Some people have told me they cannot plan a menu for a week because it is too much organization and that they don’t know in advance what they will feel like eating three days from now. I always tell them that the menu is not written in stone, I use it as a guide, sometimes I stick to it 100% and sometimes I have to change or move things around because things happen in life. Flexibility is key to success. Last week was one of those weeks that things happened and I had to change a few meals, not a problem, such is life.

I prepared chickpea pasta for the first time. I had tried quinoa pasta in the past and I did not like it, the texture was too sandy and dry, but this chickpea was smoother and less dry. Flavor wise it had a slight unrecognizable flavor that did not bother me. I like to try these pastas made from different grains and legumes, especially because they are nutritionally richer than regular wheat pasta. This chickpea has four times the amount of fiber of regular pasta and three times the protein (all for the same number of calories). I prepared the pasta with a creamy mushroom sauce and did not tell my family what type of pasta it was. They couldn’t figure it out, they easily realized it was not our regular mushroom sauce pasta but were not put off by it (which is good!), actually my son ate two full plates and my daughter just said it was a bit dry… Overall it was a good thing to try. Now, will I replace all the regular pasta from our diet for the chickpea pasta? Nope. As much as the chickpea is nutritionally better than the regular one, taste wise there is nothing like regular pasta for me (and I’m sure my family would agree with me). Having said that, I think it is a great option if one wants to add more fiber and protein to the diet. Will I try it again? Yes, sure! Why not?

This week I also made a beef lasagna that I had not prepared in years!! It turned out pretty good and I had leftovers that I froze for some lunchbox meals. Yey!

On Friday the older kids were at a friend’s house for a sleepover, so my husband and I just had a light meal: caprese salad and caprese crostini. We hadn’t had crostini in a long time and they were sooo good!!

The salads in the lunch boxes were:

White bean salad: cannellini beans, cucumber, tomato, pepper, canned tuna, with olive oil & balsamic vinegar.

Rice salad: rice, corn, green olives, omelet, ham with olive oil.

From now on I will include the fruit we have for breakfast in the menu. I think it can help some of you to get ideas which is the ultimate goal of this weekly menu section.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Breakfast Power bowl + green smoothie Yogurt w/ granola + orange Power bowl + Raspberries PBJ toast + green smoothie Oatmeal + cara-cara orange
Lunch box Ground meat w/ corn and cherry tomatoes White bean salad Empanadas + salad Rice salad Black beans, avocado and ham taco
Dinner Quinoa, black beans & sweet potato salad Chickpea pasta w/ creamy mushroom sauce + salad Tortilla soup + black bean & avocado taco Beef lasagna + salad Caprese salad + caprese crostini

Lunch boxes always have a serving of raw vegetables (carrots, peppers, cucumber or cherry tomatoes and I alternate between them) and fruit that varies depending on what they had for breakfast.

And the dinner salad it’s usually a green salad with a combination of whatever I have in the fridge: lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, shredded carrots, corn, avocado, sunflower seeds. And dessert is always a fruit

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