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Zoodle Bolognese + Spaghetti Sloppy Joes
and How I Mastered Dinner

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

This might seem hard to believe considering that I run a food blog, give cooking class, develop recipes for brands and raise my brood of five, but the truth is, I’m pretty unorganized. Especially when it comes to dinner. I don’t have a monthly eating plan, let alone a weekly one. I pretty much look into the fridge and freezer in the morning and decide what to make. If there aren’t really options, I go to the store. And that happens more often than I’d like to admit. Until recently.

I might not be the type of person to plan my menus in advance, but I finally realized that just because I don’t plan exactly what I’m making, it doesn’t mean that I can’t create a framework to help me narrow down the choices. A lot of mom’s get overwhelmed by the thought of making dinner, but that’s because there are a gazillion things you can make, so it’s just so hard to choose. Should you make meat or chicken? What type of meat or chicken? What about side dishes? And picky kids? I get it, believe me I do. And I FINALLY figured it out.

For starters, I created a basic guideline for the week, and it goes something like this:

Leftover Sunday: leftovers! If there are none, BBQ or eat out.
Meatless Monday: vegan or vegetarian dishes.
Beef (Taco) Tuesday: easy beef tacos or any beef recipe.
Chicken Wednesday: any recipe using boneless or bone-in chicken.
Dairy Thursday: the kids favorite day of the week!
Friday: Shabbat Dinner (always changing but I repeat a few basic staples)
Sandwich Saturday: kids choice of sandwiches or wraps

This general guideline helped me narrow down the choices so that instead of there being a gazillion ideas to choose from, I stick to a specific structure for each day. Of course nothing is set in stone, so if we decide to take the kids out to eat on Sunday, we’ll have leftovers on Monday, or if I make a vegetarian taco skillet (we love Trader Joes soy beef crumbles) on Monday, I’ll switch up chicken Wednesdays with taco Tuesdays. The point is to balance out the days so you have enough variety without being overwhelmed with options.

To narrow things down further, here are some options for each day to give you some ideas. Obviously this is based on what my kids like (they are not big on vegetables!), but I always try to serve a protein, carb and veggie. Many times that veggie is Israeli salad, because that’s their favorite, but I always put some veggies on the table, even if it’s just my hubby and I who end up eating it.

As a food blogger and recipe developer, I’m constantly working on new recipes which I feed to my family. You can follow my stories on Instagram for lots of exciting ideas.

MEATLESS MONDAYS:

Make your own sushi, sushi rice bowls, sushi burritos or sushi salad. Baked salmon, seared tuna or ceviche on the side.
fish tacos
fried fish sandwiches
tuna pasta salad or salmon pasta salad and fruit smoothies
vegan taco skillet
falafel with all the fixings
soup and salad
tofu stir fry with pasta
lentil sloppy joes
chickpea curry
vegetarian chili with cornbread

BEEF (TACO) TUESDAYS:

beef tacos (with Ortega seasoning packet or my homemade mix)
beef fajitas
beef noodle stir fry
pepper steak in plum sauce
Mongolian beef (recipe coming soon)
meaty soup with fresh pita or baguettes (Bubby’s cabbage soup, smoked turkey split pea, fire roasted tomato rice stoup, crockpot mushroom barley soup)
london broil and mashed potatoes
meatballs and rice
spaghetti sloppy joes and zoodle bolognese for adults
kofta kebabs
pulled beef tacos or sandwiches

CHICKEN WEDNESDAYS:

pineapple chicken and rice
spicy garlic chicken and rice vermicelli
breaded honey chicken with Israeli couscous
grilled chicken shawarma bar
Pad Thai
chicken fajitas
pargiot bowls
shnitzel salad or sandwiches
bundt pan rotisserie chicken with roasted potatoes
Asian chicken soup with ramen

