because I already knew which colour to wear, I simply pulled out items in that colour to iron. That way the only thing I needed to do in the morning was accessorise. Use apps like Pinterest to help you design your weekly workday wardrobe. 

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Make sure your calendar for the week is up-to-date.

Having a firm grasp on your schedule at the beginning of the week works wonders. While life isn’t always predictable and things certainly pop up for all of us, try to have your schedule outlined as much as possible at the beginning of the week so you can feel prepared for what’s ahead, and so you don’t miss any important meetings, deadlines or appointments.

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Meal prep the easy way.

I've only just begun to meal prep and it's still not a consistent habit for me, but the weeks that I do meal prep have made a huge difference in my morning routines. When I have a clear idea of what I want to eat, and when, I have all the necessary groceries ready to go. Nights are spent prepping or cooking so that in the morning I can just grab and go. I'm not saying to do all of your cooking on Sunday; that could drive anyone bonkers! During the week, you can put together quick meals with your prepped produce and protein without having to spend your entire weekend in the kitchen. You can even prep lots of healthy snacks so you never go "hangry". Having tons of pre-made munchies for the week means you won't have to dip into a convenience store every time you're famished and need something right now

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Pamper yourself.

Don’t forget to spend a little time self-indulging and taking care of you. Whether it’s taking the time to read your favourite book every Sunday, catching up on some much needed rest, or indulging in your favourite TV show with your favourite snack, take care of yourself! Trust me, you will feel more rejuvenated and energised for the week ahead if you spend some time taking care of you. 

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Clean

Weekends are perfect for clearing out and cleaning house. You can start with your purse or bag. By the end of the week your bag has become a black hole filled with random receipts, gum wrappers, loose change, and that random flyer the guy handed you on the way to work. Empty out all the unnecessary things you've collected and organise the important stuff so you know where everything is. It'll make your life seem a little more ~together~. Then move on to your fridge. It'll be easier to meal prep with a cleaner fridge and fresher ingredients. Grab anything that's definitely gone bad or just all the leftovers you know you're not going to eat. If you do a regular clean every week, it'll always be quick and easy, whereas those monthly purges could get gross and take forever.

How To Meal Plan - First Attempt

Hello Lovely,

We all understand the daily struggle of finding a quick meal that’s tasty, filling and wholesome; especially when we feel our stomach grumble or when the lunchtime urge hits.   Wouldn’t we all want to be able to have a dish that meets these needs and be healthy for us? I couldn’t agree more!  Thinking on this notion, I considered meal planning which has really become a hot trend throughout 2016.  The ultimate goal of meal planning (MP) is having ready-made meals at your fingertips that allow you to know your ingredients, eat the right portions and remove the guilt of eating poorly when you’re caught up in the moment of a hunger pang! To start off, I viewed many meal options on Pinterest as I’m not the type to eat the same dish two days in a row.  Thankfully a friend suggested a local all-in-one store (AID on Wulff Road), which gave me a great deal on food containers.  I was able to purchase seven containers at roughly $2 each.  A short time later, I strolled down the grocery aisles with my shopping list in tow, in search of fresh and nutritious ingredients.  I’m happy to say I walked out satisfied and with a full trolley.

In under 2 hours, I was able to make the following lunch items for my first week of meal planning:

Entrees:

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo pasta

Ground turkey Chili (with butternut squash and black beans)

Spinach and Cheese Quiche

Sides:

Green beans and carrots

2 varieties of green salad (using green leaf lettuce)

Balsamic Cucumber and Chickpea Salad

Note: In addition to the items above, I will include a fruit throughout the day (peach, nectarine, banana or apple) to help curb cravings.  I will also mix and match entrees with other sides to keep it interesting.

For MP rookies like me, here are a few quick tips for planning your week (or next 30 days):

  1. Search Weekly for recipes to prevent boredom

  2. Ask your spouse (or significant other) which foods they like to eat

  3. Keep it simple but delicious

  4. Plan for Leftovers

  5. Select a Shopping Day & List (and stick to it!)

  6. Prep Food as soon as you come from the store (or the day before you begin following your MP schedule)

To make your meal planning even easier, download the free weekly printable here.  

I’m excited to begin my MP this week and look forward to telling you about it.  Share your meal plan journey with us! What are your favorite ingredients for a meal plan?  Do you have any planning tips? How was your meal plan experience?

XoX,