Dairy Free Option

Scallops and Strawberries: Meal Plan Menu for July 20

Meal Plan Menu July 20 2014 Meal Plan Menu July 20 2014

Are you ready for Eat Happy Meal Plan to transform your relationship with dinner?

Here’s sneak peak of next week’s Eat Happy Meal Plan Menu!  This is the menu for the week of July 20-July 26th, and it will arrive in inboxes this Thursday at 6am!

Next week you could be enjoying these delicious scallops with an easy Strawberry and Celery Salsa, an amazing Summer Vegetable Tart with an even more amazing homemade 5-minute tart crust, sweet and savory Hawaiian Tuna Stackers with Pineapple and Canadian Bacon, and a simple Quinoa Pilaf made with vegetables you’ve roasted earlier in the week.

Enjoy meals that are homemade, fast, nutrient-dense, and full of fresh flavor with this meal plan.

Sign up today to get your this Eat Happy Meal Plan in your inbox on Thursday.  You’ll be loving dinner next week!

  • Arugula and Steak Salad with Grilled Onions and Peppers and Shaved Parmesan
    Permalink Arugula and Steak Salad with Grilled Onions and Peppers and Shaved ParmesanGallery

    Arugula and Steak Salad with Grilled Onions and Peppers, Shaved Parmesan, and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Arugula and Steak Salad with Grilled Onions and Peppers, Shaved Parmesan, and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Arugula and Steak Salad with Grilled Onions and Peppers and Shaved Parmesan Arugula and Steak Salad with Grilled Onions and Peppers and Shaved Parmesan

You know it’s a good food week when your leftover meal is even better than the original meal the leftovers came from – such is the case with this Arugula and Steak Salad. Using leftover Lime-Marinated Steak and grilled onions and peppers from Eat Happy Meal Plan’s Lime-Marinated Steak Fajitas I created this super simple and fast salad.

This salad is really well-balanced: bold steak paired with sweet onions and peppers, peppery spiced arugula, and all tied together with a sweet balsamic vinaigrette.  I added a little crunch with some sunflower seeds, and what could be wrong with some shaved Parmesan on top?  (It pairs so nicely with the balsamic vinegar!)

No worries if you don’t enjoy steak – simply sub in whatever protein you prefer – tofu, chicken, or even even shrimp will all work with the lime marinade and ultimately result in a great salad.

Arugula Salad with Grilled Steak, Onions and Peppers and Shaved Parmesan
From Eat Happy Meal Plan
Total Prep Time: 20 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Serves:  4

Ingredients
5-7 ounces arugula leaves
1-2 cups leftover grilled steak, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1-2 cups leftover grilled onions and peppers, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 ounces parmesan or pecorino romano cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon or whole-grain mustard
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

  1. Wash the arugula leaves and spin or pat dry.  Place in individual bowls or a [...]
  • Mediterranean Quinoa Casserole
    Permalink Mediterranean Quinoa Casserole with lots of good stuffGallery

    Mediterranean Quinoa Casserole with Kalamata Olives, Roasted Red Peppers and Cannellini Beans

Mediterranean Quinoa Casserole with Kalamata Olives, Roasted Red Peppers and Cannellini Beans

Mediterranean Quinoa Casserole Mediterranean Quinoa Casserole with lots of good stuff

While putting together the Eat Happy Meal Plan for next week I inadvertently ended up with a bit of a Mediterranean theme – including this Mediterranean Quinoa Casserole.

Mediterranean food is renowned for its health benefits as well as its tastiness and, for lack of a better term, the level of satisfaction this way of eating provides.  Because it’s not deficient in any major food group (lookin at you fats) and includes a lot of variety in foods and flavor, it’s a very satisfying way to eat, which also happens to make it very sustainable.

This casserole is a bit of a smorgasbord of Mediterranean ingredients – kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, cannellini beans, feta cheese (look for authentic goat or sheep milk varieties), fish, and fresh herbs.

You do have to cook the quinoa, but other than that the preparation is as simple as tossing chopped ingredients in a bowl (many of which conveniently coming from the pantry), mixing, then transferring to a casserole dish to bake.  Twenty-five minutes, easy peasy.

