This Week’s Menu: Breakfast, Lunch and Leftovers

Melissa D'Arabian's slow cooker pork carnitas
Melissa D’Arabian’s slow cooker pork carnitas

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Lunch here at Casa Aloha is easy to sum up: 97% of the time it’s leftovers. YaYu takes leftovers for her lunch at school almost every day, and Brett and I also try to eat what’s leftover in the fridge for our lunches as well. If there are no leftovers, Brett will fix himself something like celery with peanut butter, or a sandwich of some kind. I might have some cheese and fruit these days, or a bowl of soup and fresh vegetables of some kind.

Brett almost always has a bowl of oatmeal every morning with either yogurt or soy milk and some fruit. For YaYu, he makes different things, like eggs and bacon or taquitos or maybe a bowl of rice with some leftover meat on top – anything that’s hot and filling. He’s had to be a little more creative lately, and there have been more frequent repeats now that she’s not eating any dairy. Either Saturday or Sunday morning, YaYu fixes herself a big bowl of ramen, always with added greens and some other kind of protein. I’m currently rotating through three different breakfasts: Greek yogurt with berries and a sprinkle of granola; a fried egg and fruit (and sometimes a slice of bacon), or a whole, fresh papaya and a spoonful of peanut butter. I used to always have cereal for breakfast, maybe an English muffin with peanut butter and jam, but what I’m having these days is working well – I’m rarely hungry before lunch.

Our only rule about breakfast has always been: anything goes. The girls used to get things like pizza or stuffed peppers or waffles with berries and whipped cream for breakfast, but that’s when I was cooking for the three of them. YaYu doesn’t care for pancakes or french toast or bagels and such, and I can’t have them any more, so those things don’t get made or offered these days. That’s not a bad thing – on the whole we’re all eating healthier at breakfast now.

Anyway, here’s what’s on our dinner menu this week. Almost everything is guaranteed to produce plenty of leftovers 🙂 :

  • Tuesday (this evening): Valentine’s Day Dinner: grilled lemon chicken; sliced cucumber and tomato salad; French bread for Brett (YaYu will be at a Kiwanis dinner)
  • Wednesday: Tuna noodle casserole; fresh fruit (tuna salad for me)
  • Thursday: Roast chicken; stuffing; gravy; steamed broccoli (no stuffing for me)
  • Friday: Asian chicken salad
  • Saturday: Leftovers
  • Sunday: Breakfast for dinner: scrambled eggs, bacon, toasted English muffins, fruit (no muffin for me)
  • Monday: Slow cooker pork carnitas; tortillas; shredded cabbage; tomatoes

Our food stocks are starting to get low, but Brett and I are doing our big monthly Costco shop on Thursday. We’ll pick up cucumbers, tomatoes, bok choy, papayas, bananas, and broccoli if we see it at the farmers’ market this week.

Also, to make the lemon chicken I marinate boneless, skinless chicken thighs all day in a mixture of 1/3 cup lemon juice, 3 TBSP dried basil, 1 TBSP olive oil, and 2-3 cloves minced garlic. It cooks quickly when we grill because the lemon juice partially “cooks” the chicken and makes it very tender. The marinade is also great with chicken wings.

5 thoughts on “This Week’s Menu: Breakfast, Lunch and Leftovers

  1. Your breakfast options (you and Brett) sounds like ours. We eat steel cut oats many days. On other days we both eat greek yogurt with berries and walnuts chopped into it. DH eats All Bran some days (I don’t) and I eat sprouted grain bread toasted with peanut butter (he doesn’t). The other thing I often eat is eggs cooked with tomatoes, basil and pepper from this cookbook:
    My girls were cooking from it, so I asked for it for Christmas last year. It has some good and inexpensive ideas in it and I like the author’s reason for writing it. She wanted to show people living on food stamps how to eat better.

    We’re really trying to eat at home most days/nights and doing well so far. We too eat leftovers. I recently tried a cookbook for two from the library and found I was frustrated by putting all the effort into cooking and having no leftovers the next day. 🙂

    The lemon chicken sounds yummy! I’ll have to try it. I have thighs in the freezer.


    1. Another cookbook to check out! This one sounds like a winner though – good food and saving money. I always look at cookbooks at the library first, to see if they’re worth buying, but usually if I find some recipes I like I just copy those pages and stick them in my notebook. Kind of cheating, I know, but it works for me. Most of our cookbooks now cover the “basics” with variations.

      I always double any recipe that says it’s for two, precisely for the reason you stated – so frustrating not to have leftovers. Brett took his lunch every day to work, and they were always leftovers from the night before.

      The lemon chicken recipe is always good. Sometimes I serve with a middle-eastern influenced quinoa salad recipe, but YaYu has let us know she doesn’t care for it (or the lemon chicken, actually).


  2. I love hearing how your breakfasts options have changed. I usually eat some kind of carbs for breakfast like cereal, toast, or a bagel but I find that I get super hungry before lunch. I need to start eating protein with my breakfast. I do love having green smoothies for breakfast (yogurt, banana, spinach, and frozen berries) but it just doesn’t sound as appetizing when it is 20 degrees outside.


    1. I was always a carb-for-breakfast person, but am feeling much better and more energized since I’ve started eating protein and fruit.

      I used to do the smoothie thing too, but honestly, they got old. I have one now and again, but they’re not a daily thing any more.


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