Like me, my kids LOVE to eat! They also like to know what’s coming. To streamline our mornings and save me the trouble of thinking about what’s for breakfast everyday, I decided to have a set breakfast menu Monday through Friday. They know what to expect, it cuts down on questions, and everyone knows they will get to have one of their favorites at least once a week. With three kids this has been super helpful. We don’t have complaints about breakfast anymore because they know their day is coming.
On Mondays we eat oatmeal. Tuesdays we have Grits and sausage. Wednesdays are for pancakes. Thursdays we eat toast and eggs. Fridays we have muffins, and Saturdays and Sundays are Mommy and Daddy’s choice. The menu is easy enough to follow and we add variety in different ways. On Mondays we may change our oatmeal toppings, or have an oatmeal bar where everyone gets to choose their own toppings. We rotate through different muffin recipes on Fridays, and there are different recipes and toppings for Pancake Wednesdays. For my kiddos, this is their favorite wheat free pancake recipe.
- 1 c. quick cooking oats
- 1 1/2 c. oat flour
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 Tbsp. baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 6 Tbsp. oil (coconut, canola, or melted butter all work well)
- 1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 c. milk
Combine the oats, oat flour, sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, yogurt, and milk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the larger bowl and stir. Add in the oil and mix until well-combined. Heat and grease your griddle while you let your batter rest for a minute. Cook your pancakes as you normally would.
I use a ladle to pour my batter on the griddle in about 1/2 cup amounts. I set the temperature to slightly above medium. If your heat is too high you will burn them on the outside, and they will not cook completely in the middle. When the edges start to bubble, flip the pancakes and cook on the other side until done. It should take about a minute.
I LOVE these piled high with bananas or berries or a light drizzle of cane syrup. My middle asked me to mention that he likes them made as blueberry pancakes. Simply add 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries to the dry ingredients before you mix in the wet ingredients.
LOVE and enjoy!
Many times when I think about pork tenderloin I think about barbecue, or a Sunday dinner after church, or a day when I have extra time to cook up a storm. We don’t eat pork very often, so when we do my kids get excited. I’m not really sure why I don’t cook it more often, now that I’m typing that. Pork tenderloin can be really affordable and tenderloins are usually nice and lean, you can also trim off any excess fat if needed. This recipe is simple, quick, and affordable. It’s great any night of the week.
I chose to bake the tenderloin in this recipe, but you can grill it as well. Baking it means you can stick it in the oven, set the timer, and move onto something else. This always works well when there are kiddos underfoot.
- 1.75 lb. pork tenderloin
- 1/2 medium onion, halved
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar (Balsamic vinegar also works well in this recipe.)
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. You can mix the marinade by hand or like I did in a blender. If you choose to do it by hand, mince the onion and garlic ,and wisk the ingredients (except the pork) in a bowl. Otherwise, toss everything into your blender and blend to form a paste. You can taste to see if you would like to adjust the salt and pepper. Pour the marinade/paste over the pork.
If you have extra time, you can let the meat marinate for 30 minutes. If not, place it in the oven at this point. It still bakes up with a lot of flavor. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let the pork rest for 3 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!
We ate a lot of potatoes this past week. Purple potatoes, sweet potatoes, and finally these mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes scream comfort and comfort food is what we go to a lot for Sunday dinners. I don’t know what it is with kids, but mine LOVE mashed potatoes. It is always one of those sides everyone is happy to have on their plates.
These mashed potatoes have a twist that won’t make you feel guilty for eating them or giving large heaps to your kiddos. There is no butter or cream in these potatoes, but they are still creamy, tasty, and kid approved. There is an extra step in roasting the garlic, but it is ridiculously easy for the amount of flavor it adds.
- 1 head of garlic
- 5 Tbsp. olive oil
- 8-9 potatoes, peeled and diced ( I used a combo of medium sized red and russets. You don’t need to peel the red potatoes)
- 1 Tbsp. parsley
- 1/2 c. broth or more depending on texture (vegetable or chicken)
- salt and pepper to taste
Place the head of garlic in an oven proof dish and drizzle with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil. Roast the garlic in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Place the diced potatoes in a pot of water and boil until tender. Potatoes are done when you can easily mash with a fork. Drain the water from the potatoes. Squeeze the roasted garlic from the cloves into you potatoes.