Serving of Mediterranean Quinoa Casserole Serving of Mediterranean Quinoa Casserole

Mediterranean Quinoa Casserole with Kalamata Olives, Roasted Red Peppers and Cannellini Beans
From: Eat Happy Meal Plan
Total Prep Time: 55 minutes
Active Time: 25 minutes
Serves:  4 with leftovers

Ingredients
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well in a fine-mesh sieve
2 cups chopped tomatoes with liquid from about 1 can
3 roasted red peppers, about 1 jar, cut [...]

Sweet Potato Tacos with Black Beans and Corn

Sweet potato, black bean and corn tacos Sweet Potato Tacos with Black Beans and Corn

These sweet potato tacos are as delicious as they are beautiful to look at.  Taco night really is awesome: tortillas keep easily in the freezer and thaw quickly, toppings are generally easy to throw together, and everyone can assemble their own tacos the way they want them- practically the definition of family friendly!

I love traditional tacos with savory and satisfying ground meat, blackened fish, and even shrimp.  But I wanted to try something a little lighter – still savory, but a little sweet as well.  So I browsed around for inspiration and found these Honey-Lime Sweetened Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Corn Tacos at cookingclassy.com.  I adapted the recipe a smidge – reducing the sweetness and adding a jalapeno for flavor and spice.  The results were delicious and surprisingly fast to prepare.  I remember looking at my clock and thinking I had a good 10 minutes of empty space to fill before I needed to call the kids to the table (at this point in life that feels like practically an eternity, and it’s not a feeling I have often while preparing dinner!).  

My husband doesn’t like sweet potatoes, so I simply pulled some of the bean and corn mixture aside before mixing in the sweet potatoes.  You could certainly do the same if you have a sweet potato non-eater.  Again, the beauty of tacos!

Tasty Taco Toppings Tasty Taco Toppings

Sweet Potato Tacos [...]

Real Food Hot Chocolate Recipe

Better Hot ChocolateBetter Hot Chocolate

Ditch the nasty packets!  Make the most of this late winter storm with this real food hot chocolate recipe.  Made with whole milk, real cocoa, raw honey, and a pinch of sea salt.  It may just literally warm your soul.

It’s easy peasy: take about 8-10 ounces of milk (I use goat milk, but you can use grass-fed cow’s milk, or even almond milk) and mix in about a tablespoon of good-quality cocoa (Droste is good) in a small to medium saucepan.  You’ll have to whisk it pretty well while it’s over medium-low heat.  (Keep it on the lower end, as milk can scorch – milk likes low and slow).  Real cocoa isn’t as easy to dissolve as cocoa mixes, but after 2-3 minutes it will completely dissolve.  Heat it until it’s almost to a simmer, but not quite.  The milk will be very hot and appear to thicken a little.  Then stir in 2-3 teaspoons of real honey and a tiny pinch of sea salt.

The result will be a creamy, dark chocolate cocoa experience that you’ll look forward to on cool days.  Marshmallows optional, but always fun.

Eat happy!

  • White bean chili with sweet potatoes and jalapeno
    Permalink White bean chili with sweet potatoes and jalapenoGallery

    White Bean and Turkey Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Jalapeno

White Bean and Turkey Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Jalapeno

White bean chili with sweet potatoes and jalapeno White bean and turkey chili with sweet potatoes and jalapeno

This chili has been very popular with the kiddos for dinner, and will be a new winter staple in our house.  That’s my 3 year old’s chili – the supermodel in the above pic. It’s a sweet, savory, and if you want, slightly spicy take on chili.  Half-way between a traditional chili and a white chili it’s not too acidic, which I really enjoy with the traditional savory chili spices (and it’s easier on sensitive tummies).

I served mine with a little grated white cheddar cheese, some sliced green onions, and a spoonful of plain yogurt – delish.

Possible adaptations: omit the turkey if you’re vegetarian and add an extra can of beans, or a little diced firm tofu.  If you’re not into sweet potatoes (my husband isn’t), simply omit those – it’ll be just as good without them, and a little more traditional.

