Weekly Meal Plan April 25-29

On Friday I had to say goodbye to my 5 week student teacher. It was so great to have her as a part of our classroom. The kids loved her, and she really learned a lot and grew as a teacher. It is amazing the difference that one more adult in the room can make. One more person to intervene when kids are struggling, one extra set of hands to help pass out art supplies, do tech support with Chromebooks and work with those students who need one on one support. It is also great to have another adult in the room to look at and smile with when someone is making a paper mask and has it plastered up to their face…

Among other lessons and planning, my student teacher completely took over Art. Art is one of those things that kids adore and teachers…well, teachers don’t mind it, but it is an awful lot of work and can become extremely chaotic quickly. It’s kind of a love/hate relationship.

But my student teacher took it on with gusto and came up with some amazing projects.

Like our Mother’s Day flower pots.



But I think my favorite project she did was related to our Animal Life Cycles unit and the book What if you had Animal Teeth?

After reading the story and writing about what kind of teeth the kids would want to have, they made themselves with the teeth of their choice…priceless.


Now that I am back on the meal train, I am making an addendum to our usual plan of action. I used to just make sure that we had one vegetarian meal a week and that we kind of spread out the different types of meat we were eating (i.e.-not 3 chicken dishes a week) but I’ve noticed my pants getting increasingly more snug over the last few weeks so we need to make some drastic changes. So, every week I am going to try to find one healthy soup recipe, 1 meal sized salad recipe and then fill the rest of the week with our usual repertoire of dishes. I’m hoping that this change, along with more frequent trips to the gym and more bike rides to school, will allow me to not have to go buy a completely new pant wardrobe.

Here is what we are eating this week:

MondayBlack Bean Soup
TuesdayBacon, Spinach and Caramelized Onion Pizza
WednesdayBBQ Chickpea Chopped Salad
ThursdayPulled Pork Sandwiches
FridayFrozen Pizza

Grocery List:

  • Carrots
  • Red pepper
  • Spinach (enough for two recipes)
  • Garlic
  • 2 cans black beans
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Refried beans
  • Paprika
  • Hot sauce
  • Sour cream, cilantro, salsa and guacamole (whatever you like to top your black bean soup with)
  • Avocado
  • Milk
  • Lemon juice
  • White wine vinegar
  • Dill
  • Parsley
  • Onion powder
  • Chickpeas
  • BBQ sauce
  • Lettuce
  • Corn
  • Carrots
  • Green onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Pork tenderloin or shoulder
  • Can/bottle of beer
  • Bread or buns
  • Coleslaw
  • Pizza dough
  • Olive oil
  • Bacon
  • Red onion
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Cheese


Here is our soup for the week. One of my all time favorites.



I bought bacon last week for a recipe and did not end up using it all. So I found this great pizza recipe that I cannot wait to try.

Caramelized Onion, Bacon and Spinach Pizza | Cooking Classy


Here is our salad choice for the week. This hearty salad has amazing flavors from the BBQ sauce and the avocado ranch dressing.

BBQ Chickpea Salad


I got an amazing deal on some pork loin roasts when I was grocery shopping, so I decided to turn one of them into pulled pork.


BBQ Chickpea Salad

Every week at school I ask students to choose one piece of writing that they have completed during independent work stations for me to look at. I want them to choose things that they are proud of and work that, in their opinion, is the best of the best.

It is funny some of the things you get.

For instance, this little book.




It’s all about me…and how beautiful I am….isn’t that nice? If you ever want to feel like a rock star, just become an elementary teacher. A shout to Mr. Skinner in the book too…and the kids have never even met him. This little girl asked if I have a sister today as well. Liz you might be in the next chapter…


Or this one:


Good question kid, what do your parents do when you are asleep?

Or one about me as a teacher and my “pretty good students”


As an elementary teacher, you get good at reading sound-it-out-yourself spelling.

Tonight’s supper was an attempt to counteract all the bad eating from over the Thanksgiving long weekend. We ate 2 turkey dinners, countless snacks and Chinese food to round it all off. Needless to say a high vegetable meal was in order.

BBQ Chickpea Salad

I started by making the dressing:

In my ninja (which we love because of the little cups…perfect for a morning smoothie or whipping up a dressing) I mixed

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar (since I didn’t have white wine vinegar)
  • a bunch of fresh dill
  • a bunch of fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

I gave it a whiz and then adjusted the taste with salt.

BBQ Chickpea Salad

Next I got the chickpeas working. In a small saucepan I mixed 1 drained can of chickpeas with 2/3 cup BBQ sauce and let that simmer away on low for 10 minutes, stirring often.

BBQ Chickpea Salad

Then it was time to put the salad together.

Some lettuce, corn, shredded carrots, cherry tomatoes and green onion went in the bowl. I topped the veggies with some of the warm chickpeas and drizzled the whole thing with the avocado dressing I made.

Doesn’t it look pretty?

BBQ Chickpea Salad

But when it came down to eating it…those little bowls with the pretty set up were not going to work. We each ended up dumping our salads into large mixing bowls so that we could give them a good stir without wearing them.

BBQ Chickpea Salad

Classy huh?

The Verdict- This salad is amazing! I couldn’t get enough! And a big bonus…Andrew loved it too. This is definitely a keeper. The dressing would be great on any salad and was easy to whip up. It made enough for 6 servings and I’m sure would keep in the fridge for a bit. Ours didn’t have a chance…we ate it all with veggies as dip the next day!