Tag Archives: family meals

weekly family dinner plan

1 Nov

Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 10.03.06 AMThis week’s family dinner plan is inspired by: pantry items!

While I was cooking last week I noticed I have several items in my cabinets that I have been overlooking that could go to good use. So this week’s grocery list is inspired by what I already have on hand.

If you have a bunch of items that you need to use as well, you can take the same approach and substitute a couple of nights of my menu items with what you are trying to use, so that you can save at the checkout line.

I am also inspired by superfoods again this week, making sure we have fish at least once during the week, and I am including my son’s suggestions on Kid’s night so he feels included in the process, and is then more open to my choices on the other nights.

Feel free to share your children’s favorite dinners on our Facebook page and we will include them in future menus.

Our menu this week is:

risotto2Monday Butternut squash risotto and black bean salad

Tuesday: – One pot:  Red bean salad served with bulgar wheat with dried cranberries and side salad  (Note – this is a more adventurous menu. My son preferred the black bean salad and had that from leftovers from Monday in place of the red bean salad.)

Wednesday – Kids’ Choice Night:  Turkey tacos with pico de gallo and a side of corn

Thursday:  Baked fish with pan seared garlic and olive oil (or butter) and rice noodles with a side salad

Friday: No noodle zucchini lasagna 

Click here for this weeks grocery list for a family of four.  

Here is your personal Sunday prep list for the week as well as your nightly prep and cook steps that will take the guess work out of every night.

Photo courtesy of zestycook.com

weekly family dinner plan

23 Oct

Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 10.03.06 AM

This week’s family dinner plan is inspired by: super-foods!

“What’s for dinner?”

Starting up the new school year has been an exciting and busy time for our family.

It is hard to believe that we are in mid-October, but managing the meals for eleven schools plus my own two children’s makes the days fly by. I am sure I am not alone in settling into the cooler weather and busy soccer and dance schedules for our children which makes what we serve for dinner more important than ever. Packing in nutrition so that everyone has strong days with energy is easier when we plan ahead.

TWalnutshis week, I am incorporating a few ‘super’ foods into the menu. They include beans, greens, yams, garlic, tomatoes, and whole grains. You may need to adjust some recipes to suit your family’s tastes, but these items will surely give you a base for a satisfying week at the dinner table.

While making my list of super foods, I also came across a list of foods you may want to add to your shopping list for breakfast. They include berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries), yogurt, oats, eggs, flax seeds, nuts (especially walnuts), and oranges (or orange juice).

The last super food I will share this week is tea. I am excited to try caffeine-free herbal varieties (like chamomile) to serve to my children and myself, and look forward to the enhanced moods in addition to the flavonoids as we prepare for bedtime.

Enjoy dinner and I look forward to your comments and suggestions on our Facebook page. If you or your children have a favorite recipe you want me to include in the weekly menu, please share it there. Have fun!


Our menu this week is:

Monday:  Chicken legs with a side of tomato and herb white beans

Tuesday: – One pot:  Yam and black bean burritos with a side of sautéed greens

Wednesday – Kids’ Choice Night:  Mac n cheese with a side of salad greens and roasted carrots

Thursday: Baked fish and veggie fries with a side salad

Friday: Pan crusted tofu with a side of broccoli and quinoa chard pilaf

Click here for this weeks grocery list for a family of four.  

Here is your personal Sunday prep list for the week as well as your nightly prep and cook steps that will take the guess work out of every night.

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and let us know how it went!

Photo courtesy of Pauline Mak and oprah.com

tips for picky eaters part 1

11 Oct

FN_Picky-Eaters-Promo-Video_s4x3_al (1)Great news for parents who have picky eaters!

Melissa d’Arabian from the Food Network has put together the “Picky Eaters Project” filled with fun videos and tips that might be helpful for you.

Don’t have time to watch the videos? Don’t worry!

We will be featuring a few blog posts filled with Melissa’s best tips.

Here is our quick summary for this week:

  • Setting the stage for victory:
  1. Try to get your family to agree to try new and different foods.
  2. Organize your  pantry so that easy to reach foods are healthy choices.
  3. Measure your success by creating a binder that lists all of the foods your children eat, adding to the list as you go.
  • Redesign dinner time:
  1. Build a constructive routine and create a positive environment. Strive to sit down at the table for meals, and create a clear start and stop for dinner.
  2. Get your hands on a dinner bell that your kids can ring when dinner is ready.
  3. Set the dinner table earlier in the day to ensure that dinner starts on time.
  4. Make dinner fun: share stories, and enjoy yourselves together.
  5. Create a “daily victory file” in your binder, writing down two things that went well, and one opportunity for improvement.
  • Expanding palates:
  1. Encourage your children to take food risks by making slight variations on foods they already love, for example: if your kids love a particular brand of chicken nuggets, try serving a different brand. Or if they like blueberry muffins, try serving them cranberry muffins. If they like chocolate ice cream, serve them marble swirl ice cream instead.
  2. Reward them for having an adventurous palate with foods you know they are going to like.
  3. Encourage them to have an opinion on the food by making taste test books, where they can write down their review of the food, on a scale from 1-10 and leave a comment.
  4. Set the precedent that everyone in the family eats the same meal. It might help if you make one of your kids favorite meals like quesadillas, but cut them up into little pieces, and serve it as a side dish rather than a main, and make something that everyone will enjoy (more grown up food) for the main.