DAIRY THURSDAYS: (usually served with fruit smoothies and/or Caesar salad)

lasagna
baked ziti
breakfast for dinner (pancakes, french toast or waffles with yogurt, granola and fruit)
ravioli in pink sauce
cheesy minestrone
stuffed shells
cheesy pull apart buns
pita pizza

FRIDAY NIGHT STAPLES (SHABBAT DINNER):
Shabbat dinner changes weekly, depending on guests etc., but here are some weekly staples

baked gefilte fish with breadcrumbs or fried patties
Israeli salad
hummus and tahini
chicken soup (or spinach matza ball minestrone, or Asian chicken soup)
bundt pan rotisserie chicken (our favorite basic, but we often change this up)
deli roll

SANDWICH SATURDAYS:

tuna sandwiches
peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
turkey sandwiches
hummus sandwiches
mayo and tomato sandwiches
cream cheese sandwiches
grilled cheese sandwiches
quesadillas

I hope this basic guideline helps you manage your dinner schedule, and I plan to fill in the links that are missing as I post them! Feel free to write up your own favorite options for each day of the week, to make things easier for you. If you have any kid-friendly recipes that are a staple in your family, please share in the comments so we can add it our rotation too!

This bolognese recipe is a staple in my house, because I can serve the kids their kid-friendly version with spaghetti sloppy joes, and serve my husband the lightened up version with zoodles. I eat a bit of both! ;) The zoodle version makes the perfect Chol Hamoed dinner for Pesach, so make sure to add it to your menu!

#eatingfortheinsta!

Related Recipes:

stuffed cabbage bolognese
veal marsala bolognese with turnip noodles
spaghetti squash bolognese 
cheesy zoodle marinara
zoodle shakshuka

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Pumpkin Banana Souffle

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

It’s been a while since I’ve updated you on my Paleo journey and I think it’s about time! I first wrote about my diet struggles back in June, and I’ve since completed two (and a half) Whole30’s. The 30-day cleanse is based on the Paleo diet, with some more stringencies to help the body reset it’s natural rhythm. I love what the Whole30 did for me! It completely eliminated my sugar cravings, and got me back on track to a healthier lifestyle. Hundreds of you have jumped on the Whole30 bandwagon and purchased my Paleo 30-day meal plan filled with over 100 Whole30-compliant recipes!

Now while I fully support the Whole30 concept, I think it works best as a 30-day cleanse, which is exactly what it is. It’s too hard to live a Whole30 lifestyle all the time, especially being a foodie and recipe developer. Which is why I’ve transitioned to a mostly Paleo diet – rich in healthy proteins and fats, and limited to natural sweeteners and no-grain alternatives like almond flour.

I find that the Paleo lifestyle is pretty easy to stick to. I eat lots of eggs, chicken, meat, veggies and healthy carbs like sweet potatoes and pumpkin. Of course my spiralizer keeps things exciting with lots of zoodles (zuccchini noodles), veggie fries and cauliflower rice! I try to always think outside the box, preparing burgers with portobello mushrooms “buns”, making eggrolls with an omelette, or sushi with cucumber ribbons. These original recipes can all be found in my ebook, which you can read about in more detail here.

Although I’ve adopted a mostly Paleo lifestyle, I’m still a huge foodie who enjoys eating out, and developing fun and unique recipes for my blog. In those cases, I believe strongly in the principal “everything in moderation,” so I try and give myself a break to enjoy every now and then. I still have lots of weight to lose, and I think it’s time to head to the gym to get that ball rolling (literally!)

My blog is a reflection of my lifestyle, so I thought it was time to bring back some tried and true Paleo/Whole30 compliant recipes for all of my loyal Paleo followers to enjoy. This incredible pumpkin banana souffle is so ridiculously easy to make, you won’t believe how good it tastes! The banana adds all the sweetness you need, so you can eat this without any guilt. I love that I can eat it warm or cold, for breakfast, dinner, or even dessert! It’s nice enough to serve for company, and it’s so versatile too! Top it with some bacon or sausage crumbles, eat it with some roast turkey, or spoon on some coconut whipped cream for a truly decadent treat!

