Meal Planning (and a delicious vegetarian pasta recipe!) [GUEST POST]

Sara from Not So DoughieHi All!

I am super excited to be guest posting on Fine Fit Day’s blog today.  I am a new reader to Carly’s blog and am so inspired!  Running is not my cup of tea, but her encouraging posts gave me a little push in the tush & I plan to incorporate running back into my workouts.  Carly & I are participating in a wellness challenge called Elf For Health.  Each day we are presented with a different task, whether it is a physical, mental, a good deed etc…  One of this week’s challenges was to “Share Your Expertise” so that brings me here!

I blog over on Not So Doughie.  Growing up my family called me Doughie and I had a tendency to eat what I wanted.  Today, I definitely cannot eat whatever I wanted and still remain healthy & in shape.  Therefore, I try my best to make all my recipes not so doughie.  It is an understatement to say that I enjoy cooking.  I love it.  I do not have any professional culinary background, but my area of expertise is in the kitchen.

So my friends, that is why today I wanted to share with you how I go about planning my meals for the week because afterall planning ahead prevents those undesired binges & fast food runs.  In addition, I will be sharing a vegetarian pasta dish that is a simple, weeknight meal for busy moms.

I plan my meals for the week on Sunday.  I mainly plan my dinners as breakfast rotates between a few of my favorites and lunches tend to be leftovers or a salad.  Also, I created a meal plan document – it helps me get everything in one spot and makes for an easy grocery list!  Spend some time reading through healthy cookbooks, favorite magazines, or healthy food blogs.  When you see something worth tackling write it down on the day you plan to make it.  I immediately email myself (or Pin) the link if online so that I can come back to the recipe when I am preparing it.  Use the same meal planning sheet to make your grocery list.  Make sure you organize your meals depending on your schedule!  Don’t plan a time consuming meal for a busy night.  I aim for one vegetarian meal a week and the others lean meats.  After gathering your ideas, head straight to the grocery store.  You will be so thankful you did during the week!

I want to share one of my simple, weeknight vegetarian meals.  It is so easy and very delicious.  The recipe can be easily adapted to your preferences on veggies.  In addition, it only takes about 20 minutes to make so if you are a busy mom or work late this healthy meal can easily be added to your evening.  I hope you enjoy!

Farfalle with Fresh Veggies in a Parmesan Goat Cheese Sauce

Farfalle with fresh veggies and parmesan goat cheese sauce

1/2 box Farfalle (bowtie) pasta
2 Tbsp unsalted butter or 1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 large handfuls fresh spinach
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 lemon
3 oz fresh goat cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan + additional for topping
1/4 tsp ground thyme
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper

1.  Bring a large pot of water boil and add the pasta.  Cook until just al dente.  Before draining the pasta, reserve 1 1/2 cups of the cooking water.  Set aside.
2.  In a skillet, melt the butter or oil over medium heat.  Add the sliced mushrooms and saute until softened.
3.  Add the thyme and garlic powder.  Stir to combine.
4.  Add the parmesan and goat cheese.  Stir together until the cheese starts to melt.
5.  Add 1 cup of the reserved pasta water and bring to a boil.
6.  Add the cooked pasta, juice of lemon, and spinach.  Stir to combine and cook until the spinach has wilted.
7.  Toss in the tomatoes, cook an additional minute.
8.  Serve warm with a sprinkle of additional parmesan cheese.

I hope you enjoy & please come hang out with me at Not So Doughie!




  1. I need to be better at menu planning! We haven’t had anything to eat in two days. Well, I shouldn’t say anything, just not anything good.

    Great recipe! Pinned!
    Carla recently posted…12/21: The SkinnyMy Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      Menu planning is so hard! I have to continue this habit – it really was helpful!

    • Put aside an hour on Sunday to meal plan and your week will be so much easier!! Thanks for commenting on my post, Carla! Visit again soon 🙂

  2. That recipe looks tasty (although I would probably add chicken for my boys!!).
    Excited to check out a new blog!!
    Kim recently posted…I Am Giving Myself Permission to…My Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      It would be delish with chicken, too! That would work well with the sauce.

    • The great thing about this recipe is it can easily be adapted. Add shrimp, chicken, different veggies etc etc… I made it so fast too! Thanks for stopping by, Kim 🙂
      Sara recently posted…this & thatMy Profile

  3. Looks yummy…can’t wait to try it!

  4. That recipe sounds so good! I’ve never cooked with goat cheese, but I’m excited to try it out!
    Kristin recently posted…Upcycled Sweater Christmas StockingsMy Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      Goat cheese is great to cook with, because the creamy type works well as a sauce and the crumbly type adds a lot of flavor. 🙂

      • I used to STRONGLY dislike goat cheese. The thought just made me turn up my nose. However, it grew on me immensely! It is so creamy and pairs really nice with pasta and veggies.

        A go-to goat cheese appetizer: Slice a baguette and toast the pieces. Top with a crumble of goat cheese, walnuts and a drizzle of honey. YUMMY!

        Thanks for stopping by!
        Sara recently posted…this & thatMy Profile

  5. Looks delicious! I happen to have some goat cheese in the fridge…may need to add this to the lunch menu for this week! 🙂