how i eat: this week’s dinner plans (2/15 – 2/19)

berry kale smoothie1

berry kale smoothie2

Lately, my first breakfast of the day: a smoothie made with blueberries, strawberries, dark cherries, kale and 1/3 of banana. No extra sweetener needed! And yes I did say “first breakfast”. I’ve been eating two breakfasts every day. A smoothie early on and then a buttered English muffin with cheesy scrambled eggs (sometimes with bacon) a couple of hours later. Very satisfying!


I thought it was about time for a How I Eat post. Instead of showing my dinners from the week before, I thought I’d share my meal plans for this week. Some already consumed and some not yet. To make up for our weekend, I wanted to make sure I had planned some healthy meals for the rest of the week. I kept most of it meat-free and because of that, our grocery bill and our cholesterol intake was lower than usual. I’m pretty happy about that. We’ve been going pretty hard with the chicken lately, so it was good to get out of that rut with some lighter, more-heart-healthy vegetarian fare.

Sunday: Saag paneer. The recipe calls for fresh spinach, but my budget this week only allows for frozen so I go with that instead. I’ve made this a few times and it’s a meal that’s nutritious, uncomplicated, quick, highly adaptable and very flavorful. Basically the formula for an easy weeknight dinner. I usually sub the paneer with chickpeas for some protein, but I honestly love it most with fried halloumi. It’s a firm and salty cheese and it’s oh-so-wonderful in a spicy dish like this.

Monday: Mashed potatoes, roasted chicken drumsticks and roasted broccoli. It’s hard to mess up mashed potatoes but I manage to do it while experimenting with a coworker’s recipe. She brought in these amazing mashed potatoes mixed with butter, coconut milk and whole milk to work one day and I loved them. Instead of boiling the potatoes, I decided to bake them and then mash so as not to lose the nutrients in the boiling water. Weirdly, my potatoes come out chunky even with the use of potato ricer. Also, they didn’t taste good. Bob might have even used the words “kind of terrible”. He was laughing when he said it, but I know he’s being honest. Note to self: get the exact measurements for the recipe from my coworker tomorrow. Broccoli is roasted until crispy, as usual. The same for the chicken drumsticks. I like to quickly season with Adobo and olive oil and stick ’em in the oven until the skin gets golden-crispy. Adobo All Purpose seasoning is my jam.

Tuesday: Another recipe from 101 Cookbooks: split pea soup.  Have you ever had vegetarian split pea soup? It’s just as good without the ham, in my opinion. Smoked paprika gives it a nice bacon-like flavor that I just love. I don’t wait to mix it in at the end, like the recipe says. I toss a few pinches while the onions are cooking. Green split peas are awesome for your heart, so I definitely want to try some other ways of cooking with them. I’m also serving roasted cauliflower on the side. Doesn’t really go with the soup but I’m not too concerned about it. Split peas have a lot of fiber in them so I think a lighter side option is ideal here anyway.

Wednesday: Toasted bread and Parmesan kale salad. The minute I saw this, I bookmarked it. I want to go the extra step and season the breadcrumbs with butter, garlic and (maybe) some anchovies. I might improv the dressing too, depending on what I have. Either way, I know this will be a good one and I can’t wait to eat it.

Thursday: Don’t know yet. I sometimes leave this day open in case we have some leftovers from the week that we can just eat again. Or sometimes I’ll make breakfast for dinner. It can be an omelette with whatever ingredients I have in the house or a bacon, egg, lettuce and cheese sandwich. Maybe even a simple pasta like cacio e pepe or spaghetti aglio e olio. All this to say Thursday is “whatever’s in the pantry” day. I’m wingin’ it.

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