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  1. Sunday, April 22

    Week 576 Weekly Menu

    Happy Sunday! We’ve got a busy week ahead of us, but the dinner plan should help with the stress! Here we go…

    Week 576 Weekly Dinner Menu from @janemaynard

    MONDAY:
    – Coconut Chicken Tenders (going to try experimenting with cornmeal instead of breadcrumbs)
    – Salad

    TUESDAY:
    Chili

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Chicken, Veggie, Rice & Lentil Bowls (going to copy something I had at Cava in Orange County, will share a recipe if what I create turns out well!)

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Pesto Pasta
    – Salad

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night! (The girls and I will be in Los Angeles attending the first-ever Maverick Summit for girls as well as the Get Lit Words Ignite Classic Slam…I can’t wait for this inspiring day with my daughters!)

    SUNDAY:
    – No clue because we have back-to-back music recitals in different towns. Will pack snacks and hope we don’t starve!

    As you know this blog would be super duper boring without all of you. Please share your own weekly menu in the comments below! Thank you!


  2. Urban Plates Chimichurri Sauce

    Hello. I need to share a quick recipe with you today. It’s for a chimichurri sauce that tastes especially delicious over steak or salmon, but is so yummy you’ll probably want to pour it over all kinds of things (chicken? roasted vegetables? toasted baguette? YES to all!).

    Urban Plates Chimichurri Sauce Copycat Recipe from @janemaynard

    There is a restaurant chain near where we live called Urban Plates and it’s pretty much my favorite place to eat. The food tastes homemade, there are tons of vegetables involved and the food is consistently delicious. Lately I’ve been ordering their baked salmon with a side of the chimichurri sauce. The Urban Plates chimichurri sauce is divine. I dug around on the internet, found a blog post describing the ingredients in the sauce, then went to my kitchen to figure out the recipe. Happily I succeeded! I’ll still willingly go to Urban Plates where they can make the sauce for me, but I am relieved to know I can replicate this tasty sauce at home as well as share the recipe with those of you who live nowhere near an Urban Plates restaurant. Enjoy!

    Urban Plates Chimichurri Sauce Copycat Recipe from @janemaynard

    Urban Plates Chimichurri Sauce
     
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    This recipe is a copycat of the Urban Plates chimichurri sauce I love so much! This sauce is wonderful served over steak or salmon but would be delicious drizzled over other savory foods, too!
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 2 cups fresh parsley (no need to chop it up at all)
    • ½ of a large red bell pepper, cut into large pieces
    • ½ of a red onion, cut into large pieces
    • 2 garlic cloves, removed from the paper and cut in half
    • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
    • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • ¼-1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    • ⅛-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    Instructions
    1. Place all ingredients in a food processor. Process on high for about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl about halfway through. Pulse until sauce has a uniform, medium-fine chunky consistency like you see in the photos. Serve over proteins like steak or salmon, vegetables or whatever suits your fancy!

     

     


  3. Monday, April 16

    Week 575 Weekly Menu

    It’s Monday…no meal planning for me yesterday because, yes, we were working on taxes. Fun times!

    Week 575 Weekly Dinner Menu from @janemaynard

    MONDAY:
    – Brats, peppers and onions

    TUESDAY:
    Pasta Primavera (I’m excited to finally try Banza pasta for myself…family will get normal whole grain pasta)

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Homemade Hamburgers
    – Crudite

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    Coconut Chicken Tenders (going to try experimenting with cornmeal instead of breadcrumbs)
    – Salad

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SUNDAY:
    Cyclops Farms Dinner for Nate and me…SO EXCITED!
    – Breakfast for dinner for the kids (I’m putting 10yo Anna in charge!)

    As always, THANK YOU for sharing your own dinner plans in the comments! I love reading through them week after week!


  4. Sunday, April 8

    Week 574 Weekly Menu

    Spring Break was a blast and we’re having a nice quiet Sunday to recuperate from our whirlwind Disneyland and Joshua Tree visits, which means time to plan this week’s menu. Here we go!

    Week 574 Weekly Menu from @janemaynard

    MONDAY:
    – Italian Sausage, Peppers & Onions

    TUESDAY:
    – Salmon with chimichurri sauce
    – Side vegetable (whatever looks good at the store!)

    WEDNESDAY:
    Stefania’s Braised Chicken
    – Brown rice and side vegetable

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Taco night

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SUNDAY:
    – Chicken Biryani
    – Lentils

    Thanks as always for sharing your menus in the comments below! They are so incredibly helpful to me and so many others each week as we sit down to plan dinner. Can’t wait to see what you’ve all got cooking this week!