Add the remaining 4 Tbsp. olive oil, parsley, broth, salt, and pepper. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or whip with a mixer. We had these alongside our pork tenderloin and Honey Balsamic Kale.
Cole Slaw is another quick side dish. It’s even faster if you buy the pre-shredded cabbage and carrots, which I did this past week. This recipe is a little lighter because it is not too heavy on the mayo. You can also use Miracle Whip and it still tastes great. The taste is just a little sweeter, so you may want to use less honey. This same dressing also works really well with broccoli slaw.
We love the crisp crunch of coleslaw as a side for burgers, barbecue sandwiches, and even fried fish. Although, that’s really the Tennessee guy I married. New Orleanians generally like a good potato salad with our fish, but that’s another recipe for another day.
- 1-16oz. bag of Shredded Cabbage and Carrots
- 1/3 c. + 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
- 2 1/2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
Place the cabbage and carrots in a large bowl. In a separate bowl combine the mayo, vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, and onion powder. Stir until well combined and add to the cabbage. Stir until all of the veggies are covered in dressing. Serve and enjoy!
My son didn’t want me to give away his Turkey Burger recipe. He said it should just be saved for him. That is a picture of his plate with his loaded burger. Notice the Avengers cup in the background. This is my nod to him and his sweet possessive spirit.
My husband’s a beef guy, but sometimes I can get Ground Turkey on sale at a really good price. Sometimes we make meatballs or spaghetti, but who doesn’t love a burger? Combined with Sweet Potato Fries it made a fun Saturday night dinner.
- 2 lbs. ground turkey
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 2 tsp. poultry seasoning
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1-2 eggs, use 2 if you have the leaner turkey
Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and form into patties large enough to fit your buns. Cook over medium-high heat on a greased griddle. Cook 4-5 minutes per side, until you see the meet brown.
Enjoy with your favorite burger toppings.
This side is too simple not to make! Roasting the broccoli gives it this sweeter mellower taste. It’s tender, yet retains a little of the crunch. Two of my children will often just eat the florets, but when I roast broccoli they gobble up the stems and all.
- 1.75-2lbs. fresh broccoli
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the broccoli into manageable pieces. Grease a foil lined baking sheet or line with parchment. Spread the broccoli on the sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat the broccoli completely. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
For a while my son couldn’t have rice or wheat, and potatoes started sneaking more and more onto our menus. It’s a good thing they are pretty versatile. I am a huge fan of the simplicity of roasted potatoes.
We usually roast red potatoes, and fingerlings are always good too, but my littlest is currently obsessed with the color purple. This past week at the grocery store she spotted these beautifully hued baby potatoes and asked very nicely if we could buy them.
Boy, am I glad she did! The kids were enamored with the deep color and we were all smitten with the taste. The texture after roasting was almost velvety. These were such a nice side for our salmon the other night. I will definitely be splurging on these delicious spuds again.
- 1, 24oz. (1.5 lbs.) bag of Baby Purple Potatoes
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. dried or fresh parsley
- 1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste (I used 1/2 Tbsp. each of Kosher Salt and Course Ground Pepper)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or grease. To save on clean up, I actually lined my cookie sheet with foil and covered in olive oil spray. Wash the potatoes and slice in half. Place the potatoes on the cookie sheet, drizzle with the olive oil, then toss. Once they are completely covered, sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley and toss again. Place the cookie sheet in the preheated oven and cook for 25-30 minutes.
Try not to eat them too quickly!
Last night for dinner we had Salmon Croquettes, Roasted Purple Potatoes, and Broccoli. My children LOVE Salmon Croquettes. Sometimes we make them out of fresh salmon and sometimes we use canned Salmon. Some people have a thing against canned Salmon, but it cuts down on a step when making this dish and makes for a really quick dinner. It’s also a less expensive alternative.
This recipe is made with canned, but you can always bake a 1 pound salmon fillet, crumble the salmon and then follow the recipe or break apart left over salmon you may have in the fridge.
