Weekly Meal Plan, February 6 through February 12

Better late than never?  I’ve had this one taped to my fridge since that week, waiting for me to have time to type it up – I keep thinking I should create a meal planner form that I could just upload instantly to here.  Anyone have a really great form they use that would do that?  Let me know!

Breakfasts

  1. Egg Muffins with Pico and Spinach
  2. Avocado toast with a fried egg – I love a piece of hearty whole-grain toast with smashed avocado, a runny-yolked fried egg and tajin seasoning!

Lunches

Thankfully I had leftovers, because I didn’t get a ton of time for prep work!  I pulled some single servings out of the freezer and used them up this week.  I ate cut up veggies and ranch dip on the side – or sometimes mixed some baby spinach in to bulk them up!

  1. White Chicken Chili
  2. Chicken Tortilla Soup

Dinners

Monday:   Cheater Korean Beef  Chicken.  We love this recipe with beef, but I had chicken, so I figured why not!  It was also delicious.  And super easy.  I bulked it up by adding a bag of broccoli slaw while it simmered.  We also had green beans and brown rice.

Tuesday:   No Boil Chicken Sausage and Pasta Casserole.  We just had a veggie tray with this.

Wednesday:   Leftovers.

Thursday:   Chicken Tikka Masala.  This was a new one for us, and it’s definitely going into the rotation.  Everyone loved it.

Friday:   Dinner out for the spouse and I, pizza came to the door for the kids.

Saturday:  Leftover clean out.

Sunday:   Family dinner with my dad, stepmom, niece and brother.  We did ribs on the grill, coleslaw with cabbage my niece grew and some roasted vegetables.  Delicious!

 

 

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No Boil Chicken Sausage and Pasta Casserole

So I first discovered you can make a pasta casserole without first cooking the pasta when I made this Chicken Sausage and Peppers Macaroni Casserole from the Skinnytaste site. Unfortunately, due to the mushrooms, the spouse and 2 out of 3 small people would not consume that version.  I found it delicious.  So if you are not completely unreasonable when it comes to the use of mushrooms, you might too.

Obviously this is great LIFE CHANGING information to have.   So now, whenever I want to make a casserole with pasta, I just add more liquid and let the pasta cook that way.  Seriously.  Mind = blown.  Life is immeasurably better now.  Okay, I’m exaggerating.  A little.

No Boil Chicken Sausage and Peppers Pasta Casserole (serves 8)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of sweet Italian chicken sausage (removed from casings)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 bell peppers, color of your choice, chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 (14.5 oz can) petite diced tomatoes, undrained (no salt added if possible)
  • 1, 25 oz jar of marinara sauce (or use homemade)
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning blend
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 oz uncooked whole wheat penne or fusilli

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.
  3. Add sausage and brown, breaking up with a wooden spoon or other utensil, until cooked through.
  4. Add the onions, garlic and peppers; sauté until the vegetables soften, about 6 to 7
    minutes.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients except for the water, pasta and cheese.  Use the water to rinse out the marinara sauce jar, and get its remaining contents.  Then add to the pan.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10  minutes.
  7. Spoon just enough of the sauce mixture into a 9 X 13 casserole dish to cover the bottom.
  8. Top with pasta, then the remaining sausage and sauce mixture.
  9. Spread cheese evenly over the top.
  10. Cover with foil and bake for 50-55 minutes.  Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes.
  11. Serve.

Other Notes:

  1. You can make this ahead and refrigerate prior to baking.  I’ve done it in the morning or early afternoon and then baked for dinner that night.
  2. You can also break it into 2, smaller casseroles, and freeze one for later.

 

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Make Ahead Mason Jar Omelets

I had almost forgotten about this easy, partially made ahead breakfast until a friend posted her version on Facebook this week.  I made this with some fresh vegetables I needed to use up, but it’s also a great way to use leftover veggies from dinner.  As you put the leftovers away, you can prep for breakfast the next day!

I mix these up in wide-mouthed pint-sized mason jars and seal them with plastic lids.  I usually make only as many as I will use in 3-4 days.  But you can make 1 at a time if that’s what you’ve got ingredients to use up for!

Egg base: for each omelet, I use 1/3 c of egg whites and one whole egg.  If you prefer all egg or all white, either way works – also, adjust the amounts to how much you want to eat.  This is a perfect breakfast size for me.

Ingredients: a total of 3/4 to 1 c. of raw or leftover cooked veggies, chopped to the size desired.  In the jars pictured, I have 1/3 of a diced red bell pepper, around 7 halved cherry tomatoes and 3/4 c. of fresh baby spinach.

Directions:

  1. Beat eggs and egg whites together in jar.
  2. Add vegetable ingredients to jar.
  3. Seal tightly and store in refrigerator until using.
  4. When ready to cook, heat a nonstick pan over low heat.  Spray with cooking spray or coat with oil of your choice.
  5. Dump contents of jar into the pan, cover, and cook on low for 5-7 minutes, or until done.
  6. Add cheese, if desired.
  7. Flip to fold over in half, and serve!
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Weekly Meal Plan, January 30 through February 5, 2017

This week I did a lot of prep work – thank goodness – because it seems like every day, something happened making it difficult to eat healthfully!

