Weekly Menu ~ 12.13.10

Since today is the start of 12 weeks to lose the baby weight before Piper’s first birthday, the menus will be a little more geared towards mom over the next few weeks.  I’ll be posting what mom will be eating, making small adaptions each meal for the kids and hubs. I plan on doing a bit of a combination of different things for meals. This week is starting out with a Ritual Cleanse to “Kick start the system” as Erica put it. And I have to say, I’m impressed. As I write this, I’m 2 drinks in and they are yummy! When I start eating again on Thursday, I think I’ll go back to a few Flat Belly Family Cookbook (FBFC) meals that were easy and I liked, trying to stay around 1600 calories a day, (400 a meal). These will probably seem a little boring, but I chose them because it’s all food I like and I know I can do easily for both my family and me.

(12/13/2010 ~ working on displaying this menu a little more clearly for you, sorry!)

Flat Belly Diet ~ Pan Seared Shrimp Tacos

Pretty sure these are SUPER yummy!  Hubs and I really loved this dinner and neither felt like we were missing out on anything.  (Granted, he had an extra taco than me, AND a beer with lime…but still).  I wouldn’t hesitate to make these for Taco Tuesday for your family and friends.  Our girls liked it too!

From the Flat Belly Diet Family Cookbook

4 Servings (2 tacos each) / 320 Calories / MUFA: Avocado

Ingredients:

1 hass avocado, cubed
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (I’m calling this optional.  We didn’t miss it as I chose not to use it.  Too spicy for the kids.)
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp (I buy a 2 lb frozen bag at Costco, all you need to do is remove the tails, EASY!)
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 corn tortillas
1 cup shredded romaine (I used Green Leafy as its what I had, tasted great!)

Directions:

  1. Combine the avocado, onion, cilantro, pepper, lime juice, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt in a bowl and set aside.  Combine the shrimp, chili powder, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a separate bowl.
  2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the shrimp and cook for 2 1/2 – 3 minutes per side, or until opaque.  Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
  3. Heat the tortillas in a dry skillet over medium-high heat for abut 30 seconds per side, or according to package directions until hot and lightly toasted.  Dividing evenly, top each tortilla with the romaine, avocado mixture, and shrimp.  Serve hot.

I served it with fresh farmers market Cantaloup, super yum, super good!!

Flat Belly Diet ~ Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies

These could seriously get me through this entire diet!  Everyone in my family LOVES them!  And there is nothing like a latte with 3 of these cookies as my afternoon snack (and sweet treat fix!).  You can eat  3 of these cookies with 1 cup of milk (which I put with 1 shot of espresso) as a Flat Belly snack!  Thank you, I’ve died and gone to Heaven!!  Oh, and they are super fast to make too!  Bonus!!

From the Flat Belly Diet Family Cookbook

8 Servings (3 cookies each) / 315 Calories / MUFA: Peanut Butter

Ingredients:

1 cup natural unsalted crunchy peanut butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
All purpose flour for shaping cookies

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Coat several large baking sheets with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the peanut butter, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.
  3. Shape the dough into 24 balls and arrange on the sheets.  Dip the tines of a fork into flour and gently press a criss cross pattern into the top of each cookie.
  4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom.  Transfer to a rack to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. (Next time I plan to do a double batch and store in the freezer to have on hand!)

organizing tips

This tip has to do with helping to get yourself organized.  It comes from BabyCenter and although a REALLY, REALLY long list…there is LOTS of great info and very helpful tips.

Their first 5 are some of my favorites:

  1. Commit to change
  2. Take it slow
  3. Keep it simple
  4. Sort & purge
  5. Store things sensibly

Some others from the list that I really like and our family does as well:

Find a key spot for your keys.
We have a bowl in the kitchen for ALL keys (and sunglasses), next to the phone / iPod / iGo Charger stand.

Make old toys new again.
I learned this from the family I was a nanny for in college. The mom was BRILLIANT.  She rotated boxes of toys.  She actually went so far as to number each box 1 thru 5 and each week pulled out a different large box of fun.

Cut clutter on bedside tables.
I LOVE to go to bed feeling free from the day (and wake up to something clean – might be the only time I do!).  So I try to keep as few of things as possible on the bedside table.

Maximize closet space.
OHHHH do we maximize!  Check out the recent Master Closet post. My youngest sister came to my rescue in super organization hero style! Or this past organizing post, the last time I attacked it all.

Designate a “kid zone”.
I’m a big fan of keeping a space from feeling KID RUN OVER so I try to give them spaces within our space.  For example, a reading area (with a cute bean bag and baskets of books ~ they may even grab a quick shut eye if you’re lucky), and their own kitchen area (with a little table and chairs, black like our grown up one so it fits into the room).

