Tag Archives: weekly meal plans

Weekly Menus: Summertime Edition

Gentle Readers, when did summer become busier than the school year? Lots of fun in the queue, but my calendar is openly weeping. Combined with the heat and training for upcoming 5k for Wounder Warrior Project, and I’m more focused than ever on efficient, seasonal, light eating.

Meze platter from Bosphorus: endless variety, light and amazing.

Meze platter from Bosphorus: endless variety, light and amazing.

My friend and food muse, SassySpice, teased me the other night about my fruit obsession, but it’s true–healthy transportable water, with some sugar, that’s what it is.

Fruit: The Cookie Antidote

Fruit: The Cookie Antidote

Plus, I’ve done some serious field research recently courtesy of my fellow pig fan from the Left Coast, Chinese5Spice. No regrets, but this week must be simple food one can eat outdoors or after a trip to the pool.

Pork Belly Buns from Lucha Tigre: Run Don't Walk (Cucumber makes it healthy)

Pork Belly Buns from Lucha Tigre: Run Don’t Walk (Cucumber makes it healthy)

Which means this weeks weekly menus are as follows (and yes, apparently I tried to sneak an extra day into the week there, good job me):

Weekly Menus: 6/16/2013

Weekly Menus: 6/16/2013

The Four-Square Grocery List (complete with another round of ingredients for another birthday party!):

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 6/16/2013

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 6/16/2013

Which all translates to:

Sunday: Salad
I am going to unapologetically combine a field research trip  (bulk bin cereals) to the Whole Foods with a raid on their salad bar. I really crave this. Upcoming post on tips and tricks on what you get there–please post yours in the comments!

Better to top your salad with a little barbecue than a lot of ranch.

Better to top your salad with a little barbecue than a lot of ranch.

Monday: Fish and Quinoa
This meal serves both TPCs Jr, one who loves fish (The Youngest) and one who loves quinoa (The Eldest). High protein, light, and infinitely variable, I highly recommend you give this one a try. Serve with either a hot green veggie or a cold cold salad.

Salmon and Arugula over Quinoa: It rocked

Salmon and Arugula over Quinoa: It rocked

Tuesday: Hummus and Falafal
You can make hummus from practically anything, and it’s usually way better than any commercial product, and in consumable quantities. I’m either going to do a blend of chickpeas and edamame, or use white beans and lime. Leftover chips or toasted (aka, getting stale) bread as an accompaniment.

Wednesday: Pasta and Salad
It’s carbonara time I think. Or perhaps diced fresh veggies and a light lemon sauce.

Not Quite Pasta Carbonara with Spinach

Not Quite Pasta Carbonara with Spinach

Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner
We’re in high biscuit production mode here. They make a great portable breakfast, toast and reheat well, and I want to be that old lady who can whip out light and fluffy biscuits without breaking a sweat. Game on.

Inspired by Rise in Durham's Fried Green Tomato and Pimento Cheese Biscuit. Yes, it was that good.

Inspired by Rise in Durham’s Fried Green Tomato and Pimento Cheese Biscuit. Yes, it was that good.

Friday: Leftovers in a Quesadilla
Sounds more purposeful this way, don’t you think? These were a huge hit last week, so we’re going for Round 2.

Saturday: Dine Out!
This will be pizza, as we celebrate another birthday with friends. More cake, more festivities, and another pack-up to travel.

Carrot Cake Decorated with Care by TPCs Jr.

Carrot Cake Decorated with Care by TPCs Jr.

What’s on your table this summer? Post your comments below, including your tips and tricks for the Whole Foods Salad Bar (which seems to be a shared addiction). Or Tweet my way. I don’t bite. Unless you’re bacon.

Send cold foods, good ideas, and actual questions to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

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Coming up Wednesday, by popular demand: Jeepney in NYC Reviewed!

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Weekly Menus: 5/19/2013

Gentle Readers, with spring comes renewal: new foods, new ideas, new quests. And I need your help. First, the hunt for perfect fried chicken continues. If you know of spots in Savannah, GA, or Charleston, SC, let me know. They are targets for the research mission.

Duck fat tater tots with Dragon Sauce, Korean Pork Belly Slider, Sweet Potato Fries, Pork Belly Tacos: Four-Square Win

Duck fat tater tots with Dragon Sauce, Korean Pork Belly Slider, Sweet Potato Fries, Pork Belly Tacos: Four-Square Win

Next, if you consider yourself a dollar store guru, I need some guidance. I’ve challenged a fellow food blogger (aka @VeggieMacabre) to a Dollar Store Dinner cookoff. If you’re familiar with Mutually Assured Destruction, the political theory that guided much of our nuclear policy in the 80s and 90s, you have a good grasp for where the challenge is headed. The rules are still fuzzy, but the basics are you have to produce a meal from dollar store finds, with allowances for spices and butter/oil you already have.

Pork Belly and Kale Biscuit from Rise in Durham: This is not a drill, you need to eat this soon.

Pork Belly and Kale Biscuit from Rise in Durham: This is not a drill, you need to eat this soon.

