Meal plan for week of February 26th 

Monday – Pasta with sausage and kale.


Tuesday – Chicken fajitas with rice and beans. I used a Trader Joe’s pepper and onion fajita mix. In a large skillet or cast iron, cook the sliced chicken until no long pink, add the pepper and onion mix and cook until soft. If you don’t have the mix, slice a red bell peper and onion (cooking time may be less since it’s not frozen). 


Wednesday – Chicken sausage stromboli. A super easy recipe; for more quick dinner ideas, click here.  I used store bought pizza dough, cut it in half and stretched both pieces to make a pair of rectangles and placed on a sprayed cookie sheet.  Add sliced chicken sausage (1 link in each), sprinkle with shredded cheese, bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.


Thursday – Quinoa with kale and chicken sausage.  I topped mine with dried cranberries 



Friday
 
– Sesame ginger teriyaki salmon and garlic quinoa stir fry.  You’ll love this healthy recipe! Tip to make this dinner easier – make the quinoa mix in advance so you only have to cook the salmon at night! 


Baby food- New section!! 

I’m going to start adding to my weekly meal plan the food I make for my 10-month old son.  He has a VERY healthy appetite and eats a wide variety of food.  Most of his dinners consist of what my husband and I are eating, but in order to keep up with his breakfast, lunch, and snack foods, I’ve started to meal prep for him on the weekends. He gets homemade puréed foods and I make a big batch of steamed veggies/fruit to use during the week. This weekend I made for him mini egg muffins with spinach and baby pancakes.


Mini egg muffins – Saute 1 cup spinach, pour into bowl. Add 6 eggs and 1/4 cup shredded cheese.  Spray mini muffin tin and pour egg mixture into cups so they are 3/4 full. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. 

Baby pancakes with oats and greek yogurt – In Nutribullet or blender add 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1 container (5.3 oz) plain greek yogurt, 1/2 medium ripe banana, 1 egg, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Blend until smooth. Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray over medium low heat. Drop batter by the spoonful into skillet (size of silver dollar). Cook until golden brown, flip and cook again. These also store great in the freezer! 

Weekly meal plan

Monday-Chicken noodle soup – I love adding mini meatballs to my chicken noodle soup. To make this soup, add to a crockpot 8 cups chicken broth, shredded rotisserie chicken, mini meatballs (optional), 2 peeled and chopped carrots, 2 chopped celery stalks, 2-3 bay leafs, 1/4 cup chopped onion.  Cook on low for 6 hours. Serve with cooked egg noodles. 



Tuesday– Baked skillet pasta – One word, WOW.  Tastes just as good for leftovers! 

Wednesday– Crockpot lemon chicken with green beans and rice.



Thursday– Baked chicken legs with roasted potatoes and Brussel sprouts. I followed the recipe in the link and added the Brussel sprouts after 20 minutes, but ending up cooking the potatoes and sprouts for an additional 20 minutes.



FridayFish tacos – What an easy way to make fish! I’m adding this recipe into my “go-to” list.  My avocado was not ripe (thanks peapod), so I didn’t make the avocado sauce. Didn’t matter. Didn’t need it. The mango and cabbage slaw makes up for it!  

Chicken cutlets 

This post is long overdue! Before my son was born I knew I wanted a fully stocked freezer of meals that just required thawing and reheating. I didn’t go overboard – our family and friends brought more than enough food for the first month at least!

One food item I made was breaded chicken cutlets. These were super easy to make and even easier to use in wraps, salads, sandwiches, etc. I made a dozen and froze them. They tasted great thawed out. The following are some of the meals I made with them. (For the tenders recipe I found the cooking time to be way off! Bake the crumbs for ONLY 3-5 minutes, not 15.) 

Dinner 1 – Chicken Parm. Since the chicken was already cooked, just place it in a baking dish, cover it with sauce, and bake at 350 until warm. With a few minutes left, top it with a few slices of fresh mozzarella. 

Dinner 2 – Spinach salad topped with sliced chicken.  I also added feta cheese, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries. Serve with your choice of dressing.

Dinner 3 – Chicken sandwich with a pasta salad side.  A basic and easy dinner. All you need is a good loaf of bread and whatever toppings you enjoy. I used a focaccini roll from Trader Joe’s, topped with spinach, tomato, and a lemon aioli sauce. Here is the receipe for the pasta salad I used. 