Make space for play things.
We have lots of cute Pottery Barn type baskets and storage ottomans that I hide the kids things in. (The Havana lidded basket is a great option!) It makes family spaces family friendly without feeling like we live in a toy store.

Happy Friday everyone!  Enjoy your weekend!

Be sure to check back on Monday with a new week’s menu along with the Battle of the Belly update.  For those of you with me in the battle, keep charging on! Keep  your eye on the prize and we can all get rid of those once loved (for the food we got to eat), but no longer needed baby lbs!!!!! (If you do not have the Flat Belly Family Cookbook, check out the MFE Recipe category for a few yummy examples.)

I’m  hoping to finish up a couple more closets this weekend.  Getting the weight off my shoulders and life back in gear is feeling good!  Remember, if you’re stuck in the mud, STOP, and get back to basics, and get mama feeling good again!!

Week 1 ~ Battle of the Belly

Sooooo, how is everyone doing??  I gotta say, week 1 really wasn’t that bad!  I actually lost 5 pounds and we ate REALLY GOOD food.

What were some of your favorite things you made?

We LOVED the Avocado Orange Salad (p 100 FBFD).

The Berry Good Peanut Butter Scones (p 73 FBFD) were a GREAT breakfast staple.

Hay even made a try for it.

The Penne Pasta Salad (p 95 FBFD) was PERFECT for lunch.  It  both saved well for enjoying more than 1 day, and packed well for taking with me!  Loved the simplicity!

The kids loved the Peanut Butter Strawberry Wraps (p 83 FBFD).

At least I think they did, I’m just guessing from the expression…

What I think I’ve loved most is we have had great new recipes to try, I have never felt deprived, every meal has taken 15 minutes or less to prepare (even if it took longer to actually bake, etc, it was never longer than 15 minutes to prepare), and full of flavor!

It’s not too late to join us in the Belly Battle.  And if Flat Belly Family Diet isn’t for you. No prob!  I picked it because it sounded right for me and my family.  I gave myself last weekend to eat what I wanted (I didn’t pig out, I just didn’t restrict myself from eating what I wanted to.) And then a start date of Monday.  And once I start something my brain tends to compete with itself, so each day I’m on this diet and each day I’m losing baby weight means I’M WINNING! So my tip for you, if you want to lose a little around the middle….pick what works for you and give yourself a start date, then just got for it!

Check out the Planner this week. I’ve added some recipes for the week that we are going to be trying out. I’m only including dinner, but there are SOOOO many great things in the book for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dessert.  Great, great options!

I also loved these tips the book gives you for success (straight from page 39)…

  1. Plan ahead
  2. In 5 minutes you can assemble a couple of snack packs from the list on page 284 so eating is a no-brainer on an especially frenzied day.
  3. In 10 minutes you can map out the next day’s meals and sanks so you’re guaranteed to stick with the plan.
  4. In 60 minutes you can hit the grocery store and stock enough food for a week’s worth of delicious meals…

This all tells me that we can’t use the excuse of lack of time. If our kids or baby needed something that we didn’t have time for, we would spin our multitasking brain until we figured out how to find the time…so why can’t we do that for ourselves???

Find your 5 minutes.

You owe it to yourself!

And that great pair of jeans you used to fit it….

Or have always wanted to.

I would love to hear what things you cooked and loved, what tips helped you this week to stick with it? My favorite go to snack was always a quesadilla. It’s fast, filling, and I always had the ingredients on hand.

Try it 1 of 2 ways, all you need is 1 whole wheat tortilla, 2 oz chopped cooked chicken, 1/4 cup shredded cheese, and EITHER 1 tablespoon olive oil OR 1/4 avocado.

  1. You can either heat the oil in a non stick pan, cook the quesadilla and fold in half for a crisper version.
  2. OR zap it in the microwave for a minute, add the avocado and roll up for on the go.

I’m starting workouts this week…cross your fingers they help too…if they do, you know I’ll be sharing it with you all!!  My goal is to get 4 days of workouts in that consist of 30 minutes to an hour.  Doesn’t matter what I do, I just need to accomplish that minimum.  We can all find that kind of time.  Set your goal, and MAKE IT POSSIBLE NOT TO FAIL and you WILL succeed.

Have a great week! Looking forward to less of us all next week!

