Weekly Menu Plan and Photo Fun: Coconut Soup, Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Chip Pie, and More!

You might be wondering what this flower photo has to do with my weekly menu plan…

Nothing, really 🙂

I just thought it would be fun to start a new “regular” post sharing two of my favorite things…

Eating and photography.

Inspired by my lovely and talented friend Regan at The Professional Palate {FYI-Her amazing coconut coup is on my menu this week!}, and my ever growing obsession with all things Pinterest, I decided to create a board with my weekly menu ideas in an effort to add some sanity back to my own crazy, busy life, as well as to hopefully inspire those of you who are, well, looking for some meal planning inspiration!

Here’s what to expect every almost every week:

  • Five dinner menu plans posted here and on my Pinterest board, Spicy RD Weekly Dinner Menus, each week.  I don’t specify days, because I like to be flexible with my menu plans, and I only provide 5 days of menu plans since we usually eat out a couple of times each week or prepare something SO simple, it’s not worth posting here {cereal or scrambled eggs for dinner anyone??} I will also include suggestions for side dishes, etc., often using local seasonal produce, to make it a complete meal.
  • Mostly, easy, healthy {sometimes indulgent} dishes I have bookmarked on Pinterest from healthy eating blogs and on-line cooking publications I enjoy, along with some of my own Spicy RD recipes.
  • I do eat meat, so there will be entrees with beef, poultry, pork, and fish, but I also a lot of plant based dishes as well. All menu plans are naturally gluten-free, or I provide my gluten-free substitutions. {FYI-Even if your not on a gluten-free diet, I think you will enjoy my meal plans.}
  • Sometimes I will specify a recipe from a cookbook I own, in which case I will share the link to the cookbook with you.
  • Usually there will be one meal chosen by one of my Kids in the Kitchen chefs, SiSi {10} and Big Tex {8}, each week that they have chosen to cook with me.
  • As for the photographs, I’ll be sharing some fun photos I’ve taken-often NOT of food-because as much as I love taking photos of my recipes I create, I also love taking photos of many things non-food too. {FYI-Prepare to see lots of flower photos :-0}

So, that’s it in a nutshell.  I’d love to hear your feedback to see if you would like this to be a regular feature on The Spicy RD Blog.

Here’s this week’s menu plan…

Spicy RD Weekly Dinner Menu Plan: February 13-19, 2012


  • Coconut Noodle Soup {making with scallops and/or tofu} from The Professional Palate.
  • Steamed edamame and raw carrots.
  • Fresh orange slices.



  • Meatless Lentil Tacos from The Swanky Dietitian.  Adding in some mushrooms!
  • Fresh sliced apples topped with cinnamon.


  • Amazingly Addictive Artichoke Squares {Gluten-Free} from my blog.  Will make a big batch and freeze some for snacks and kids lunches.
  • Salad: Greens, purple cabbage, carrots, and avocado with golden balsamic vinagrette.
  • Fresh strawberries


Photography Notes: I applied two different techniques from FX Photo Studio to a photo I took of Australian Wax Flowers blooming in my garden.

Do you plan your weekly dinner menus?  If so, what’s on your menu this week?  What are you having for Valentine’s Dinner? Would you like to see more Spicy RD Weekly Menu Plans? Which flower photo do you like better-the top “colorful” one or the bottom “vintage” effect?

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  1. So those are actual flowers! I thought was painting on a canvas at first…pretty cool how you enhanced them…very artful!
    I LOVE your weekly menu and I love it most because of the visuals that accompany them…they are also diverse and has an amazing variety. I am intrigued most by the Coconut noodles and am excited to hear what you think of the pie!
    I kind of wing my dinners although plan my lunches, since I pack those every day. V-day dinner?? IDK…its postponed for a couple weekends, then OUT to eat!!!

  2. I am so excited to start following your meal plans for inspiration! I am really good at meal planning for others, but not so much for myself. Yay!

  3. Great meal plan! And I love that you’ll post them on Pinterest!

    Yes, I plan meals every week. It really helps me to stress less… And, like you, I never plan them for a specific day as I like to be a bit flexible…

    I plan on making your lava cakes on Valentine’s Day! 🙂

  4. I love it! I don’t plan a menu but I am always looking for inspiration for the week so this will be great.

  5. Randomly love that you have a fruit with each meal. I do a few days of planning at a time. OK I have so many recipes but what’s a good family friendly pasta (use GF) recipe you’d suggest?