  5. Monday, April 2

    Gluten-Free Homemade Chocolate Granola Bars

    Recently I had to go super clean with my eating. There were a few weeks where I couldn’t eat any sugar, dairy or wheat. It ended up being easier than I thought it would be (no, really), but it has been nice to slowly add those things back in here and there. But now that I’ve made these changes to my diet in such a positive way, I would really like to maintain those changes. As a result, I’ve started looking at some of my favorite recipes and thinking about how I can modify them. One of the first recipes to go through a makeover was my beloved Chewy Chocolate Chip Homemade Granola Bar recipe. First I made the recipe gluten free and reduced the sugar by about 3 grams per bar. Then I took it a step further, which brings us to today’s homemade chocolate granola bars.

    Homemade Chocolate Granola Bars (Gluten Free) from @janemaynard

    As I was calculating the amount of sugar in each recipe, I was surprised by how much sugar was coming from the chocolate chips. If I took them out and used cocoa powder, theoretically I would still get that chocolatey flavor but without all the added sugar. So, I tried it. And the trick worked!

    Homemade Chocolate Granola Bars (Gluten Free) from @janemaynard

    This recipe for homemade chocolate granola bars is awesome. My original recipe is a bit more chewy, but the texture on these chocolate bars is fantastic, a little chewy, a little crispy, but they don’t fall apart at all. And the flavor is wonderful. I think I might even like these better than the original, which is really saying something. This recipe is gluten free and each bar contains about 8 grams of sugar, which is 5-6 grams less per bar than my original recipe. Woohoo!

    Homemade Chocolate Granola Bars (Gluten Free) from @janemaynard

    Without further ado I give you Homemade Chocolate Granola Bars!

    Homemade Chocolate Granola Bars (Gluten Free)
     
    Prep time
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    Author:
    Serves: 24
    Ingredients
    • 4 cups rolled old-fashioned oats (make sure label says gluten free)
    • 1 cup brown crisped rice cereal
    • ½ cup shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut
    • ⅓ cup brown sugar
    • 3 tablespoons oat flour (make sure label says gluten free)
    • ¼ cup cocoa powder
    • Generous ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    • ¾ cup coconut oil
    • ½ cup honey
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 325º F.
    2. Combine oats, crisped rice, coconut, brown sugar, oat flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Mix well.
    3. Combine coconut oil, honey and vanilla. Whisk well. Add to dry ingredients and mix well. (Stir. Stir some more. Keep stirring!)
    4. Line a large cooke sheet with parchment paper. Pour granola bar mixture onto the lined cookie sheet. Press mixture out into a large, uniform rectangle, about 9" x 13". It is easiest to form the rectangle if your hands are wet.
    5. Bake for 15 minutes, rotate pan and bake for 14-15 more minutes.
    6. Cool completely before cutting. Cut into 24 bars, 8 rows x 3 columns.

     


  6. Chocolate Chip Gluten-Free Homemade Granola Bars

    One of the recipes I’m most proud of on this blog is my Chewy Chocolate Chip Homemade Granola Bar recipe. I love those granola bars and everyone I’ve ever shared them with loves them. I’ve tried different flavors, but we always come back to chocolate chips. The original recipe is best!

    Gluten-Free Homemade Granola Bars with Chocolate Chips from @janemaynard

    That said, over the last few weeks I’ve had to clean up my eating and do some elimination diet stuff. (FUN TIMES!) The adjustments to my diet prompted me to modify my granola bar recipe in two ways: take out the wheat and reduce the amount of sugar. The recipe below is the gluten-free version of my original granola bar recipe and each bar contains about 3 grams less sugar than the original recipe, going from 13-14 grams added sugar per bar to about 11 grams.

    Gluten-Free Homemade Granola Bars with Chocolate Chips from @janemaynard

    This recipe tastes almost the same as the original, it’s just a little less chewy and a little more crispy. But not by much. I am perfectly happy with the modifications to this recipe and would use either recipe just as happily!

    I have one more modified version to share, Chocolate Granola Bars, which I will do in a separate post. The chocolate granola bars have only about 8 grams of sugar per bar and they taste great! But first here is the recipe for Chocolate Chip Gluten-Free Homemade Granola Bars!