Other recipes that use pumpkin puree:

pumpkin ricotta pancakes
pumpkin pie smoothie
baked pumpkin oatmeal
pumpkin crisp
pumpkin whoopie pies

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Paleo eBook Giveaway!

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Last week, I summed up just what my ebook has to offer in this post but I couldn’t resist hosting a giveaway for y’all too! It also gives me a chance to give you more of a glimpse into some of the recipes I developed during my Whole30. You’ll find them all in my Paleo 30-Day meal plan.

Smoky braised chicken & collards, dinner, Day 8

I hadn’t really planned on another ebook post for a while, but when you’re up at 3 AM, jetlagged on the other side of the world, you’ve got a lot of times of your hands! Regards from down under! (The toilets really do flush the other way around on this side of the world).

Tuna avocado cucumber rolls with spicy mayo, lunch, Day 19

This whole eBook experience has been seriously surreal. I never went on the Whole30 with the intention of writing an ebook. It just sorta happened. One day I was cooking up sugar free, grain free and dairy free recipes, and the next I was collaborating them into a 50 page meal plan with over 100 recipes!

Grilled chicken shawarma plate, dinner, Day 10

And then, before I could even think about what was happening, I went live and the book actually sold. And sold some more. And every day, as the orders roll in, I just pinch myself and wonder, “Did I really just sell a cookbook?”

Paleo Pad Thai with spicy almond butter sauce, dinner, Day 9

The very next day after my ebook went live, I joined Naomi Nachman on her radio show, Table for Two, to make my Paleo Pad Thai live from Gourmet Glatt (a kosher supermarket in Cedarhurst). You can watch my interview and demo here!

Green bean salad (served with tuna nicoise patties), lunch, Day 26

I’m a firm believier that everything happens for a reason and I know my ebook had to evolve in the way that it did because otherwise it would never have happened! I’m way too much of a perfectionist to let anything go without it being William-Morrow-ready. And yet, I knew that the recipes spoke for themselves, so I just went for it (thanks to a lot of encouragement from family and friends)!

Roasted vegetable salad with poached egg, breakfast, Day 2

And thanks to you, my readers, for your constant support and feedback! Your comments, posts and emails encourage me to keep going bigger and better. You’ve helped turn my little corner of the blogosphere into more than just a hobby! Hopefully a real, hardcover (William Morrow published!) cookbook will be next on the list! (That’s a lot of explanation marks for one paragraph! I must be excited :)  or overtired…or both!)

Sweet potato chili, dinner, Day 2

So finally….back to the Giveaway details!

To enter the Paleo  30-Day Meal Plan Giveaway, leave a comment  sharing your favorite Busy In Brooklyn recipe. You can also follow Busy In Brooklyn via any of the channels below for an extra entry (one entry per follow). Just be sure to leave a note in the comment letting me know where you follow.

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest 

Giveaway is open to everyone worldwide (don’t you just love ebooks?!). Winner will be chosen at random at 10:00 AM EST on Monday, July 21st, 2014.

Schnitzel salad, dinner, Day 24

To read more about what the ebook has to offer, check out this post, or this Q&A. If you want to go ahead and purchase it, you can do so right here!

Paleo 30-Day Meal Plan $15
Your Email Address:

Have you already ordered the ebook? Which recipes have you tried? Share your comments here!

Paleo 30-Day Meal Plan

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014


I can’t believe this day is finally here! Somebody pinch me! I’ve been working on my Paleo meal plan every free minute for the past 2 months. My family has been having elaborate 3 course Whole30 dinners for the past few weeks, and I couldn’t be more excited to finally introduce my 30 day meal plan!

Almond curry stuffed sweet potatoes, dinner, Day 18

If you haven’t been following my Whole30 diet journey on Facebook and Instagram, read this blog post for a quick summary of how I’ve been changing my life with the Paleo diet. I could have never imagined how energetic, healthy and happy I would feel eating a sugar-free, dairy-free, soy-free, legume-free and grain-free diet.