- 1, 14.75 oz. can of Salmon (We used Red Sockeye)
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp. dried parsley, fresh well too
- 1/2 c. quick oats
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/3 c. mayonnaise
- 1 egg
- 1/4 -1/2 cup oil ( enough to cover the bottom of your frying pan)
- salt and pepper to taste, about 1/2 tsp each
Drain the liquid from the salmon and place the salmon in a medium-size bowl. Using a fork, break apart the salmon.
Add the remaining ingredients, except the oil, to the bowl and stir until well combined.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Make sure to test your oil to make sure it’s hot. You can touch the fork or spoon used to mix the patties to the heated oil to test. If it sizzles immediately you’re ready to go. If the oil isn’t hot enough, the croquettes will soak in the oil and will not be as light.
Form palm-size patties and place into the oil.
Cook for approximately 3 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and place on a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
I may not plan many things, but I’m a menu planner. Planning my dinners a week in advance helps save my sanity. I usually start with a few ideas and then sit down with my children to see if they have any thoughts or wishes. While I am the final decision maker, when I include my kiddos, they take ownership of the menu and tend to look forward to the meals. It’s not full proof, but it goes a long way in lessening dinner disputes.
We have a chalkboard wall in our kitchen and we post the weekly menus. Everyone knows what to expect. It cuts down on those last minute trips to the grocery store because we make the menus before our weekly trip. I’ve often had friends ask me about sharing our menus. I usually write our menus on Friday and today I thought why not share.
I try to cook enough to have leftovers some days, so we won’t usually have 7 meals listed over 7 days. This week we’ll be eating the following :
Friday- Salmon Croquettes, Roasted Potatoes and Broccoli
Saturday- Turkey Burgers, Sweet Potato Fries, and Cole Slaw
Sunday- Pork Loin, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Honey Balsamic Kale
Tuesday- Red Beans and Rice with Salad and Cornbread
Thursday- Chicken Piccata
Friday- Something with Shrimp ( Every now and then I’m not super specific.)
My goal is to update the blog with recipes to go along with the menu throughout the week.
How do you plan your dinners?
My oldest loves to learn about other countries and cultures. She often checks out books at the library about countries she would like to experience. This year in CC we are studying ancient civilizations and many of her books have coordinated a great deal with our curriculum. My sweet children are a lot like their mother. They love to relate to anything through food, and they have been asking most of the school year to cook some of the food from one of these books.
I agreed to let her choose a meal for dinner. She and her brother wanted lamb kebobs from Turkey. I love lamb, but I’ve never been brave enough to cook it myself. With our budget, I couldn’t imagine spending the money for the lamb and not cooking it properly. I managed to convince them that we should try the recipe with chicken instead. Chicken is so far from lamb it’s ridiculous, and part of me felt really horrible about it. I told them we would still use the same spices and flavorings. I forgot the oregano at the store, so we made some adjustments with Italian seasoning. It may not be authentic to the book, but this recipe was inspired by a recipe from the book on Turkey.
- 1 1/2 lbs. boneless chicken breasts cut into cubes
- salt to taste
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- 3/4 c olive oil
- 1/3 c lemon juice
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 3 Tbsp. dried Italian seasoning
- 2 Tbsp. course ground pepper
- about 10 mini sweet bell peppers, cut into large pieces
- 1 large eggplant cut into cubes
In a blender, combine the salt, pepper, onion, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Blend until it forms a paste. Place the cubed chicken into one gallon sized Ziploc bag and the eggplant and peppers into a separate bag. Pour half of the marinade into each bag, seal, and massage the bags to make sure the paste covers all the meat and veggies. Place the bags in the refrigerator and let marinate for at least 30 minutes. We let ours sit for 2-3 hours.
Remove the meat from the bag and place onto skewers. Heat your grill pan or grill, and spray or coat with oil to prevent sticking. I used medium high heat. Place the skewers on the grill pan and cook until you see beautiful grill marks and your chicken is cooked on one side. After about 10 minutes, turn the chicken over and continue until cooked through.
You can skewer and cook the eggplant on the grill as well, but I did not have enough space. Instead I roasted the eggplant in our oven. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Spread the peppers and eggplant on a large greased cookie sheet. For easy cleanup, I lined my sheet with aluminum foil and then greased. Bake until the veggies are tender, about 30 minutes.
We served the chicken and veggies with rice and salad. A healthy dinner served and lots of happy faces!