2018 Monday Meal Plan: Week 17 (April 16 through 22, 2018)

Week 17….planned and prepped!



These yogurt and berry parfaits, except I used strawberries this week, along with a hard boiled egg on the side.

Fruit and Yogurt Parfait.


All of my containers are currently full of single serving leftovers in the freezer, so it’s time to each some of those instead of cooking more!  Many of these are in there.  🙂

Make Ahead Lunches (Subtitle: Why I Sometimes Don’t Eat Lunch – Part 2)


I’m only planning 4 dinners as the spouse and I will be out of town Friday through Sunday nights, and the chances of the small Asians eating my food without me here to threaten and force strongly encourage them to do so is low.  There will certainly be leftovers for at least 1-2 nights though.

Monday – Sheet Pan Dinner with Chicken Thighs, Potatoes and Green Beans 

TuesdaySkinnytaste Honey Sesame Chicken (Slow Cooker/Crockpot) with brown rice and cucumber salad.

Wednesday – No Boil Chicken Sausage and Pasta Casserole, veggie tray.

Thursday –  Leftovers or takeout.

Friday – Leftovers, takeout or out.

Saturday – Skinnytaste Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets, veggie tray.

Sunday –  Takeout or out.

Posted in Baked Pasta, Breakfast, casserole, chicken, Dinner, Easy Breakfast, Easy Lunch, Freezer meals, Leftovers, Lunch, Make Ahead, Meal Plans, meal prep, Quick Breakfast, Repurposed Leftovers, Slow Cooker | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sheet Pan Dinner with Chicken Thighs, Green Beans and Potatoes

A sheet pan dinner is an easy prep, easy cook, easy clean-up weeknight dinner!  You can come up with any combination of protein and vegetables and seasonings you like.  This is a standard in our house.

Sheet Pan Dinner with Chicken Thighs, Green Beans and Potatoes


  • 2 pounds red potatoes (about 6 medium), cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons Kosher or sea salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed, divided
  • 1 tsp dried oregano, crushed, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1 lb of green beans


  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, oil, garlic, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon of oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; toss to coat.
  3. Transfer to a large sheet pan lined with foil or parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray or oil.
  4. In a small bowl, mix remaining salt, rosemary, oregano, and pepper. Sprinkle chicken with this mixture; arrange over potatoes.
  5. Roast until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are just tender, 25-30 minutes.  Remove from oven and turn chicken and potato pieces.
  6. Add green beans to pan.  Roast until green beans are tender, 10-15 minutes longer. Stir to combine; serve.  Yields 4-6 servings.
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2018 Monday Meal Plan: Week 16 (April 9 through 15, 2018)

Week 16 already!  Breakfasts, lunches, 4 dinners….it’s a wrap.


Breakfasts –

I made these, but the kids are scarfing them down so fast, I need to make more to get through the week!  Just crack an egg…

Lunches –

Caprese Mason Jar Salads with Broiled Chicken

Dinners –


Southwestern Skillet Stuffed Peppers (with strawberries on the side)


Okay.  We were totally supposed to eat this recipe on Sunday.  But the box came missing some ingredients, and I didn’t have time for it Monday (thanks baseball!), so it’s Tuesday instead.  Sorry for the spring re-run.  If it helps, instead of this on Sunday we had pizza.  That someone else cooked.  And delivered.

 Chicken Tacos with Mexican Street Corn


I’ll serve this with roasted sweet potatoes and a green veggie.

Soy Ginger Pork Roast (Crock Pot/Slow Cooker)


Leftovers or takeout.


Leftovers or takeout.


Bee-Bim Bop


Clean out the leftovers or go out!


Posted in Breakfast, casserole, chicken, Dinner, Easy Breakfast, Easy Lunch, Freezer meals, Italian, Korean, Leftovers, Lunch, Make Ahead, Mason Jar Meals, Meal Plans, meal prep, pork, Quick Breakfast, Repurposed Leftovers, Slow Cooker | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just crack an egg….

