Meal Plan Monday: I’m tired of cooking

I’m worn out with meal planning, grocery shopping, prepping and cooking. I’m not sure if it’s this terrible heat, lack of inspiration or just simple laziness. I have been reaching for easy and quick meals lately to get us through this spell. Here is a quick look at last week’s meal planning.

Sunday: Sweet potato and turkey sausage hash with eggs

Monday: Spaghetti squash casserole

Tuesday: Hamburgers and roasted potatoes

Wednesday: Crockpot BBQ chicken stuffed sweet potatoes

Thursday: Greek Chicken Salads

Friday: Burgers and Fumi Salad with friends

Saturday: Birthday party

Our menu is lacking in vegetables! I have been counting potatoes as vegetables a few too many times this summer. I justify it by packing the girls’ smoothies full of spinach and carrots. Honestly summer should feature a bounty of vegetables in the meal plan but despite the abundance available I am lacking inspiration. To me it is just one more thing that I must prep and cook. Maybe I will try to mix it up a bit next week.

Sunday I planned to make a giant frittata with a side of hash but wound up taking the easy way out by just frying eggs and topping the sweet potato and ground turkey sausage hash. It is a quick and easy breakfast-for-dinner kind of meal. We don’t use any recipe but just season the potatoes and turkey with fennel seed, salt, pepper and garlic.

Monday I once again changed my plan. I intended to make meatballs but ended up mixing the ground beef and tomato sauce and cooked spaghetti squash with a couple eggs and baked as a casserole ala this recipe.

Tuesday we made simple burgers with a side of roasted potatoes. I chose to cut the potatoes a little different to make them a bit more crispy and it was perfect!

img_9981

On Wednesday morning I loaded the crockpot with our favorite BBQ sauce and chicken breasts and let it cook all morning before shredding the chicken and topping baked sweet potatoes for dinner.

img_9995

Thursday I marinated chicken breasts in this Greek marinade and cooked on the stove top then sliced and topped salads of romaine, olives, artichoke hearts and cucumbers. The girls had a deconstructed salad with all the ingredients minus the romaine.

Friday we had an impromptu dinner with our friends. I had originally planned to make lasagna but instead we brought the ground beef to grill burgers. I ran out to grab the ingredients for Fumi salad and tossed together right before heading to our friend’s house. We also had a delicious corn salad and an ice cream bar for dessert that night.

img_0017

I didn’t have to plan dinner on Saturday since we had a fun Olympics themed birthday party to attend. We ate burgers and hotdogs and all the party sides. We definitely had a burger-heavy week but I’m ok with that. It’s summer food.

img_0025

We spent $134 on groceries at Walmart this week but we also popped into grocery stories throughout the week to pick up odds and ends like deli meat and bananas. We probably spent upwards of $175 on groceries this week. I mentioned it last week but we’d really like to start eating more vegetarian meals but I’m nervous about what we can add to the girls’ diets right now. We finally had Eleanor allergy tested and are hoping that we will have a better idea after we receive the results. If it turns out she isn’t allergic to anything then we will begin adding in more foods like beans and soy.

Here is our Walmart grocery list: Grocery List 8-15

What are your go to summer meals? Where do you reach for inspiration when you grow weary of cooking and meal planning?

Meal Plan Monday- Letting go of the Whole 30

MEAL PLAN

We are done with the Whole 30 and opening up the menu to a few new foods while still trying to maintain our healthy eating ways. Quite honestly healthy meals have never been the problem for us, it is all the snacking in between. This week alone I think we managed to eat ice cream four times! But all that is beside the point…here is last week’s eats:

Sunday: Turkey Tacos

Monday: Dinner out at Smoke Modern BBQ

Tuesday: Dinner out at Duckworth’s

Wednesday: Buffalo Tofu Lettuce Wraps

Thursday: Cauliflower Fried Rice

Friday: Crockpot Salsa Chicken Salads

Saturday: Sloppy Joe Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Sunday was the most relaxing day I have had in quite some time. Alex didn’t have to work and I really stepped back and let him handle most kid duties all day. We attended church and a birthday party and yet it still felt like a day off for me. He cooked all the meals and changed all the diapers. A quick meal of ground turkey tacos made it easy for him to do all the things. No recipe, just ground turkey, taco seasoning, salsa, lettuce and tomato.

Because of our unexpected Staycation we ended up eating way more than normal. I had originally planned to make spaghetti squash and meat sauce for Monday night’s dinner. Instead I cooked it ahead and brought it to the hotel with us so we would all have food for lunch the next day without having to eat out.


Wednesday I used up the rest of our sauce from the Buffalo Chicken recipe last week. I also made another batch of Dump Ranch and piled shredded carrots, tofu and diced tomatoes into a lettuce wrap. On the side I made sweet potatoes (surprise, surprise).


Thursday‘s dinner was a mash up by Alex and me. I prepared the cauliflower rice in the food processor ahead of time (so stinky!) and he fried it up with a few eggs, peas and carrots and Coconut Aminos. It’s a quick and easy meal and we make it so frequently that it is more a “throw together” sort of dish. But if you are looking for a recipe try this great one: Cauliflower Fried Rice

Friday was another family staple. We love this quick dish and it is another “throw together” meal. I toss chicken breasts in the crockpot with a can of salsa and slow cook all day. We use the chicken to top a salad of romaine, tomato, cucumber, guacamole and pico de gallo. Sometimes I will also grill up peppers and onions to include. We call this our “Chipotle at Home” meal.