Cabbage and sausage egg roll, breakfast, Day 19

One thing my Whole30 was not – boring! I truly believe that the best way to diet is to eat well. Eating flavorful, satisfying meals curbs cravings and doesn’t make you feel deprived! I believe in this so strongly that I decided to chronicle all of my Paleo recipes in a meal plan and make it available for anyone interested in taking control of their eating habits and living a healthier life.

Cauliflower fried rice, lunch, Day 23

My 30 Day Meal Plan includes 50 pages of more than 100 recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Recipes like my Smoky Braised Chicken & Collards, Pad Thai, Sweet Potato Chili, Cucumber Sushi Rolls, and Nut-Crusted Shnitzel will make you feel like you’re eating anything but “diet” food! I’ve also included basic building block recipes like 5-minute ketchup, homemade mayonnaise, zoodles (zucchini noodles) and cauliflower rice that you’ll be using again and again.

Chicken nuggets with 5-minute ketchup, dinner, Day 29

The menu also includes a section of holiday and weekend recipes, for those wishing to entertain guests. Bonus appetizer, soup and dessert recipes like tropical guacamole, asparagus with mustard vinaigrette, spaghetti squash soup and strawberries with coconut whipped cream will help you round out your meal.

Broccoli quiche, breakfast, Day 7

As if that’s not enough, I’ve also included a handy calendar that you can print out and post on your fridge. It lists the breakfast, lunch and dinner for each day. A Table of Contents will help you find your daily menu easily.

Moroccan fish, lunch, Day 13

Also included in the Paleo ebook are pantry and fridge staples, helpful tools, resources and tips to help guide you through the 30-Day meal plan.

Asian turkey burger with sauteed cabbage, avocado and Thai almond butter sauce, dinner, Day30

One of the things I tried to incorporate into the meal plan was utilizing leftovers. Nobody wants to sit in the kitchen all day, so meal planning is essential! On several days, I have you set aside some leftovers which are repurposed in another way the next day. Less waste and less work, who doesn’t love that?!

Fajitas with homemade spice mix over cauliflower rice with fried egg, dinner, Day 4

One of the other great features of the Paleo cookbook is that I created the meal plan so that each day’s menu is featured on it’s own page. This way, you can print out the page on it’s own, hang it on your fridge and not have to run to your computer to follow the recipes.

Chicken tortilla-less soup, dinner, Day 23

Now that I’ve whet your appetite with these amazing dishes, I know what you’re thinking….”How do I get my hands on this ebook?!” Well, that’s the easy part!

Inside-out coconut chicken burger , dinner, Day 26

To purchase the ebook, simply click on the “pay now” button below to pay for it via paypal. When I receive your payment, I will email you the ebook. You can print it out, staple it, glue it together – whatever you wish. You just can’t share it :) I spent hours upon hours of hard work preparing this book for sale. I ask that you do not reproduce it in any form (email, photocopy, or sharing the recipes on your own blog). If you love the ebook as much as I do, plug away! Show your love via social media with hashtag #paleoebook, and don’t forget to tag @busyinbrooklyn!

Apple crisp “cereal”, breakfast, Day 12

Order your Paleo 30-Day Meal Plan today! You’ll receive: -50 pages of over 100 recipes -Pantry and Fridge/Freezer Staples -Building Block Recipes -Holiday or Weekend Meal Ideas -30-Day Meal Plan -30 Day Calendar -Dieting Tips

Butternut squash pie, lunch, Day 6

Paleo 30-Day Meal Plan $15
Your Email Address:

For more of what’s in the ebook, and for a chance to win  a copy, visit this post! For FAQ’s, check this out!

I would love to hear about the recipes you are making and enjoying! Please post a comment and share! And of course, if you have any questions at all about the ebook, please don’t hesitate to contact me at busyinbrooklyn@gmail.com!