Prepped Ahead Egg Scrambles…..Just Crack an Egg! (Makes 5)

Have you seen the new product called “Just Crack an Egg” in the grocery store?  They look sort of like the Kraft easy mac containers, but are in the refrigerator case with the eggs. I was intrigued by them….just crack an egg, and microwave, and voila!  Breakfast.  I bought a few, and they are really good.  But also, high in sodium, have some additives, and they are close to 3 bucks each.  And they have little plastic baggies in them and opening them all kind of irritated me.  But I was in a mood that day.  I figured I could do better with my favorite wide-mouth mason jars (affiliate link) and some at home ingredients.

These are kid tested, and mother approved.  Well, tested by my kid (he had 2 for breakfast today) and approved by me.

Version 1 Ingredients:

  • 3-4 bell peppers or 8-10 mini peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 large shallot or 1/2 a red onion, diced
  • 10 oz of potatoes, cubed and cooked (I roasted mine with a tiny bit of olive oil)
  • 4 oz of diced deli ham, diced
  • 10 TB shredded cheddar
  • 10 eggs

Version 2 Ingredients:

  • 3 bell peppers, seeded and diced
  • 9 chicken breakfast sausage links (like this chicken and maple variety), prepared per the package, then cooled and diced
  • 10 TB shredded cheddar
  • 10 eggs


Get 5 wide-mouthed, pint sized mason jars (affiliate link) ready.  I like to use these plastic lids (affiliate link) rather than the metal.

Version 1: Divide the diced bell peppers, shallot or onion and potatoes among the 5 jars.

Version 2: Divide the diced bell peppers among the 5 jars.

In separate containers that will fit inside the jars, divide the ham, bacon or sausage and the cheese.  I use these – after I eat the olives – because they fit in the top of the jars and the lid seals them in.  I just like olives.  I wash them and reuse them….lots of things come in these cups though.  Mandarin oranges, fruit cocktail, applesauce….you can use any container or baggie that fits though.

When ready to cook and eat, mix the cheese and ham, bacon or sausage into the other ingredients, crack two eggs over it all, mix, and microwave for 1 minute on high.

Remove from microwave (be careful of hot jars), stir, and cook again for 1 minute.

Be careful, as the jar does get hot!




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Southwestern Skillet Stuffed Peppers

Southwestern Skillet Stuffed Peppers (Serves 6)


  • 1 lb lean ground beef (ground turkey and chicken also work)
  • 6 bell peppers
  • 1/2 c diced tomato
  • 1/2 c diced onion
  • 1/4 c chopped cilantro
  • 1 Jalapéno, seeded, and diced (optional)
  • 2 c cooked brown rice
  • 2 c jarred salsa
  • 4 oz shredded cheese (optional)


  1. Brown ground beef in the largest skillet you have.
  2. While beef is browning, remove tops from peppers (and save!) and cut the peppers in half.
  3. Remove stem from pepper tops, and dice remaining tops.
  4. Add diced pepper tops, tomatoes, onions, cilantro and Jalapéno to beef.  Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Stir in cooked rice and jarred salsa.
  6. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Place peppers, cut side down on top of beef mixture and cover, cook 10-13 minutes, or until peppers are crisp-tender.
  8. Remove peppers to a serving platter or platters (cut side up), and divide beef mixture among them.
  9. Top with cheese and serve immediately!
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2018 Monday Meal Plan: Week 15 (April 2 through April 8, 2018)

Week 15 is here!

PDF of Meal Planner


Sometimes I am eating these alone, or sometimes on a toasted English muffin as a sandwich.

Denver Omelet Egg Muffins


I got a bunch of salad greens ready as well as vegetable toppings, and am making salads each day depending on my mood.  Sometimes with tuna or chicken salad on top, sometimes with deli ham or turkey.


Monday – Skinnytaste Homemade Chicken Nuggets, roasted red potatoes and green beans.

Tuesday – dinner out with family from out of town.

Wednesday – Sante Fe Chicken with brown rice (made in the crockpot and rice cooker while we are at baseball!)