Summer Pasta Salad

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 lb of pasta, your choice
  • 1/4 cup pesto sauce
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, including the oil
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 peach, diced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • Olive oil for drizzling

Steps

  1. Cook pasta according to package
  2. Meanwhile in a large bowl, combine the pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, red pepper, peach, and mozzarella cheese.  Add the pasta once cooked. Toss with olive oil. Serve warm or at room temperature
 


Dinner 4 – Chinese-style spicy orange glazed chicken.  For this one I used Perdue frozen chicken tenders.

Cook 1 1/2 lbs frozen breaded chicken tenders at 475 for 30 minutes and cut into 1 inch pieces. Combine 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth, 2 teaspoons grated orange zest, 3/4 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 6 tablespoons white vinegar, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, 5 teaspoons cornstarch, and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes in a 12 inch skillet, simmer, stirring often until thickened about 3 minutes. Toss in chicken, service with rice. Serves 4. 

Dinner 5 – Buffalo chicken wraps – Slice chicken cutlets into strips. Whisk 1/3 cups hot sauce, 2 tablespoons melted butter, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and 2 teaspoons cider vinegar together in a large bowl, toss with chicken.  In a separate large bowl, toss 1 head of chopped romaine lettuce, 1 chopped tomato, and 1 grated carrot with 1/2 cup blue cheese dressing. Warm four wraps (10 inches), roll up chicken and lettuce mixture into hot tortillas. Serves 4 .

Dinner 6 – Caesar salad. To make it even simpler, I bought a bag of Caesar salad mix and added sliced chicken cutlets. I chose to use lemon poppy seed dressing instead of traditional Caesar salad dressing. 

Deep dish cookie

This cookie is unbelievable! It’s a new take on a classic dessert! Pair it with ice cream or milk and you’re in heaven! 

I used a skillet chocolate chip cookie recipe from Lodge as a guide. Their recipe calls for a 10 inch skillet and I have a 12 inch. So I added 1/4 to every ingredient (i.e. it called for 1 cup flour I used 1 and 1/4 cup flour).  I also had to adjust the cooking time a little. I baked it for 20 minutes on 375, but was worried the top was getting too browned while the inside was still gooey, so I decreased the heat to 350 and baked for another 10 minutes.  

Deep dish cookie

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda 
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 bag M&M’s or chocolate chips

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 375 (see note above about cooking time) 
  2. In a large bowl, beat both sugars and butter until smooth. Add the vanilla and eggs one at a time, beating well.
  3. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, stir well.
  4. Stir in M&M’s.
  5. Spray 12 inch cast iron skillet with cooking spray. Pat the cookie dough evenly into the skillet. Bake around 20 minutes on 375, turn down to 350 and bake for another 10 minutes.
  6. Remove skillet from oven and let cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Cut into even wedges and serve.


Weekly meal plan


Monday – Chicken Caesar salad. Nothing fancy. I used romaine lettuce, frozen chicken tenders and a lemon poppy seed dressing. 

Tuesday – Chicken burgers with red cabbage and apple slaw. A new recipe and it didn’t disappoint.  Don’t worry, you don’t need to go outside in the cold to use your grill, you cook them right on the stovetop!

Chicken burgers with red cabbage and apple slaw

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 cup Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced small
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup celery, diced
  • 5 tbsp mayo
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1.5 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 4 rolls

Steps

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken with 1/2 cup of the apple, all of the onion and celery, 2 tbsp mayo, 1 tsp mustard, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Mix together with your hands and form four 1/2 inch thick patties. Make an indentation in the center of each with your thumb.
  2. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Cook the burgers until golden brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, 5-9 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile in a medium bowl, mix the remaining 3 tbsp mayo and 1 tsp mustard with the lime juice. Add the remaining apple, cabbage, and 1/8 tsp salt and pepper, toss to combine. Season to taste with more lime juice, salt, and pepper.
  4. Serve the burgers in the rolls, top with the slaw

Wednesday – Beef Stroganoff – one of my favorite go-to recipes! 

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff


Ingredients 

  • 1.5 lbs stew beef
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 package mushrooms, sliced, optional 
  • 1 package extra wide egg noodles 

Steps

  1. Add all ingredients (except mushrooms and egg noodles) to crockpot, season with salt and pepper. Cook on low 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours.
  2. Boil a pot of water and cook egg noodles according to package.
  3. Right before serving, cook mushrooms in a pan over medium heat about 10 minutes.
  4. Once the crockpot is done cooking, add noodles and mushrooms.
 

