Sunday, May 18, 2014

Fuel for Life: My Weekly Meal Plan

Eldorado Canyon, as seen from today's trail run.

After a month during which we moved into our new house and either my husband or I traveled every weekend while also juggling some major professional commitments (hello, Boulder Startup Week), it feels like we've crossed over to the other side of a very stressful period of time.

This weekend, we enjoyed the feeling of having nothing to do. Well, maybe not nothing, but rather a very ordinary weekend to-do list filled with things like trips to the hardware store (which has become one of my favorite things to do now that we have our own house / yard), bathing the dog (decidedly not one of my favorite things to do, but necessary), gardening and assorted yard work, grocery shopping, exercising, and catching up on miscellaneous items that we neglected during the chaos of the last few weeks.

It rained Friday night (a real spring rain), and I opened all the windows to enjoy the sweet pitter-patter sound. I read a little bit, and nodded off quickly, having been lulled into a meditative state by the rhythm of the rainstorm. By Saturday morning, it seemed the whole earth had turned supernaturally green. I left the windows open the entire day, infusing the house with the wildly vernal scent of a just-cleaned earth.

This afternoon, after a trail run at one of my favorite spots, I sat at our new pine farmhouse table (a serious Craigslist score) with one of my favorite country stations playing as I plotted out our meals for the week.

It all felt so deliciously normal, and, after this past month, I was thankful for that.

Sunday: Paleo-ish Asparagus, Scallion & Goat Cheese Pizza  
I managed to find an almond and potato flour pizza crust at our local Whole Foods that inspired me to create a pizza based around fresh spring ingredients. I'll use a base of creamy goat cheese (I found this olive and herb one that looks delish) then top it with a combination of shaved asparagus, scallions, mint, and a touch of freshly cracked black pepper. With a side of arugula, it'll make for a perfectly fresh springtime dinner.

Monday: SweetGreen-Inspired Santorini Salad
I used to work about a block from the Dupont Circle SweetGreen, and I ate this salad, like, twice a week. It's that good. I forgot all about it until I saw the imitation recipe pop up on Kristin's blog, and all the flavors came back to me: the acidity of the lemon-flavored shrimp, the tang of feta, the crispness of cucumber, and the sweet burst of the red grapes (Kristin uses cherry tomatoes), all coated in a creamy cucumber and basil-flecked dressing. I can't wait to re-create it!

Tuesday: Leftover Pizza

I'll make extra tonight so that I can have leftovers later in the week!

Wednesday: Pork Belly Tacos

We picked up a giant package of local pastured pork belly at the farmers' market that I'm planning to use as taco filling this week, along with some shredded cabbage, cilantro, pickled onion (so easy--marinate thinly sliced red onion in whatever type of vinegar you have on-hand), and a dollop of creme fraiche. I typically use locally made white corn tortilla shells heated with a touch of olive oil under the broiler.

Thursday: Leftover Santorini Salad Ingredients (re-purposed with chicken)

I have some chicken breast in the freezer that I need to use up, so I'll create a second iteration of the Santorini Salad (see Monday's meal) using chicken instead of shrimp. I'll bake the chicken the night before with olive oil, sea salt, fresh oregano, and lemon slices, then shred it up and toss it with the other ingredients.

Saturday: Out to eat with my parents!
My parents will be in town for the long weekend, and I can't wait to spend some quality time together. They get in Friday afternoon, so after picking me up at work, we'll head out somewhere downtown Boulder for dinner (or takeout, depending on how everyone's feeling).

As a bonus, here are a few snacks I've been enjoying lately:

  • Plain Noosa yogurt with fresh berries or a crumbled up Larabar
  • Unsweetened dried mangoes
  • Organic turkey slices wrapped around avocado and cucumber
  • Cherry tomatoes and diced avocado with olive oil and sea salt
  • Slices of cucumber topped with little dabs of goat cheese
  • Carrot and celery slices with almond or cashew butter

What are you cooking and eating this week?

Check out past meal plans here for more inspiration. 

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