Thursday – Cheeseburger Pasta Bake, veggie tray.

Friday – Leftovers or out.

Saturday – Leftovers or out.

Sunday – we get a Plated box again, and are having Green Chile Chicken Tacos.

Happy Spring and Happy April!  It’s the 2nd Quarter of the year already……

Posted in Breakfast, casserole, chicken, Dinner, Easy Breakfast, Easy Lunch, Leftovers, Lunch, Make Ahead, Meal Plans, meal prep, Quick Breakfast, salad, Slow Cooker, Southwestern | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2018 Monday Meal Plan: Week 14 (March 26 through April 1)

I don’t apparently have a lot of words this week (wait, me?), but I do have a meal plan for you!



I’ve been enjoying open faced, or deconstructed sandwiches for breakfast.  I take two pieces of toast, divide a single serving of guacamole over them, top with a handful of spinach on each, and a fried egg on each.


A new make ahead recipe this week!  Mason Jar Layered Chicken (or Black Bean) Taco Salads with Cilantro Lime Dressing


A little light this week with Easter (what the heck should I make for Easter?  What are you having?  Can I just come to your house?)

Monday – No Boil Chicken Sausage and Pasta Casserole with a veggie tray.  I know, this appears way too often lately.  But all my kids like and request it, so….

Tuesday – leftovers (because: baseball).

Wednesday – White Chicken Chili, cornbread, veggie tray.

Thursday – Not So Traditional Shepherd’s Pie….

Friday – Leftovers or out.

Saturday – Leftovers or out.

Sunday – Easter Dinner! Except I don’t know what’s happening for that.  No one will commit to coming, or not coming, or giving me a head count or telling me what they want to eat…….so what’s on your plate?

Posted in Baked Pasta, Breakfast, casserole, chicken, Dinner, Easy Breakfast, Easy Lunch, Leftovers, Lunch, Make Ahead, Mason Jar Meals, Meal Plans, meal prep, Quick Breakfast, salad, Slow Cooker | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Mason Jar Layered Chicken (or Black Bean) Taco Salads with Cilantro Lime Dressing

A new make-ahead lunch for this week, utilizing my favorite mason jars and plastic lids (affiliate links).  This recipe makes 5 generous lunch servings.



  • 6 TB fresh lime juice (around 3 limes worth)
  • 4 TB olive oil
  • 1/2 c of fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 tsp raw sugar
  • 4 TB plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp coarsely ground pepper


  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained (or 1.5 c of cooked black beans from dried) OR, for a vegetarian option, double the beans and skip the chicken!
  • 1.5 c frozen corn, defrosted
  • 3 diced bell peppers (I used one red, one green and one orange)
  • 7.5 c. of shredded romaine


1.5 lbs worth of this, made with red salsa, omitting the black beans and corn, Crockpot Chicken For Tacos, Taco Salads, Nachos and more!

You can store the chicken however you want, but I divided it up into smaller mason jars (affiliate link) for each salad.


  1. Make dressing by blending all ingredients together in a blender until mostly smooth (but for a few small pieces of cilantro), divide evenly among 5 mason jars.
  2. Layer the remainder of the salad ingredients (other than chicken), as follows (bottom to top): tomatoes, black beans, corn, bell peppers, lettuce.
  3. Seal and store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  4. Prior to serving, heat chicken (if desired), shake the salad jar thoroughly, dump on a plate or in a bowl, top with chicken and eat!


Posted in chicken, Easy Lunch, Lunch, Make Ahead, Mason Jar Meals, Meal Plans, meal prep, Slow Cooker, Southwestern, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

2018 Monday Meal Plan: Week 13 (March 19 through 25)

Week 13 is the week of little league kick off.  Which means lots of evenings of not being home to cook!  So forgive my reliance upon the slow cooker for the next 7 weeks or so.


Breakfasts –

Skinnytaste Baked Oatmeal with Bananas and Blueberries.