  6. I’ve been menu planning for the past year and it has saved my sanity on so many levels! I also post my weekly menu plans, but I love your approach! Also, I love how you have organized your boards on pinterest. I may have to “borrow” some of your ideas and adapt for myself. Improving my photography skills is one of my goals this year also. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Teri-I’ll definitely let you know what I think of the pie, although I’m having a pretty hard time imagining that I won’t like it 🙂

    Alysa and Sylvie-Glad to provide some inspiration for meals 🙂

    Andrea-Your meal planning has inspired me! Hope you enjoy the lava cakes for Valentine’s Day!

    Lauren-I always serve fruit for dinner because I know my kids will eat it, unlike the veggies which can be hit or miss. Most of our usual pasta recipe are good, but boring. I use the Ancient Harvest quinoa pasta which everyone in the family loves. Then it’s either meat sauce (usually a jarred marinara with either ground grass fed beef or bison), pesto (which after many tries, both my kids now like), or fresh chopped up tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and chopped basil. They also love homemade Mac and cheese, although we don’t have it often because it’s pretty rich. I like the recipe at Gluten Free Girl and the Chef.

  8. What a perfectly awesome idea!! I have to check if I’m following you 🙂
    I still haven’t quite gotten into pinterest yet. I’m kind of afraid to haha!! More time 😉
    Love the second pic the most although both are cool lookin!!

  9. I can’t wait to hear how the tacos turn out with adding mushrooms. They were so delicious!
    This is such a great idea. I have started at least compiling links to recipes as I see them so when I am ready to meal plan, I have ideas.

  10. Well thanks friend for the mention!!

    And I’m thinking I may just start following your menus and ditch my own. Yours look pretty tasty 😉

  11. i totally like the colorful flower one better! hahaha i’m all about bright colors. 🙂 yes, i plan out my meals for the week, or else i get myself into trouble!!!

  12. Lisa-Yes-You are following me on Pinterest 🙂 It is more time, but so fun!

    Kristen-I’ll let you know how the tacos turn out with the mushrooms, although I will probably only add
    them to half the filling since my kids haven’t developed their mushroom taste buds yet!

    Regan-I’m making your soup tonight. Can’t wait for the first slurp 🙂

    Junia-Glad to know you’re a planner! I love bright colors too 🙂

  13. I love the weekly menu plan…
    God I have to start doing this, will make my life so easy. But somehow my kids change all my plans when it comes to food….LOL
    But really this looks great.

  14. Oh my goodness, that PB and chocolate chip cookie pie looks FABULOUS! I would gladly eat it right now – and it is not even 9am!

    I don’t plan out weekly menus. Usually I cook up a large batch of 2 recipes on Sunday night and try to get them to last the week. I tend to go on kicks where I become obsessed with the same food for a while so I don’t really mind eating leftovers all week. It’s also easier for me to do since I don’t have a family to feed who would probbaly be less than pleased eating the same stuff all week long!

  15. Your new plan sounds great! I agree, I typically have a list of recipes to make, but never specific days (I never know when I won’t be in the mood to cook, like last night when I just poached eggs and served with spinach!).
    The coconut noodle soup sounds amazing. I say go with the scallops!

  16. wonderful use of pinterest ea

  17. What a great idea for meal planning. Also, I love the photo idea. The flowers are so beautiful.

  18. thanks EA, we’re pesto people too. Would you believe one of my children doesn’t love cheese? Crazy.

  19. Great menu for the week! I wish I was able to plan such great meals as you have here. I usually aim for 2 planned meals, and then we go out on the weekends (I would hate myself later if I spent all my time in Japan not going out and experiencing the culture and food-yeah, I’m good at making excuses lol). I know time should not be an excuse, but most of the time it is, so I really need to plan in advance and make sure to go to the grocery store. I also have to make do with what we have available to us here and a lot of things I want to make I can’t get all the ingredients for, but most of the time I do well with finding substitutions. It also gets harder when Ryan isn’t here and it’s just me (like if he is on night shift), although then I find I have more time to play in the kitchen. I really need to work on this!

  20. The amount of thought and detail you put into this weekly menu is quite admirable. The coconut soup intrigues me beyond measure! I’m sure this will be a week to remember…!

  21. I must do this. Really. Half the time I find myself in the kitchen at 6pm wondering what the heck I’m going to make for dinner. I’ll look at what I have in the refrigerator, but turn everything down because I have something in mind for those artichokes, for example, that I want to photograph and blog about. I. must. get.more.organized. And a pinterest board is a great way to do it!


  1. […] this is your first time checking out my weekly meal plans, please read this post for more […]

  2. […] your first time checking out my weekly menu plans, you can read more about my menu planning process here.  All menu plans are gluten-free or I have offered gluten-free substitutions for the recipes […]

  3. […] first time checking out my weekly menu plans, you can read more about my menu planning process here.  All menu plans are gluten-free or I have offered gluten-free substitutions for the recipes […]

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