More to come, so stay tuned!

Photo courtesy of foodnetwork.com

Family Dinner Guide

24 May

Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 10.03.06 AMWe’d like to introduce our guest blogger, Belinda DiGiambattista who is the Co-Founder + CEO of Butter Beans. 

As a busy working mom of two, she understands the demands of fixing up homemade and nutritious dinners for her family. In her post, she outlines a dinner plan for the week ahead, providing you with tips, recipes and a grocery list for your family.  

“What’s for dinner?”

Monday to Friday, many working parents come home after picking up their child(ren) from daycare or school and find themselves and their children asking that same question, day after day. To quote Twist from The Fresh Beat Band, “Wouldn’t it be cool if,… we had our very own personal chef come to our home every day and prepare a homemade, healthy, yummy meal that we could all sit down and enjoy at 6:15 pm every night!” Yes, that would be very cool. But outside of this fantasy, there are solutions that can help busy parents achieve that same result without the personal chef.

Starting this week, I will be your personal dinner organizer, helping you kick off the weekend with a well thought out plan to have your meals ready to go every night of the week.

I too am a busy working mom of two beautiful children 3 and 6 (almost 7) years old. I also have the added pressure of owning a healthy school lunch company so everyone expects me to do this uber-well. I, too am human and often have to figure it out at the last minute. But working at Butter Beans has certainly upped my ‘figure-it-out’ quotient and I am happy to share my secrets.

The key to smooth nightly dinners is planning ahead.

If you know what you will serve every night for Monday to Friday, you can have the easy recipes in hand, order the grocery list online from Fresh Direct or visit your local grocer and be completely prepared.

If you know in advance you have to cut up 2 onions, chop three carrots and wash the parsley, you can work it into your time already spent in the kitchen when making weekend breakfasts, lunches, etc. and you are way ahead of the game.

Not having to ‘think’ about what’s for dinner during the week will change your life.

5046234070_6dc9501e41This week, our menu is:

Monday:  Salmon, succotash, garden salad, and whole grain rolls.

Tuesday – Kids’ Choice Night:  Mac n cheese, broccoli, baked chicken cutlets.

Wednesday:  Meatballs OR Seared Tofu with brown rice mixed with sautéed kale, carrots and tamari and sesame kale salad.

Thursday:  Vegetable chili with fixins’ served with brown rice or whole grain bread.

Friday: Panini Night! Make a list of your kids’ favorite ingredients and add veggies to make a fun, healthy pressed sandwich on whole grain bread that your whole family will enjoy. Add sides that pack more colors and vitamins to leave you all satisfied. Our family’s go to panini ingredients are pesto, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and ciabatta bread.

Now the fun part begins, figuring out how to procure the ingredients and actually cook these items. I have created a Grocery List for a family of four to get you started. Plan to have these items in the house by Saturday evening and you are ready to go. Planning – check. Groceries – check. What’s for dinner? – check.

Here is a suggested guide for the Sunday prep for the week, along with a nightly prep guide that will take the guess work out of every night.

Have fun.

Good luck.

And enjoy homemade meals every night this week!

Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook, comment on our blog, or tweet us to let us know how it went!

Photo courtesy of Manuel W.

cooking is a revolutionary act

1 Apr

Screen Shot 2013-04-01 at 10.42.40 AMIf you follow our blog, you most likely love to cook.

Well, we are in good company!

We are part of a movement that is inspiring our audiences to cook at home, fostering relationships with family, friends, neighbors, while furthering physical, mental and spiritual health.

Cooking doesn’t have to be fancy or feel out of reach. On the contrary, cooking should be seen as simple, approachable and fun!

With all of the jarring statistics we hear everyday, it’s comforting to know that we can change ourselves, our families, our communities by using our own two hands. Grocery shopping, turning on that oven, prepping those ingredients, and sitting down at the table can have profound effects on everyone involved in the process.

As Dr. Mark Hyman summarizes, “cooking…can transform everything…our health, the environment, our economy and so much more!”

Join Dr. Mark Hyman for an “eat-in” on April 7th, to “take back our health by avoiding restaurants and packaged foods.” On this day he asks us to make real, whole, fresh food and invite family and friends over to share in that moment.

Let’s all pledge to prepare more food at home, and help educate and inspire others to do the same.

Happy healthy eating to all!

Photo courtesy of theeatin.org