    Chocolate Chip Gluten-Free Homemade Granola Bars
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Author:
    Serves: 24
    Ingredients
    • 4 cups rolled old-fashioned oats (make sure label says gluten free)
    • 1 cup brown crisped rice cereal
    • ½ cup shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut
    • ⅓ cup oat flour (make sure label says gluten free)
    • ¼ cup brown sugar
    • 1 cup chocolate chips
    • Generous ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    • ¾ cup coconut oil
    • ½ cup honey
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 325º F.
    2. Combine oats, crisped rice, coconut, oat flour, brown sugar, chocolate chips and salt. Mix well.
    3. Combine coconut oil, honey and vanilla. Whisk well. Add to dry ingredients and mix well. (Stir. Stir some more. Keep stirring!)
    4. Line a large cooke sheet with parchment paper. Pour granola bar mixture onto the lined cookie sheet. Press mixture out into a large, uniform rectangle, about 9" x 13". It is easiest to form the rectangle if your hands are wet.
    5. Bake for 15 minutes, rotate pan and bake for 14-15 more minutes.
    6. Cool completely before cutting. Cut into 24 bars, 8 rows x 3 columns.

     


  7. Week 573 Weekly Menu

    Hello! Since yesterday was Easter and all, I am just now sitting down to plan my menu for the week. It’s an easy one, using up ham and taking day trips for my kids’ spring break!

    Week 573 Weekly Dinner Menu from @janemaynard

    MONDAY:
    Lentil Soup
    Leftover rolls

    TUESDAY:
    – Omelettes with ham, tomato, avocado, mushroom, onion

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Day Trip to Disneyland!

    THURSDAY:
    – Day Trip to Joshua Tree!

    FRIDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SATURDAY:
    Roasted Chicken with Rice and Salad (click link for my roasted chicken tutorial, which is now published!)

    SUNDAY:
    – Leftovers

    You know the drill….leave your own meal plans in the comments below. Have a great week!


  8. Sunday, March 25

    Week 572 Weekly Menu

    I have a lot of carry-overs from last week because, well, life. Gotta love those weeks! (Note: the menu graphic below has the wrong meal for Easter…when I planned my menu I forgot Sunday is Easter! I have updated Sunday’s plans in the list below, with links to a few recipes.)

    Week 572 Weekly Menu from @janemaynard

    MONDAY:
    – Chicken Tikka Masala with Brown Rice and Vegetables
    – Naan

    TUESDAY:
    – Ordering pizza for a get together with a visiting friend

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Salmon with Chimichurri Sauce, Brown Rice, Vegetable

    THURSDAY:
    – Out to dinner with friends

    FRIDAY:
    – Enchiladas

    SATURDAY:
    – Chicken Soup
    Prager Brothers Spelt Bread Toast[r

    SUNDAY: 
    – Ham, Roasted Rosemary Potatoes, Crescent Rolls, Salad, Dessert

    Time for your dinner plans! Please share your menus in the comments below! Thank you!


  9. Show & Tell: Things That Made Me Cry

    Today I have a special edition of Show and Tell for you: Things That Made Me Cry. Fun times! Two of these totally awesome things are music related and the third has to do with food. All three are wonderful.

    This Week for Dinner Show & Tell: "May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers" is must-see viewing

    May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers

    I must give credit where credit is due…my husband Nate has been listening to the Avett Brothers for ages and is the reason I know who they are. They are hands down one of my favorite bands and their concert a few years ago was one of the best we’ve ever seen. Judd Apatow must share the same sentiments as we do because he recently produced a documentary about the brothers and their band for HBO, May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers. Please go watch this documentary. It is just so wonderful I don’t know what else to say. Oh, I do know one more thing to say…I cried pretty much non-stop through the last 45 minutes of the movie. IT IS SO GOOD.

    And, one final thing: if you don’t know who the Avett Brothers are, start listening stat. Their most recent album True Sadness is perfection, but here are a few of my favorite older songs: Murder in the City (this one made me cry at the concert, it was embarrassing), Morning Song, and (of course) I And Love And You. (Photo credit: HBO)

    This Week for Dinner Show & Tell: Yo-Yo Ma in Concert!

    Yo-Yo Ma

    I took the girls to see Yo-Yo Ma at Copley Symphony Hall in San Diego. Yo-Yo Ma played the Brahms piano trios with pianist Emanual Ax and violinist Leonidas Kavakos and it was, well, beyond words. Three masters playing music written by another master on world-class instruments (some with the name “Stradivarius”). There were a few moments where the violin and cello played harmonies where I felt overwhelmed by what we had the privilege of watching and listening to. Another fun part of the night was Yo-Yo Ma’s countenance: you can just tell the man is filled with humility, kindness and joy. (And after hearing a few personal stories from Cate’s cello teacher about him after the concert, well, he is very firmly on my list of favorite humans.) If you ever get the chance to see Yo-Yo Ma in concert, make it happen. Click here for his scheduled concerts and appearances.