Except I used almonds, not walnuts.  And I’m a little worried my kids are going to eat it all.  I also have hardboiled eggs, eggs I can cook, avocados, bread and yogurt.

Processed with VSCO with c8 preset

Lunches –

Guacamole Costs Extra….Prep Ahead Chicken and Rice Bowls.

Dinners –

Monday – oh boy.  A baseball game and a t-ball game, at the same time.  On fields several miles away from each other.  The crockpot/slow cooker will be getting a workout today!  And probably a lot for the next 6-8 weeks as we enter one of the busiest times of the year.  Reviewing my slow cooker recipe files, I remembered we all liked this one, and it makes enough for 2 meals for us, so bonus! Chicken Tikka Masala from Taste of Home.  This recipe recommends it over basmati rice, which we love, but if you prefer, any kind will work!

Tuesday – Easy Chicken Parmesan (Oven Baked) with pasta and salad.

Wednesday – Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Chili.

Thursday – Leftovers – both the Chicken Tikka Masala from Monday and the Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Chili go nicely over rice, or maybe I could stuff some sweet potatoes with the chili……

Friday – Leftovers or takeout for the kids, while we go out for a date night.

Saturday – a friend gifted me with some free meals from Plated, so I decided to give this prepped meal deliver service thing a try again.  I tried a while back, but the deliver dates didn’t work for me.  Plated now delivers on Saturday, so I’ll try it.  We are getting 2 meals delivered this week, one of them, Seared Steak with Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette is the plan for Saturday!

Sunday – Clean out the leftovers night!


Posted in Breakfast, casserole, chicken, Dinner, Easy Breakfast, Easy Lunch, Leftovers, Lunch, Make Ahead, Meal Plans, meal prep, Quick Breakfast, Slow Cooker | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Not So Traditional Shepherd’s Pie….

Because I don’t like lamb.  Did you know Shepherd’s Pie is supposed to be made with lamb?  I think technically what this is is Cottage Pie.  But would anyone search for that?  Or would you know what it was if I called a recipe that?  Me either.

This recipe is not hard, but it is time consuming.  It’s also not in the top ten for my healthiest editions to this blog, nor is is low calorie.  But it’s a great comfort food type family meal – perfect for a Sunday.


  • 1 TB extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 LB lean ground beef
  • 1 c chopped yellow onions
  • 1 c chopped celery
  • 1/8 c + 2 tsp  all-purpose flour
  • 1 c beef stock or broth
  • 1/2 c of red wine (or more broth if you prefer)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more for the potatoes
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more for the potatoes
  • 2 c of frozen mixed veggies, defrosted
  • 2 LB russet (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-3 inch pieces
  • 3/4 c half and half
  • 1/2 c grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 TB unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • Paprika


  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Place potatoes in a large sauce pan, and add water to cover.  Add salt to your personal taste preferences.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are cooked through, 15-20 minutes.
  3. While potatoes are cooking, in a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef, onions, and celery and cook until the beef is browned and the vegetables are softened.
  4. Add the flour and stir until the mixture begins to bubble, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Slowly add the beef stock or broth and wine, if using. Stir until completely combined, then stir in the thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  6. Cook and stir until the mixture is thickened and bubbling.
  7. Stir in the mixed vegetables and set aside.
  8. Heat the half-and-half in a small sauce pan until it is hot, but not boiling.
  9. Butter a deep dish 9-inch pie plate or a casserole dish (whatever size you have that this fits well in!) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (or a silicone liner).
  10. Drain the potatoes and place them in a large bowl.
  11. With an electric mixer, beat the potatoes on low speed, slowly adding the hot half-and-half, the cheeses, and salt and pepper to taste, until the ingredients mixed thoroughly.
  12. Place the beef mixture in the pie plate or casserole dish. Top the beef mixture with the mashed potatoes. Scatter the butter pieces on top. Sprinkle with paprika.
  13. Place the pie on the baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are browned and the filling is heated completely through.

Makes 4 (very generous) to 6 servings.


Posted in casserole, Dinner | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment