Melody's Menus

…what's cooking in my kitchen

It’s been a while… I’m back with a new twist! January 5, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Melody @ 8:04 pm

  I’ve been slacking on posting menu plans and really watching what I eat in general… with the result that I’ve had too many pounds creep back on.  That plus some other health issues (including chronic allergies & asthma) plus the fact that I’m just done with the diet mentality of measuring out and logging everything I eat plus a serendipitous reading of a magazine article led me to decide to start The Whole 30 a few days ago.  What is the Whole 30?  It is a diet plan (in the sense of eating lifestyle, not calorie restriction) that relies on eating whole foods and cutting out additives that may cause allergic reactions or inflammation.  I’m reading my way through It Starts With Food (the book which details the plan, although you can find plenty of details on the website as well), but the authors describe it as a “short-term nutritional reset”.  So for thirty days (26 left to go!), I’ll be avoiding grains, sugar, dairy, soy, and artificial preservatives.  I’ll be discovering (and rediscovering) foods that are good for me.  And I’ll be learning more about my relationship with food – because we all know that, at least for most people, what we eat is about so much more than just eating to live.  When the thirty days are up, I’ll be experimenting with adding in what I removed, and seeing how it affects me.  And from that, I’ll figure out what the new normal is for my menu planning (and eating!) for life.  I’m lucky to have a few supporters on the journey.  If you are reading this, I’d love to have yours as well.  In the meantime, I’ll be writing some thoughts about the process, posting some pictures of the (delicious) meals I’m making, and continuing to share weekly meal plans!


Whole 30 meals for the last couple of weeks… January 24, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Melody @ 9:00 pm
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I made up a menu plan and just didn’t post it here.  Still doing Whole30 and about halfway through – here are some of the meals I’ve been enjoying!

Almond Flour coated chicken tenders with Carrot & Zucchini “Fries” (it’s just roasted carrots and zucchini, but it is great!)

Pan Roasted Lemon Chicken with vegetables, Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Roasted Parsnips

Crock Pot Carnitas with salsa, lettuce, tomato, onion and avocado (leave out the sugar on the salsa)

Adobo Seasoning for Carnitas

Chicken Avocado Lime Soup

Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash, Steamed Broccoli & Salad

Hamburgers (bunless for me!) and Potato Salad

Salmon, Sweet Potato, and Steamed Broccoli

Garlic Chicken Legs, Couscous (for the non Whole30 people), Steamed Broccoli

Pork Loin, Mashed Potatoes (made with chicken broth), side salad

They were all great!


Menu Plan for 1/5/15-1/11/15 – Week 1 of Whole30 January 5, 2015


I started Whole30 on 1/2/15, but this post covers all the recipes since then.  Looking forward to a great week!

Breakfasts: Eggs with veggies on the side – kale, asparagus, spinach, sweet potatoes, onions/bell peppers – whatever is in the refrigerator!  Also some leftovers from Sunday’s potluck – I brought Whole30 complaint Sausage Breakfast Casserole (made with homemade sausage – I impressed myself with that one too!).

Lunches: Usually leftovers from supper or from a soup made previously in the week, sometimes salad with whatever I have available thrown on top of it.


Monday, 1/5: Fajitas, served over mixed greens for me (spinach, romaine, a touch of cilantro) and with tortillas for the rest of the family.  Today’s fajita recipe: 2 peppers (I picked red and yellow), 1 sweet onion, 1/2 red onion, 4 oz. mushrooms all sliced and thrown into a skillet with some coconut oil.  Add about 2 pounds of sliced chicken breast and 4 TBSP of taco seasoning.  Cook until the chicken is done.  Serve over lettuce/greens and top with tomato, cilantro, and avocado.  Yum!

Tuesday, 1/6: Leftover Chicken Vegetable Soup with some extra chicken from the one we roasted thrown in, and probably a salad.  I impressed myself by making the stock for this soup (the recipe tells you how) so it is completely made from scratch.  I made a few substitutions for some spices I didn’t have on hand, but overall left the recipe unchanged.  It is fabulous.  I now love sweet potatoes in soup.

Wednesday, 1/7: Crockpot Italian Meatballs in Marinara Sauce, served with garlicky spinach for me and on top of spaghetti noodles for the non Whole30 eaters in the family.  Maybe with more salad, because I still have 2 heads of romaine lettuce to use up. 🙂  I’ve made these meatballs before and we all really enjoy them.