    This Week for Dinner Show and Tell: The Yakitori scene in episode 5 of Netflix's "Ugly Delicious" is beautiful

    Ugly Delicious: Season 1 Episode 5

    I know I already told you to watch Ugly Delicious on Netflix, but I do want to specifically call out a beautiful moment in the series. In episode 5 of the debut season, David Chang visits Yakitori Masakichi in Tokyo, where Chef Masahiko Kodama makes David yakitori, a Japanese-style skewered chicken. The chef grills Niigata-sourced chicken seasoned with Niigata salt over Japanese binchotan charcoal. David is pretty much overwhelmed by the perfection of what he tastes. When he tries to tell the chef just how amazing his food is, the chef’s reaction is, simply put, beautiful. Click here to watch Ugly Delicious.

    Happy listening, viewing and crying!


  10. Monday, March 19

    Thai Basil Beef with Coconut Brown Rice

    Ages ago when I kicked off my {now sorely-neglected} podcast, one of my first guests was Tracy Benjamin of the food blog Shutterbean. First off, Tracy is one of my favorite people and I love her episode, so go take a listen if you haven’t already! One of the recipes Tracy shared in that episode was for Thai Beef with Basil, a recipe her family loves that utilizes ground beef. I’ve had it on my to-try list ever since and last week it finally happened.

    Thai Basil Beef with Carrot Slaw and Coconut Brown Rice, a delicious and easy go-to dinner! From @janemaynard

    The result? A really great go-to recipe that my kids devoured. All three of them said they want me to make it again and I am definitely planning to. I must admit that I wasn’t sure I was going to love this recipe – serving ground beef over rice just, I don’t know, didn’t capture my interest. Well, I’m glad I tried it anyway as I loved the recipe, too! The carrot slaw is key to why I love this dish so much. I also cooked the rice in coconut milk instead of water, which gave a nice, subtle flavor to the dish overall.

    Thai Basil Beef with Carrot Slaw and Coconut Brown Rice, a delicious and easy go-to dinner! From @janemaynard

    As is my M.O., I changed the recipe, both on purpose and on accident. I am writing my version up below, mostly so I don’t forget what I did but also so I can share it with you, in case you think my changes seem like a good idea. Enjoy!

    Thai Basil Beef with Coconut Brown Rice
     
    Prep time
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    Adapted from Bon Appetit recipe, as discovered by friend Tracy Benjamin from Shutterbean. This dinner is easy to make and all three of my kids (all ages!) loved it!
    Author:
    Serves: Serves 4
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup short grain brown rice
    • 1¾ cup canned coconut milk
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
    • 2 tablespoons chopped yellow onion
    • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced (remove seeds for less heat)
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1 lb. ground beef
    • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • kosher salt
    • ½ cup beef stock (or ½ teaspoon beef bouillon + ½ cup hot water)
    • 3 cups fresh basil, cut into a chiffonade (measure basil before cutting)
    • 4 medium carrots, julienned
    • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (both white & green parts)
    • 1 lime, juiced
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • lime wedges for serving, if desired
    Instructions
    1. Add rice, coconut milk and ½ teaspoon salt to a pot. Stir then bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, cover pot and reduce heat to low. Cook on low for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit with lid on for 10 additional minutes.
    2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and jalapeño and cook until onions have softened and start to turn translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
    3. Add garlic, pressing it through a garlic press, to the pan. Stir then add ground beef. Break beef up, sprinkle evenly with kosher salt, then cook until no longer pink, breaking up the meat as it cooks.
    4. Add beef broth (or bouillon and water, if using) along with the ginger, cumin and cinnamon. Let simmer over low heat for 5-10 minutes, adding ⅔ of the basil a few minutes before serving. (Note: I removed about half of the jalapeño pieces before serving to reduce the heat for my kids.)
    5. In a mixing bowl combine juice from 1 lime, 2 teaspoons oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, carrots, green onion and the remaining ⅓ of the basil. Stir well to coat veggies in the dressing.
    6. Serve rice topped with beef and carrot slaw. Drizzle some of the dressing from the slaw bowl over the servings and enjoy!