Whole Parenting Family

Weekly Eats Saturday // Volume 2

week eats saturday

Hi hi hi.

Did you see how we’re doing weekly linkups & comment love on meal plans?

Volume 1 for your perusal.

I cannot tell you how awesome it was to read all your posts, comments, and take your advice and food ideas to heart. AA said in total shock “YOU MADE A MEAL PLAN???!?” Yes, I responded. Because of my friends in my computer!!!!!

If you’re new, it’s very simple. Bloggers write a post with their meal plan (replete with pics, puuuleeeaze because this mama eats with her eyes). Normal people share via comment what they’re going to feed their brood or own gullet.

You’re holding me accountable for making a meal plan and giving me inspiration. I cannot thank you enough!! Add your comments & links! Open all week!

Sunday: Dutch Pancakes & Pork Meatballs.

I had a wonderful girls’ weekend a while back with my mommy dear friends. We all love food. They are all amazing foodies. One gave me this meatball recipe. TO DIE FOR! Do not overcook it like I did the first time I tried it. Mary, they were nothing like yours. Hoping to make it better this go ’round. Your recipe is AMAZING!

Dutch pancake recipe here.

Meatballs . . .

1 egg
1/2 cup finely chopped cooking apples
2 or 3 teaspoons snipped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1 pound ground pork
-Mix and form into 1 inch meatballs.
-Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes (feel free to freeze at this point for later)
-Meanwhile, in sauce pan, heat 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, 1/4 cup apple jelly until jelly is dissolved.
-Drizzle half the syrup mixture over meatballs after baking, lightly toss to coat, bake meatballs 2 minutes more.
dutch pancakes

Monday: Chicken Pot Pie via Smitten Kitchen.

The crust: fabulous! The insides: not goey enough–a little too runny in the past. I’m going to try to make it less liquidly. And I did make the roux ahead of time, and it felt thick, but naw–need to add more flour? Ideas?

smitten kitchen chicken pot pie


Tuesday: Pot Roast with Sweet Potatoes & Green Beans from the garden.

Ina Garten.

Six degrees of separation? My old hairstylist, God rest his soul, knew her and partied with her on “the vineyard”–meaning, presumably, Martha’s Vineyard. He colored my hair a soft hue of pink for a hot second my freshman year of college. He was the owner of this very fabulous studio in Minneapolis, did my mom’s hair, and somehow I got in there and he wanted to help me freshen up my look. He also suggested strongly that while the color was setting, I got my eye brows waxed. Let’s just say I was a very unsophisticated 19 year old and probably needed a lot more help than just this in the femininity department as I only started shaving my legs just that year. #movingalong

I love potatoes. I’m a midwesterner. It’s that and corn, right? But the nutritional content? Pretty low. Sweet potatoes on the other hand are like super food. So I’ll roast them & slather them with butter, paprika, and salt. And pop them on the plate with the roast.

Green beans frozen from the garden? Just steam (al dente–never mushy–plunge them into an ice bath if need be at the end of their steaming to really stop the wilt) and add butter. And maybe granulated garlic for my husband. And maybe roasted slivered almonds & lemon peel finely grated. Just for a pop of flavor.


Wednesday: Root Vegetable Soup & a Spring Greens Salad.

I did this soup a while back. Recipe here. {bad photos–sorry!!} It’s an easy favorite. And spring greens? I just add freshly chopped dates, nuts, and whatever fruit I have that’s ripe. Leftover corn? Sure. Pomegranate seeds to be fancy? Yup. A simple french dressing and we’re good.

1 shallot diced

1 teaspoon dijon

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

kosher coarse salt & fresh cracked pepper

& add extra virgin olive oil by the tablespoon, whisking the whole time, til it is properly tasting and blended!

root vegetable soup

salad for meal plan

Thursday: Shredded Chicken & Veggies

shredded chicken easy dinner

It’s an old posting that I’m revisiting because I forgot the kids liked this!

