Menu Plan Monday–May 9

I hope everyone had a Happy Mother’s Day. I know I did – we had a relaxing lakeside lunch at my aunt’s house. We took my son for his first canoe ride – he loved it. Of course the first thing he did was to pick up a paddle and try to “row.” I still have moments when I look at my son with amazement and wonder that this precious little boy is my son and that I am a mother. And he is growing up so fast! Where does the time go? I am so thankful for both my mother and mother-in-law who are instrumental role models in their loving and caring for their families. Also, I literally could not make it through the week without them, as I rely on them so much for help with my son.

I didn’t take many pictures this past week, but I did make this yummy Black Bean Veggie Quinoa Salad for my contribution to our Mother’s Day feast. I created this recipe a few weeks back when I was doing a taste test with some football players. They all loved it, as did my family. Quinoa is such a healthy addition to your diet – packed with protein, fiber and many other nutrients. For more information on quinoa, check out this guest blog post I wrote last summer for Eat Well with Janel.

Black Bean Veggie Quinoa Salad

Yield: about 8 cups

1 ½ cups quinoa
3 cups water
1 small head of broccoli, cut into small florets
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cucumber, diced
1-2 medium sweet bell peppers (red, orange and/or yellow), diced
1-2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
Olive Oil Vinaigrette, to taste (store bought or make your own) 
Grated parmesan cheese, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Combine water and quinoa in a pan and cook according to package directions. (Read label on package to see if quinoa must be pre-rinsed first.)

2. While quinoa is cooking, lightly steam broccoli (no more than 2-3 minutes).

3. Combine cooked quinoa, broccoli and rest of ingredients. Toss to combine. Add dressing, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in small amounts until achieve desired flavor.

4. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Other big hits from this past week were the Snobby Joes (aka Lentil Sloppy Joes). I really liked the recipe and glad to have found another fun way to eat lentils – such little great nuggets of nutrition, packed with protein, fiber, folate and many other vitamins and minerals! Though next time I will add one less tablespoon of maple syrup and maybe back off the chili powder a touch. There was a little too much sweet on the front end and definitely spicy on the back end.

We also loved the Pasta with Prosciutto and Spinach from this past week. My husband isn’t a big fan of nuts in meals, but the pine nuts were such a nice addition to the dish. The salmon dish moves forward to this week as we ate at my in-laws that night. I made a batch of black beans in my pressure cooker for the quinoa salad, so have a good bit leftover that will go into this week’s menu (Huevos Rancheros) as well as in the freezer. Have I told you lately how much I love my pressure cooker? It took me about 20 minutes from dried beans to cooked using the quick soak method.

Here is this week’s menu:

Monday: Huevos Rancheros (I’m going to make my own recipe and will post if it is good)

Tuesday: Clean out Fridge Pasta (most likely containing Chicken Sausage, Broccoli, Olives, Tomatoes, Mushroom and Onions)

Wednesday: Black Pepper Salmon and Cucumber Vinaigrette from Gourmet over brown rice and Mediterranean Vegetable Blend

Thursday: Pasta leftovers

Friday: Flaky Fish Sticks from The Mom’s Guide to Meal Makeovers, Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Green Beans (special request from my husband)

Saturday: Evening Out

Sunday: Sesame Chicken Edamame Bowl with Udon Noodles