We took Regan and Ava to drop off their school supplies today and what a difference a year makes. Both girls took off as soon as we entered the building. It’s official – Patrick and I have been replaced by friends. Not complaining – just making an observation. I sense we will be in the “cheap seats” for the next eight years or so. It happens so quickly. One day they are pulling on your leg, begging you not to leave, and the next, they are begging you not to stay. Part of me applauds their growth while the other part of me mourns the loss. Does that make sense?
To keep the sad stuff at bay, I’ve decided to focus on what I will be eating for lunch this week. Food makes me happy people. And when I know there is something extra delicious in my lunch sac, man oh man, I am one pleasant human. Just me? Well, whatever. This low calorie Buffalo Chicken Salad with a Cilantro Jalapeno Dressing is going to get me thru the week and help me get back on the counting calories train so I can regain control of what I’m putting into my mouth everyday. I’ll prep this baby on Sunday so portioning it out every AM will be a piece of cake.
Buffalo Chicken Salad with Cilantro Jalapeno Dressing
What You Need:
- 5 Cups of Romaine
- 2 Cups of Cooked, Shredded Chicken ( Rotisserie)
- 1/4 Cup of buffalo sauce, or more depending on how buffalo-y you want your chicken
- 1 Yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 Red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 Cup of halved, cherry tomatoes ( I use Cherub)
- 1/2 cup of black beans, drained and rinsed
- Jarred Jalapenos – as many as you like
- 1/4 cup of reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese blend
- 1/2 Cup of Cilantro
- 1/2 Cup of non-fat greek yogurt
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 Jalapeno, chopped
- 1 Garlic clove, chopped
- Salt & Pepper to taste
What You Do:
- Mix chicken with buffalo sauce. Set aside
- Chop romaine and top with buffalo chicken, bell peppers, red onion, tomatoes, beans, jalapenos and cheese. ( If you don’t want the lettuce to be soggy by the end of the week, mix everything together except the lettuce – just build your individual salad every AM)
- Drizzle with dressing. (To make dressing – pulse cilantro, greek yogurt, lime juice, jalapeno, garlic and s&p together in a blender or food processor. Will /keep for the week!)
Meal Plan for the Week of 8/18
Sunday, August 18th – Instant Pot Short Rib Ragu – I don’t think I need to write anything else out. Oh wait, I do. You top it over gnocchi. Perfect family Sunday supper meal y’all. Stuffing the kids full of deliciousness tonight, so they sleep like babies, ready to wake at the crack of dawn. If you do not have an instant pot, try making my neighbors Oven Baked Ribs – fall off the bone heaven.
Erin’s Fall Off the Bone Oven Baked Ribs
What You Need:
- Rack of ribs
- 1 tbsp each – salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, brown sugar
- 1 tsp pepper
- Apple cider vinegar
- BBQ Sauce – she prefers Stubbs
What You Do:
- Combine salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, brown sugar and pepper. Rub over ribs. Make sure to coat the underside and top well. Let sit in fridge for a three hours.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Wrap ribs in foil, drizzle with apple cider vinegar, and bake for 3 – 4 hours. Once tender, unwrap the foil and baste with bbq sauce.
- Turn oven to broil and cook for 5 – 10 minutes, depending on placement of ribs in oven. If close to the top, check at 5 minutes.
Monday, August 19th – Mediterranean-ish Salmon Artichoke w/ Pesto – (Recipe Adapted from The Roasted Root Mediterranean Salmon in Parchment) – I changed this one up a bit to make it easier and less complicated. Serve over brown rice or with asparagus.
What You Need:
- 4 salmon fillets
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 cup of artichoke hearts
- 1/3 cup of pesto
What You Do:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut four pieces of aluminum foil into 14 inch lengths.
- Place each piece of salmon onto a piece of foil and sprinkle with salt, paprika, ginger and dill.
- Spread a thin layer of pesto over each fillet and top with tomatoes and artichokes. Fold foil in to cover salmon and then fold ends in to seal – basically, make a packet. Don’t worry if it’s not completely sealed – you want the heat to circulate.
- Bake on the center rack of oven for 20 – 28 minutes. Cook time will depend on the thickness of the salmon.
Tuesday, August 20th – Instant Pot Cajun Sausage Potato and Green Beans – Super family friendly. The kids can pick out the parts they like and push the other parts around on their plate. Cooks in 3 minutes. You read that correctly. 3 minutes.
Wednesday, August 21st – Red Pepper Pork Chops with Succotash – I’m a huge fan of succotash – all the kinds. This recipe calls for red pepper jelly which may or may not be too spicy for your little people. KID TIP – skip tossing their pork chops in the pepper jelly and mustard if you think your kids will boycott. Just cook theirs with salt, pepper and serve with a dippy sauce! For the succotash – I will use frozen corn, not fresh, to save time and energy.
Thursday, August 22nd – Grilled Honey Balsamic Chicken with Side Salad – Finger lickin good. You will need to marinate the chicken but 30 minutes will do if that’s all you’ve got. I’ll probably cook on the stove as our grill is too complicated for me to figure out. Serve with a simple side salad.
Friday, August 23rd – Cheesy BBQ Chicken Zucchini Nachos – Just seems like I will want to celebrate come Friday of this week. First full week of school under our belts and all. These “nachos” sound perfect. Pick your rotisserie chicken on Sunday, when it’s warm, and you will be ready to go. Kid Tip – No, mine won’t eat the healthy version but I will throw some tortilla chips on a sheet pan, top with some of the rotisserie chicken, cheese and whatever else they will eat and let them have their own nachos. Will take you an extra five minutes!!!
Happy, Healthy Eating Friends.
XO ~ Kelly D.