Recipe:  White Bean and Turkey Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Jalapeno

From: Eat Happy Meal Plan: 2/17/14
Total Prep Time: 45 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Serves:  4 with leftovers

Ingredients
4 ½ cups cooked white beans, such as cannellini, from 1 ½ cups dried or 3 cans
1 lb ground turkey, preferably free-range and pasture-fed
1 jalapeno minced small, seeds removed if you want less spice
2 poblano or green bell peppers, minced (use bell peppers if you want less spice)
4 teaspoons minced garlic, from about 4 cloves
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 cups chicken [...]

  • Buckwheat Blinis with Smoked Salmon, Lemon Sour Cream and Sauerkraut
    Permalink Buckwheat Blinis with Smoked Salmon, Lemon Sour Cream and SauerkrautGallery

    Buckwheat Pancakes with Smoked Salmon, Lemon Sour Cream and Sauerkraut

Buckwheat Pancakes with Smoked Salmon, Lemon Sour Cream and Sauerkraut

Buckwheat Blinis with Smoked Salmon, Lemon Sour Cream and Sauerkraut Buckwheat Blinis with Smoked Salmon, Lemon Sour Cream and Sauerkraut

A special sneak-peak from next week’s meal plan menu!

I loved smoked salmon well before I knew much about the nutritional benefits of this awesome fish.  It’s smoky, salty, buttery, and wonderfully satisfying.  And, it doesn’t require any preparation on my part!  I just buy the good wild stuff from the grocery store (which, btw, is so much better than farm-raised, I can’t even emphasize it enough).

For a lightning-fast meal you can put smoked salmon on whole grain tortillas or pita pockets, but if you have just a few minutes to whip up a homemade batter, it’s especially delicious on these warm buckwheat pancakes.  The nuttiness of the buckwheat pairs beautifully with the smoky salmon and sweet, refreshing lemon sour cream.  I also love the addition of tangy sauerkraut, which boosts the nutritional value of the meal, but if you’re not a fan you can always leaves this out, or eat it on the side.

As with most pancakes, the real time investment is in the actual cooking – pouring, flipping, repeat, etc.  But here it all works out, because while you’re flipping your pancakes you can mix up the quick lemon sauce, throw together a salad, pour yourself some white wine, or do whatever else you need to do.

If you think smoked salmon on pancakes will make your kids (or husband, or roommate?) look at you like you have lobsters coming out of your ears, never fear: these pancakes are perfect with any number of alternative toppings.  Peanut/almond/sunflower [...]

Polenta Pizza with Mushrooms, Kale and Cherry Tomatoes

Polenta Pizza with Mushrooms, Kale, Cherry Tomatoes and Baked Eggs Polenta Pizza with Mushrooms, Kale, Cherry Tomatoes and Baked Eggs

Me and pizza go way back.  My first job was at a pizza parlor, many of my favorite restaurants have been pizza places, and I’ve traveled fairly extensively in pursuit of amazing pizza.  And now I eat gluten free.  Sometimes there is a small hole in my heart where pizza should be.

I have experimented with gluten free pizza crusts, both my own and store-bought.  Nothing has really filled the void.  I’m still working on it.

Polenta pizza is its own thing.  It’s not trying to be regular chewy-crust pizza.  It’s just plain delicious in its own right, and yet it satisfies that craving for something pizza-like: savory, comforting, cheesy, and with the right ratio of crust to toppings.  And frankly polenta pizza crust is way easier than making your own regular or gluten-free pizza crust, so it’s really a win-win.

Feel free to experiment with whatever toppings you like.  Polenta pairs beautifully with a traditional tomato sauce.

Polenta Pizza with Cherry Tomatoes, Kale and Mushrooms

Total Prep Time: 50 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Serves:  4

Ingredients
1 cup coarse corn meal (aka polenta)
½ cup whole milk, optional (can sub water)
16 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms (baby bella, shiitake, oyster, etc)
5 large kale leaves, thick stems removed and minced
4 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded (or sub any mild white cheese or vegan cheese)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
4 eggs, optional
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), sea salt, freshly [...]