Things got problematic when we added the “you have to eat what I cook clause.” Game on. I need the best of the best here. And by the best, I mean I’ll be cooking a 3-course meal laced with Vienna sausages. All guidance and thoughts on dollar store shopping appreciated.

Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Toffee Paired with Red Wine at the Newly Opened Bar Lusconi in Durham. I had a moment.

Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Toffee Paired with Red Wine at the Newly Opened Bar Lusconi in Durham. I had a moment.

Yes, I did eat all of the things photographed above yesterday. In unrelated news, I’m going for a run shortly. But I digress. Another travel week, another round of TPCs Junior leading the charge. Thus the weekly menus are:

Weekly Menus: 5/19/2013

Weekly Menus: 5/19/2013

The Four-Square Shopping List:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 5/19/2013

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 5/19/2013

Which all means:

Sunday: Rotisserie Chicken
Easy and efficient. We’ll eat what we want, make stock from the bones, and use the rest in the salad and chicken pie later in the week.

Monday: Salad + Leftovers
The perfect medium to clean out the fridge. A bit of chicken and some fruit, done.

Tuesday: Mexican
Leaving TPCs Jr to test a new taco kit. Let’s see what the critics have to say.

Wednesday: Lasagna
Nothing says “easy weeknight” like a lasagna. That your mom makes. When you’re not there. Thanks TPC’s Mom!

Thursday: Chicken Pie
Just need the pie crust, some chicken, more vegetables, a bit of stock. With the right veggies, it’s a light springtime meal.

Friday: Grilled Cheese and Soup
We are on a quest to actually FINISH a loaf of bread in a week. We did last week, but only with concerted effort. Even with daily lunches, a little goes a long way. More on that later when I reveal my Depression Era Hamburger Steak Recipe.

Saturday: Dine Out!
This will be TPCs Jr’s choice–they’ve  been going fairly exotic, so we shall see.

Remember, all fried chicken and dollar store wisdom wanted. Shoot me an email, post a comment, Tweet #DollarStoreDinner my way.

Send duck fat tots, questions, or fried chicken locations to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

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Coming up Wednesday: Eating Las Vegas

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Weekly Menus: Week of 4/14/2013

Gentle Readers, what a week it has been. Lots of eating going on, including TPCs Jr politely ordering cactus tacos and spatzle. Their tastes are diverse. No idea why.

The Practical Cooks Junior Train for a 5k.

The Practical Cooks Junior Train for a 5k.

In this spirit, they’ve offered feedback on the menu, and I’m going to test a few things in the kitchen. It’s time to shake things up.

Speaking of shaking things up, there are some changes coming to the blog. If there’s not a strong objection from the masses, I’m cutting down to blogging twice a week, with a goal of bringing more to each entry. There will be more guests on board soon–more voices–and more multimedia. I miss making videos, and I’ve started podcasting in my work life, so who knows what could happen here.

But some things stay the same, and that includes weekly menu planning, and here they are:

Weekly Menus: 4/14/2013

Weekly Menus: 4/14/2013

The Four-Square Grocery List:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 4/14/2013

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 4/14/2013

Which all translates into:

Sunday: Rotisserie Chicken Salad
I’ll have mine on greens, and TPCs Jr will likely have it on the side. This is an easy meal I’ve missed being able to make.

Chicken Jolt Salad with Espresso Cheese, Apples, and Dijon-Sherry Vinaigrette

Chicken Jolt Salad with Espresso Cheese, Apples, and Dijon-Sherry Vinaigrette

Monday: Dine Out! (Pizza and Salad)
It is odd for me to have my dinner plans made for me, but not know my dining companions. A very cool idea from my friend who is organizing the Digital Marketing for Business conference, there are speakers’ dinners. I’m on a panel about Sexism in IT, that should make for lively dinner conversation.

Tuesday: Nachos
This is sponsored by TPCs Jr. I have no complaints, we haven’t had this lately. My challenge is shoving as many vegetables into the mix as possible.

These veggie nachos come loaded.

These veggie nachos come loaded.

Wednesday: Fish and Greens
Probably fish packets, with citrus and herbs, and something green on the side. Starch to be determined.

Thursday: Pork chops!
Again, I’ve missed these. And with advanced planning, perhaps I’ll remember to take them out of the freezer to thaw!

Beautiful Pork Chops

Beautiful Pork Chops from Brinkley Farms

Friday: Leftover Surprise
I look forward to the surprise. I think it may be pork and mango on a bed of greens.

Saturday: Dine Out!
Not gonna lie, pretty excited about this one. There’s a Food Truck Rodeo, and I’ll be doing a joint review of it with fellow blogger VeggieMacabre. Oh, this will be epic. We’ve been planning this for over a year, and schedules finally lined up. I plan on eating one of everything, because that is what I do. Game on.

What are you cooking these days? I need an infusion of new ideas, or a challenge. Post a comment below. I accept all challenges that won’t kill me (shellfish and Nutella, well the latter won’t kill me, but my complaints will certainly be heartfelt). Or Tweet my way. I am listening!

Send avocados, salad ideas, and good intentions to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

Next up on Wednesday: 3 Salad Ideas OR Greens with Envy.

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