Roasted parm broccoli. First I chop off the stems and wash the broccoli, separating it with my hands so as to not lose too much of the tender tops. I steam it on the stove for about 10-12 minutes. Steaming keeps a lot more of the nutrients in a vegetable than boiling. So steam if you can. Once it’s soft but not mushy, remove it from the stove, drain it, and transfer it to an olive oiled casserole dish. Top it with freshly grated parm and diced shallots or pearl onions (some kind of sweet onion), salt and pepper. Broil it in the stove without a top for 5-8 minutes until it’s crisp. You could do this with just about any vegetable for the same result!

Shredded chicken. Wash and trim the fat from organic chicken breasts. Throw them into the crockpot with chicken broth, a bundle of rosemary, thyme, and oregano tied together (whole stalks), chili powder, and freshly cracked pepper. I add a lot of all spices. Maybe two tablespoons. More spices = more flavor. Then set the pot to low and cook for 8-10 hours. Maybe do it on high for 6-8 hours. Once it’s through cooking, shred the chicken with two forks. If it’s not able to be shred, it’s not done cooking. Then add cornstarch to the gravy to firm it up, and you have a lovely shredded chicken & gravy. Add salt at the end. It acts as a drying agent and you don’t want that in crockpot cooking.

Yum to the tum.

Friday: Salmon with Quinoa. Oh, your husband hates quinoa too?

Try making the quinoa in coconut milk like I did here. Then toss in some chopped bell peppers and add wild caught salmon grilled with herbs. Cannot mess this up. Promise.

salmon easy dinner


I am so inspired by you all. I promise next go ’round I will try some of the delicious recipes you recommended!!


  1. Maria on November 1, 2014 at 1:09 am

    Hahaha, “because of my friends in the computer!!!”

    That’s great 😀

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 2, 2014 at 11:57 pm

      I’m such a nerd.

  2. Maggie on November 1, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Our food week begins on Friday nights. Here’s our week:
    Friday – cheese and crackers (and Halloween candy)
    Saturday – filet mignon with carmel-brandy mushrooms, roasted Brussels sprouts
    Sunday – perfect enchiladas and cilantro lime rice (thank you, Pioneer Woman)
    Monday – grilled chic salad, blue cheese, walnuts, cranberries, vinegarette
    Tuesday – spaghetti/meatballs
    Wednesday – chic pot pie (previously frozen from big batch a la Ina Garten)
    Thursday – probably eating out b/c I forgot to write something down.

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 2, 2014 at 11:56 pm

      BECAUSE YOU’RE AMAZING!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!wowowowowowow

  3. Celia on November 1, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Do you guys like chili? Mark Bittman’s espresso black bean chili (readily available via Google search) is amazing. I made it for Halloween dinner, with cornbread of course, and I have leftovers for another full meal. (We do meatless Fridays. It’s perfect for that.)

    Your salad with pomegranate seeds looks delicious. We’re starting to get them at the farmers market now… I’m going to have to pick a couple up next week for salad garnish.

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 2, 2014 at 11:56 pm

      Oh YUM! We do like chili. A lot. Totally adding this to the future list!

      Cannot go wrong with pomegranate seeds. Except the floundering around trying to get them out of the fruit part. haha!

  4. Mary on November 1, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    So if I buy coconut milk for my chicken stir fry this week, you’re saying I can use up the rest of it by replacing the quinoa cooking water with it??? This is fascinating.

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 2, 2014 at 11:55 pm

      I did!! Try it!!

  5. Elena @ barefoot and sometimes pregnant on November 2, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    I want to try that pork meatball recipe. It sounds really tasty! My husband isn’t a fan of the quinoa either.

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 2, 2014 at 11:53 pm

      I made them and they are SO GOOD. What’s with men and quinoa?? hahaha

  6. Kathryn on November 3, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Nell, I have THE best chicken pot pie recipe. Every time I make it, the kids beg for more. I’ll email it to you!

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 3, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      I NEED IT!!!!!

  7. Kari on November 3, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Monday: Broccoli cheddar soup, baked potatoes, homemade bread
    Tuesday: Pork Roast and mashed potatoes
    Wednesday: Leftovers
    Thursday: Crockpot chicken noodle soup, bread
    Friday: Homemade pizza
    Saturday: Salmon and quinoa

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 3, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      Awesome! You’re inspiring me. And now you’re electronically accountable 🙂 hahah

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