Saturday was a crowd favorite. I used this Sloppy Joe recipe and just stuffed it inside a sweet potato. Can you see how much we love sweet potatoes around here? Fun fact: with both my pregnancies I could not stomach sweet potatoes. I couldn’t even look at a raw one without gagging a little. They are and always have been my favorite food except for those strange and hormonal periods of time.


I have found a great way to meal plan each week. I start on Pinterest where I surf through my Made it and Loved it, Dinner Ideas, and Whole 30 dinner boards. I then pick meals based on the meat (I try not to repeat meats too many times in a week) and cost. I repin the chosen recipes under my board This Week. I rarely use cook books anymore and rely solely on Pinterest for meal ideas. This system allows me to quickly find the recipes I need or to pass off cooking to Alex because he knows where to go to find the recipes. Once I have pulled up all my chosen recipes for the week, I hop over to grocery.walmart.com where I order our weekly groceries and choose a pick up time. Most of the time I order groceries Friday night and pick up on Saturday morning after I leave the gym. This cuts back on eating out on weekends because our kitchen is stocked.

Last week’s grocery bill came in right at $95. We also spent about $50 at Target on other foods like milk, lemons, apples, tomato sauce and cereal. On top of that we spent about $100 eating out last week so it was a very expensive week of meals! I’m still working on getting our budget down but even this week’s Walmart bill is $145 and it’s still possible I will need to pick up supplies for lunches and snacks. I think a more realistic target would be $150 and I will just need to be diligent.

What is your weekly grocery budget and how many mouths are you feeding? I swear our girls eat more than Alex and me! They are and always have been amazing eaters.

Thoughts on the Whole 30 with kids

whole30kids

We just wrapped up a round of Whole 30 in the Kummerow house and the results are in…

Alex lost all of the weight he put on in the past year since he added meat back to his diet and he looks and feels healthier than ever! I am so proud of him because to my knowledge he didn’t cheat at all! My hero!

I on the other hand cheated a ton! I know, I know…technically with the Whole 30 you should start over at day 1 if you cheat at all so I am not quite a success story. However, it jump started better eating habits and I feel much better after completing this round. I lost the “vacation pounds” I put on in Chicago and I am at a very comfortable, for me, weight. All my clothes fit. I feel great. I am in wonderful shape. And I know that if I would just stick with it a few more months I could get these last pesky 5 pounds off. But right now I’m just trying to balance all things and because I’m healthy and my clothes fit, I’m really not that worried. I’m even sporting a bikini at the pool this summer!

Just for fun…

BikiniBody

cred: huffingtonpost.com

The kids were obviously not in this to lose any weight, however we actually started this round for them. While in Chicago we were dealing with some pretty bad digestion issues with Eleanor and Ruthie. I wanted to clear their diets of dairy and gluten and a few other things to try to resolve the issues. The Whole 30 seemed like a straight forward way to get many of the high-allergen and inflammatory foods out of their diets. While we haven’t entirely figured out the source of their issues I will share with you some of the benefits we have found putting our kids on the Whole 30.

After the initial shock of “you can’t have all of these things anymore” they actually received it very well. Not once has Eleanor complained or whined for food she couldn’t have. We make sure to pack snacks that the girls are allowed to eat if we know we will be somewhere that is offering food, but I was shocked to find that the girls didn’t beg for foods that were off limits.

And now they now eat ANYTHING we offer! We do not fight dinner time anymore. Anything I put on their plate is gobbled up in a second. Removing most snacking has also helped this issue. They still have favorites and foods that they will eat first. Our rule is you don’t get seconds of anything until you have eaten everything on your plate. Most of the time they follow the rule without any complaint and then quickly ask for seconds of whatever they liked best on their plate at that meal.

img_9646

Deconstructed Honey Mustard Chicken Salads

It was so much easier to say no to all the processed junk food since the answer was always no. We taught Eleanor early on to ask before eating anything while we were out. We actually didn’t want to make her fully aware of what we were doing although she quickly caught on to the “no dairy” and “no gluten” from just hearing us talk to others about the Whole 30. But by teaching her to just ask before eating anything and also that we only eat what we bring, we hoped it could be a long term solution for controlling more of what the girls eat at this stage of life.

Many people claim that when children eat healthier they have better attitudes and less mood swings, but honestly we did not experience this. Eleanor can throw a mean three year old tantrum, and really Ruthie has the tantrums down as well. We did not notice any difference in their behavior before and after except during meal times. We used to fight them to eat dinner and to eat what was given to them. Now they just eat without complaint.


Doing the Whole 30 with kids isn’t easy. It took a ton of prep work, cooking, planning, and executing to make it all happen. The girls were always hungry and it was difficult to keep up with their appetites. We didn’t see an absolute change in their digestion issues so for now we are relaxing the diet a little while keeping them off dairy and gluten. We have a pediatrician appointment this week. I hope to gain a little guidance for next steps. Regardless of health issues, I believe this to be a very healthy and sustainable way of feeding toddlers. We have reset our family’s eating habits and I hope to maintain our healthy eating ways.