Breakfasts:

I had my usuals.  Some days was eggs with veggies, some were avocado toast topped with an egg.

Lunches:

Navy Bean Soup with Ham, cut up veggies and yogurt ranch dip every day!

Dinners:

Monday: Crockpot Lemon Chicken, brown rice and salad.  We prepped this meal at my MOPs group a couple months ago, and it was nice to have something easy to pop in the crockpot.  Everyone loved this – so I’m going to make several the next time I prep it.  You can also grill or bake it.  Here’s the site we got it from – Lemon Garlic Dump Chicken.

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday.  Just kidding!  That was one of the days where life got in the way and I had no time to cook.  Fortunately we had some leftover lasagna from Sunday, and the last of the Chicken Tortilla Soup from last week.  So we ate that with a veggie tray and yogurt dip.

Wednesday:  Taco Tuesday now on Wednesday!  I made both Crockpot Chicken For Tacos, Taco Salads, Nachos and more! and ground beef with taco seasoning, and everyone made their own tacos or nachos with various choices of shells, tortillas, chips etc. and cheese, veggies, salsas.

Thursday: Leftovers.  Well, I ate leftovers.  The children suckered me into taking them through the Chick Fil A drive-through on the way home from football practice.

Friday: it was FIT4MOM Phoenix Scottsdale’s annual team party, so I got to go out, and my kids were thrilled to have “pizza that comes to the door,” as they call delivery.

Saturday: The second boy child, who eats almost nothing, as you will recall, requested pasta.  So pasta it was.  But I didn’t have time for a sauce from scratch, so we did Trader Joe’s organic tomato basil marinara, with a can of no salt diced tomatoes added, and organic lean ground beef.  Simple one!  We had whole wheat spaghetti noodles with.

SundayWhite Chicken Chili, veggie tray, chips and salsa and guacamole (and I made up a few mini slider burgers for super bowl watching too!)

 

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Navy Bean Soup With Ham

This was my prep for lunches for the week, so I can’t tell you if it was kid friendly or not, but my husband did eat a bowl one day……you could leave out the ham and use vegetable broth for a vegetarian meal.

Navy Bean Soup with Ham (serves 6-8)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of dried navy beans, rinsed and soaked according to package directions
  • 2 tsp of olive oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 c diced celery
  • 4 tsp of herbes de provence seasoning blend
  • 2 quarts of low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 5-6 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 7 ounces of ham, diced

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add garlic and onions and celery and saute for 3-5 minutes, until veggies are softening.  Add spice blend and stir, cooking another minute.
  2. Add beans, broth and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil.  Cover. Reduce heat and simmer for 1.5 hours.
  3. Remove cover, stir in ham and carrots, return to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for an additional 30-45 minutes, or until beans are softened and soup is desired consistency.
  4. Remove bay leaves, season with salt and pepper if desired, and serve.  I also like a dash of hot sauce in mine!

 

 

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Weekly Meal Plan – January 23 through 29, 2017

Breakfasts:

Pico and Spinach Egg Muffins 

Lunches:

I made this big pot of Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Chili to use as lunches.   I stored single servings in microwave safe bowls for quick reheating at lunch time.

Dinners:

Monday – Grilled Caribbean Chicken (I did both breasts and some legs for the kids), baked sweet potatoes and roasted asparagus.

Tuesday – Italian Seasoned Stuffed Peppers, veggie tray on the side.

Wednesday – Leftovers

ThursdayChicken Tortilla Soup .  Oops.  Chick Fil A (it happens!)

Friday – Chicken Tortilla Soupveggie tray

Saturday – Leftovers

Sunday – Big family dinner with my parents and niece – Lasagna and salad.

What’s on your menu this week?

 

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

I went on the hunt for a recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup, but since I am awful at following recipes, this is only inspired by the Pioneer Woman’s recipe.  Everyone ate this – even all 3 of the kids!  And it reheated very well the next day as well.

We were supposed to have this dinner on a Thursday, but my day went sideways around 4:30 PM.  At that point, I’d already cooked and shredded the chicken and chopped the other ingredients, so it came together really quickly as a meal the next day – so it can be at least partly made ahead!