Thursday, 1/8: It’s leftover night!  In addition to the recipes above, we have non-Whole30 compliant chili and Whole30 compliant Chicken Tortilla soup (also great!) in the freezer.

Friday, 1/9: Time for some chili!  I’ve made this chili before as well and really enjoyed it.  With our usually chili with beans off the table, it’s past time to make this one again.  Planning on topping it with some avocado and red onion.

Saturday, 1/10: It’s time to re-evaluate what leftovers we have in the refrigerator and freezer.  If I need to, I’ll cook up some chicken breasts seasoned with garlic salt and roast some vegetables (we have carrots, parsnips and butternut squash on hand).

Sunday, 1/11: Heading to another potluck – pretty sure I’m going to make Crockpot Minestrone Soup!

Linking up with Orgjunkie again for Menu Plan Mondays.


Here’s one way to make menu planning a little easier… April 11, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Melody @ 7:25 pm
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let someone else pick the ingredients! 🙂

We recently joined a CSA for a local farm.   This was the first week of getting a box of goodies.  In the box this week:

  • Kale
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Peach jam
  • Strawberry jelly
  • Pepper relish
  • Pecans
  • One lonely green pepper

Recipes we’re making with it this week:

Wednesday: Strawberry Avocado Kale Salad with Bacon and grilled chicken — pretty good, we loved the strawberry/kale combination

Thursday: Pinto beans and cornbread with pepper relish; Kale Salad (with dried fruit/nut/homemade vinaigrette) — we used almonds, craisins, and golden raisins

Friday: Eating out!

Saturday:  Sausage, Potato, and Kale Soup — aka a remade Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

Sunday: Grilled Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, Zucchini

Monday: Grilled Bratwurst/Peppers/Onions & Corn on the Cob

Tuesday: leftover soup

Hoping strawberries are ready next week but thinking it’ll be a little longer… I’m glad to be back on track with cooking again!



Updates and some new recipes! September 2, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Melody @ 10:43 pm
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Well, I am back to menu planning but haven’t updated here in a while.  Trying to make even more dietary adaptations here, so look for relatively low-carb meals (I’m not following any particular commercial diet, but keeping meals to under 45 carbs… which has been a challenge).  Outside activities (and time away from the house) are ramping up too, so this is the place to come for crockpot meals!  I have so many meals pinned from Pinterest that I want to try too!

Last week’s notable meals (done with minimal planning, so they don’t even merit their own post) 🙂

Multigrain Waffles, with 1 cup of blueberries added to the batter.
1 blueberry waffle (1/6th of recipe) + 1 TBSP light cream cheese
2 links turkey sausage
410 calories/47 carbs/24 protein/14 fat/5 fiber

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore
1 serving + 3/4 cup Ronzoni Healthy Harvest wheat linguini + 2 TBSP freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
335 calories/42 carbs/23 protein/10 fat/7 fiber

Now to figure out a menu plan for next week!


Lentil Soup/Stew January 10, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Melody @ 11:31 pm
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Wish I could remember who I got this from so I could give credit!  This is so quick and easy (and healthy too, I love when I can cook with all fresh ingredients!)


1 pound Lentils, dried
4 cups Chicken broth, reduced sodium (1 box)
4 cups Water
3 stalks Celery, diced
3 Carrots, diced
2 medium Onions, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp Parsley, dried
1 tsp Basil, dried
1 tsp Oregano, dried
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
Large pinch Red pepper flakes
  Black Pepper to taste
  Table salt to taste (I don’t use any)


Throw everything into the crock, and stir. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Near the end of the cooking time, give it a stir and add more water or broth if you want it soupier.

Serves 12, 1 cup/serving


Menu Plan 1/9-1/15/2012 January 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Melody @ 12:13 am
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Monday: Lentil Soup (I need to add the recipe to this page!) with Light Oat Bread

Tuesday: Spaghetti Italian with salad

Wednesday:  Mediterranean Chicken with mashed potatoes and honey roasted carrots

Thursday: Leftover Buffet

Friday:  Taco Soup

Saturday: Breakfast for dinner

Sunday: lunch — Leftover Buffet (again, I know, that’s what happens when you have tons of soup!); dinner — potluck @ small groups

Linking up with again!