Meal Plan; 23-27 January – Roots and Quinoa

Happy Monday y’all. I hope you have a wonderful week.

Nothing super exciting planned for this week other than the usual school and work routines. However, this week the high school kids have some exams midweek, which means our son will have three days off.

In case you wonder why his off. He has special needs and is exempt from various exams throughout the year. His academics focus is on learning and memorizing routines that you and I take for granted and then stepping up his working skills.

He will never be a rocket engineer or scientist, but that should not hold him back from learning valuable life skills so he can interact with people through a service job. He loves his high school job at the local elementary’s library.

We support him as much as possible; I recently bought some kitchen utensils for him to help me around the kitchen with the cooking. But, unfortunately, he prefers to sample and eat what we cook and less time spent helping me.

Job Hunting with a Purpose

The South American wildflower, my wife, is actively applying for jobs. Despite the many jobs she’s applying for and not getting any responses, I’m incredibly proud of her positive attitude.

Organizations are terrible at responding to applications. 9 out of 10 jobs she applies for do not even acknowledge her application and do not even send an email saying she’s not in consideration.

I appreciate that they get hundreds of applications and cannot be bothered to respond to the many applicants. Still, as an applicant, it is frustrating and disappointing to be treated this way. It also makes you wonder how those organizations treat their employees since they don’t even appreciate that many people apply for jobs because they believe in or support the mission of these organizations.

My wife is actively applying for jobs but is also learning new skills. She has purchased several technical training courses and will undoubtedly pass the exams. In addition, she’s researching and learning various analytics tools, stepping up her project and change management skills. It allows her to add more skills to her resume and stand out.

Converting Vegan Dishes into Meaty wonders

Besides looking for a job and strengthening her technical skills, my wife is also improving her fitness and diet. So she might as well use some time she has to tone up and prepare for the summer. Not that she needs it.

We decided to make some vegan and more nutritious dishes to support her healthy choices this week. However, I spiced up the dishes by adding some herbs and meat. This is because we cannot gain muscles without protein.

We start the week with my famous lentil sausage stew. It is bloody easy to cook and eat like a Viking, as long as you have a few simple ingredients and a Dutch oven. It would be best if you had your stew trilogy (celery, carrots, and onion), some spicy sausages, a few spuds, chicken broth, a large can of tomato, and lentils.

I then moved on to a beautiful mix of root vegetables that I roasted with olive oil, which I’ll serve with quinoa and grilled chicken thighs – on the Traeger, of course.

We then get our weekly healthy seafood, salmon – our favorite fish. It’s served with white rice, steamed bok choi, and homemade sriracha mayo.

Lastly, I made a large portion of Pad Thai – from scratch. I did not make the noodles, grow the vegetables, and catch the shrimp, but I prepared the dish from scratch, including the Pad Thai peanut butter sauce.

I made a batch of croutons for school lunches, so the kids get Caesar Salad with grilled chicken twice. Then a few different sandwiches and one French-inspired stuffed croissant.

Hearty vegetables

As a blanket statement, root vegetables are healthy, although they contain starches (carbohydrates) that break down into glucose. However, too many carbs can potentially result in weight gain. Some root vegetables have low carbs, such as carrots and onions, whereas potatoes have a much high carb count.

On the flip side, root vegetables are low in calories and high in antioxidants. Most also contain various vitamins and minerals which are suitable for you. Beetroot is especially good for cardiovascular health, and many Vikings enjoy a good serving of roasted or pickled beets.

Kids are not too fond of root vegetables unless served as french fries. Roots are far from sexy, but they can be made damn delicious if you roast them on a Traeger with olive oil and herbs. They can be served with almost any dish and go well with a variety of meat, seafood, and poultry. And they are excellent in soups too.

Families often vilify root vegetables because kids are not too keen on eating roots. The roots can be harder to chew. As the kid grows up, you can introduce more and more roots to the dishes.

Interesting fact from our life – my wife made baby food using carrots, potatoes, parsnips, and sweet potatoes.

We enjoy and appreciate root vegetables.

a selection of common Root Vegetables

  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Turnips
  • Parsnips
  • Onions and shallots
  • Radishes
  • Sweet potatoes

kitchen crime scene

I rarely wear plastic gloves when I prepare and cook meals. However, it is essential that you can feel the texture and firmness of the ingredients you use.

Many people on TikTok, Instagram, and other social media platforms wear black latex gloves, even when they touch lettuce. I understand it is easier than just washing your hands, but it is not sanitary unless you regularly clean or change your plastic gloves. Furthermore, you transmit germs and other shit as you touch everything in your kitchen.

I wash my hands many times throughout my meal-planning adventures. In addition, I wash bowls, utensils, and cutting boards several times, especially when I switch from vegetables to the meat or other items I need to cut.

I only use gloves when I peel, cut, and prepare fresh beetroots. The juices from these suckers are dark red, staining your skin for days. Not a great look when we go to church on Sunday mornings, wishing our priest a wonderful Sunday with “blood’ soaked hands. He would quickly drag me into the confession booth yet discretely to get the gory details.

Beetroots are consumed throughout the year by our family; pickled, roasted, and chopped as a condiment for BBQ dinner. Moreso because of the benefits beetroots have for the heart.

MondayCaesar Salad with grilled chicken, part 1The famous Viking lentil sausage stew
TuesdayStuffed croissants with camembertRoasted root vegetables with quinoa, hummus, and grilled chicken thighs
WednesdayCaesar Salad with grilled chicken, part 2Skewered salmon chunks with white rice and sriracha mayonnaise.
ThursdayBagel with egg & ham saladPad Thai with rice noodles and shrimp
FridayGrilled cheese sandwichFriday night family dinner

One day, I might get so organized that I will link the meals below to my recipes. We can only live in hope!

Have a fantastic week, my friends. I hope you enjoy these meal plans. It is much easier to make food in advance, although you must invest several hours preparing meals during the weekend.

Stay in touch with me through social media!

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