Friday, April 12, 2013

Meal Planning: A Week in Jana's Life

Welcome to a "Week in the Life"- a meal planning series that offers you a peek into the kitchen's of other women. Every Friday we will be featuring a different woman and a week of the meals she feeds her family. You can read more about the purpose of this series here. Happy meal planning! May your culinary side be inspired :). 


Welcome to Jana's Kitchen!

I feel totally honored to play a part in Rachel's blog. Like her, there are times when I feel stuck in my "go to" dinners. My name is Jana Huff, and my family and I make our home in sunny Southern California. My husband, Jordan, is working on his Masters degree, and after 3 and a half years, will be graduating in May! 

We have three children: Lydia (3 and 1/2), Ellyn (23 mos.), and William (11 weeks). I am mostly a SAHM, I own a house cleaning business that I started two years ago. I now have 4 employees that take care of the clients' homes so I can manage the business from home and only be out one day a week. With three little ones and a business to run during down times, you can imagine that meals need to come together quickly!

 I also have celiac disease, which is an intolerance to gluten (protein found in wheat, barley and rye). When cooking dinner I make the entire meal gluten free even though I am the only one who needs to hold to this diet. Instead of limiting our meal choices it has caused me to be more creative and try things that I otherwise might not have considered. We regularly eat many different ethnic foods, since most of the time they are naturally gluten free. I really enjoy the Clean Eating magazine, and find a lot of inspiration in it for our weekly meals. 

So here is a sample of a week of dinners at the Huff house!


Sunday- Our church is about a 40 minute drive, and by the time we get home it is after 1:30 {past our kids' nap times!}. So for them its a quick lunch- cheese quesadillas, beans and rice, or whatever else we have on hand. Sunday is the only day of the week when Jordan and I see each other during the day, so we make it a mini date and eat after the kids are down for naps. Since we live in CA we can grill year round, and Sunday's we usually do. Grilled salmon, pork, or chicken paired with a fresh vegetable, a salad, and often a sweet potato make an easy and satisfying Sunday dinner.

Monday- I clean out our fridge, make a grocery list, and jot down some dinners for the week. I find it easier to start the week with a plan, rather than at 5:00 realizing I have nothing ready to start dinner with. On Monday we often have leftovers or something easy since its grocery shopping and cleaning day.

Tuesday- A dinner like stuffed peppers is easy to pull together. When I make brown rice I double what we eat and freeze the rest for a later day, when I am short on time or forget to start it early enough. Next I cook up some ground beef or turkey, add in a can of diced tomatoes, chop up an onion and add various spices. I can easily make this during nap time and throw it in the oven later, or put it in the crock pot. At dinner time I just make a salad and steam a fresh vegetable. 

Cinnamon and Cumin Beef Stew

Wednesday- Cinnamon and cumin beef stew- another easy and flavorful meal. The addition of cinnamon and cumin to beef and potatoes makes this a little more unique than the usual beef stew. Better yet, it can cook in the crock pot! This time I added a sliced onion, 1/2 cup of red wine, and two sweet potatoes. 

Thursday- Curry over rice. With with red curry paste or curry powder, you can easily create hundreds of different kinds of curries that are both healthful and flavorful. Even my kids love curry! I usually combine whatever meat I have on hand with whatever vegetables I have in the fridge. Because its so versatile, I make curry once a week. 

Ground Turkey with Red Curry Paste, Tomatoes, and Peas
  
Friday- Since this is the day I work outside of the home it has also become a grill day. In the morning I pull out frozen chicken thighs and and make a homemade teriyaki sauce {its easy- GF soy sauce, garlic, honey or orange juice and grated ginger- which I always have because I keep ginger root in the freezer}. 

Saturday- Pasta with homemade meatballs or grilled chicken sausages. Since I am gluten intolerant, the whole family eats brown rice pasta. It's healthier, since its whole grain, and tastes exactly like wheat pasta. I definitely recommend trying it! I pair this meal with fresh sauteed veggies and a salad. 

Thank you Jana for sharing with us! I don't know about you, but her meal plan has my mouth watering for summer BBQs and veggies :). Since I am not fortunate enough to live in Southern California, all I have to say is bring on the BBQ weather!


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