Sunday, November 16, 2014

Meal Planning: Veggie Sides

How is your mid-November weekend so far?  This week brought the first freezing temperatures of the season.  I was completely prepared - and it was a great excuse for this pregnant mama to stay home and off her feet!  But by Friday, I was itching to get out.  Given that I'm 34 weeks pregnant, I haven't done alot of shopping, but I did commit to this lovely winter item, which I can wear now and post-partum!

Saturday was all lovely and snowy all day long:

I'm proud that I've made it through eight weeks of meal planning.  For eight weeks, I've picked out recipes, mapped out dinner plans (albeit, very loose dinner plans), and done my best to cook evening meals as often as possible.

Here's what I've learned about myself as a cook through meal planning:

  1. I enjoy scouring cookbooks and the internet for recipes!  I especially like comparing the differences between recipes to determine what makes one recipe better than another.  Sometimes it's the spices that are used, sometimes it's the preparation, it all depends on what you're making.
  2. I like playing with different techniques of cooking.  We've recently rediscovered a love of stir fry, but my favorite way to cook in the fall/winter is braising.
  3. I love trying new foods/ingredients.  I recently found a very chic (very expensive) specialty grocery store.  Now I know where to go if I ever tackle one of my recipes that calls for Hungarian paprika or Pimenton (Spanish paprika).
  4. I enjoy cooking with my husband.  I prefer the role of sous chef (all the prep work) while my husband does the actual cooking.  It's the control freak in me.  I want that garlic clove minced just so. 

Winners & Losers from Last Week

Last week's meal plan theme was International.  Here are a few of the recipes we tried...
Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie (SuperSmartMama)

Recipe: Beef Stew with Potatoes and Carrots (Epicurious)
This was not my favorite of beef stew recipes...I'm going to either continue to tweak the spices or find a better recipe!

This Week: Veggies & Sides

I thought I'd change things up this week with my meal planning!  

When we make our main meals, we often add in a vegetable or other side, but I don't always feature those recipes in my meal plans.  So this week, I'm sharing a collection of recipes that you can partner with your entrees.  

So this week, it's ALL veggies & sides.  I tried to feature recipes that showcase fall vegetables.  I hope you find some inspiration!

Roasted Beet, Onion, and Orange Salad
Beet & Goat Cheese Salad with Candied Walnuts

Brussel Sprouts
Caramelized Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta
Shredded Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad with Lemon Dressing

Ginger Lime Baby Carrots
Sauteed Carrots with Sage

Green Beans
Haricot Verts with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
Asian Sauteed Green Beans

Creamed Spinach and Parsnips
Cider Roasted Root Vegetables

Want more meal planning ideas?

A big thanks to the meal planning hostesses, Laura from Mommy Run Fast and Jill from Fitness, Health, and Happiness.  Check out their pages for more ideas and other bloggers meal plans!!

Do you have any favorite standby veggie side recipes you'd like to share?


  1. What a great idea! I'm looking for some sides for Thanksgiving and will have to check these all out. Yum!!

    1. Between my ideas and all the other Thanksgiving sides everyone seems to be posting recently, you will not be at a loss for ideas!

  2. I love roasted beets! I am roasting mine right now. I like how you give yourself a theme. That definitely makes it more fun.

    1. LOL! I am going to be roasting beets for dinner tonight myself!

  3. Love your theme weeks idea! I wish I had some good side dish ideas but you are way more creative than me...I microwave a bag of steam vegetables or cut up raw veggies for our side every night!

    1. Hey, as long as you're getting your veggies, right! Who cares if they are creative or not!

  4. Keep getting the rest you need. I'm sure your feet are thanking you. I know if Im out too much even at 29 weeks my feet are aching like no other. It is a good way to get a nice foot massage from the hubby though :) Haha! Checking out the sautéed carrots with sage recipe. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Jessie - I'm sure you would know, carrying two! You are looking great at 29 weeks by the way. I am really enjoying your pregnancy updates.

  5. Roasted vegetables are my go-to side dish. hanks for linking up!

    1. Aren't roasted veggies the best? No recipe needed, just some olive oil, salt & pepper. That is definitely one of our standbys, too.

  6. That sweater is gorgeous and looks so cosy! Excellent purchase!
    Your veggie sides come at a good time for me, I'm in something of a food rut at the moment but the beet & goat cheese salad sounds like it might be just the cure :)

    1. We made the roasted beet, onion, and orange salad last night, minus the pearl onions (I am not a big fan). It was delicious. And it was only my second time roasting beets, but it was so easy, I think I am going to try the second beet recipe later this week!

  7. I love the wrap, looks warm :) I was inspired to cook last week, sometime this week I will sneak it into my blog lol

    1. Oooh I can't wait to see what you were inspired to cook!


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