Sunday, November 9, 2014

Meal Planning: November 9-15

The last couple of weeks, I've been meal planning by theme.  This week the theme is: International!  So I chose a couple of my favorite international cuisines and collected a bunch of recipes that fit these cuisines!

When we were in Paris a few years back, I was struck by the fact that most of the restaurants only served French cuisine.  Maybe it was the arrondissements we were in, but I didn't see much in the way of other types of food.  I think I spotted one or two Italian restaurants, but we were hard pressed to find any Asian restaurants.

But before we dive into the recipe options for this week's meal plans, here are some recipe wins from last week's meal plan...

Recipe Wins from Last Week

My first feature is a repeat offender - since my second trimester, I've been craving nachos.  I love this loaded nacho recipe because it feels healthier (I leave out the melted cheese from the recipe, and opt instead for a dollop of sour cream).  And there's enough protein that it is a very filling meal.
Recipe: Super Nachos (Rachael Ray)

We have fallen into the habit of grilling on Sunday nights because it is easy and simple.  Flank steak and hanger steak are two of my favorite cuts because they are cheaper than say, filet mignon, but they require extra time to marinate because they are tougher cuts of meat.
Recipe: Asian Flank Steak Marinade (Just a Taste)

Recipe Possibilities for this Week's Meal Plan

If you're new to my meal planning, here's what I do: I take my theme for each night and then list 2-3 recipes for each theme.  I hate being locked into one recipe, and I've found that I like the power of choice.  So...I pull a few recipes for each night's theme.

Avgolemono Greek Lemon Chicken Soup - I've always loved this lemon chicken soup
Souvlaki - a very traditional Greek dish

Easy Steak Sauce with Seared Hanger Steak - the hanger cut is one of my favorite
Oven Fried Chicken - I love fried chicken.  I would only make half of this recipe

General Tso's Chicken - a classic Chinese American dish
Chicken soup with Ginger & Mushrooms - an easy 20 minute recipe

Chilaquiles - this is generally a breakfast dish, but it might make for a good brinner
Layered Taco Salad - Americanized Mexcian

Braised Lamb Shanks Provencal - I love anything braised
French Lentils with Walnuts and Goat Cheese - the French know how to do lentils right!

If you want more meal planning ideas and/or recipes, go check out the meal planning hostesses, Laura from Mommy Run Fast and Jill from Fitness, Health, and Happiness.

Do you have a favorite International cuisine?   Do you prefer to dine out for International cuisine or cook it at home?


  1. Those loaded nachos look amazing. I've been craving them ever since I saw your post on Instagram! Mexican is probably my favorite International food but I do love Chinese and Thai. I love that you've included the recipes. I can't wait to check them out. We make Mexican at home a lot and do stir fry occasionally too. I'd love to branch out a little more.

    1. I can't wait to try some of these recipes, too. I'll be sure to post outcomes (winners/losers) of any of the recipes I try. Since I list two different recipes for each day, I obviously don't cook them all!

  2. Your meal plan has really reminded me how much I miss Chinese American food. The Chinese food here is just not the same, and I find that there is so much less variety.

    I didn't even notice that Paris doesn't have many other types of restaurants (and I've been there three times). Haha, I guess I love French food. The one thing I do remember is that there was an amazing Italian restaurant by the Sacre Couer. I have no idea if it's still there though because it's been about 5 years since I've been there.

    1. Well, if you are going to Paris, you would think that all I would want to eat while there is French food. A blasphemy that I was even looking for anything besides French food!

      Chinese American food is definitely it's own kind of food. I don't know that I'd do well if I ever actually went to China -- I'm just not that open about my eating. So Chinese American it is for me!

  3. Oh I love this idea! And now I'm craving Greek food- it's one of my favorites but not something I make at home very often. It all sounds so good!

    1. I love Greek food. It's funny - my husband is Greek, but we don't eat that much Greek. And when we do, it's when we go to visit my mother in law. I want to learn to cook Greek so I can pass this part of my children's heritage onto them. I better get cracking!

  4. I do love Greek food! and pass the nachos please ;)

    1. Yay, another Greek food lover. And yes, anytime you'd like some nachos, feel free to ask. I am more than happy to make several batches!

  5. God those nachos!!! Is it wrong to crave them before 11?
    I absolutely LOVE international food! In Toronto there is so much of it that I got quite spoiled living there. There are too many amazing (and cheap!) Vietnamese, sushi, Italian, Greek, Chinese, and Thai places to count even just in the neighbourhood where I grew up - a teeny part of the city ... Now that I live in NL, where the general mentality (though slowly changing) seems to be to 'eat to live', I sadly find that I am often disappointed by international food at restaurants. Thai food here for some reason really isn't the same, and neither is Italian or Greek. Plus everything costs so much more. On the plus side, this means that I've learned to cook a lot of it myself! In most cases I actually now prefer my own version to what you can find in restaurants (at least in The Hague). But for sushi and pho, I go out - the amount of labour that goes into those dishes is incredible! Another plus, when you do stumble on a great place, you really enjoy it. Last week we walked into this little place that ended up serving the best Spanish tapas I've ever had - a win for sure!

    1. Sophie - I love hearing about international food in other cities. Good to know that Toronto has lots of great places, sounds like my kind of town! And interesting to know that it is the opposite in the Netherlands...maybe it's just a common thing in European cities (note my comment about Paris)?

      I agree with you - the upside of not having the quality of restaurants just means you have to learn how to cook it yourself. But I agree with you sushi and pho requires too much work! I feel that way about Indian food, too!


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