Vitamix!

Vitamix

Can I just brag on my husband for a little bit?  When I told him a few years back that I wanted a new blender, he was totally cool with that.  When I told him that I wanted a new blender that cost almost $600, he may have died a little bit inside, but he didn’t shut me down right away.  And sure enough, later that weekend, we were toting home a Vitamix of our very own.  Gotta love that man.

And not to be left out, I’ve got to say thanks again to my brother, Mark, who happened to be in town and was willing to let me use his Costco membership.  He thought I was completely nuts for spending that much money on a blender.  Flash forward a few years, and last time I saw him, he asked if I still use it.  I really do.  Several times a week.

Most times, I make smoothies.  And oh man, the Vitamix really shines when it comes to smoothies with ice or frozen fruit.  I don’t think anything is too much for that machine.

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The smoothies come out really, well, smooth.  My hubby and I have this smoothie at least once a week for breakfast.  It’s the smoothie in the book Always Hungry by Dr. David Ludwig.  I swear I’m not getting paid to promote their book!  LOL.  But the smoothie recipe is worth the cost of the book alone, for sure.  The recipe is of course copyrighted, otherwise I’d post it here.  I’ll see what I can do for you guys, though.  Stay tuned.

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I also use my Vitamix for milling my own whole grain flour.  Yep, I’m that kind of crazy.  I’ll be posting about making my own flour under the Adventures category soon.  I bought the special dry container from Vitamix, which is specially made to grind grains, dry beans, and even coffee.  I could even make my own nut flour with the dry container.  If I used the regular container, I’d end up with nut butter, which is also amazing but serves a different purpose.

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The flour comes out of the Vitamix just as regular flour does, but with all that great whole grain goodness included.

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Here I am lightly sifting the flour.  That’s the dry container on the counter.  It’s shorter and a slightly different shape than the original.

One of these days, I’m going to have to have a blooper reel of all the god awful messes I’ve made in the kitchen.  Don’t let the neatness of the kitchen fool you here… if you look closely at the cabinets, you may still see the splattered mushrooms that I spilled yesterday during a photo shoot of dinner.  That was a royal mess.  Anyway!

I noodled around on Amazon out of curiosity to see how much the blender I have now is going for, and there’s a refurbished one available through Amazon Prime for only $300!  That’s a great deal.

So my question for you is, do you have a Vitamix?  And if you do, what’s your favorite thing to make in it?

Weekly Meal Planning

Each week, I try to come up with a meal plan before heading to our grocery store.  Some weeks are more successful than others!  These are the pages that I like to use for planning my meals.

Weekly Menu

This week’s meal plan!  We leave it up on the fridge for reference.

As you can see, we pretty much wing it when it comes to breakfast.  It’s usually either steel cut oats with fruit, homemade Greek yogurt with fruit, or a protein smoothie.

We take leftovers from dinner the night before to work with us for lunch most days.  If there’s not quite enough leftovers for a particular recipe, then I’ll plan to make something to take along.  I’m planning on making chicken salad this week  for lunches from the leftovers of our whole roasted chicken dinner on Sunday.

I look at the calendar to see what we have going on that week.  Our son has open house at school on Tuesday night, which is a great excuse to go out.  We VERY rarely go out during the week.  Frankly, it’s not worth the money and rarely are the meals satisfying.  However, to appease the teenager this week, who insists that we NEVER go out (he may be right), we are going to go somewhere.  Probably something exciting like Chick-Fil-A, ha!

Wednesday night, our son goes to his dad’s house, so that means we can make something that he won’t typically like.  On the nights that we have two options for dinner, it’s usually because one is for our teenager and the other is for my husband and I.  Or, sometimes it’s because I want something vegetarian, and the boys don’t.  Or sometimes it’s because we are going to have a variation on a theme.  Friday is a great example of that.  My husband and I will have eggs and or sausage if I feel up to the effort.  My son will have a breakfast taco on a tortilla.

kitchen sink

This has nothing to do with anything, but look at my new pretty faucet!  ❤

Why are we having scrambled eggs on Friday night?  Because Friday is the day I clean my house, so I like to have something simple and easy after working all day, then coming  home to clean.  I can handle eggs on a night like that.  I learned how to make the best ever scrambled eggs this summer.  Seriously, this technique will spoil you for any other eggs at your favorite breakfast spot.

So Friday is our “easy” night.  We like to have at least one vegetarian night as well.  Then, on my prep days, I like to plan a crock pot meal or something that is pretty hands off.  This Sunday, I made a whole roasted chicken.  It was my first one!  Totally a rite of passage.  You aren’t a pro in the kitchen till you’ve had your hand up a chicken’s ass.  😛

Even though I don’t always write in a vegetarian alternative, I typically make a veggie version of something for myself throughout the week.  I’m not 100% vegetarian, but I do prefer to eat less meat.

So that’s my process every week.  It worked really well the time I planned 14 days in a row!  I find planning to be the hardest part, so once that’s taken care of, I feel much better.  And of course, we are flexible.  It’s rare that a week actually comes out as planned, but that’s life!