Flat Belly Diet ~ Spaghetti and Meatballs

From the Flat Belly Diet Family Cookbook ~ p 164

8 Servings / 410 Calories / MUFA: Olive Oil

Book Notes: This recipe makes a generous amount of tasty sauce, so if your family is not following the FBD servings exactly, feel free to make some extra pasta for them.  Simply measure out 1/2 cup of cooked pasts and 1/2 of sauce for yourself beforehand, and don’t forget the meatballs!

Book Notes: Prepare the meatballs and sauce ahead of time and dinner’s ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta. (I would freeze containers to reheat later.)

Ingredients:

12 ounces mulitgrain spaghetti
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 slice whole wheat bread, torn into bit sized pieces
1/4 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1 tablespoon salt free Italian seasoning (the world wont end if you use regular…)
1 lb 95% lean ground beef (Could also use ground turkey)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (Trader Joe’s frozen cubes are a time saver!)
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped parsley (optional)

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add the spaghetti and cook according to package directions.  Drain and toss with 1 tablespoon oil.  Cover to keep warm until the meatballs and sauce are ready.
  2. Meanwhile, place the bread in a large bowl and cover with milk.  Wait until the bread absorbs most of the milk (about a minute), then add the egg and the Italian seasoning.  Mix with  a fork until smooth (few pieces of crust may remain).  Add the beef and mix until thoroughly combined.  With clean hands, shape into 24 meatballs.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add half the meatballs ad cook, turning to ensure even browning, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until cooked through.  Trnafer to a plate and repeat with the remaining meatballs and 1 Tablespoon oil.
  4. Add the garlic and remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet.  Cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant.  Add the tomatoes, reduce the heat, and cook for 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Serve the spaghetti topped with the sauce and meatballs.  Sprinkle with parsley if desired.

Flat Belly Diet ~ Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cobb

From the Flat Belly Diet Family Cookbook ~ p 223

4 Servings / 199 Calories / MUFA: Canola Oil Mayonnaise

This is a GREAT alternative to butter and salt!  I served this for a Memorial Day dinner, so YUMMY! Perfect for summer BBQs.

Ingredients:

4 ears of corn (Pick up some fresh corn at a Farmers Market or produce stand, LOTS of extra flavor!)
1/4 cup canola oil mayonnaise (I used Best Foods Light)
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high.  Remove the outermost husks ans silks, but leave the tender inner husks on the corn.  Soak the ears in cold water for 15 minutes. (For a pretty presentation, I used one of the peeled husks to tie a knot around the inner husks once I had removed the silks.  EASY. Took a few extra seconds each.)
  2. Combine the mayo, lime juice, and chili powder in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Grill the ears of corn over direct heat for 10 minutes, turning to prevent charring.  Move to indirect heat and grill for 1 minutes longer, or until a kernel pops easily when pressed.  If the corn appears dry, it’s overcooked. (You can also wrap each husk in foil, or use a piece of foil on the grill to prevent burning.)
  4. Peel back the husks and spread 1 teaspoon the reserved mayo mixture over each cob.  Dust with 1 teaspoon of cheese and serve hot.

Flat Belly Diet ~ “Fried Corn” & BBQ Chicken

From the Flat Belly Diet Family Cookbook ~ p 228

4 Servings / 200 Calories / MUFA: Olive Oil

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups frozen corn kernels
8 tablespoons chopped roasted pepper
ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Warm 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add corn kernels, roasted peppers and ground pepper to taste.

Serve with 1 cup steamed cooked broccoli and 2 ounces grilled chicken** topped with 1 tablespoon BBQ sauce.

** Or bake the chicken at 375 degrees.  Spray baking dish with non-stick spray.  Add sliced onion (for flavor only) and top each chicken breast with 1 tablespoon BBQ sauce.  Bake for 35 minutes or until chick juices run clear.

Total Meal: 386 Calories

Flat Belly Diet ~ Crunchy Mac and Cheese

From the Flat Belly Diet Family Cookbook

4 Servings / 328 Calories / MUFA: Olive Oil

Ingredients:

4 ounces multigrain elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups fat-free milk
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Coat an 8″ x 8″ baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.  Add the macaroni and cook according to package directions.  Drain, rinse with cold water, drain again. Set aside.
  3. Combine the bread crumbs and 2 teaspoons of the oil and stir with a fork to evenly coat.
  4. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon oil ot a large saucepan.  Set over medium-high heat.  Whisk in the flour, paprika, salt, adn pepper until smooth.  Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly.  Cook, whisking, for 5 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from heat.  Stir in the cheese until it melts.  Stir in the macaroni. Pour into the baking dish.  Top evenly with the crumb mixture.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until bubbling and golden. Allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.