Week 4: Dinner Shenanigans

I’ll admit that we used to be one of those couples that went to the grocery store together every week and cooked dinner together every night. I’m sure my excuse was that I thought we could get our grocery shopping and dinner made a lot faster with two people, but the truth is we had the time so why the heck not. Life is a little bit different now…a little less than a year ago we bought a house, got a puppy the very next day, and had a baby three very short months later. As someone so aptly put it, we ripped off the adult bandaid! So our house is madness, but seriously cute madness. How we make dinner each night looks a little different these days. When Travis gets home from work his number one priority is to tire the little pup out since her morning walk has since worn off. She also goes bananas when he gets home because she loves him more than me, something I will have to get used to with Stella someday too. Meanwhile, Stella and I work on dinner which usually means I put her in her high chair with some sort of snack to keep her occupied while Travis and Tazzie play. I’m faster at chopping anyway so this is all part of the plan. Once Travis comes back with a “tired” puppy, he takes over dinner and I feed Stella dinner #1: milk. I hate dealing with meat so that is something I usually try to save for Travis whenever possible, but I can make exceptions when necessary. Then we all sit down for a nice family dinner. Poor Tazzie gets baby-gated in the adjacent family room away from falling food while Stella flings her food far and wide keeping us on our toes and entertained. Never a dull moment here, but dinner always manages to get on the table and for now at least we all get to eat it together which I know won’t last forever. So we will enjoy it while it lasts! Menu Plan & Grocery List

Week 4 list.png

Monday: Chicken Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce and a Green Salad

  • I LOVE pumpkin. In the fall I dive head first into pumpkin recipes. Bread, pancakes, waffles, ice cream. You name it. I deem these not too fall-ish and therefore can be enjoyed anytime of year!
  • This is a pretty easy dish and anything you like or don’t like can be added or removed from the filling.
  • The one thing I am working on with the sauce is the amount of chili powder, so add more if you’d like.
  • I think a hearty meal like this needs a nice simple side salad, which is pretty easy to add while the enchiladas are cooking.

Tuesday: Salmon & Asparagus Farro Bowl

  • This was a new one for me. I thought it was a good use of farro which can be pretty bland on its own.
  • I actually followed the recipe and everything turned out great, no surprise there. I think next time I will save myself the trouble of skinning the salmon and just cook it whole and remove the skin after it is cooked.
  • The basil on top was delicious. I added way more than it called for and highly encourage you to as well.

Wednesday: Swedish Yellow Split Pea Soup with Garlic Bread

  • I have made this one dozens of times and not once have I found yellow split peas. Granted I have made no effort besides looking in one store, so maybe this will inspire me to track some down, but it is delicious with green split peas too.
  • And super easy! I made this entire dish this week with Stella asleep in the front carrier after our morning walk. Visibility was poor so I chopped the veggies rather than diced, but I like bigger veggie chunks anyway. I also always err on the side of too many veggies so I chopped 5 carrots, 2 medium onions and about 5 celery stalks.
  • To serve with the soup I tossed some olive oil, crushed garlic and parmesan cheese on slices of bread, wrapped them in foil and heated them up in the toaster.

Thursday: Hamburger Buddy

  • This is another dish we both love and eat regularly. I’ve finally converted Travis into a one-pot meal fan which took some work, but I think he now sees my logic. Fewer dishes are always better, and why think about 3 dishes when you only have to think about one.
  • To make this a more colorful and complete meal I add frozen peas. We of course do not make this with mushrooms, but I am sure it is still delicious if you do.
  • We also cook either a 1lb or 12 oz box of pasta when doing this and adjust the liquids accordingly.

Friday: Pineapple Teriyaki Pork Chops with Brown Rice and Roasted Broccoli & Cauliflower

  • This dish is meant to be made with chicken, but we’ve always done it with pork chops since we have so many more chicken dishes in our repertoire.
  • As they note in the recipe, don’t use “cooking sherry”, make sure you find the real deal at the liquor store.
  • I couldn’t find a good fresh pineapple at the store this week so I used canned. Both work well.
  • For the roasted broccoli and cauliflower, make sure the vegetables have enough room on the pan to crisp up and buy way more than you think you will need since it shrinks down so much!
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