Hooray for Meal Planning!

Cool weather equals awesome runs, but it also means amazing night’s sleep.  As well as hearty, filling, and warm meal plans.  And of course…my crockpot!




Yesterday, after my morning indoor run, the BOY and I met his family for brunch.  It was pouring rain by the time we were done and climbed into our car to head to the grocery store.  I had done a little morning planning for the week ahead in an attempt to have some healthy lunch and dinner options.




By the time we got home, it was late in the afternoon.  I threw the chicken in the crockpot and made chili for lunch on the stove.  The BOY whipped up a wonderful smelling dry rub for tomorrow’s pork chops and beef on the grill.  We had DVRed the Bears game and finally got comfy where one should always spend a rainy day…indoors!




Another Bear’s victory, barely, followed by a movie (Flight), and some online shopping…and then this healthy and tasty dinner. 

Happy Sunday!




This Week’s Meal Plan


Sunday: Flavorful, Fiberful, Moroccan Chicken (Recipe Below)


Monday: Pork and Steak on the Grill


Tuesday: Leftovers


Wednesday: Girl’s Dinner


Thursday: TBD, but probably out to eat somewhere simple and close


Friday: Pre-Run Pasta


Lunch: Zucchini and Eggplant Turkey Chili




Flavorful, Fiberful, Moroccan Chicken

From The 150 Healthiest Slow Cooker Recipes on Earth



1 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup dry white wine

Juice and Zest of 1 navel orange

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp each of fresh ground pepper and salt

3 lbs skinless bone in chicken breasts and thighs*

2 cinnamon sticks

1 cup pitted prunes, chopped

2 yellow onions, thinly sliced



In a small bowl, whisk the broth, wine, orange juice, and zest, garlic, cumin, coriander, ginger, salt, and pepper and set aside.

Place the chicken pieces in an even layer on the bottom of the slow cooker with the cinnamon sticks.  Add the prunes and onion slices.  Pour the broth mixture evenly over everything.  Cook on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or on low for 4 to 5 hours, until the chicken is cooked through but still juicy.

Remove the cinnamon sticks and garnish with almonds if desired.


*Note: I could not find the bone in chicken, so went with large cubed skinless, boneless, chicken breasts

**Another Note: The BOY and I liked this recipe, but thought it could use some stronger flavor, so be generous with your spices!

Root Vegetable Tagine

So you are probably asking yourself, what is a Tagine?  According to Wikipedia (which seems to be the place to go for definitions these days), "A tajine or tagine is a Moroccan dish, which is named after the special pot in which it is cooked."


I found this recipe in a Weight Watcher slow cooker cookbook and I love it.  I’ve made it so many times that the book opens right up to this page.  It is a healthy and easy vegetarian recipe that goes in the crockpot.  And as you know (or will soon learn), I love my crockpot!




Begin by slicing the onion.  Add to pot with oil and garlic.




Take the pot off the heat and stir in the spices.  They really make the flavor of this dish!  Place onion mixture in crock pot.


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Add chopped vegetables and prunes on top of onions.




Stir low sodium vegetable broth with honey.  I used 4 cups of broth since that is what comes in the container.  Pour broth mixture into crock pot and stir.  I set my crock pot for the 8 hour setting and off I went to my 90 minute deep tissue massage!


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When I returned, the house smelled wonderful and I had a fabulous dinner waiting for me.  I serve this dish over couscous and sometimes add the almonds.  The recipe is meant to be divided in half and can be frozen up to 2 months.  This dinner reheats easily for leftovers, and I will look forward to my dinner when I get home from work this week.


Now…just wait until you see what I try with my leftover parsnips!



Root Vegetable Tagine



2 teaspoons canola oil

1 onion, sliced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground ginger

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

2 carrots, sliced ½ inch thick

1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

½ cup pitted dried plums

3 cups vegetable broth (I used 4 cups)

1 tablespoon honey

¾ cup whole wheat couscous

¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted




-Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 5-6 minutes.  Remove skillet from heat; stir in cinnamon, cumin, and ginger.  Transfer onion mixture to 5-6 quart slow cooker.  Add potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, parsnip, and dried plums.  Combine broth and honey in a large bowl; stir into vegetable mixture.  Cover and cook until vegetables are fork-tender, 3-4 hours on low or 6-8 hours on high.

-About 15 minutes before cooking time is up, cook couscous according to package directions, omitting salt if desired.  Cover with almonds before serving.