 Thursday – Spinach salad with red cabbage, almonds, and avocado. I loosely followed the recipe in the link. I meant to substitute sliced apple for the grape fruit, but forgot! And I used store bought lemon poppy seed dressing to make it easier! 

Friday Crockpot pulled pork  with red cabbage and carrot slaw with Mac and cheese 

    Red cabbage

    I recently bought a red cabbage to use for a recipe. After barely putting a dent into it, I realized I needed other recipes to make sure I used all the cabbage. I hate when food goes to waste! Since this was my first time cooking with red cabbage, I had to search for more recipes. I learned it makes a great slaw for topping burgers, pulled pork, and even fish tacos! Here’s a collection of recipes to use up the cabbage.

    Fish tacos with red cabbage and Mango slaw


    Ground Apple burgers with red cabbage and apple slaw


    Pulled pork with cabbage and carrot slaw 

    Asian quinoa salad


    Spinach salad with red cabbage, almonds, and avocado 

    Weekly Meal Plan


    Monday-Pork Chops with herbed goat cheese and green beans. A one pan recipe! Who doesn’t love those! This recipe was inspired from Cooking Light

    Pork chops with herbed goat cheese and green beans

    Ingredients

    •  1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
    • ½ tsp dried thyme
    •  ½ tsp grated lemon rind
    • Salt and pepper
    • ½ oz goat cheese
    •  1 tsp olive oil
    • 2 boneless pork chops
    • Green beans, trimmed
    • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
    • 1/8 cup chicken stock
    • ½ tsp lemon juice

    Steps

    1.  Combine butter, thyme, lemon rind, salt, pepper, and goat cheese in a small bowl, seat aside.
    2.  Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork chops evenly with salt and pepper.
    3. Add pork chops to pan, cook 3 minutes. Turn pork over, reduce heat to medium and cook until done, about 4 minutes. Remove pork from pan. Top each chop with goat cheese mixture.
    4. Add green beans and shallot to the pan, cook 1 minute. Increase heat to medium-high. Add stock, cover and cook for another 3 minutes. Uncover and cook until all the liquid evaporates about 1 minute. Stir in salt, pepper, and lemon juice

    Tuesday-White bean soup. If you’ve never made homemade soup on the stove, you’re missing out on a very easy and quick meal! This soup did not disappoint. The meal was inspired from Parents magazine.

    Ingredients 

    • 3 cups cooked chicken – I used a rotisserie chicken
    • 1 cup diced carrots
    • 6 cups chicken broth
    • 2 15 1/2 oz cans of canellini beans, drained and rinsed 
    • 3/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning 
    • Parmesan cheese (optional)

    Steps

    1. Bring chicken broth to a simmer in a large stock pot. Add carrots, canellini beans, chicken, and Italian seasoning
    2. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese

    WednesdayCrockpot chicken taco bowls

    ThursdayAsian quinoa salad.  This was my first time making this recipe and it was delicious! I will absolutely be making it again! It was just enough for me and the hubby and there was enough leftover for lunch the next day! 

    Friday-Crockpot braised short ribs with red wine sauce.  This recipe intrigued me; I found it in the weekly circular for Price Chopper! I’ve never made braised short ribs before, but they were one of the food options for my wedding, so I know they taste delicious!  The great thing about this recipe is the slow cooking is done in the crockpot! 

    Crockpot Braised Short Ribs with Red Wine Sauce

    Ingredients

    • 2 lbs short ribs
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 cup beef broth
    • 1 cup dry red wine
    • 2 small onions,quartered 
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 ½ cups sliced mushrooms
    • ¼ cup chopped shallots
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 2 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in ½ cup dry red wine

    Steps

    1. Add beef, salt, pepper, broth, 1 cup red wine, onions, garlic, and thyme to a slow cooker and cook on low 8-10 hours on high 4.5-5.5 hours
    2. Once meat is done, remove from crockpot and keep warm. Strain vegetables and skim fat from cooking liquid. Reserve ¾ cup cooking liquid for sauce. Discard remaining liquid.
    3. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, shallots, and thyme, let cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    4. Add reserved cooking liquid and cornstarch mixture to skillet. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often.
    5. Remove skillet from heat, stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Serve sauce over short ribs.