Themed Eating: The Break Down

January 15, 2014

Yesterday, I mentioned that husband and I are following a themed eating plan for our dinners. It has turned the hassle of coming up with dinner ideas into a much simpler process. Now we know the type of food we are preparing on a given day and that makes finding the recipe/meal a breeze! Today, my aim is to explain what types of foods and recipes we are doing for each day. 

^^Left: The beginning of butternut squash soup. Right: The start of gnocchi soup.^^

Soup Sunday is pretty self-explanatory. Since Sunday is the last day of the weekend and our morning is filled with church, we wanted a simplistic meal for that evening. Basically, nothing that involved a whole lot of prep, but would be plentiful enough to have for lunch during the week. This past Sunday we went with a favorite of ours, gnocchi soup. Granted, the half & half used isn't the healthiest, but the remainder of the ingredients are good for you (vegetables, chicken, and broth). If you have a substitute for the half & half, give it a try! 

^^Spaghetti Squash Primavera^^

Meatless Mondays are meant to stay away from meat for the meal. For us that means a lot of vegetables and occasionally some carbs and starches. Last night was a vegetable overload meal and not only did it taste delicious, but it felt good to be eating so many healthy foods in one setting. Husband felt sure he would miss the meat, but was surprised to find that he was completely happy and full without it. The different textures in this particular meal, from the crunchiness of some of the vegetables to the softness of the spaghetti squash, really helped the meal feel rounded-out. If you're looking for a yummy, meatless meal check out this recipe

International Tuesday is all about turning foreign dishes into healthy meals for our table. Husband and I both especially love Mexican and Thai food, as well as sushi; we don't want to forget all about them while we are trying to eat clean. So, Tuesday is our day to get our fix for all the International cuisine we love, while being healthy of course. And that includes some really different takes on the traditional version. For instance, our international food for the week is taco zucchini boats. Not every week will the contrast between the original recipe and healthy recipe be as extreme, but it will always be good for you. That's the goal here and we're sticking to it.

Crockpot Wednesdays offer endless possibilities when it comes to foods. Because this particular day is our busiest of the week, having a crockpot meal takes away the stress of whipping up a meal from start to finsih. Instead the crockpot will bear the load and we'll focus our attention to other areas of the day. I'm excited to try this out, now if only I could feel comfortable about having a crockpot on all day while I'm at work....

^^The pork chops, cauliflower tots, and brussels sprouts.^^

Traditional Thursdays focus on taking ordinary meals that we are already familiar with and making them better for us. It's about finding ways to improve upon the traditional and expand our recipes. So, for us, it's having pork chops, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower tots, and making a new mushroom sauce for the meat, adding sunflowers & cranberries to the greens, and using cauliflower instead of potatoes for the tots.

Fish Fridays, well that says it all. Fish will be our main course and our sides will contain a starch/carb and something green. Here we will be challenging ourselves to come up with different healthy sides that pair well with fish.

Free Saturday is about taking a day to enjoy. That doesn't, however, mean that we can eat a box of twinkies, tub of ice cream, and so on. It's about moderation and keeping ourselves balanced with our healthy eating plan so that we aren't as likely to mess up and veer from our plan. Keeping ourselves from treats would be harmful to accomplishing our healthy eating goal (at least for me!), and that's why it was important for us to include this type of themed eating day. But, when Sunday comes back around, we are back on track!