Menu Plan Monday, Episode 1

I stumbled on the neatest link party a couple weeks ago; one that involves something I do on a weekly basis- menu plan! Since we started a keto way of living, I’ve found it much easier to get through the week without cheats if I plan the week in advance. Plus it really helps make grocery shopping so much easier.

I have several weeks of menu plans already because I like variety and have found that this low-carb lifestyle can be somewhat limiting. For that reason, I am constantly on the search for new recipes to test and try!

Speaking of recipes- I am working on building my recipe box but that will take a little bit of work as I have roughly 600 or so saved. Stay tuned!

Back on topic….

Here is our menu for this week, keto-style <3

MONDAY: Cheeseburger Soup

TUESDAY: Creamy Garlic Chicken with Roasted Spaghetti Squash

WEDNESDAY: Mini Italian Meatloaves with Bacon Brussels Sprouts Au-Gratin

THURSDAY: Spinach Artichoke Dip Casserole with Garlic Butter Chicken

FRIDAY: Hamburger Sausage Alfredo Casserole

SATURDAY: Family Date Night, Restaurant TBD

SUNDAY: Chicken Caesar Casserole

Tired and Broken

I think I have reached my breaking point.

I have spent more decades than I care to remember putting other peoples’ feelings before mine. I have buried my feelings and put aside my sanity for the sake of holding on to people and relationships that I love. I have lost myself somewhere along the way, or maybe I was always lost and just never realized it. This tug of war has hit its peak. I don’t have any fight left in me. Every ounce of strength I may have once had is gone. I am physically and emotionally drained.

I. Am. Tired.

I am tired of protecting people who don’t deserve protection. I’m tired of suffering alone because of the shame that I have carried with me my entire life. I am tired of feeling guilty because I no longer want to suffer. I am tired of feeling angry because the pain suffocates me.

I am tired of not speaking up out of fear of rejection from the very people who are supposed to be my support system. I am tired of feeling like taking care of myself is selfish. I am tired of feeling as though I did something wrong because the actions and choices of others somehow discredit me.

I am tired of not being understood. I am tired of being judged. I am tired of feeling worthless. I am tired of hiding from the world. I am tired of not knowing who I am. I am tired of the ups and downs and highs and lows that make me want to never ever step into society.

I AM TIRED!

I’m tired of pretending this giant elephant is not in the room. I’m tired of pretending that this problem doesn’t exist; that THIS THING didn’t happen. It did. It happened to ME. I am tired of pretending that I don’t struggle to live every single day of my life because this demon weighs so heavy on my soul.

I’m tired of facing this day in and day out and feeling so hopeless and alone and ashamed and guilty of something I did not choose and had absolutely no control over. I am tired of being the one who suffers because of the acts of someone else. I am tired of being a victim and not knowing how to survive.

I am tired……. I am broken.

Hands Down, the BEST Casserole!

Being southern born and bred means having a deep-rooted love of all things casserole. It’s a southern tradition whether for a family gathering at Thanksgiving or the church potluck on Easter Sunday. And let’s face it, it’s comfort food at it’s finest! I love a good casserole not only because it’s typically easier, but because sitting down to a nice warm casserole with the familiar fragrance of all my favorite foods reminds me of childhood visits with my grandparents when life was simpler and carefree. It’s like a little piece of home no matter what’s in the dish!

This love of casseroles has carried right into my new way of low-carb living where it’s taken up permanent residence even if it means spending countless hours scouring through every recipe Pinterest has to offer. This casserole, however, didn’t come from Pinterest. I actually didn’t find it at all. It was sent to me by a friend who is also living the low-carb life (she is actually the one who turned me onto this way of life). She guaranteed we would LOVE it so much we’d want it twice a week, and she wasn’t wrong! It’s not only easy, it’s absolutely delicious! The original recipe can be found at Just a Pinch or you can use my slightly edited version below.

Meaty Broccoli Casserole

1 lb ground beef
1 lb mild pork sausage
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp minced onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 bag (16 oz) broccoli florets, fresh or frozen
1(8 oz) block cream cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded (not prepackaged)
salt and pepper to tasteBrown beef and pork together. Drain excess fat. Steam broccoli until tender. Whisk together softened cream cheese, oregano, onion, garlic, heavy cream and parmesan cheese until smooth. Add meat, broccoli, and stir until well mixed. Transfer to a casserole dish, top with mozzarella. Bake at 350ºF for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly all the way through.

One variation we love is to substitute chicken in the place of the beef and sausage. I use my Garlic Butter Chicken for a quick fix of left-overs! I don’t do real meal prep so when I have time on Sundays, I cook up all the chicken at once and store it in an air-tight container in the fridge for quick making of weekday lunch and dinner meals. It’s also nice to make up a jar of the sauce from this recipe to have on hand for a quick fix. (This busy working mom doesn’t have much time for the kitchen!) Grilled chicken works well also! Really this casserole is so versatile, you can do just about anything- even no meat at all! Can you say yummmmmmmy!

Nutritional info based on the recipe above, per serving: 424 calories, 34g fat, 5g carbs, 23g protein