Chicken Tortilla Soup (Stove Top/Serves 8)

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 TB Taco Seasoning Blend
  • 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large diced onion (I used purple  – any would work)
  • 2 diced bell peppers (I used yellow and orange – because that’s what I had, anything would work)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1, 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (I used the Trader Joe’s brand), undrained
  • 1, 14.5 oz can of no salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 32 ounces of low sodium chicken stock or broth
  • 4 TB of tomato paste
  • 4 c hot water
  • 1, 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1, 15 oz can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 TB of cornmeal
  • 5 corn tortillas, cut into strips, 1/2 inch wide and 2-3 inches in length

Optional garnishes/toppings:

  • sour cream or greek yogurt
  • diced avocado
  • diced red onion
  • sliced green onion
  • salsa or pico de gallo
  • shredded cheese
  • cilantro

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Drizzle 2 tsp of olive oil on chicken breasts, then sprinkle a small amount of the Taco Seasoning Blend on both sides.
  2. Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until chicken is done.  Use 2 forks to shred chicken.  Set aside.
  3. Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a pot over medium high heat.  Add onions, bell peppers and minced garlic.  Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the Taco Seasoning Blend.  Stir to combine.  Add the shredded chicken and stir.
  4. Pour in tomatoes, chicken stock or broth, tomato paste, water and beans.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.
  5. Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water.  Pour into the soup, then simmer for an additional 15 minutes.  Check seasonings, adding more if needed.  Add salt here if needed.
  6. Turn off the heat and cover.  Allow soup to sit 10-15 minutes before serving.  5 minutes before serving, stir in tortilla strips.

 

 

 

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Egg Muffins with Pico and Spinach

These easy make ahead egg muffins, with whole grain toast, served as my breakfast all week – to reheat, I cut one up on a slice of toast in my toaster oven, and set it to broil for around 8 minutes.  If you don’t have that kind of time – reheat in the microwave on low power for around 45 seconds.  They are also good with a corn tortilla wrapped around (after cutting up).

Serves 6/Serving Size 2 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 6 whole eggs
  • 1 cup of egg whites
  • 2 c fresh baby spinach
  • 1, 12 oz container, or around 1.5 c of pico de gallo (I used the one from Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 oz of shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spray muffin tin with non stick spray
  3. Divide spinach and pico de gallo up among the 12 muffin cups
  4. Beat together eggs and egg whites, and divide mixture evenly among the 12 muffin cups
  5. Top each cup with 1/12 of the cheese
  6. Bake until set and slightly browned, 20-25 minutes
  7. Immediately upon removing from oven, slide a butter knife around the edges of the cups to prevent sticking.
  8. Remove egg muffins from cups and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

 

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Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Chili

I came up with this recipe from the pantry, knowing I needed something that I could reheat easily for lunches all week.  It’s good alone, or over rice.  I like to add some diced avocado and fresh pico de gallo right before serving!

Ingredients:

  • 1, 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (no salt added/low sodium)
  • 2, 15.5 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed (I like the organic variety with sea salt – slightly less sodium)
  • 1, 15 oz can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed (Trader Joe’s also has these organic with sea salt)
  • 1, 16 oz can of fat free refried black beans
  • 2, 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, undrained (no salt added/low sodium)
  • 1, 4 oz can of diced green chiles
  • 1/4 cup of hatch valley flame roasted green chiles
  • 3 TB taco seasoning (I use my homemade version)
  • 20 oz (roughly – that’s just what my package had, I think you could go anywhere from a pound to a pound and a half) boneless, skinless chicken thighs (you could also use breasts, I had thighs on hand.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional toppings/add ins: sliced green onions, fresh chopped cilantro, diced avocado, pico de gallo, shredded cheddar or other cheese, sour cream or greek yogurt.  You can also serve over brown rice.

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients other than chicken into slow cooker and mix.
  2. Add chicken.
  3. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or high 4-6 hours.
  4. With around 30 minutes left in the cooking time, remove chicken, shred and return to crockpot.  Taste, adjust seasonings as necessary.
  5. Serve with desired toppings/add ins.
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Weekly Meal Plan, January 16 through 22, 2017

Catching up!  Third meal plan post in a row – I hope these help you plan and prep in the upcoming weeks.

Breakfasts:

I did a mix of make ahead and cooking this week.  Some mornings I had eggs scrambled with pico de gallo and spinach, and some mornings I had savory oatmeal mixed with spinach and a fried egg on top.  When I make the oatmeal, I make enough for 2-3 breakfasts so that I just have to reheat quickly and fry the egg.  A lot of people don’t think of oats as savory, but try it, you may be surprised!  I only eat them savory when I have them hot, saving my sweet varieties for the refrigerator oats days.

Lunches:

Each day this week, I just had leftovers from the night before for lunch – I intentionally cooked at least one extra serving of each, making for a quick reheat and eat meal.

Dinners:

Monday – Skinnytaste Sweet Potato Turkey Shepherd’s Pie.  I leave the mushrooms out of this because, well, kids, but follow the recipe otherwise.  I’ve made it in individual servings and as one big pan in a glass baking dish. Works either way!

Tuesday – Balsamic Pork Chops, wild and brown rice blend (I buy this at Trader Joe’s and bake it in the oven so I can pretend I’m Alton Brown) and steamed green beans.

Wednesday – Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets from Skinnytaste, my Twice Baked Potatoes, and a veggie tray.

ThursdayPotato and Cauliflower Soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, veggie tray.

Friday – Date night/dinner out.

Saturday – Leftover clean out night!

Sunday– Spaghetti and meatballs in red sauce (I also had the spaghetti squash option).

 

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